Life

General Announcements

Welcome back!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a crazy start to the new year. However, I’m glad to say that I’m feeling better now!

So anyway, I will no longer be posting stuff on Blog 1.0 because I’ll be moving onto Blog 2.0. However, I am keeping this here, but it just won’t be visible at the top of the menu. Blog 1.0 is here to stay on my website, just so I can see where I started and what I’ve improved on.

How will Blog 2.0 be any different?

  • 4 - 5 posts a week (not necessarily every day, some days might have multiple posts while others might have none)

  • More focus on prose and essays

  • Talk about more topics (polymaths, science fiction writing themes, minimalism within the context of society, personal growth, identity)

Thanks for keeping up! Excited for what’s to come in the next few weeks!

8 Things People Of The Present Do Differently

It is no secret that humans are chronic worriers, though some more than others. People who have a hard time letting go of the past definitely worry a lot and overthink all the things they’ve done, which they believe people are judging them for, much to the detriment of their mental health.

But the truth is that it all doesn’t matter. Even when the past has its firm grip on you, there’s nothing beneficial about putting yourself in fear of your future based on what you did wrong in the past, and there is always a chance to change in the present. To start over. To be able to see things for what they are instead of through a lens of dark and unresolved emotions. There’s nothing more freeing than having the ability to pursue anything without any guilt of the past holding you back.

And here are some things people of the present do differently:

  1. They jump right into the things they intend to do on any given day without thinking of all the things that could go wrong, based on something that happened before.

  2. They don’t worry about instantaneous perfection or how others might perceive them because they recognize that in the moment, all that matters is keeping the momentum going.

  3. They are incredibly grateful for where they are now, even when it’s not what they expected in the past. Even when they haven’t fulfilled every wish or whimsy of their past selves.

  4. They’ve come to accept the past for what it is, not because they’ve repressed their memories, but because they’ve allowed themselves to feel what they feel and spend conscious effort in reflecting on certain events to see where they can make room for continuous growth.

  5. They don’t accuse or blame others for their past misfortunes. They recognize that an argument is ineffective when it brings up past events over and over again, especially when it’s used to attack someone’s character and deficiencies.

  6. They get more done. Because they aren’t burdened by who they were before and the expectations that came with it, they are able to go about their days with less time spent on overthinking their decisions and wondering if anything will go wrong.

  7. They plan for the future in a healthy way. They know the importance of having a few major goals that would help them thrive, but they aren’t obsessed with having every little detail planned out or getting upset with how much more work they still need to do to attain that future. Instead, they realize that while having an idea is helpful for being prepared, they ultimately cannot have the final say in how the future will turn out and they’ve embraced uncertainties.

  8. They love who they are and practice self-care by giving themselves enough to enjoy on any given day.

Why Your Dreams Are Making You Discontent

If you’re a perpetual daydreamer, you know what it feels like to spend hours and hours creating a life you’d love in your head (maybe while looking images from Pinterest or blogs). And you probably know how painful it is to stare bleakly into space and being either bored or anxious with your present reality after being swept away from a daydream in which your current struggles are either smaller or nonexistent.

You might think the world outside of you, your current life, or external factors are making you unhappy, bored, or anxious. And you might be thinking that daydreaming about the somedays is going to help you manifest that daydream into real life if those dreams should propel you to work harder to get there.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but your dreams are making you discontent. They’re making you depressed, ungrateful, and downright lazy.

Daydreaming is a coping mechanism which hides your underlying fear of never being good enough, never doing enough, and never proving yourself enough.

Daydreaming diverts your attention from pressing problems that you’re too afraid to face. And these problems often relate to careers, money, and generally having lack of control over these things.

People are motivated by pleasure and comfort - they want to reduce the time spent operating in fight-or-flight mode (which often occurs when they face harsh circumstances, toxic work environments, condescending people, and emergency situations).

But some people aren’t merely satisfied with just pleasure and comfort. These kind of people are motivated by purpose. They want to do something useful so that they feel like their lives have meaning. They want to do it in their own way and not be told how to go about it.

