Take the Cold Shower

I’ve never loved that chilling feeling that makes your skin crawl and your spine tingle, the way it wakes you up harshly like thousands of tiny needles puncturing your flesh but hey, it has it’s benefits.

Going to the shower is a staple in the schedule of a regular person. Although there’s a night shower cult, I will be talking to those that do it at the morning and are probably interested to do so after waking up in the morning.

To start, I’m a guy that loves hot showers: the steam, the warmth and the way it relaxes and makes me think is the perfect setting for me. I could stay in that kind of moment for an hour and never realize it. Meanwhile in a cold shower, I could only stand it till my lowest standards for feeling clean are met and I’m off that space.

So why am I asking you to take a cold shower?

Of course this may not be applicable for everyone especially for the soulless people that do cold showers as their staple. But here’s the thing: If you feel like you’re about to go against a giant in your life: a hard task, a strenuous day or a big huddle, you need to have that ball rolling, you need to feel like you can do it. Not all people have that strength to face big problems head on right away, but all people can face it once they have prepared for it.

Before you say “That’s it?”, here are scientific benefits of choosing the cold shower:

  • Improve Alertness
  • Relieves Depression
  • Healthier Skin and Hair
  • Better Blood Circulation

But beyond the benefits it gives to your body, the biggest one is the one it does to the way you think:

It gives you a sense of achievement that you’ve beaten yourself and that you are a winner.

There’s a high probability that if you’re into hot/warm temperatures that you will be giving yourself the best pep talk of your life before getting yourself wet. While most part of it is “You can do this” or “You’ll get through it” what’s important is that sense of encouragement that you believe in yourself. Because once you enter in that state of hell, you’re going to either have two moments: You’d have the epiphany of it isn’t so bad and you’ve managed to conquer your fears, or you’re going to have incoherent thoughts other than getting out of your misery. Regardless of the experience, what’s important is in the end. You won against you, and you have that first win of the day, all you need now is to make it count.

 

Don’t let your Environment Define you

Living in a very comfortable life with fast internet and the AC turned on almost every other day, I have lived thinking that is how life is supposed to be like and what I deserved for serving loyally. But this week is different: Today, as I guard the house of the successful man who has built that business, I live here living like he did: sweating in the Philippine heat while trying to find inspiration and motivation to work hard regardless of the noise and distractions. It wasn’t imposed by anyone that I should but it’s a matter of asking “How is it like to live like this entrepreneur?”

And I can after much exertion of active effort to concentrate, here I am writing this article to remind us all:

Your environment is not an excuse to not perform.

Let alone any external factors in fact. The only reason not to perform is because you don’t want to. Anyone who wants to make ways to do something can, if they want it. All it takes, while easier said than done, is desire and courage. I’m not a successful guy, but I try to be. I learn what it’s like to be and “comfort” doesn’t seem like anywhere in that path based on observations.

I used to believe I deserve a great life just because I’m good and I perform well. But did you ever realize that probably most if not all of your co-workers think they perform well on their own standards? If we all deserve great for doing good, you’re using unjust scales. Successful people don’t become who they are by doing what everyone else does, they do things differently and risk. While all variables remain the same, it’s their mindset and actions that makes them skyrocket above the population.

Success is different to everyone: the goals they set and the standards they place. To the poor man, having a standard recurring income can already be a criteria for success. To the employee having a business could be the definition of success. To the entrepreneur creating 5 successful startups could be the definition of success. Regardless, to each one their own, but no one achieves it just because all the domino was just in place, someone needs to have the courage to see above the risk and push the first block.

It’s not about how shitty your workplace is, how poor you are or how much bad events are entering your life, yes it sucks there will be lows but it’s the way you perceive matters that matters. You can rise above all only if you strike up the courage to do so. Failure is not the absence of success but of effort.

I believe one of the enemies of productivity is fear: fear of sending the wrong message, making the wrong solution or answer or finding more problems about work. To those seeking for success or a breakthrough, I know you’re itching for something but it’s not that you’re too lazy to get it but you’re too scared to go beyond your means. I say go do it, the fingers aligning the dominoes isn’t anyone else’s but yours.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela

Don’t feed your Demons

There’s demons inside all of us and we can be not aware of it.

In an age of increased awareness of mental health, I find it absolutely necessary to discuss to be aware of your thoughts. You can either control it, or be controlled by it. You choose whether you take a passive stance to let it grow or to actively fight against it and keep it small. Yes, there is a high chance it won’t go away ever, it will come back and linger, but just as if you starve it to death by giving it no attention or idleness to feed on, if you give it one hint of entertainment it will have any ground to nourish it’s power over you.

How do you starve it? Communicate your demons to others, to people you love especially. Let people understand so they can handle you well and care enough for you, to dispel your fears and soothe your hurt everytime it comes back. A memory is the past, it’s addicting to focus on it because you there is an absolute you can predict, but if you do you magnify what has already passed, you will only take another stab of what can’t be changed. A demon doesn’t have a reputation for what it is when you can overpower it by yourself. Humans have powers by numbers, even the Bible claimed this:

Genesis 11:6 states:

The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

Where you put your heart on it will be your priority, where your priority is is where you’ll give your time. If the the past hurts and you keep reminiscing on it, you do nothing but disfavor to your present, future, your heart and mind. You prioritize a demon that brings you absolutely no good but to turn your life to the worse while you will fail to realize the that love surrounds you. Make no mistake, yes you can be blinded by it. It maybe comfortable to bask on self-loathing but it’s not worth the trade for the longer run.

