Self Help

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Th - Brianna Wiest

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Matheus Puppe

· 71 min read

Here is a summary of the essay:

  • There are subconscious behaviors and beliefs in our culture that negatively impact our lives without us realizing it. These are a result of the prevailing “monoculture” or dominant ideologies of our time.

  • We think we know what will make us happy and pursue that, but we are psychologically incapable of accurately predicting what will fulfill us. We can only perceive what we already know.

  • We believe life is about achieving goals and “arriving” at success. But there is no ultimate destination. Life is transitory, and happiness exists in the present moment.

  • We interpret negative emotions as signs we shouldn’t do something, when really fear and pain often signal that something matters to us. They indicate interest and meaning.

  • We create unnecessary problems to avoid living vulnerably and authentically. The problems distract us from what we’re really afraid of.

  • We try to change our beliefs by adopting new ways of thinking. But beliefs are changed through experiences that make new beliefs evident and real to us.

  • We see problems as obstacles, not as catalysts for growth and a better life. Problems force us to act and think differently. They push us forward.

  • We let our past define us, not realizing our perception of the past changes as we change. We can choose which memories and experiences to focus on based on our present state of mind.

  • We try to change other people and situations instead of recognizing that our anger towards them reflects parts of ourselves we have disowned. We reject traits in others that we have suppressed in ourselves.

In summary, the essay highlights how our subconscious views and behaviors, which stem from the prevailing beliefs of our culture, often work against us and prevent us from living authentic and fulfilling lives. By understanding these tendencies, we can make different choices and create better lives for ourselves.

• Emotionally intelligent people do not assume their perceptions and feelings about a situation are absolutely accurate or reflective of the objective reality. They recognize their emotions as responses that can be shaped by their own biases and past experiences.

• Their emotional state is not determined by external factors or other people’s actions. They understand that they are ultimately responsible for how they feel. This prevents them from becoming passive or indignant, believing the world has to fix things for them.

• They do not assume they know exactly what will make them happy. Since our frame of reference is limited to our past experiences, we can’t really know what will fulfill us in the future. Emotionally intelligent people remain open to new experiences, knowing there is good and bad in everything.

• They do not think feeling fear is a sign they are on the wrong path. Fear often means they are moving toward something important but facing inner obstacles like old beliefs or past wounds. Indifference is a better sign they are on the wrong path.

• They know happiness is a choice but do not feel obligated to choose it constantly. They understand that sustained joy is an illusion. They allow themselves to fully experience and process their emotions rather than resisting them. In that non-resistance, they find contentment.

• They do not let their thoughts be chosen for them. They recognize that many of their beliefs and ways of thinking come from social conditioning and habitual mental patterns, not from their true selves. They evaluate their beliefs and choose ones that serve them.

• They do not aim for constant composure and do not suppress their feelings. However, they can refrain from reacting emotionally until they are in a proper environment. Their emotional expression is balanced and healthy rather than extreme or stunted.

• In summary, emotionally intelligent people have a balanced, self-aware, and conscious relationship with their own emotions and beliefs. They do not feel controlled by external or internal forces but are able to navigate their emotional experiences in a healthy way.

Here is a summary of the signs of a socially intelligent person:

  1. They do not elicit strong emotional responses from others in conversation.

  2. They do not speak in absolutes about people, politics or ideas. They recognize there are many perspectives.

  3. They do not immediately deny criticism or have an emotional reaction to it. They listen before responding.

  4. They do not confuse their opinion of someone as fact. They qualify their statements.

  5. They do not overgeneralize or stereotype people through their behaviors. They avoid “you always” or “you never” statements.

  6. They speak precisely and concisely. They focus on communicating, not just getting a response.

  7. They can practice healthy disassociation. They do not assume everything is about them. They can understand other perspectives.

  8. They do not accuse others of ignorance. They validate others’ stances, share their perspective, and ask for input.

  9. They validate others’ feelings. They accept how others feel without denying or dismissing their feelings.

  10. They give others the benefit of the doubt. They do not make negative assumptions.

  11. They do not hold unrealistic expectations of others. They accept people as they are.

  12. They can agree to disagree. They recognize differing viewpoints and can have a respectful discussion.

  13. They take responsibility for their mistakes and shortcomings. They apologize sincerely.

  14. They are flexible and willing to compromise. They do not hold rigidly to their stance.

  15. They show interest in others. They listen, ask questions and make others feel valued.

  16. They exhibit humility, empathy and compassion. They recognize their own flaws and show care for others.

• Feelings themselves are transient and short-lived. Emotional intelligence is about allowing yourself to fully feel whatever emotions arise without judgment.

• We avoid feelings because we falsely believe they will last forever if we acknowledge them. But in reality, no feeling lasts for more than a few minutes on its own.

• What we often call “feelings” like tension, depression or sadness are actually symptoms that can persist for long periods. They are not the fleeting emotions themselves.

• The emotions we suppress the most are often trying to tell us something important that we need to acknowledge and address. For example:

  • Fear is prompting us to take care of ourselves in some way.
  • Anger is a sign that one of our boundaries has been crossed.
  • Sadness means we are releasing something that no longer serves us.
  • Insecurity is pushing us to reconnect with our own self-worth.

• Learning to fully feel our emotions without judgment is a key part of emotional maturity and intelligence. The emotions themselves cannot actually hurt us, they are just sensations. Our thoughts about those emotions create suffering.

• When we allow ourselves to fully feel, we often gain valuable insights and the symptoms that were troubling us tend to dissolve. Emotions process through our system within a few minutes unless we cling to them with our thoughts and stories.

The main message is that emotions themselves are not the problem and they do not last forever. Suppressing or judging our emotions is what causes them to linger and turn into suffering. Developing emotional intelligence means learning to allow any feeling to move through us, and listening to the insights they offer. Our relationship to our emotions determines their impact on our lives.

  1. You paid your bills this month, even if it was difficult.
  2. You question yourself and doubt your life, which shows you’re open to growth.
  3. You have a job that provides income for basic necessities.
  4. You have time to do something you enjoy, like watching TV.
  5. You have enough food and don’t worry about where your next meal is coming from.
  6. You can eat for enjoyment, not just survival.
  7. You have one or two close friends who know and accept you.
  8. You could afford small conveniences like coffee, public transit or gas for your car.
  9. You have access to healthcare and medicine if you need it.
  10. You woke up in a bed this morning.
  11. You have hot water for a shower.
  12. You have clean clothes to wear.
  13. You experienced laughter recently.
  14. You have passions or interests that excite you.
  15. You believe in something greater than yourself.
  16. You appreciate small acts of kindness.
  17. You find beauty in the world.
  18. You can be alone without feeling lonely.
  19. You accept imperfections in yourself and others.
  20. You want to be a better person.

The key message is that there are many signs you’re doing okay in life, even if you don’t realize it. Appreciating the small things and focusing on personal growth are good ways to feel more content and realize you’re doing better than you may think.

• Most people self-sabotage and prevent themselves from being truly happy due to their “upper limit”—the maximum amount of happiness they are comfortable experiencing and allow themselves to feel. Going beyond this threshold makes them uncomfortable, so they sabotage their happiness to return to what they know.

• There are several psychological factors that contribute to people holding themselves back from happiness:

  1. Fear of exceeding their “likability limit” and becoming too successful in the eyes of others. People want to remain in the good graces of those whose approval they seek.

  2. Preferring the familiar discomfort of the status quo to the vulnerability of change, even if that change is objectively better.

  3. Believing that being happy means giving up on further achievement and acceptance of the status quo. But happiness fuels continued progress and purpose.

  4. Procrastinating on the actions needed to create change and find happiness. The space between knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it is where suffering persists.

  5. Mistaking apathy for safety and avoiding attachment to people/things to avoid potential loss, rather than embracing life’s impermanence. Suffering gives life meaning.

  6. Not knowing how to practice and cultivate happiness through conscious choice and shifted perception. Happiness is a skill that can be learned.

  7. Believing that circumstances alone create happiness, rather than recognizing that happiness is a choice and the result of conscious perception and awareness.

• Happiness requires intentional practice and a willingness to push past one’s comfort zone. It is the product of daily commitment to well-being, not the result of random external events. Expanding your “upper limit” and redefining your “baseline” level of happiness is essential to achieving greater life satisfaction and purpose.

• There are three primary forms of happiness: the happiness of pleasure, the happiness of grace, and the happiness of excellence. They are like primary colors that combine to create our emotional spectrum.

• The happiness of pleasure comes from sensory experiences. The happiness of grace comes from gratitude and humility. The happiness of excellence comes from pursuing meaningful goals and engaging in purposeful work.

• Though different, they are all shaped by context. Those deprived of pleasure may value it more. Those unfamiliar with excellence may not realize the rewards of consistent effort and discipline.