And the best way to do both is to do something you’re good at that challenges you (without being too perplexing), work with supportive and like-minded people, and make a good enough of a livable income to avoid living just in survival mode. Just so you have more control over your life.

However, the truth is, this is a reality for only a few people. Most people are barely hanging by a thread and have no hope of recovery if an emergency should occur. Some people can live comfortably, but they are miserable in their jobs in toxic work environments. And only the few at the very top control the world and keep getting richer for it.

Daydreaming might seem like a reasonable thing to do. To avoid this reality. To avoid the bleakness of the future and all of the horrible things that will happen to the majority of people who are helpless against problems that are too big for them. It feels good for a time, but then it slowly seeps out of you and leaves you empty.

But like it or not, we all have to deal with Social Darwinism in our everyday lives. The strongest and fittest will survive, conquer, and thrive. Those who have no talents, no persistence, no access to opportunities, and no emotional support will end up living in destitution and without any hope of overpassing the strong ones. That’s how life works. That’s how it works in the animal kingdom. And that’s how it works with humanity. Toil, struggle, and more toil and struggle. An endlessly raging battle.

Your daydreams are making you discontent because you have no way of making them real since there are financial, time, and physical constraints. You have no control over situations because much of success depends on being accepted by the right people who can give you opportunities to prove yourself and keep building upon what you already have. You have to prove that you’re good enough, regardless of what your dreams might be. Your dreams don’t matter to people because they want to know how you can help them, not how you can use your dreams to comfort yourself.

You need to shift your awareness from a distant future to right now. And ask yourself honestly how you can improve yourself every day so that you act accordingly whenever difficult situations arise and whenever you have to prove your worth to people in order to ascend higher than you ever would be if you just remain stagnant.

No matter what’s going on in your life, this is a reality that most people have to face. Following your dreams is not the answer. Believing that you’re special and deserving of opportunities is not the answer.

In order to succeed, you need to be able to solve problems in the best way possible with your given constraints. You need to adapt to your environment for a time until you become good enough to make it adapt to you.

In the end, all we have is what’s within us and the more we’re able to evolve into more ideal versions of ourselves, then perhaps we can all have more control over our lives so that we’re not just drifting off into dreamland without facing problems head-on.

And this is what we all have to learn.

Why I Deleted My Twitter

*Update: I reactivated my Twitter, but much of my thoughts and criticisms on it are still true

So I did something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time and got rid of Twitter!

This June, I made a Twitter account that ended up gaining only 10 followers. Back in the day (circa 2012), it was easy for me to gain a high number of followers (I think I had about 100 when I first made a Twitter).

Nowadays, it’s so incredibly common for bloggers, social media specialists, and digital marketers to say that you need to be active on all social media in order to get more sales, be seen as competent enough to be employed, and show how relevant you are in your industry. They all advocate having the big three social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), but if you can add more (Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.) then that would show that you’re social media-savvy and even better than someone who has only three accounts.

I have a problem with this idea. I find it incredibly exhausting when I have to update three social media accounts with the same information. I also find that Twitter is a complete waste of time because I gain nothing but spam from being on there.

As a new blogger and someone who’s just starting out in the most competitive year yet for bloggers and content creators who also wear many hats (editor, digital marketer, social media manager, graphic designer, SEO analyst, web designer, CEO, etc.), it is incredibly discouraging to keep up with something that I don’t gain any value from, and I don’t want to promote my Twitter account because nobody wants to be sold to and there are already too many people trying to promote their own social media that it comes across as spammy and attention-seeking. Too many people want to be a celebrity on the Internet and everyone wants to gain a follow from everyone. I also don’t think it’s effective to spread myself too thin across three social media accounts because I’d rather focus on setting myself apart from the crowd of bloggers, have more quiet time unplugged, and enjoy my life without the pressure to be active on a social media account that serves no purpose for my long-term goals.

