Gratitude has become a social norm, an internal voice that we must be thankful for a normal life. Suppressing negative feelings isn’t good, and we cannot ignore the problems we have (like workplace harassment or a bad boss) just by appreciating that we still get paid regularly.
Bypassing or avoiding negative feelings cuts off our connections with the signals given by them, resulting in us ignoring the signs of stress, fear, exhaustion and sadness.
If we are too focussed on why we should be grateful for the job we have, we may not realize that the work has become thankless, trapping ourselves in a stagnant career. Employers often milk the situation by cutting down pay, making employees work more hours for less.
Many employers virtually own the employees just because they provide a regular paycheck. One can be grateful if the employer truly deserves it, like if they go the extra mile to ensure their staff does not have problems.
We all have thoughts and ideas floating in our minds, and need to review our ideas, deciding which of them have merit and can be brought to the world.
If there is no filter installed in our minds that only lets the approved ones through, we end up acting out stuff that could lead to disastrous outcomes.
Practising mindfulness sharpens our self-awareness skills, keeping us in the present moment.
Thinking about our past mistakes usually brings us feelings of despair.
You can stop this by reframing your past failures by recognizing that you did the best you could with the information that you had at that time.
Putting yourself out there is very uncomfortable for most of us.
But try to remember that discomfort is pretty normal. It's just a feeling, nothing more. So allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and accept that the feeling doesn’t mean you should stop trying that new thing your considering.
New projects can feel overwhelming, so imagining how you will get from start to finish it hard.
But you don't have to do it all in a day. Pick one small thing that will take you closer to your goal. And focus on that.
Everyone has a dream. But not everyone is brave enough to act on it.
Be proud of your courage to start a new project.
By definition, popular culture, or "pop" culture, requires the masses to be engaged in practising and consuming culture, thereby making it popular.
There are three significant popular-culture markers:
The Western world's first pop culture superstar was probably William Shakespeare. He wrote his theatre plays for a mass audience, fulfilling pop culture's art requirement that could be enjoyed by the masses.
Shakespeare's art bridged the 16th-century gap between popular and fine art. Several of his plays were set elsewhere in Europe, which exposed the common Englishman to wedding and courtship traditions of different classes and cultures.
When the first explorers travelled to distant places, they were influenced by examples of other cultures' popular art, artefacts, and customs, such as drinking coffee.
The masses were seldom the first to experience exotic forms of popular culture. For example, Kabuki Theater was accessible to all classes of Japanese people, but Europe's aristocrats initially regarded it as high art.
In popular arts such as theatre, dance, music, and movies, the masses needed enough time and resources to enjoy these arts.
Technology made it possible. The industrial labourers of the 19th-century had more money, making it possible to enjoy entertainment venues and engage in recreation outside their work lives.
The sewing machine made new fashions possible for everyone. Technology also aided new kinds of arts and items and made them accessible to everyone, not just the elite.
Radio, television, motion pictures, amplified music, computers, and the Internet changed society and the course of history.
A profile picture with friends seems to convey that we are social and well-liked. Group shots also seem to be appealing to others due to another factor known as the Cheerleader Effect.
Our profile pictures on social media are mostly selfies, headshots or pics of our loved ones. We don’t usually put up group pictures on display, but it might be a good idea.
The Cheerleader Effect is a visual illusion, where people appear more attractive in a group, rather than when seen alone.
It works similar to the Ebbinghaus Illusion, where a medium-sized dot appears larger in front of smaller dots, or the Moon Illusion, where the moon seems larger on the horizon.
What we see is not a direct reflection of reality, but depends upon context, expectations, and previous information.
As we tend to view an individual to be like the group they are associated with, the face of the individual is blended with other faces in the group, making it more attractive that it may be.
The average face is also high in its attractiveness quotient, as it provides the features that are the most common.
Resilience is becoming a buzzword, a mainstay of many books telling us to recover and grow from difficulties. This substitute word for mental toughness may not be enough to adjust or recoup from misfortune, heartbreak, or a tragedy.
Pure resilience, it seems, is hard to cultivate and may be difficult to maintain even for people who use mindfulness to become mentally tough and strong. It is an ineffective coping device for people who believe they are weak.
Bouncing back from a profound loss or suffering may be impossible for many, as the crisis has created a black hole in their universe, which they have now entered. It is not the time to look back, as the past self is suddenly useless and irrelevant.
Bouncing back does not take into account the dynamic mind shift that has happened to the individual.
An alternative to resilience is a mysterious, unknown potential towards a future that yet unseen, but can be imagined.
Hardships can be dealt with imagination, curiosity, openness and adaptability towards the expansive potential of a new future.
Imagination reduces the cognitive, neural and physiological conditioned threat response.
An individual can use imagination to plan for the future by thinking from the perspective of the past. It is a creative approach which can be practised while handling life’s challenges.
Pain narrows down our choices and creates a tunnel vision that can lead to negative thinking and even self-harm. Positivity by itself feels shallow.
Imagination comes with a choice of action, which offers a possibility to feel something apart from pain.
One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top - habit stacking.
Habit stacking is a special form of an implementation intention. Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit.
Stop making things not work for you. Stop looking for reasons why it doesn't work or why it will never work for you, instead figure out a way to make good things happen for you.
Whenever we try to make changes in our lifestyle, sometimes we doubt ourselves that maybe we can't do it or it isn't suitable for us. Why does it happen? It isn't because of fear but because we don't believe in ourselves. We aren't confident enough to keep pushing through to do the things we should.
No idea will work for every single person, but a lot of them can work for most people as long as you believe that you can make them work. Stop wasting your energy to worry. Use the what you have to create and grow from what you've learned.
You need to put more trust in yourself and believe in the process of things. If one thing doesn't work for you then just experiment with new ideas and get through the day until you discover a way to make it work.
You need to remind yourself that it is possible to raise the bar in your own life even if everyone around you settles for mediocrity.
Believe that you deserve better things, happiness, and a meaningful job. You can make things happen as long as you have the courage to face challenges with head held high. If you don't believe that it's possible to make new things work, then it's hard to make any progress.
When we expect something positive and have a desire for something good, that very experience of want, or to covet, is in a way, a negative experience for us.
Referred to as the ‘Backwards Law’ by the modern philosopher Alan Watts, pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack the same right now.
Example: The more we want to be rich, the more we realize that we aren’t rich, and the feeling of lack and unworthiness comes to the surface, even if you are otherwise not poor at all.
Not being ambitious or aspirational is looked down upon to any normal person, but if the person is grateful, the life that is led is a happier, more fulfilled one.
Pain and failure, according to Mark Manson, provide us with positive results:
According to Dale Carnegie, human beings are not rational or logical creatures but are highly emotional.
We must then act according to our values, and not according to the fluctuating, vulnerable and unreliable emotions. One of the values can be deep gratitude.