• Many people lack a full spectrum of happiness. They want the rewards of excellence without the effort. But “lots of pleasure will never make you whole.” Real happiness comes from identity and becoming who you want to be.

• There is often a “knowing-doing gap” where we know what’s good for us but fail to do it. This is due to seeking comfort and avoiding discomfort. We must shift our perception to consider the discomfort of not following through.

• Left unchecked, the knowing-doing gap leads to wasted potential and regret. We must consider the “big picture” and measure our lives by what we accomplish and the relationships we build. We have to break free of resistance and comfort-seeking.

• Understanding why we resist doing what’s best for us is key to overcoming that resistance. We are wired to seek comfort for survival, but real progress requires moving past that.

• Making a decision in the moment based on avoiding immediate discomfort often leads to long-term regret. We must consider how today’s choice shapes our identity and purpose. Discipline and meaningful work lead to happiness, not just pleasure and leisure.

The key points in the passage are:

  1. Don’t wait until you feel “ready” to pursue meaningful life experiences like relationships, pursuing your passions, and personal growth. You will never feel fully ready, and waiting only increases anxiety and fear. Taking action, even in small ways, builds momentum and confidence.

  2. There are many things worth focusing on other than whatever mundane worry or problem is consuming you in the moment. Some examples include:

  • Visualizing the life you want and taking steps toward it
  • Improving yourself through self-reflection and personal growth
  • Connecting with other people in meaningful ways
  • Appreciating life’s simple pleasures and wonders
  • Considering your mortality and priorities
  • Learning from your failures and past experiences
  1. Your perceptions and assumptions strongly influence your reality. It is important to challenge your default ways of thinking and consider other perspectives.

  2. Life is hard in many ways, regardless of your circumstances or choices. What matters most is determining what struggles and efforts are most meaningful and worthwhile to you.

  3. Fear often reveals what you most desire. Looking behind your deepest fears can help provide clarity on your life’s purpose and priorities.

In summary, the key message is that life’s meaning and purpose is found through courageous action, continual learning and growth, connecting with others, and focusing on what really matters to you. Don’t be held back by fear and doubt, and avoid being consumed by trivial worries and problems. There are more important things worth your time and attention.

  • Expecting yourself to be extraordinary is unrealistic. Finding meaning in ordinary life is key.
  • You will not live forever. Appreciate each day.
  • You are responsible for your mistakes and faults, not just your strengths. Do not justify poor choices or think you can get by on ability alone.
  • You cannot be whatever you want or have whatever you want just by wanting it. You are limited by your abilities and circumstances. Work hard and be grateful for what you achieve.
  • You cannot avoid pain through positive thinking. Allow yourself to feel pain fully.
  • Love is not something others give you. It comes from within. Do not rely on others to allow you to feel love.
  • Intensity of feeling does not mean something is meant to be. Many intense feelings and relationships do not last. Accept endings and disappointments.
  • Self-improvement does not end struggle. Understand why you struggle.
  • You cannot control what others think of you. Focus on how you treat people. Do not let perceptions of others control you.
  • Hard work does not guarantee success. Find meaning in becoming a better person, not in outcomes.
  • Your thoughts do not change automatically when your life changes. You must adopt a new mindset first. Your mind creates; it is not created.
  • Others are not responsible for your feelings. You choose how to interpret what others say and do. Take responsibility for your reactions.

In summary, you must let go of the expectations that you can control life and how it unfolds. Focus on what you can control: your thoughts, actions, and interpretations. Find meaning in the journey, not the destination. Take responsibility for all of yourself - your choices, your feelings, your fate. Learn to appreciate life as it is, not as you think it should be. Love and find purpose in the ordinary. Success and happiness will follow.

  • People and opinions are likely to offend you at some point. Don’t assume everything revolves around you or that you must confront every idea you disagree with. Growth requires an openness to different viewpoints, not defensiveness.

  • Emotional intelligence means understanding your feelings and expressing them constructively. Self-esteem means believing you are worthy of love despite imperfections. Happiness comes from coping well with problems, not avoiding them.

  • You will never feel fully “ready” for life’s big moments. If you wait until you feel ready, you’ll miss out.

  • You can’t save up happiness for later. Experience it now or lose the chance. Happiness is temporary no matter what.

  • Anxiety serves a purpose. It shows us what matters and needs a response. Crippling anxiety often means you are avoiding dealing with something important.

  • Meeting only your own needs is not the path to happiness. Committing to others and bigger purposes gives life meaning. Self-sufficiency is just the first step.

  • Stop worrying about what you’re “going to do with your life.” Focus on what you want and need now, today. Follow your interests and passions. Your path will emerge from what calls you back again and again.

  • Our experience of life is shaped by cognitive biases like:

  • Projection: We assume others think like us and interpret the world through our own lens.

  • Extrapolation: We make incorrect assumptions about the future based on the current moment.

  • Anchoring: We are overly influenced by initial information or reference points.

  • Negativity bias: We focus more on negative news and drama. We perceive it as more important or profound.

  • Conservatism bias: We are reluctant to change our views, even with new information. We favor familiar over unfamiliar.

  • Confirmation bias: We favor information that confirms what we already believe. We ignore information that contradicts our beliefs.

  • Dunning-Kruger effect: We overestimate our own competence or knowledge in a given area. The less skilled or knowledgeable we are, the more likely we are to overestimate ourselves.

  • Cognitive dissonance: We have an uncomfortable sense of tension from holding two contradictory beliefs or values at once. We are motivated to resolve it in a way that makes us feel better or more consistent. This can lead to poor reasoning or denial of facts.

• Emotional abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse in the long run. Its effects are not always visible but can systematically undermine a person’s self-worth.

• Emotions outlive the memories that caused them. Our past emotional experiences shape how we respond to current situations. We need to address the root causes of emotions to overcome irrational fears and anxieties.

• Creative people may be depressed for a reason. The areas of the brain involved in experiencing and expressing negative emotions are also linked to creativity.

• Fear does not always mean a desire to escape. It can also signal interest or a need to understand something that scares us. Fear arises from things that we feel are connected to us in some way.

• Emotions other than happiness are normal and healthy. A full range of emotions is a sign of well-being. Negative emotions signal that something needs attention.

• Emotions can predict future outcomes. People who are in touch with their emotions have insight into their subconscious knowledge and intuitions.

• We tend to relive and be more impacted by social and psychological pain than physical pain. Our need to belong drives this tendency.

• Stress may be the most dangerous emotion, especially if chronic. It contributes to health issues and reduced longevity. Relaxation is essential for well-being.

• Social media promotes emotional disconnection. It gives us an unrealistic sense of others’ lives and fuels anxiety, focusing us on screens rather than real social interaction.

• We cannot numb selective emotions. When we numb one emotion, we numb them all, including positive ones like joy and gratitude. It is healthiest to experience a full range of emotions.

•Focus on appreciating what you currently have rather than chasing what you don’t have. Make goals centered around loving your life as it is.

•Finish old projects, reconnect with friends, read unfinished books. Appreciate people as they are instead of trying to change them. Spend time with existing friends instead of seeking new ones.

•Appreciate simple and inexpensive things. Keep a journal to record your days and the little details of your life. Find meaning in your existing work rather than chasing your “purpose.”

•Create your own holiday traditions that reflect what you love. Do a “spending cleanse” where you only use what you already have. Give everything in your home a designated place. Learn to live within your means.

•Call your loved ones. Aspire to develop positive qualities like kindness instead of chasing “success.” Do important things in the morning when you have the most energy. Let go of negative things weighing you down.

•Relax and pace yourself. Do things at a speed where you can feel your breath. Make physical and mental relaxation a priority no matter what you’re doing.

•The overall message is to focus on living in and appreciating the present moment instead of being constantly focused on the future and chasing unrealistic societal ideals of purpose or success. Developing an attitude of gratitude and learning to let go of negativity leads to greater peace and contentment.

•Be mindful and present in everything you do. Focus on quality over quantity.

•Learn the difference between your honest thoughts and the truth. Your thoughts are often temporary while the truth is deeper and consistent.

•Do not make important decisions when you are emotional or upset. Wait until you are calm and thinking rationally.

•Your mind can be used for good or bad. You can focus it to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts.

•Anxiety often comes from feelings of shame or inadequacy. Recognize these thoughts are misperceptions, not the truth.

•Write out your life narrative to gain perspective and remedy “tunnel vision.” List your accomplishments, relationships, work, home, etc. to see the bigger picture.

•Thoughts are powerful illusions. Do not believe everything you think. Look at past worries that never happened to realize much time was wasted on irrational thoughts.

•Do things with your hands to shift your mind from excessive thinking. Cook, clean, exercise, etc.

•The goal is not to always feel good but to experience a range of emotions without suffering. Healthy discomfort can lead to growth.

•Ask yourself if worrying thoughts are really true. The answer is usually “no.”

•Stay busy and focused on living to avoid excessive worrying or irrational thoughts.