Here are 15 reasons why I deleted my Twitter for good:

  1. Spam and incredibly meaningless comments/conversations

  2. Disingenuous and one-sided relationships (I’m following you only because I think you want to follow me, but if you don’t follow me within the next two weeks, I’ll unfollow you)

  3. I use relevant hashtags, but they aren’t as effective as they were in 2012. I have probably tweeted 100 times and only gained 10 followers.

  4. The same information can easily be posted on Instagram (which I do prefer using)

  5. I prefer to read long blog posts, thoughtful essays, and articles. I also prefer to read short quotes when they’re presented in a visually-appealing manner (hello, Instagram).

  6. So much pressure to be everywhere and be everything to everyone

  7. I have no interest in seeing redundant information that I can get somewhere else

  8. Hate-fueled debates and mass hysteria

  9. Annoying GIFs and trashy, poorly-edited images that aren’t relevant

  10. There’s the pressure to follow the same people three times (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) just to show that I’m a loyal fan, but I don’t even read their tweets or go to their Facebook page

  11. Relying on Twitter for updates is a lazy practice, and I think that using Instagram Stories is a more engaging and efficient way to keep followers updated

  12. I need to go to bit url every time I want to post a link (for me, this is a small annoyance)

  13. According to Derek Thompson in “The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting,” only 1% click on links to articles. Just 1% and spending an hour on Twitter trying to look smart and relevant does not justify itself because who really cares about the underdogs when the superstars get all the attention?

  14. I’m the type of person that prefers visiting a writer’s website directly for updates, not Twitter, and I personally believe that you’re a more loyal follower if you visit a few of your favorite writers’ websites instead of mindlessly following a bunch of people you don’t really care about

  15. I am not against companies using Twitter, I just don’t personally find any use for it myself because I have more essential things to do

26 Toxic Ideas That Hold You Back

1. You are only worth something if you can give a quantitative measure of the result.

2. Coping mechanisms will make you feel better.

3. Everybody is constantly evaluating you and waiting for you to fall.

4. How you look and present yourself is everything.

5. Sucking up to the "right" people is the only way to keep your position.

6. It makes you look selfish and entitled if you ask for anything that will contribute to your holistic wellbeing.

7. You can't follow your dreams because dreamers are out of touch with reality. But you also won't do well in a corporate job because you're not competitive enough. You're destined to fail, period.

8. You need to do things you hate in order for you to deserve things that you love.

9. By keeping up with everyone else, your survival is guaranteed.

10. Your passions don't matter. 

11. If you aren't working, you're wasting time.

12. If you work hard enough, you will succeed. 

13. You need to prove that you are worthy of success.

14. What other people think of you is far more important than what you think of yourself.

15. What you do in the past will determine where you'll be in the future.

16. You are only worth something if you are better than most people.

17. All mistakes are unforgivable. People will remember them regardless of whether or not you improve.

18. You need to spend time with people you don't like just to get somewhere in life.

19. One criticism of you is worth more than 100 praises. It defines you.

20. Nobody is going to give you a chance, so you need to be either very charismatic and manipulative or very callous and competitive to get people's attention.

21. You can't be genuine or real with others because they'll use that against you.

22. You can't be fulfilled unless you can quantify your achievements and other people can validate your success.

23. If you'd rather spend most of your time alone, then you must be abnormal and sad.

24. You must look happy 100% of the time and show it.

25. Being remembered for what you do is everything in life.

26. Shoving your true feelings under the rug is the only way to avoid letting them affect you.

10 Reasons Why You Are Stuck, Lost, and Helpless (and How You Can Change That)

1. You were indoctrinated to believe that failure and scarcity are guaranteed to happen to you, if you don't follow this path: get good grades, study something that's in demand, be anyone but yourself, work hard, and get any job just for the salary, without considering whether you like it or not.

As humans, we operate to avoid pain, seek pleasure and comfort, and fit into the groups we identify with. Because of the way the modern world is structured, we are conditioned to follow a certain path to prove how useful we are to society, which causes the majority of people to panic when they see someone they know trying to forge their own path, exit the rat race, and actually take the time to stop and reflect on the value they can bring.