People love and people care. Out of all the 800 friends listed on your Facebook, at least 3 will try to care for you. And those 3 will be worth the courage to be transparent.

Not all people are communicative unfortunately. So for those who love, keep asking, keep reassuring. Learn to dig for dirt that was burried under deep, provide security and confidence. For those that are silent, take courage and speak. Love surpasses all risks and fears. Don’t ever forget, Demons feed on being alone, failure to communicate and feeding your fear. That is how a downfall begin: To your esteem, to your thoughts, your relationships and ultimately, yourself.

Don’t wait till you lose everything, start being aware of what your thoughts are. There is no demon too great to overcome if you’re not on his side anymore. Rally your friends and family, your loved ones and you will triumph guaranteed. I lost what I treasured to a Demon inside the mind. Don’t wait to lose yours, there’s no benefit to either you or everyone else around you when you let it linger and take root in your life.

The first step to healing is acceptance.

4 Ways to Gift Love

Now that it’s Christmas it is the season of giving gifts. Ironically, other people give gifts that hold no thought or just throw random things for the sake of keeping tradition. To say no one wishes for anything in Christmas can be highly doubted, though there are a few exceptions. Most of the time it pays to pay attention that maybe, what they wasn’t isn’t material goods but something out of the physical realm to be received. Other people feel alone though with a lot of items and tokens. So, one of the sure and best ways to make the Christmas warmer while getting big on savings is making sure you make them feel love and appreciated instead. So without further ado here’s a list of some of the ways you can definitely tell them “I love you” more than just saying it.

Give Time

I personally don’t like talking with my dad about sensitive issues. But when push comes to shove, I know it’s a must. Although counter intuitive at first that it may push me away, as his son, it actually has positive consequences. My parents aren’t the most eloquent person to communicate so you’d definitely feel the art of trying. Yes, at the start I feel like it’s a waste of time, but every after end of our discussions, I definitely feel the love because I know he got out of his way from his comfort zone to make sure I grow right according to what he knows is good.

Another alternative to this is to spend time outside of where you can be focused on in either a new or comfortable environment, take them on a wonderful journey in the season of lights and the breeze, it doesn’t give any memento to keep on your stash but the memories and the feelings definitely stay for a long time. I wouldn’t mind not getting a jacket as long as I have a hand to hold or probably a head on my shoulder to warm me up in the wonderful holiday.

Serve the extra mile

Yesterday, I didn’t have much to do other than to stay home alone and play my games but before I had the chance to, my mom asked me if I can go with her to a funeral. While this is coupled with the fact that I am having diarrhea matched with long drives on the road, I weighed in that moment that giving her time this December was heavier than my comfort. I was glad to take her places rather than letting her go alone in this horrible December traffic, if you focus on what was given rather than mere present like how you feel and what you want, it’s easier to accomplish the task with a cheerful heart. It’s definitely clear when you’re doing it voluntarily or by force, so take note of your mood. In the end, she really appreciated my effort even stating to consider it as a Christmas gift already. (Take note boys and girls!)

Communicate your story

Tell them “good morning”, “I love you”, ask them “how are you” and tell them what your life is like for the day or the week. People you love like knowing what you’re up to. Communicating is a constant process but doesn’t need to be every minute, but starting and ending is definitely preferred.  In the age of social media where it’s second nature to post short “tweets” and “updates”, to send one to your special someone shouldn’t be so hard. Worse case scenario is you’re posting on those sites and that’s where they get their update. Gist is to recognize them as an integral part your life. It is one of the most sought after feelings in this word to be recognized and to be anyone has a huge gap compared to being someone in your life. Make them feel they are part of your journey than just a spectator. To communicate takes less time but more thought on how you give the message.

Write words

A Christmas card is nice but to write on a photo is definitely on a different level. I am a firm believer in the power and authority of words to build up and tear down. Still up till today, letters are my favorite gifts to receive other than really expensive ones that fit my wish list. A photo encapsulating a memory with the recipient rather than a card really puts the thought at 99.9% while costing so much cheaper than what you possibly might have rushed for. Don’t write generic wishes, put your personality into it, be honest as much as possible and craft your words in the warmth of your relationship. Items may be wonderful for a time but wears out or shelved after sometime soon, but good words that make them feel will last forever.

Knowing their love language doubles the effect of what you do. It pays to know how they feel loved the most, so if you really want to go big, get them to take the test. It’s free online! To those of you who’s trying to save up on investments and for the future, trust me when I say: That when someone loves you, the greatest gift is to make them feel you love them back. Amongst all the gifts I received, the best ones I will treasure aren’t the ones I can hold, but the ones that encourage, appreciate and the one that holds thought to who I am to them.

Happy Christmas gift planning!