•Weird or disturbing thoughts are normal and do not define you. Do not feel like a freak for having them. Learn not to be intimidated by your own mind.

•Trust that which gives you peace. Follow your “yes” intuitions.

•Step out of your comfort zone gradually. Do not make huge life changes when irrational thoughts are present. Make incremental steps.

•Prove yourself wrong by seeking facts and truth. Do not live in uncertainty when answers are available.

•Learn radical acceptance. You can say “I feel stuck” or “I’m unhappy” without harsh self-judgment. These statements are just truth, not condemnation.

•Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. They are effective for calming anxiety and irrational thoughts.

•Expand your thinking. Discomfort means you need to grow in how you perceive yourself and the world. Consider new possibilities.

• Train your mind in rational thinking. Evaluate thoughts objectively and laugh at irrational ones.

•Determine what you can control and cannot. Do not waste energy on things outside your influence.

•Do not presume to know others’ thoughts or the future. irrational thoughts come from uncertainty and lack of facts.

•Your sense of self is mental and influences your wellbeing. Believe you can handle challenges and you will. Believe you are worthy of love and you will find it.

•Redefine your self-image in terms of non-material qualities like resilience, curiosity, and compassion. This leads to greater peace of mind.

•View today from your future self’s perspective. This helps gain gratitude and proper focus.

•Forget about worries when possible. Not everything needs to be analyzed or resolved. Replace them with better things.

•Accept that irrational thoughts will sometimes arise. They do not mean something is terribly wrong or that you have failed. You just need to redirect your mind.

•Worry and creativity are linked. See worry as motivation to improve your life, not as suffering. You can choose better thoughts.

•Spend time in nature, do an enjoyable activity, connect with others. This helps shift your mind and mood.

•Journaling helps identify unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior. You can then make better choices.

•Imagine speaking to your wisest future self. This provides perspective and guidance.

• Creativity is an innate human ability and instinct, not a luxury. Humans have always found ways to express themselves creatively, even in ancient times.

• Creativity serves important purposes like education, communication, and self-reflection. We all have a natural drive to create things that can be understood by others.

• The mediums for creativity have changed over time but the core human desire to create remains the same. We want to shape abstract ideas into something tangible that others can perceive.

• The most effective creative process aligns with Zen principles like meditation, mindfulness, intuition, non-resistance, and non-judgment. Some key aspects include:

  • Meditation and mindfulness: Tapping into a calm, focused state of mind. Observing your thoughts and surroundings without judgment.

  • Intuition: Following your instincts and inner wisdom rather than overthinking things. Letting ideas flow naturally.

  • Non-resistance: Not forcing the creative process. Allowing inspiration to emerge in its own time and embracing the flow of ideas.

  • Non-judgment: Avoiding harsh self-criticism and accepting imperfections. Judging your creative work or ideas interferes with the free flow of creativity.

  • Education and communication: The drive to create is closely tied to our innate desire to learn, grow, express ourselves, and connect with others. Creativity fulfills our human need for purpose and meaning.

  • Self-reflection: The creative process often provides insight into ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, values, and perspectives. Our creative works are a reflection of who we are.

In summary, tapping into your innate creativity requires adopting a meditative, non-judgmental mindset; trusting your intuition; and allowing inspiration to emerge naturally without resistance. The creative process, at its core, is a fundamentally human experience.

  • The key to getting unstuck and achieving success is developing good habits and making them autonomous. This involves three stages:
  1. Conscious incompetence: You are aware that you lack a skill or habit. This awareness motivates you to acquire it.

  2. Conscious competence: You have to consciously focus and make an effort to implement the new skill or habit. It requires willpower and feels unnatural.

  3. Autonomous competence: The skill or habit becomes second nature and feels effortless. You do it automatically without thinking about it. This is the final stage of mastery.

  • To progress through these stages, you need awareness, repetition, and consistency. Start with small changes and build up gradually. Celebrate small wins to stay motivated.

  • Habits form based on cues, routines, and rewards. The key is to tie your new habit to an existing habit or cue, focus on starting small, and rewarding yourself for progress. Over time, the routine itself becomes the reward as it becomes more automatic and satisfying.

  • Common obstacles include lack of awareness, motivation, or accountability; poor planning; unrealistic expectations; and discouraging thoughts. But you can overcome them by reviewing your motivation and starting small. Success is a product of consistency, not perfection.

  • The final stage of autonomous competence is achieved through diligent practice and patience. But the freedom, mastery, and productivity it provides are well worth the effort required to get there. Developing good habits and skills is key to getting unstuck and achieving your goals.

That’s the summary and key highlights from the article on getting unstuck by developing habits and the three stages of mastery. Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

• Self-control, discipline, and dedication are what separate experts from amateurs. While talent is innate, self-control is developed through practice.

• Our self-control is limited, but we can expand it over time through routine and habit. Experts understand this and focus their energy, reducing distractions and unnecessary decisions.

• Developing a skill goes through three stages: cognitive (learning), associative (improving), and autonomous (mastering). Many people get stuck in the associative stage due to unrealistic expectations. Overcoming this requires commitment to continuous improvement.

• The difference between those who persevere and those who give up is commitment, not talent. Getting “unstuck” means realizing you were never stuck, you just stopped to question whether the work was worthwhile. The answer requires eliminating distractions and using your available self-control to continue improving.

• Ask yourself whether the work and struggle to earn someone’s love is worthwhile. Love cannot be taken or given, only experienced together. Requiring love from others will prevent you from finding it, while giving love freely allows you to discover it everywhere.

• Focusing on the present moment is challenging but crucial. Repeat mantras to yourself to maintain awareness of the present, where life actually happens and matters most. The past and future are illusions.

• Understanding yourself requires reflection, not discovery. Asking thoughtful questions and examining your experiences, relationships, and actions can reveal your true self and purpose. The answers to such deep questions have the power to alter the course of your life.

Here is a summary of the signs:

  1. You spend more time thinking about your life than actually living it. You dissect problems rather than solve them and daydream rather than experience life.

  2. You no longer find wonder in simple pleasures like nature, play, light, smiles, etc. You have lost the ability to appreciate little things.

  3. You have something you once wanted but now don’t enjoy it or have replaced the desire for it. Try to reconnect with the feeling of wanting it.

  4. Your life now is better than your younger self could have imagined. The worst things became turning points.

  5. You think of money as an “obligation” rather than an “opportunity.” You don’t appreciate what money provides.

  6. You think you lack enough friends but are measuring by quantity not quality. The real lack is within yourself.

  7. You are either over-reliant or under-attached to friends. You expect too much or too little from them.

  8. You imagine how others see your life and make decisions to please them. Your happiness comes from others’ opinions, not your own.

  9. Your goals are outcomes like success or money rather than actions like enjoying work or saving. Outcomes are ideas but actions produce results.

  10. You assume you have time and delay important things. Time is limited; start now.

  11. You let a bad feeling turn into a bad day. Negative emotions are part of being human and serve a purpose. Learn from them rather than stop due to them.

  12. Discomfort means you shouldn’t do something. Actually, discomfort means you should. Anger or indifference mean you shouldn’t.

  13. You wait to feel motivated or inspired before acting. Motivation fades; work from purpose, not passion.

  14. You engage in maladaptive daydreaming to escape problems rather than deal with them.

  15. You are “saving up” your happiness for another day rather than appreciating the moment.

The overall message is that how you think about your life and circumstances, not the circumstances themselves, is the real problem. A mindset shift can help you start enjoying life more.

• Focus on how experiences actually make you feel rather than how they look to others. Many times we pursue things because of how we think they will appear to others rather than how they will fulfill us.

• Imperfect, flawed people find love and success all the time. You don’t need to be perfect to be happy and content. Stop policing yourself.

• Ask yourself what you would do if you didn’t care what others thought. This can reveal what really matters to you and what will make you happy.

• Take photos to capture meaningful moments, not to curate your image. Looking back on these photos can remind you of how you felt in that moment.

• Identify the imaginary “people” whose judgment you worry about. Often we worry about what “people” will think but those people are just a faceless imaginary crowd. Their judgment means nothing.

• Focus on how things feel rather than how they look. Pay attention to experiences that actually fulfill you rather than those meant to impress others.

• Let go of the need to control how your life appears to others. How it feels to you is what really matters. Worrying too much about appearances often leads to dissatisfaction and lack of meaning.

The key message is to shift your focus from how your life looks to how it feels. Pay attention to the meaningful experiences, moments and relationships that actually fulfill you rather than chasing an image meant to impress imaginary “people.” Let go of the need to control appearances and instead focus on living a life of purpose and meaning.

  1. Practice conscious awareness of your thoughts and feelings. Become aware of the messages you send yourself about yourself. Notice negative or self-sabotaging thoughts and work to replace them with more constructive ones.