2. Throughout childhood, youth, and now in adulthood, you never quite fit in, and no matter how hard you tried, it felt unnatural and forced, so you believe that it's wrong even to introduce yourself because you think you need to be "worthy" (be 10x better than everyone) for people to consider even talking to you.

You know that success is 10% being good at something and finding ways to improve, 10% persistence, and 80% networking. You have tried to master the first two, but you are afraid to introduce yourself to people who could potentially open the doors to opportunities because you think that you have to be as perfect as you possibly can be or else they'd not want to help you out. This fear of insufficiency stems from insecurity and the obsession with comparing your beginning to someone else's middle. As a result, you self-sabotage and rob yourself of the chance to better your circumstances because of your overwhelming need to prove that you can be better than the people who have what you want (which causes you believe that you need to do someone else's 5-years' worth of work in a month just to get your foot in the door).

3. You wake up too late and don't get a restful sleep. You either sleep too little or too much.

You have irregular sleeping times and often feel groggy throughout the day, which makes you less capable of doing the work that you could potentially be doing. You know you should wake up early, but you are unable to because fatigue has more power over you. This causes you to be helpless and uninspired.

4. You waste time and money on entertainment. 

Entertainment never fills you. It only provides a temporary state of "happiness," which really isn't happiness at all because it is escape from reality. If you don't find your way back to reality, reality will come back to you. And reality pains you, so the cycle repeats, until you realize that you are stuck but are too afraid to do anything about it.

5. You are too busy trying to be two (or more) different types of people - what you already are, what your ideal future self would be, what society expects you to be, what your parents expect you to be, etc.

You may have an idea of what you'd want in life (aside from stability, you want to establish an emergency-proof way of living, so that you can enjoy life and afford to slow down and not be in such a hurry to fight for survival), but your current circumstances, family situation, and personal struggles cause you to put off your dream for tomorrow day after day, until you are crippled by complacency and fear, so you start to believe that you cannot change your life at all unless someone approves of your life choices. 

6. You allow the past to hold you down, ruminate over your failures, and blame yourself for not making progress. 

You ruminate over every little detail of your past, no matter how insignificant or trivial they may be today. You think more about the "should have's" rather than the "to do's," and allow the past to paralyze you and control how you live today. You operate in fight-or-flight mode and are too scared to make a small change to improve your life because you believe that your mistakes are too difficult to overcome.

7. You are either too stingy with the money you already have and possess a scarcity mindset, which stresses you out and causes you to operate in fight-or-flight mode and miss out on many opportunities that could increase your earning potential OR you spend like there's no tomorrow on things that do not help you get closer to your goals.

You may be afraid to spend money on nice clothing, so you hide in your house and don't make an effort to go out and meet professionals that work in a field you want to work in. You may be afraid to drive because you're worried that you'll get into an accident or pay more for maintenance. You believe that you won't ever make money in the future, so you scrimp and save like a mad person, and but these actions do nothing to ease your worries of having enough because savings are finite and will be depleted at some point in time. Saving alone won't help you, it will only hold you back and rob you of your sanity and energy. You need to focus more on what will increase your income like improving your skills, maximize your earning potential, and not be afraid to invest in yourself (whether it's buying a book, signing up for workshops, attending conferences, buying a nice suit, or buying software packages). It is unrealistic to expect that being a cheapskate without income will get you ahead.

On the flip side, people who feel like they lack control often spend like there's no tomorrow because they think that the future won't arrive and all they have to do is enjoy today, since today's all they have control over. This also causes them to remain stagnant and stuck in life.

8. You know what you should be doing to better yourself, but your fear of failure keeps you stuck.

You know what steps you need to take (after reading tons of self-help books and articles), but you are afraid of change because change means being uncomfortable and possibly failing in whatever you're trying to accomplish. 

