Art of living

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Are you a self-help junkie?

Recently, posted an interesting article about being a self-help junkie. Defined by reading a lot of motivational and self-help guides, a self-help junkie knows the theory but never changes it into something practical. If you take a good look at yourself and recognize this, then you should also be able to actually do something about it.

So here they are: 9 ways to check if you're a self-help junkie:

  1. You read self-help without following up with action. You read self-help blogs, books, and even attend self-help seminars once in a while. You are largely familiar with the different authors and teachings in the industry. Yet, of all that you’ve read, you’ve done little to nothing to apply what you’ve read. Rather than just read all the time, it might be more useful to ask yourself why you’re reading and what you intend to do with the information you’re acquiring. As with any activity, it’s important to do it with purpose.
  2. You like to discuss about self-help but you don’t act on it. Besides reading about self-help, you talk about it too. You interact with the authors, asking for advice once in a while. At the self-help blogs you read, you make the occasional comment or two, sharing your thoughts and engaging with the community. You even talk about it with your friends sometimes. However, after getting the advice, you don’t do anything. It falls short of action. When do you intend to take action? Perhaps start with what you want and when you want to achieve them. Create your action plan then act on it.
  3. You read for the sake of reading. You make it a point to read each self-help book/blog/post you come across, even if it’s in a topic that has no relevance or significance in your life. Does it serve any purpose though? It might be more useful to be choiceful of what you read, and read only if it pertains to what you’re going through. More importantly, make it a point to follow-up what you read with action/application (see #1 and #2).
  4. You treat self-help as leisure. It’s ok to read self-help books/blogs in your leisure time. But you treat self-help as just a recreational filler activity, never quite intending to take any action after you read it. However, self-help is more than just a filler or enrichment. It’s an important tool to help us live it in the best manner possible. What do you see self-help as and what role do you intend for it to serve in your life? Your answer to that question determines the kind of results you will get out of it.
  5. Self-help is your avoidance outlet. As ironic as it may seem, some people read self-help as a way to avoid dealing with problems in their lives. They seek refuge in it. They think reading about self-help is taking action. Of course, that’s a flawed notion, and very much just a delusion. If there is something you’re avoiding, you can’t ignore it by indulging in self-help. You have to face it and deal with it eventually. Use self-help to equip you with the right information, then act on it afterward.
  6. You measure your achievement by how many articles/books you read a week. With every post/book that you finish, you move on to the next, feeling satisfied by the amount you are reading. But real results should be measured by what you create in your life, not how much you read. Reading is merely a preparation step. Even if you read 1000 self-help books, nothing’s going to change until you do something. To date I’ve read less than 20 self-help books my whole life. I only read if it’s needed (to get certain info/knowledge); else I don’t touch the books. Read only what’s needed to achieve your results. Focus on what you want to create instead.
  7. You read self-help to motivate yourself / get a certain high. Like real junkies, you get on an emotional high from reading. It slowly tapers off afterward though, so you keep reading more to fuel that feeling. While it’s inspiring to read about others’ success, it’s even more inspiring to achieve that success for yourself.
  8. You keep fiddling with life hacks rather than work on the bigger pieces of life. Some people get absorbed in life hacking because it’s easy and it makes them feel productive. For many, it’s to procrastinate working on the bigger areas of life. While there are merits behind life hacks (this site is called Life Hack after all), you can’t hack your way to your dream life. There are big decisions you need to make, and until you do you can’t start your real life.
  9. You bookmark and RT list posts like “10 ways to XX” and “101 ways to XX” without remembering/applying any single tip in the post. It’s great to bookmark these articles for future use and it’s even better to share them with your friends. I always appreciate it whenever readers share my posts with others. However, you don’t want to end up just bookmarking/collecting a ton of these articles without doing anything. 2 questions you should ask yourself after every post you read are: (1) “What have I learned from this article?” (2) “What can I apply to my life moving forward?” There is always something to learn from everything, even if you may think you know everything that was written. If you read 1 post every day and you learn / apply just 1 thing out of each post, imagine the huge change you’d see in your life after 30 days.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


And when you wake up
everything is gonna be fine
I guarantee that you wake in a better place
in a better time
So you're tired of living
feel like you might give in
well don't
it's not your time

Fragment of "A better place, a better time"-Streetlight Manifesto

Whenever I'm down or something happens, I listen to this song. It teached me to always have a positive view on life, because there's always tomorrow.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

When you really really want something, you're able to overcome anything that life throws in your way.

Also, that's what she said. (see picture above)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not to surrender - That is strength

Arnie right here knows what's up. You don't have to achieve succes from the first attempt: You have to keep trying and trying untill you get it exactly right! So please, never surrender, because it's better to suffer the pain of discipline than to suffer the pain of regret.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Overweight? Get things done!

One of the first thing I did to turn my life around was sports. I wasn't fat, I just wasn't happy with my body. So the first thing I did was a 100 push up program my brother was doing as well. When you've finished those weeks and look in the mirror, the sense of achievement is overwhelming and you have to have more. So I started swimming and running, and now my body is in better shape and my life is better because of it. I really recommend this programme to everyone for increasing their strength.

100 push-ups

Does something hold you back?

If you find yourself in that awkward moment when you think that something is wrong in your life, then you're not the only one. A lot of people come to a point in their lives where they realise that something is holding them back. Only thing is, what is it? If you're one of those who often realises this as well, it's a good thing to think about who or what's holding you back.

Is it, even more awkward, your loved one or even your partner that's holding you back? Is he or she preventing you from doing the things you always wanted to do? If that's the case, there's no reason to get drastical. A good talk can really help sometimes, but noone should ever control what you do in your life.

Perhaps it's your work that's ignoring your needs? Believe it or not, you do not need to be stuck in dead-end jobs when you believe you can do something better. If you want to improve and find a better shop, you can always take classes at evening to raise those chances of landing a better (and better paying) job.

 Even your friends can hold you back though. Back at school, I often made a fool of myself to impress people. It can work, but realise that they often won't believe you when you say you're going to do something. So don't be that guy, because the last thing you need is your friends talking you out of ideas that very well could improve you life.


Motivation, passion and succes

Did you ever get up and realise that nothing's going to happen today? That's alright. It happens to all of us. But what you should realise is that those hours of playing videogames and watching movies are ultimately wasted in the end. It's fine to relax for a moment, do something you really enjoy for a change. But don't exagerate it. Do something productive, and I'll guarantee you that you WILL feel better afterwards. So don't spend those 4 hours in front of a monitor, but get up and try to do those things you always wanted to do.