  2. Practice self-acceptance. Learn to appreciate yourself as you are, flaws and all, instead of measuring your worth by unrealistic social standards. Accept both your strengths and weaknesses with compassion.

  3. Practice self-responsibility. Take responsibility for your own life and choices. Do not blame others for your circumstances or make excuses for your behavior. Take action to solve problems and meet challenges.

  4. Practice self-assertiveness. Express your thoughts, values, and desires with honesty and confidence. Set healthy boundaries and communicate your needs to others in a respectful way.

  5. Practice purpose and motivation. Find purpose and meaning in your life by pursuing goals that are meaningful to you. Take care of yourself physically and mentally so you have the motivation and energy to achieve your goals.

  6. Practice integrity. Act with honesty, authenticity and ethical behavior. Make sure your actions align with your principles and values. Admit mistakes when you make them, and work to correct them.

In summary, self-esteem is built through consistent effort and practicing core skills like self-awareness, self-acceptance, taking responsibility for your life, asserting yourself, having purpose, and acting with integrity. It is an ongoing process, not an end state. But with time and practice, you can develop a healthy and authentic sense of confidence in yourself and your ability to handle life’s challenges.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

• Limit social media usage. Spending too much time on social media can negatively impact your mental health and well-being. Reduce time spent scrolling through social media feeds and sharing curated versions of your life.

• Reduce news consumption. While staying informed is important, consuming too much news, especially sensationalized news, can increase anxiety, worry, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Limit time spent reading, watching or listening to the news.

• Practice mindfulness. Spending time each day being fully present and aware of your thoughts and feelings can help reduce stress and increase focus and clarity. Try meditation, yoga, journaling, or simply sitting in silence.

• Limit multitasking. Doing many things at once divides your attention and reduces productivity and focus. Try to do one thing at a time, avoid distractions, and be fully engaged in the activity.

• Spend time in nature. Getting outside in natural environments has many benefits for both physical and mental health. Go for walks outside, sit in your yard or a local park, get out in the sun, go to the beach or mountains if possible.

• Foster real-world connections. Make time to connect with close family and friends in person. Call or video chat with loved ones who live far away. Join a club or take up a hobby to meet new people with similar interests.

• Practice self-care. Make sure to schedule in time for adequate sleep, healthy meals, exercise, and hobbies or leisure activities that you find personally fulfilling and rejuvenating. Take a holistic approach to nurturing both your physical and mental well-being.

• Limit screen time. Too much time looking at bright screens and devices can negatively impact your circadian rhythm, sleep, focus, and mood. Make time each day to unplug from technology and do an unrelated activity like reading a book, taking a bath, gardening, or doing light exercise.

• Reflect and reframe. Take time for self-reflection to gain awareness and insight into your thoughts and behaviors. Try to adopt a growth mindset by reframing unhelpful thoughts into more constructive ones. Be gentle with yourself and focus on continuous progress rather than perfection.

•Your goals focus on outcomes not actions. You dream of the perfect life but don’t think about daily tasks to achieve it.

•You engage in maladaptive daydreaming. You imagine unrealistic fantasies to avoid problems instead of dealing with them.

•Your life purpose is abstract. You want to help others but don’t know how or actually do it in your daily life.

•You know solutions but don’t act. You pick apart problems but don’t make changes. Overthinking is a distraction.

•You’re always busy but unproductive. You lose time, feel stressed but never complete tasks.

•You resist what you want most. You make excuses why you can’t have what you want instead of working toward it.

•You bond over what you hate. You have little else to talk about or need to feel superior by judging others.

•Fear of judgment drives problems. You make choices to please others not yourself. Fear stops you from acting.

•You’re detached from the present. You ruminate on the past or worry about the future instead of living now.

•You avoid discomfort. You don’t take risks or try new things in case they don’t go well. You stick to routines.

•You depend on external validation. You need others approval, praise or permission to feel good about yourself.

•You rationalize your circumstances. Instead of taking responsibility for your situation, you make excuses for why you can’t change.

In summary, overthinking your life prevents you from living fully in the present, taking healthy risks and pursuing your dreams. You become detached from reality by excessive fantasizing, worrying and obsessing over what others think of you. The solution is learning to quiet your mind, face discomfort, and take action based on your own values and priorities.

  • Passion is not the answer to living a successful and happy life. Purpose and logic are more important. Passion is the fuel but purpose determines the destination.

  • The ability to logically analyze your life is essential. You need to balance logic and emotion. Passion pushes you to pursue what you want most in the moment but logic helps you determine what you really want in the long run.

  • Passion bases relationships on intense feelings. Logic bases relationships on purpose, like commitment and love. Relying solely on passion leads to indecisiveness and uncertainty.

  • Logic allows you to see objectively whereas passion is subjective and consuming. Passion does not allow you to acknowledge other perspectives.

  • Logic helps you make decisions for the person you want to become. Passion helps you make decisions for the person you currently are or used to be. Logic moves you forward; passion keeps you in the past.

  • The passion narrative tells you to pursue your wildest dreams. The logic narrative tells you to pursue your potential. Logic leads to the same outcomes as passion but in a more sustainable way.

  • Passion stems from attachment to feelings or ideas. Logic counters attachment and passion. Logic prepares you to cope with difficulties; passion assumes life will be easy.

  • Gratitude arises from logic. Choosing to focus on what you’re grateful for leads to happiness and life satisfaction. Passion does not naturally lead to gratitude.

  • Logic can dismantle unhelpful emotions. Passion tries to replace one emotion with another, which does not provide lasting relief or clarity.

  • The desire to pursue passion often comes from a place of lack or avoidance. Genuine, loving pursuits are usually peaceful rather than hysterical.

In summary, logic and purpose are superior to passion alone for living a good life. Passion is a catalyst but logic and purpose provide direction and sustainability. A balance of head and heart, logic and emotion, is ideal. Relying solely on passion leads to instability, lack of progress, and unhealthy relationships. Logic cultivates gratitude and the ability to cope. The desire for passion is often an attempt to fill an internal void. Meaningful pursuits are grounded and nourishing rather than frenetic or emotionally charged.

• Focus on the daily tasks and routines required in a role rather than the title or image. Consider what you actually want to do day-to-day.

• Decide what kind of person you want to be rather than what titles you want. How you do something is more important than what you do.

• Consider what you want to be remembered for. Think about the impact you want to have on others.

• Identify what comes most naturally and effortlessly to you. Don’t make things artificially difficult. Build on your strengths.

• Examine what you believe the purpose of your existence is. Develop a personal philosophy that empowers you.

• Understand why you do what you do each day. Identify your key motivations and use them constructively.

• Explore the themes of your daydreams and fantasies. They reveal unmet needs you are projecting onto others. Meet those needs yourself.

• Look at what you dislike in others. It likely reflects aspects of yourself that you have yet to acknowledge. Make peace with them.

• Healing yourself requires seeing what you want to change in others and making peace with it in yourself.

• Choosing the life you want begins with understanding yourself at a deeper level. Look beneath titles, images, and fantasies. Examine your beliefs, motivations, and projections. Accept rather than avoid uncomfortable insights. Build from there.

The key message is that self-knowledge and self-acceptance are prerequisites to crafting a life you genuinely want. Superficial desires and avoidance of discomfort will only lead to disappointment. Do the inner work, and your outer world will follow.

  • We measure a “good life” based on how closely our experiences align with our expectations and desires. This is a subjective and culturally-influenced measure that has changed over time. Currently, we focus on individual accomplishment as a measure of a life well lived.

  • We are not inherently self-serving. We prefer to feel that our actions contribute to something greater. However, we still aim to maximize pleasure and aggrandize the individual over community. As a result, we end up feeling empty, stressed, and confused.

  • Reality rarely matches our expectations. A good life should not be measured by how well we manipulate reality to match our ideas.

  • Our measures of a good life are rooted in survival instincts that drive us to seek pleasure, fame, attention, and ego fulfillment. Though we mask these drives to seem civilized, they are still animistic in nature.

  • In contrast to humans, animals do not reflect on whether they have achieved their goals. They operate based on instinct alone.

The key message is that we should not measure a good life based on culturally-influenced expectations of accomplishment and pleasure. A life well lived is better measured by our growth and contributions, not by how well we satisfy our egoistic drives.

The key points in becoming your own worst enemy are:

  1. Believe in the illusion of separateness. Think that you are always competing with others and can only succeed by being better than them. This fosters disconnection and loneliness.

  2. Believe that your worldview and conditioning are the only right ones. Be unwilling to understand other perspectives. This closes you off from growth and compassion.

  3. Replace real human connection with social media and waiting for others to make you feel loved. This makes you dependent on external validation and unable to find self-worth.

  4. Constantly dwell on the past and ruminate over mistakes and regrets. Be unable to forgive yourself and move forward in a constructive way. This keeps you stuck in unhealthy thought patterns.