9. You seek comfort more than intrinsic fulfillment. 

You allow fear to be your dictator, and this causes you to remain helpless in a situation where you can barely afford to pay bills, you are always rushing to one place to the next, you cannot even take five minutes to rest and evaluate your life, and you feel like other people's care for you is contingent on whether or not you do as they say. And remaining in this toxic environment causes you to believe that you'll always be helpless and you'll never have time to build a stable foundation for yourself because you always fear that someone's always evaluating you and has the power to cut you off. Thus, you lie to yourself and say that you are content with just living in comfort and getting by. 

10. You haven't been honest with yourself or going after what you want.

You allowed your parents to pick your major for you, which caused you to be so anxious and caught up with avoiding failure that you actually are less successful than those who know their strengths and are able to market themselves, regardless of what statistics say. You picked a job that you are barely able to handle because it isn't a good fit and you can't seem to find the time or energy to learn new skills that would help you find a better one, since you are afraid that you won't be able to pay the bills. You haven't been putting yourself out there because you think you are unworthy to show what you are capable of, since you don't believe that you are capable of anything, which stems from the feeling that others are ahead of you and you can never catch up. 

You need to be honest with yourself by identifying three key things: what you're good at, what kind of place you can excel in, and what energizes you. There's absolutely no room for fearing what other people think, fear of never being able to succeed, and fear of running out of resources for basic survival. These fears keep you stuck where you are, and you need to recognize that you need to start being honest with yourself, adapting your vision to current market demands, and sharing your story with the right people.

How You Can Change

A lot of these problems are rooted in fear. Fear causes us to stagnate and remain in less-than-favorable circumstances both through our own perceptions of reality (one common belief is that failure is guaranteed for the masses, while success is only reserved for the elite) and through the way we've been conditioned to live. And the scarcity mindset causes people to believe that they'll never succeed or ever make money in the future, so they remain in places where they cannot excel or build genuine relationships. But you need to recognize that even though the "system" feeds upon people's fears, blaming those above you will only make you even more helpless, resentful, and bitter. This will only you further away from finding opportunities, since that kind of attitude is repulsive and people will not want to help you out, if they think that you have nothing to contribute. 

If you believe that change can happen in one day, you will remain stuck because change is overwhelming, especially if you are so used to feeling helpless for much of your life and can't find time to make choices that would help you prosper. Change must happen to small increments in order for you to make progress. 

  1. Know your limits. Eliminate what you are wasting time on and understand that you cannot be impossibly perfect to everyone.

  2. Know the top three fields that you can excel in. And don't just pick any random job or scramble around in a fight-or-flight mode.

  3. Identify what you can improve on and focus on being better than yesterday.

  4. Communicate with people and tell them what you have to offer.

  5. Establish a daily routine that facilitates the attainment of your long-term goals.

Feelings of being stuck, lost, and helpless may never seem to go away. But if you have a job you enjoy, have pursuits along the side that you're passionate about, and connect with people who truly understand you, you are better equipped to handle difficult life circumstances.

25 Signs of Emotional Paralysis

Emotional paralysis is an energy-depleting, soul-crushing combination of anxiety, depression, fear of the future, rumination over the past, and an all-consuming guilt. Think of it as a hybrid beast that tries to strangle you and prevent you from moving on, even during your sleep. Having it doesn't make you unusual or mentally ill - all of us suffer from it to varying degrees because it is an inevitable part of being human (and I distrust those who claim that there are treatments and medications that can automatically "fix what is wrong" or "make that person normal"). However, some of us grew up feeling more emotionally paralyzed than others, depending on the severity of tension between the external self that tries to meet the demands of survival in a certain environment and the internal self that strives and wrestles against external circumstances with the purpose of creating a genuine life. 

Growing up emotionally paralyzed can be taxing for children and these signs often carry on through adulthood, which can prevent adults from being fully immersed and engaged in their present lives. The effects can be crippling at best and devastating at worst. 

Here are the 25 common signs of emotional paralysis:

1. You allow fear of uncertainty make decisions for you because you are so paralyzed by the fear of failure. You don't even try anything new that you want to do, since you have a "fail-or-stay-where-I-am" mentality.