  5. Avoid taking responsibility for your life by blaming others and making excuses. Believe you have no power to change your circumstances. This victim mentality prevents you from making positive choices and bettering your life.

  6. Fill your time with distractions and escapism rather than pursuing meaningful goals and self-improvement. Waste your life waiting for happiness to find you. This leads to feelings of purposelessness, restlessness and self-loathing.

  7. Be unwilling to step outside your comfort zone and avoid facing fears or difficult emotions. Value safety over growth. This stunts your personal progress and capacity for resilience.

In summary, becoming your own worst enemy involves habits and beliefs that disconnect you, foster dependence, prevent responsibility and growth, and keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns. The keys to overcoming this are cultivating self-compassion, connection, purpose and courage.

Here is a summary of the 16 reasons why you still don’t have the love you want:

  1. You want someone else to do the work of finding and creating love for you.
  2. You have preconceived notions of what love should look like that prevents you from finding genuine love.
  3. You think love is just a feeling, rather than a commitment and choice.
  4. You don’t realize that love magnifies what is already present in your life, good or bad.
  5. You believe love will just happen when the circumstances are right, rather than being built through effort and choice.
  6. You focus too much on making yourself attractive to others rather than finding your true self.
  7. You aren’t clear on what you really want in a relationship because you’re trying to please others.
  8. You blame others rather than realizing your relationships reflect what’s inside you.
  9. You don’t realize negative emotions are signs you need to heal and grow.
  10. You look for relationships to fill voids only you can fill.
  11. You don’t love yourself, so you can’t properly love another.
  12. You haven’t healed from past hurts.
  13. You have unrealistic expectations of relationships.
  14. You don’t communicate openly and honestly.
  15. You haven’t found purpose and passion in your own life.
  16. You look to others for validation and worth rather than finding it within.

In summary, most reasons come down to not loving and accepting yourself, not healing from past pains, having unrealistic expectations, and not taking responsibility for creating love in your own life. The keys are self-love, self-awareness, open communication, and commitment to personal growth.

• Our feelings are how we communicate with ourselves. We should not ignore or suppress them to avoid discomfort. Healing involves becoming open to seeing good, being hopeful, and sustaining or creating more love. Our negative emotions show us how we are misunderstanding or being controlled by past experiences and fears.

• We need to use our heart and mind together. The heart shows us what is important, and the mind shows us how to achieve it. But we are often polarized in how we use them or don’t realize we have them.

• We need to honor the child within us. Loving yourself means giving yourself what you need to feel happy, just as you would do for a child. Your essential self is like a child.

• You want love to change your life and provide stability, security, and happiness. But you can’t find love externally until you cultivate it internally. What you love about others reflects what you love about yourself.

• You blame others for not fixing you and get angry at them. But you need to accept and heal yourself. Kindness is the foundation of love and relationships.

• You are looking for answers outside yourself. The love and life you want comes from within. What angers or fulfills you reflects what you accept or cultivate in yourself.

• To change your life, adjust your thinking and reactions, not external things. Give what you want to receive. Address problems in yourself, not by blaming others. Build new good habits and a new outlook. Choose to be happy and grateful. Choose change. Your experiences reflect your internal state, beliefs, and choices.

• We often conform to social expectations and let money or status determine how we should live rather than following our passions or principles. But material gains don’t necessarily lead to happiness or meaning. We need to think critically about the master narratives we accept and make our own meaning.

• There are two outcomes when you lose something: you replace it with something better and feel happy, or you continue to dwell on what you lost and it becomes an ever-present absence in your life.

• We are often told that not being able to forget someone shows how deeply we loved them. But in reality, holding onto an idealized version of someone, or the memory of a relationship that never truly was, usually signifies underlying insecurities or a need to fill a void within ourselves.

• We tend to become nostalgic for relationships and experiences that never actually happened, rather than appreciating what we have in the present moment. The things that are hardest to replace are usually the ones we have attached our sense of identity and self-worth to.

• Unconditional love means loving someone even without any expectation of love or affection in return. Most relationships are based more on enjoying someone’s role or the idea of them, rather than loving them for who they are. Heartbreak often comes from someone no longer fitting our notion of who they should be.

• Holding onto love for someone you used to know is like falling in love with a book - you can love the story and characters, but it remains static while your own life moves on. Loving the memory or ideal of someone prevents you from finding a real, dynamic relationship in the present.

• The summary suggests that in order to move on from past relationships, we must recognize our tendency to dwell in nostalgia and cling to unrealistic notions of people and love. We must learn to appreciate what we have now rather than longing for relationships that never truly were. Unconditional self-love and acceptance can help us detach from old memories and find more authentic connections.

• We are conditioned to see stillness and inactivity as failure or lack of productivity. We believe we must always be doing something purposeful or useful.

• This makes us unable to be comfortable alone with our thoughts. A study found that many people would rather experience physical discomfort than sit alone with their thoughts for a short period of time.

• Stillness is actually psychologically important for us. We are not meant to constantly be “running” or active.

• Stillness allows us to recharge, gain perspective, and fosters creativity. It leads to greater health, happiness, and productivity.

• Making time for stillness and solitude helps decrease stress and anxiety, increases self-awareness, and allows us to reflect. It helps us gain insight into ourselves and our lives.

• We must make the time to do nothing, even in small ways. Meditate, take walks, limit screen time and social media. Stillness takes practice but is worth cultivating.

• Doing nothing does not mean being unproductive. It means giving our minds a chance to rest which ultimately makes us better able to focus and be purposeful when needed. Stillness enhances activity.

• We must reframe how we view stillness and make it a habit. Build it into our daily lives and commit to doing less so we can gain more. It is a form of self-care that benefits both ourselves and those around us.

In summary, the key message is that making time for stillness and solitude is vital for our wellbeing, happiness, and productivity. Though it goes against what we have been taught to value, stillness is not inactivity but rather a way to recharge and gain insight so we can be better in our activity and purpose. We must practice doing nothing.

The article discusses how our attachment styles, developed in childhood, affect our relationships as adults. There are four main attachment styles:

  1. Secure: Had attentive parents. Struggle least in relationships but may stay in unsatisfying ones too long. Need to accept that love involves risk.

  2. Avoidant: Had emotionally unavailable parents. Value independence and struggle with intimacy. Associate imperfections with rejection. Need to open up to others and see that being vulnerable won’t lead to abandonment.

  3. Anxious: Had inconsistently attentive parents. Struggle with indecisiveness and cling to unhealthy relationships out of fear of the unknown. Spend too much time worrying and mind-reading rather than living in the present. Need to challenge anxious thoughts and surround themselves with caring people.

  4. Disorganized: Had frightening or abusive parents. Struggle because they haven’t learned to trust themselves or choose genuinely caring partners. Need to do trauma work to rewrite their narrative and reconnect with themselves.

The key message is that our early experiences shape how we connect with others as adults. By understanding your attachment style and needs, you can improve your relationships. The specific strategies for each style involve learning to tolerate discomfort for the secure style, practicing vulnerability for the avoidant style, reframing thoughts for the anxious style, and healing from trauma for the disorganized style. Overall, the article suggests that introspection, professional support, and surrounding yourself with caring people can help you overcome your attachment-related struggles.

Trust your inner guidance system more than your thoughts or ideas. This means listening to your intuition and following what feels right to you rather than getting caught up in anxious thoughts, self-judgments, or comparisons to others. Your emotional guidance system is designed to keep you alive and well. When you ignore or invalidate your emotions through suppression, they will persist and show up in unhealthy ways in your life. Some signs of emotional suppression include anxiety, catastrophizing, resentfulness, and difficulty opening your heart to others.

The most liberating thought is recognizing that everything in your life, even the most painful experiences, served a purpose and brought you to where you are now. You can choose to see your life differently and define who you want to be each day. Focus on creating something that lasts beyond your physical body by pursuing love, experiences, and meaning. Remember that each moment is fleeting, so live in the present rather than worrying excessively about the past or future. You are a person of value who deserves to be happy and kind to yourself. With time and perspective, you can get through anything.

Here are the main ideas summarized:

  1. Hard work does not guarantee success. Focus on enjoying the process rather than the end result.

  2. Desire alone is not enough. You need sacrifice, hard work, persistence, and resilience.

  3. You are not the exception. Take practical measures like using sunscreen, saving money, planning for retirement, and treating people well.

  4. You are not the center of attention. Most people are not constantly judging and watching you.

  5. Fear of failure should not stop you from trying. Failures and rejections are inevitable parts of growth and progress.

  6. Do not rely on motivation alone. Develop discipline and habits to achieve your goals.

  7. Do not seek perfection. Learn to accept yourself as you are instead of constantly chasing an unrealistic ideal.

  8. Do not dwell on the past or be overly worried about the future. Focus on living in the present moment.

  9. Do not let self-doubt hold you back. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

  10. Do not be a victim. Take responsibility for your choices and see setbacks as opportunities to grow.

  11. Do not make assumptions about other people’s opinions or thoughts. Ask open questions instead.

  12. Do not avoid difficult conversations. Have courage to speak your truth with compassion.

  13. Do not rely on willpower alone. Make changes to your environment and routines to support your goals.

  14. Do not seek constant validation from others. Learn to validate yourself based on your own values and priorities.

  15. Do not be afraid to go against conventions or social expectations. Follow your own intuition and path.

  16. Do not wait for perfect timing. Start now and course correct as needed.

  17. Do not beat yourself up over mistakes. Learn from them and then move on with self-compassion.

• We are conditioned to believe there is limited happiness and success to go around. This fosters a competitive mindset and the idea that our worth depends on besting others.

• True happiness and success come from within, not from what others give us or bestow upon us. When we shift to a mindset of “already having,” we attract what aligns with our self-concept. Acceptance leads to abundance.

• The things we genuinely want arise naturally from our true self. Problems arise when our desires don’t evolve with our personal growth. Letting go of limiting beliefs allows us to create the life we want.

• There are always ways to meet our basic needs. What matters most is our peace of mind. We must leave situations that jeopardize our well-being. Survival and happiness require placing ourselves first.

• Life involves struggle. Transcendence comes from accepting our humanity—the good and the bad. Fighting against struggle and pain only causes more suffering.

• There is value in “negative space”—moments of silence, stillness and simplicity. A packed schedule is not success. Insight arises in quiet moments of reflection.

• No one can hand us happiness, and no one can take it away. We must stop seeking happiness from external sources and instead create it through our choices and mindset.

• Time is not linear. Everything, past present and future, is happening now. We call into our experience what we need and what we are. We never lose or gain—we always have and always will be.

• Happiness and beauty alone are boring. People are drawn to depth, complexity, authenticity and shared values. Pretending to be something we’re not to please others is futile.

• Our intuition speaks to us in whispers until we listen. Ignoring our gut instincts results in bigger, louder wake-up calls. Our intuition will not be ignored.

• It is commonly said that you need to love yourself before you can love someone else. However, this is often misinterpreted to mean you have to be perfect or have a perfect life before you deserve love from another person.

• In reality, you do not have to love yourself completely or have a flawless life to be worthy of love from someone else. A good relationship can actually help you grow in self-love and address areas you want to improve.

• While you should work to become your best self, you do not need to do so in isolation before accepting love from another person. Loving relationships positively impact personal growth.

• Although the way you treat yourself influences how others treat you, becoming a whole, loving person involves learning to connect with others, not just thriving alone.

• Use time alone to focus on self-care, but do not mistakenly believe you must reach perfection before deserving or accepting love from another person. Love magnifies both the good and bad in yourself and your life, allowing you to grow.

• No one is ever completely ready for the love of their life. Do not deny yourself relationships while waiting to become good enough. The right relationship will help you become your best self, not require that you reach it first.

• In short, you do not need perfect self-love to be worthy of someone else’s love. Loving relationships are a tool for fostering growth and self-love. Accept love rather than waiting until you think you deserve it.

• Our culture suffers from a lack of radical honesty. We are unable to coexist because we suppress opinions that differ from our own and police people into only saying things that align with our views.

• We are taught to put others first in disingenuous ways that breed resentment. This causes internal loneliness, anxiety, depression, and a lack of authentic relationships.

• Our fear of honesty and change stems from worrying that others will no longer accept or value us if we are our authentic selves. We associate selfishness with putting our own needs first.

• Telling the truth is not mean. We are just not used to hearing anything other than what we want to hear. We see truthfulness and meanness as the same.

• Those who shout the loudest about certain behaviors are often those whose lives were most shaped by doing what others wanted—and they gained little from it.

• At our core, there is light in all of us. We would love anyone if we knew their whole story. Equality requires honesty about our shared human condition.

• The only way to change society and close-minded views is through open and honest dialogue, not just affirming those who already agree with us. Forced “selflessness” and “helping others” is not real kindness.

• Radical honesty—getting everything on the table—is the root of equality and enlightenment. Honesty about inequality is needed to remedy inequality.

The key points are that radical honesty, authenticity, and open dialogue are needed to build understanding, foster real relationships, and create positive change in society. Forced behaviors are counterproductive. At our core, we have light and potential for good in all of us.

  • Fake kindness is harmful and resentful. It is better to be truthful, even if it hurts.

  • Saying “no” and speaking your truth are acts of kindness, even if uncomfortable.

  • You should leave unhealthy situations, express your feelings, and surround yourself with people who truly care about you.

  • Look within yourself to find your wounds, passions, and purpose. Do not seek approval from others.

  • Suffering and pain are not the same. We can choose to suffer or not. Suffering comes from resisting pain.

  • We cling to familiarity and comfort, not happiness. Suffering forces us to seek genuine fulfillment.

  • We try to change external circumstances to be happy, not realizing happiness comes from within. Suffering teaches us this.

  • Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs. We don’t always know what’s best for us, but our deeper selves do.

  • Joy and pain balance each other. Our capacity for one depends on the other.

  • Pain signals a problem. Suffering comes from ignoring the signal. We create suffering from a false belief we deserve pain.

  • The universe gives us signs until we have no choice but to listen. Suffering comes from ignoring the signs.

  • We cling tightest to things not meant for us because we know they aren’t really ours. We seek love we lack and prove things not self-evident.

  • When we stop overthinking and let go, the truth becomes clear. The things we cling to aren’t meant to be. We know this deep down.

  • It’s difficult to let go of things killing you when it feels like it would kill you to let go. But holding on prevents finding what’s meant for you.

• Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re incapable because of your age. Some of the greatest accomplishments have been made by people in their 20s.

• Don’t argue with people who only want to prove themselves right, not understand you. Walk away from those fruitless conversations.

• Don’t waste energy placating people who won’t help themselves.Their problems will continue and the relationship will crumble anyway.

• Don’t justify yourself to people who only care how you make them look.Remember who really matters to you.

• Don’t stay in contact with people you don’t like out of obligation, convenience or fear.Move on from those unhealthy relationships.

• Don’t hold onto love that has ended just because you’re afraid you won’t find anything better.Have the courage to let go and find new love.

• Don’t do things you don’t want to do, keep things you don’t need, or stay digitally connected to annoying people. Live authentically.

• Take time to figure out what you want in life.Don’t be paralyzed by indecision or the fear of not finding purpose. Explore your options.

• Take time to heal old emotional wounds from your childhood.Do the inner work now to avoid problems later.

• Don’t judge people for the choices they make.Everyone is on their own journey, and every experience serves a purpose.

• Learn to live within your means at any income level.Develop the mindset and habits to avoid financial difficulties.

• Don’t put off the things that really matter to you. Make them a priority and find a way.

• Don’t burn bridges in frustration.Maintain contacts and connections that could lead to future opportunities.

• Don’t stay in a job you hate.Keep putting yourself out there and have faith the right opportunity will come along.

• Don’t settle for a relationship that doesn’t fulfill you.Have the courage to wait for one that does.

• Experiment with your appearance.Get comfortable with your body and the changes it will go through. Don’t cling to one way of looking.

• Learn to sincerely say “sorry” and “thank you.”Apologize and express gratitude to others and yourself when needed.

• Take chances and live spontaneously at times.Order pizza at 4 a.m., eat cake for breakfast, kiss a stranger. Take a road trip on impulse.

• People who have lost love know that you cannot lose someone else’s love, only the idea or hope of love with that person. Their love is something you experience, not something you possess.

• When you start believing someone else will carry a part of you with them when they leave, you lose yourself. Seeking salvation in another person will not save you; only you can save yourself.

• You can mourn the loss of relationships that were not fully realized or people who were not really there for you in the way you needed.

• It is therapeutic to embrace the empty spaces left behind by lost love, whether it is an empty bed, life, work, or dates.

• When you lose love, it can feel like you will never love someone else as much. Your logic and reason are overpowered by the intensity of emotions.

• The pain of lost love exposes your vulnerabilities and triggers self-doubt. But with time and effort, you can build yourself back up again.

• Lost love teaches you that you cannot control how others feel or make them stay. You can only control your reaction and choose to move forward.

• Lost love leaves you with bittersweet memories of what was and what might have been. But new love will come in time.

• The lasting gift of lost love is the capacity to feel deeply and love fully again. With each loss and rediscovery of love, your ability to love authentically grows.

Here are 18 little reminders for anyone who feels like they don’t know what they’re doing with their life:

  1. Nobody knows what they are “doing with their lives.” Some people have a better idea of what they’re working toward, but ultimately, none of us can accurately anticipate or summarize what our existence is about. Not yet.

  2. You decide what your life is defined by. The feeling of being “lost” isn’t what happens when you go off-path, it’s when you forfeit control.

  3. It’s what happens when you don’t want to accept the course of events that have unfolded. Being found again is a matter of owning what happened to you and continuing to write the story.