2. You mentally freeze any time your inner self tries to initiate a change. As a result, change doesn't occur for days, weeks, months, or even years. 

3. You expect most authority figures to shoot you down or belittle you, regardless of whatever you do or don't do, so you often tremble, slouch, and look at the floor whenever you are in their presence, but you often try to find ways to avoid them at all costs.

4. You keep putting off your passion projects because someone else said they were childish games that you were destined to lose.

5. You feel like you need to justify yourself to be worthy of someone's approval. This makes you sick and angry, but you feel helpless and are unable to move forward, since you believe the world operates this way.

6. It is difficult for you to wake up in the morning. You have very irregular sleeping and waking times. 

7. You spend hours looking at and envying other people's lives, especially those who have lives that you wish you had, but you are frozen immediately after you try to step out of your consumption zone and move towards your creation zone.

8. No matter how old you get, you still feel like a scared, little child.

9. When you go through life not trying your best (because of fear of failure), people misjudge you as "entitled," but you actually are the opposite - you think you are unworthy of asking for what you want. Your defense mechanism involves trying to be as small as possible, never asking for anything until you think you've worked enough for it (but because of lack of confidence, you don't ever think you do).

10. You lack confidence and believe that you're worse off than you really are because other people's success paralyzes you and makes you think that you can't ever catch up.

11. You catastrophize the outcome of even a tiny action that has no relation to whatever you're afraid could potentially happen. 

12. You often deny that you are emotionally paralyzed and claim to be fine.

13. The news upsets you because political agendas, stories of other people suffering, and people's participation in movements make you feel more ashamed for thinking about your own issues and wanting to make life better for yourself first.

14. You shut the world out by napping a lot, escapism (through media), or surfing the web.

15. You mentally force yourself to erase bad memories of past events and things others have said to you, but they keep recurring and you end up wasting time ruminating over them.

16. Your feelings are all-or-nothing. You're either numb or explosive.

17. The only thing you're happy about is that you're not feeling sorry for yourself. You know you want to get better and you know it's possible - it's just that there's a strong force within that's holding you back and making you feel paralyzed and unable to cope with change.

18. You have passion for changes that you desire to implement in your life, but that passion gets shut down whenever your mind wanders off to the past and relives the memory of a time when someone said something condescending towards you.

19. Sometimes, you think that you can live with this and be okay. Other times, you feel like you're dying (this goes to show you how feelings are pliable and fleeting).

20. You feel best when you are doing work that engages you (whether it's a job you love, a hobby that brings you joy, or a combination of both), but people's judgments of what you like to do (either for a living or for personal enjoyment) hold you back from pursuing more of it.

21. You are so afraid of the worst things that could happen in the future so much that you believe that all things you fear the most are guaranteed to happen in the future, and you can't do anything to prevent it, and you think that if you try, you'll end up somehow worse off - ostracized, destitute, unfulfilled, and ashamed. 

22. You make most decisions based on the fear of three things: fear of the future, fear of what people will think, and fear of failure.

23. You have a difficult time reconciling your multiple selves - the trembling self you show to those you fear, the detached self you show to anyone you don't know, the worst self that explodes whenever you're alone or with someone closest to you, the chill self that you reveal to those you feel comfortable around (which are very few people), the diligent self that you show at work or school, the creative self that is like your best friend in times of trouble, the ideal self that you wish to become, and the hidden self that is vain, mysterious, strange, and unrecognizable. 

24. You either eat too much or too little. You exercise too much or too little. You sleep too much or too little. You do too much of one thing and neglect others. You expect too much and do too little. Or you do too much and accomplish little.

25. You are more fearful than at peace. You are more dissatisfied than content. You know what you want, but you fear the judgment and condescending remarks of others. You are in a constant cycle of worry, sadness, and distress. You think more about the future and the past, and are everywhere but the present, as a consequence of being afraid of the state of simply being and facing your own paralysis head-on.

The Seven Stages of Personal Success

1. Identification

The first stage of achieving personal success is first identifying what is wrong in your life. Are you living paycheck-to-paycheck? Are you living in a toxic environment? Are you stuck in a job where you aren't able to maximize your potential? Do you feel a disconnect between the life you are in and the life you want? Are you always rushing but still unable to find any time to get things done? Do you often find yourself wishing that you had the power to advocate for yourself and master your surroundings? Are you stuck in the past or anxious about the future?

The key here is not to complain about what you can't change or make excuses as to why you are still stuck in the same situation for prolonged periods of time, but rather, it's for you to see reality for what it is, be honest with yourself, and identify what you need to change  in order for you to move on, and create a life of prosperity and wellness. 

2. Self-awareness

Know who you are from the inside out. Instead of pretending that everything is going fine, be brutally honest with yourself and understand why your life needs a major overhaul. This begins with knowing and understanding yourself. Becoming completely self-aware involves a lot of self-reflection exercises such as journaling, listing, relaxing, meditating, doing work that engages the authentic self, and even streams-of-consciousness types of writing. Self-awareness sheds light on the self that we were all taught to ignore, just for the sake of societal approval and instinctual survival.  The goals of becoming self-aware is to identify your genuine self, to know who you are without regards to people's perceptions of you and to understand how you can facilitate your own growth with the abilities you already have. 

3. Self-evaluation

Self-evaluation is the process of measuring where you are. You can measure it quantitatively by creating a measuring system for every aspect of your life (such as health, finances, income, progress towards completing a project). When your life is not going so well, it may be tempting to ignore these things, but before you make any changes, you need to evaluate your life and see how you really are doing, instead of deluding yourself into thinking that things will go away on their own without you taking any steps or even having an idea of where you are stuck.

4. Change

Change is most effective when it is done in small, manageable increments. If you are constantly running late or missing out on opportunities simply because you don't have enough time in a day, think about what you can cut out of your schedule, identify which demands are yours and which are imposed on you, and see if you can carve out time to do what would help you get ahead and make impactful changes in your life. A lot of personal failures stem from the belief that there isn't enough time in a day to accomplish what you want to do, and often the instinctual need for survival causes you to operate in fight-or-flight mode, which makes you anxious about immediate survival, rather than long-term growth, thus you postpone personal growth activities and stay stuck in the fight to stay alive (which always involves making decisions based on fear and avoidance of pain). Making a conscious effort to change requires more than what the instinctual self is capable of, so it is best to implement small changes at a time, and sticking to it, instead of vowing to change everything at once. 

5. Creation

Depending on your circumstances, life path, or career move, creation can be personal, professional, or a blend of both. Creation is not only the process of producing something true to you, it is also the process of clarifying certain aspects of your life and presenting it in a way that makes sense to you and enables you to have some level of control over what you're known for, which prevents others from assigning labels to you based on what they only see on the surface. And by designing a life in which you actively create your own work, you develop a great level of persistence, which enables you to refine your work and find ways to improve. 

6. Connection

People may be able to create personal success with a full awareness of themselves, meticulous self-evaluation, and dedication to mastering their craft, but without connection, all of these efforts will not bring them very far. A lot of people do not achieve the success they want, not because they are untalented, but because they are unable to share it with their intended audience. Achievement involves connecting with people who find value in your work and are most likely to support you because they resonate with what you're trying to promote. The key to making good connections is to care about your audience, to enlighten them, and to bring change to their lives. 

7. Momentum

Momentum is the driving force that propels all six of these principles forward. Self-awareness and self-evaluation won't matter if all you do is leave this knowledge in your head and don't take any actions towards change. Making change won't matter if you don't even know where you want to be. Creating original and wonderful work won't matter if you don't keep improving yourself or intend to make your current creation better than the last. Connecting with others won't matter if you don't find new ways to keep them engaged and interested in what you will continue to do. Momentum is the key to sustaining growth and ensuring that success will remain a success.