  4. J.K. Rowling didn’t know she was going to be one of the most famous writers in the world; she was just writing a story for her kids.

  5. Steve Jobs didn’t know he’d be a pioneer of how humanity interacts with technology; he was just a guy in his garage.

  6. Oprah didn’t know she’d have the highest-rated talk show in television history; she was just a girl with big dreams in rural Mississippi.

  7. The path reveals itself as you walk it. As long as you keep moving.

  8. Don’t be in a hurry to figure it out. The meaning of life isn’t something you just stumble upon. It’s something you build through a lifetime of experiences, reflections, and lessons.

  9. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Your journey is your own.

  10. It’s OK if you don’t have a dream or purpose yet. Dreams and purpose change shape many times over the course of a lifetime.

  11. Explore new interests and activities. You never know what may ignite your passion or excitement for life.

  12. Surround yourself with people who remind you of your own strength and potential. Their belief in you can help sustain you until you find your own.

  13. Don’t be afraid to start over. A fresh start means a new chance to begin again and shape your life the way you want.

  14. Appreciate the present moment. Looking too far into the future can feel overwhelming and stir anxiety. Find meaning in the simple and mundane.

  15. Take care of yourself. Make sure to schedule in time for rest, nutrition, movement, and fun. Your mental and physical health provide the foundation you need to build a meaningful life.

  16. Help someone else. Helping others gets your mind off your worries and reminds you of your own inner strength and ability to make a positive difference.

  17. Don’t be afraid of obstacles or failures. They often lead to greater opportunities and help shape you into the person you need to become.

18.Have faith that you will find meaning and purpose when the time is right. But you have to keep moving forward. Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. The answers will come.

• All self-hatred stems from how you perceive yourself and the world. Your awareness and interpretations shape your reality.

• People’s actions and words only have the meaning you assign to them. You decide how things affect you.

• What you imagine others think of you says more about you than what they actually think. Their opinions are out of your control.

• Your reactions matter more than other people’s actions. You can choose not to be affected by what others say or do.

• embarrassment about your past self shows how much you’ve grown. But don’t stay embarrassed—grow from it.

• Surface problems often stem from deeper issues. Address the root causes, not just the symptoms.

• Your insecurities and struggles are universal human experiences. You are not alone or an outlier.

• Your worries usually revolve around how one or two key people view you, not what “people” in general think. Identify who those people are.

• Others do not think about you nearly as much as you think about yourself. Stop assuming and worrying so much about how people perceive you.

• Your life’s meaning comes from living each day well and focusing on your values and purpose, not from attaining goals or meeting expectations.

• You don’t owe your past self anything. Focus on who you want to be now, not who you once thought you should become.

• Finding meaning and contentment comes from within, not from accomplishing extraordinary things or gaining approval. Do what fulfills you.

• Feeling lost often comes from asking the wrong questions. Ask what you can do today, not what you’re meant to do with your whole life.

• social media pressures you to pursue “the next big goal” and compare yourself to unrealistic portrayals of others’ lives. Don’t get caught up in that.

• Success and progress look different for everyone. Stop judging yourself against unrealistic societal standards of achievement or timelines.

• All things that happen in life are ultimately good because they serve to teach us lessons and help us grow, even if they are uncomfortable or painful. We label things as “bad” when we don’t accept them or fight against them.

• Feelings become “bad” when we don’t allow ourselves to fully experience them. We should listen to our feelings rather than judge them as good or bad. They are meant to guide us.

• Good and bad are subjective judgments that differ based on a person’s own experiences, culture, values, and circumstances. We can choose to see the purpose and benefits in even the hardest experiences.

• Unconditional love is rare because most love is based on conditions and expectations. When people don’t meet our expectations, we struggle. True love accepts people as they are.

• We want unconditional happiness but often don’t actually work for it or choose it. We want others and external things to make us happy. We must take responsibility for our own happiness.

• The key to overcoming loss or hardship is acceptance—accepting what is already gone rather than trying to control or change it. Fighting against what has already happened only makes the suffering last longer.

• Life requires softness, openness, and flexibility. When we harden ourselves or close parts of ourselves off, we must eventually break open again. It is a natural process.

• We can find joy even in chaos and discomfort when we loosen our need for control and accept what comes. Nothing lasts forever, especially not emotions and unhealthy attachments. The only way to truly “let go” is through acceptance.

  • Suffering is inevitable but we have control over it. We allow it and cultivate it due to lack of growth and awareness.
  • We start to believe we deserve suffering when we remain unconscious of its origin and solution.
  • We ruin good days by worrying and being paranoid out of habit. We feel the need to fill peace with suffering we think we deserve.
  • Repressed emotions lead to unhealthy beliefs about ourselves. Undealt with feelings become the basis for seeing ourselves as deserving of suffering.
  • We attach to ideas of what’s “wrong” with us and let those ideas shape us. Outer experiences reflect our inner beliefs.
  • We value suffering because it’s familiar and feeds unhealthy attachments. Letting go of suffering requires awareness, acceptance and healing.

In short, we tend to value our own suffering because it has become familiar and feeds unhealthy attachments and beliefs we hold about ourselves. Freeing ourselves from unnecessary suffering requires awareness of its root causes in ourselves, acceptance of painful emotions, and the journey of healing.

• Loneliness is an idea that arises from depending on others for self-worth and a sense of connection. True connection comes from within, not from external interaction or approval.

• Solitude allows us to connect with our deepest selves beyond the constraints of language and society’s expectations. It shows us who we really are when we stop performing for others.

• Most anxiety and panic stem from a fear of experiencing anxiety and panic. We try to control emotions through controlling external factors, but this is futile.

• Emotional disassociation begins in childhood when we are punished for expressing certain emotions. We learn to suppress parts of ourselves to gain love and approval.

• To raise children with healthy emotional intelligence, we must cultivate it in ourselves first. We must learn to accept anxiety and be loving, kind, and nonjudgmental role models.

• Pleasure cannot cure pain; they exist on opposite ends of the same spectrum. We need to experience pain to build resilience and mature emotionally. Attempting to avoid pain leads to more suffering.

• Emotional intelligence requires understanding that painful emotions are a natural and important part of life. We must learn to observe them without judgment and let them pass through us. Fighting or repressing them only makes them persist.

• The root of most psychological difficulties is a lack of self-knowledge and an inability to cope with the full range of human emotions. Developing emotional intelligence leads to greater happiness, success, and well-being.

The relationships we have with other people are ultimately our relationships with ourselves. We see ourselves through the lens of how we perceive others see us. The relationships that make us happiest are the ones where we adopt the other person’s supposed view of us. We feel most loved when we think someone else thinks highly of us.

Loving yourself is about stabilizing your self-perception so it’s not dependent on what you think others think of you. When we lose relationships, we lose our sense of self that was tied to them. The most freeing thing is realizing we are all connected, and each relationship shows us what we need to understand about ourselves. The relationship is always with yourself.

To deepen any relationship:

  1. Spend casual, unstructured time together
  2. Be comfortably silent together
  3. Call them when you’re struggling
  4. Listen without distraction or judgment
  5. Discuss ideas and beliefs
  6. Read each other’s favorite books
  7. Create something together
  8. Notice little details about them
  9. Attend important events together
  10. Express gratitude for them
  11. Be playful and laugh together
  12. Make eye contact, smile, use their name
  13. Give compliments and express affection
  14. Be willing to compromise
  15. Forgive mistakes and imperfections

The keys are intimacy, authenticity, gratitude, compromise, and forgiveness. Relationships serve to expand our awareness of ourselves and life. The more we understand them as reflections of us, the more meaningful they become.

  • We choose to love people who cannot love us back for an important reason. The purpose of relationships is not simply to be loved or fulfilled. It is to gain self-awareness and confront parts of ourselves that we don’t normally see.

  • Relationships show us what angers, excites and frustrates us. They highlight where we need to give ourselves more love and acceptance. They are not meant to fix or complete us.

  • The feeling of love we get in relationships is often just a hormonal high, not a sign that the relationship will last forever or meet all our needs. Real love is seeing ourselves and our partners as they truly are, flaws and all.

  • We often enter relationships unconsciously seeking validation that we are worthy and lovable. But true worthiness comes from within, not from a partner. Relationships just help reflect our inherent self-worth back to us.

  • The purpose of relationships is to gain a more complete view of ourselves, warts and all, not just the parts we like or want to see. Our partners show us the unconscious parts of ourselves through how they treat us.

  • We choose unavailable partners because they reflect the unavailability or lack of self-love we have within. By healing this and learning to love ourselves fully, we can have healthier relationships where we see our partners as they are, rather than as a means to fill our own needs.

The key message is that we must look within, rather than to our partners, for a sense of worthiness and love. Relationships are meant to aid in self-knowledge and personal growth, not provide completion. By accepting ourselves as we are, we can have balanced relationships where we see our partners clearly too.

The key points are:

  1. Positive thinking seems unrealistic and naive to most people. We falsely associate negativity with depth and wisdom.

  2. We are constantly reinforcing negative beliefs in our subconscious mind through our thoughts and actions. Our beliefs are shaped by what we perceive to be true based on our experiences, but we often subconsciously seek out evidence that confirms negative beliefs.

  3. We are inherently more fascinated by negative things in the world because we are evolutionarily programmed to focus on threats and danger. This negativity bias makes positive thinking unnatural and difficult.

  4. There are real benefits to positive thinking that we overlook, like improved health, better relationships, and greater success and fulfillment. But positive thinking requires effort and practice to overcome our natural tendencies.

  5. Ultimately, we each have a choice in how we think and what we focus on. We can choose to cultivate positive ways of thinking with conscious practice and awareness. Positive thinking is a skill that gets easier with regular use.

In summary, while positive thinking does not come naturally, it is a choice we can make and a skill we can develop. The perceived downsides and difficulties of positive thinking are outweighed by the many benefits. With consistent practice, positive thinking can become second nature. But we must make the effort to overcome our innate negativity bias and break the habit of constant negative reinforcement.

Here is a summary of the 15 most common types of distorted thinking:

  1. Filtering: Focusing on negative details and filtering out positive ones.
  2. Polarization: Seeing things in extremes (good vs bad) rather than a middle ground.
  3. Overgeneralization: Making broad conclusions from one instance or piece of evidence. Using words like “always” or “never”.
  4. Mind-reading: Assuming you know how people feel or why they act in a certain way. Usually projection of your own feelings.
  5. Catastrophizing: Expecting the worst possible outcome in any given situation.
  6. Personalization: Believing that everything people do or say is somehow related to or directed at you.
  7. Control fallacies: Feeling either externally controlled (helpless victim) or internally controlled (responsible for everyone’s feelings).
  8. Fallacy of fairness: Believing you know what is right and fair for everyone and that others just don’t understand.
  9. Blaming: Blaming others or yourself for everything that goes wrong.
  10. Shoulds: Having a list of rigid rules about how you and others “should” act. Feeling guilty when those rules are broken.
  11. Emotional reasoning: Believing that the way you feel reflects the way things really are.
  12. Fallacy of change: Believing that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure them enough.
  13. Global labeling: Generalizing one or two qualities into a negative overall judgment of someone or something.
  14. Being right: Needing to prove that your opinions and actions are correct to maintain your self-worth.
  15. Heaven’s reward fallacy: Believing that your self-sacrifice and suffering will be rewarded, so you keep enduring bad situations.

accountable for an issue. Shoulds.

  • Your experience of the world is constructed by your mind and perceptions. You can choose to shift your focus and create a different experience.

  • Your concept of self is an illusion. You are not defined by roles, habits or what others think of you. Mastering this means playing roles when needed but not being controlled by them.

  • You need not rigidly adhere to any belief system. Follow what feels true for you in the moment.

  • Non-attachment leads to happiness. Understand that good and bad experiences serve you. “Bad” things teach you and help you appreciate the “good”.

  • “Being” is more important than constant “doing”. Make time to relax, reflect and reconnect with yourself.

  • You can be an objective observer of your mind and life. You are not your thoughts or feelings but the being that experiences them. You decide which to value.

  • Your natural state is one of oneness. Playing out separateness leads to suffering. You will eventually return to unification.

  • Some social anxiety in new situations is normal and can show intelligence. But it should not paralyze you.

  • Desiring solitude and deeper connections with a few people is healthy, not dysfunction. You do not have to like everyone.

  • Saying no when you want to is healthy. Do not feel obligated to always say yes to social plans.

  • You value intimacy and depth in your relationships over superficial interactions with many people. Quality over quantity.

  • You feel at ease being fully yourself around people you trust. Your sensitivity is channeled into deepening connections, not anxiety.

To say “no” to people and things that would negatively impact your well-being. Your mental and emotional health should be a top priority, even if it means disappointing others at times.

You tend to overanalyze situations, but try to do so objectively and rationally, not to reinforce anxiety or justify irrational thoughts. Some anxiety about social situations is normal and human.

The idea of constant progress toward some ultimate “happily ever after” is an illusion. Life involves ups and downs, joy and discomfort. Happiness comes from living in and appreciating the present moment, not waiting for some ideal future.

Society and culture often promote the idea of planning and dreaming about an ideal future rather than living presently. But all we really have is the succession of moments happening now. We have to choose to live in the present to find meaning and joy.

Being “mindful” or present is important, but we also have to learn to transcend the constant chatter and overthinking of our minds. We are too focused on what we think about everything and not focused enough on just living and experiencing.

We live in a culture that encourages judgment, labeling, and putting others down to feel superior. But this disconnects us from our shared humanity. We have to open our minds to uncertainty and embrace discomfort to grow in compassion.

We need to teach emotional intelligence and help children process emotions rather than just scolding them for outbursts. We have to be aware of the real-world impacts of our choices and associations. We have to see that change happens through individual shifts in perception and behavior. We have to move from living in our heads to living in our hearts.

Our emotions are subtle physical sensations, but we tend to interpret them through the lens of thought. We have to learn to distinguish raw feelings from the stories we tell ourselves about them. Feelings just are - they do not require justification or explanation. We can choose to not be ruled by them.

  1. Reconnect with your life. Connect with the present moment, other people, and yourself. Anxiety stems from disconnection in one or more of these areas.

  2. Give yourself permission to want what you really want. Accept your deepest desires, even if you think society disapproves. Identify your deepest fears to find what you truly want.

  3. Be grateful for your discomfort. Feeling discomfort means you are growing and changing. Take action based on the discomfort.

  4. Develop structure and productivity. Accomplish at least one thing each day that contributes to your well-being. This provides a sense of progress and control.

  5. Address the practical concerns underlying irrational anxiety. Seemingly nonsensical worries are often projections of real issues you are not dealing with. Deal with the real issues.

  6. Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can. Make the most of your current situation and abilities. Real change happens gradually through evolution, not overnight.

  7. Thinking change will happen instantly is an illusion. Accept that real change is a process that takes time and consistency. Maintain realistic expectations.

In summary, to heal from anxiety, reconnect with yourself and your life, meet your basic needs and wants, build good habits and coping strategies, address the root causes of your anxiety through practical action, and maintain a long-term perspective that change happens over time through continuous effort. Develop self-compassion and patience with yourself along the way.

Does this help summarize the key steps to healing from anxiety? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

•Make an effort to connect with people you already have in your life, even if it’s just one trusted person. This can help rebuild healthy emotional attachments.

•Junk journaling by writing down your thoughts and feelings can help release anxiety and negative emotions. Do this whenever you feel overwhelmed.

•When very anxious or panicked, focus on comforting yourself before making any life decisions. Figure out what soothes you and do that.

•Learn to live in the moment to reduce anxiety, which comes from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

•Take action on things holding you back to make the changes you want. Even small gestures can create real change.

•Read to expand your mind and cope with fears. Read about things you don’t understand and that scare or interest you.

•You can choose to feel differently by focusing on a different aspect of a situation. Your feelings are not set in stone.

•You will always feel some anxiety and fear. The goal is strengthening your ability to choose happiness despite those feelings. This requires work and effort.

•Learn to express pain and emotions. Acknowledge them, communicate them, and deal with them. Otherwise, you may project them onto new situations.

•Separate physical sensations from the meanings you attribute to them. Most of the panic comes from interpretations, not the actual sensations.

•Don’t trust all your feelings. Many come from irrational thoughts and past experiences. Decide which ones are meaningful and which aren’t.

•Use “future self” work by imagining your life in the future to gain perspective on current decisions and choices. See how present actions impact your future self.

•Let go of the desire for security and perpetual happiness. Constantly chasing happiness leads to consumerism and lack of fulfillment. Happiness comes as a byproduct, not the goal.

•Chasing knowledge and personal growth leads to more happiness than chasing temporary pleasure. Do profound and meaningful things, not just what feels good.

•Avoiding pain also avoids happiness. Numbing to one leads to numbing both positive and negative feelings. We need both to fully experience life.

  • You are solely responsible for your own life and happiness. Nothing external can substitute for or supplement your internal peace.

  • Loving yourself is shown through actions, not just emotions. It requires effort and commitment to prioritizing your well-being.

  • You do not need to have all the answers. What matters is having the willingness to try and make the best of what you have.

  • You do not need to believe in anything wholeheartedly. But you should listen to what feels right for you and act with kindness. Ignore pressures to believe in things that do not resonate with you.

  • Your struggles shape you and help you grow in ways you cannot foresee. Difficult times lead to becoming someone you never imagined. You will be grateful for how things turned out, not how you originally wanted them to.

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About Matheus Puppe