Success and Failure

Success is the accumulation of your failures.

-Erin Motz, the Bad Yogi

There is a lot of talk around Yoga and unfortunately¬†it is associated with many stereotypes. Many people think they already know what it is without even trying it. But in the end we are all humans and any form of life-improving philosophy is bound to at least teach us some things, even if we don’t adopt it fully.

I am no Yogi but I definitely believe in it’s positive effects. One of it’s main ideas is the idea of balance in one’s life. This particular quote that I read recently -“success is the accumulation of your failures”- reminds of the balance between failure and success. And it reminds me to be patient. There can be no success without first trying and failing. So fail. It’s ok. At some point you will not fail anymore and you will have reached your goal. ūüôā

 

Image from Patrick and Carling Yoga
Image from Patrick and Carling Yoga
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Contrasts

This world is full of contrasts.

Young people want to be older, older people want to be younger, if your hair is curly, then you want straight hair, if your hair is brown, then you want to be blonde, young people dye their hair white, older people hide their greying¬†hair, rich people go backpacking pretending to be bohemians and vagabonds, poor people buy imitations of brands to dress like the rich people, when you are looking for a job you put lies in your CV and hope for an opportunity, when you get your job you believe you deserve it more than others and most of the times you hate it, people complain about the cold weather, then complain about the warm weather, we¬†eat too much and then wish we¬†were thinner, the celebrities¬†spend hours on their appearance, then make a feminist remark or something about equality and we worship them as gurus…

…I could go on forever.

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

– Albert Einstein

Artwork from Jean Jullien
Jean Jullien

Quote #4

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

-Rita Schiano

Not only talking about them, but generally focusing on our problems is an addiction. We have heard it many times by now that we should instead choose to focus on the positive things that happen in our lives every day. So this is a small reminder.

Have a nice week!

C'est la fuckin' vie, image found at bourbonandpearls.tumblr.com
C’est la fuckin’ vie, image found at bourbonandpearls.tumblr.com

Society, crazy indeed

As stated in the description of this blog, life very often does not make sense to me. This is meant in a half-jokingly way. But there is the other half that is not joking, because I really do mean it. Life does not make sense.

One of the most baffling aspects of life is society. From the behaviour of the people, to the laws and rules that control us, everything seems so unreasonable at times. I won’t even start giving examples of how crazy I find everything, because it could take¬†very long. Sure there are many explanations for even the craziest of things, but it’s not good enough. And of course I am also guilty of this, as is everyone who is a part of this planet. It’s our human nature that has led to everything we see. I am not trying to blame anyone, I just simply don’t understand why the wrong things seem to win over the good things. If we know what is right, why don’t we go after it? I don’t think it’s easier to go the other way, after all we all put a lot of effort to achieve our goals, so why not choose the good goals?

So in all this madness, I was happy to come across an article that tries to explain what is wrong about our lives, pointing out the main illusions we keep on believing, but without which we would be better off.

The whole article was great to read, but here are some of my favourite points:

If time is money, then life can be measured in dollars. When dollars are worth less, so is life. This is total deception, because life is, in truth, absolutely priceless.

-Sigmund Fraud

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small.They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate.They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

-Banksy

Note: Careful not to confuse the name of the author (Sigmund Fraud) with the psychoanalyst/ psychologist Sigmund Freud.

I recommend everybody to read it, even if you don’t agree, even if you think I’m crazy because I think that the world is crazy. It’s always a good idea to keep your mind open.

Source: http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the-6-grand-illusions-that-keep-us-enslaved-to-the-matrix/ 

My Single New Year’s Resolution

What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.

-Maya Angelou

This year I have decided that my new year’s resolutions will not be a list of goals. It will be simply one thing: this year I will try to be happier.

I want to do so many things and I change my mind so frequently that I know it’s very possible that half of the goals I have in my mind will not be achieved this year, or will be erased from the list before the year ends.

Having a list of goals also creates a lot of opportunities to fail! If I have 10 resolutions for 2016 and I only manage to complete (or start working on) 5¬†of them, then already my year has not been as successful as I wanted it to be. I don’t want to reach the end of 2016 and think of the past year as a year in which I did not reach my goals.

Looking back at 2015, I realise a few things:

  • I did a lot of things
  • Some of the things I did where not even in my mind in the beginning of 2015, but took a lot of time and effort
  • I spent less time on things that I wanted to do
  • I was very often¬†stressed and sad

So I only decided to change one thing: the unhappy part. I was mostly unhappy because I didn’t have the time to do the things I wanted. And I was mostly stressed because I didn’t have the time to do the things I felt like I had to do, like study for my job or workout more.

This is why I don’t want to have a list of goals for this year. I know the things that are important for me and I will try to put them more into my life. Some things are boring and time-consuming but still I¬†will¬†do those things too because they will bring me some useful result, like finally getting my driving license.

But most importantly, I don’t want to waste time thinking of how I didn’t do something because I didn’t have the time, and I don’t want to feel bad because I had to spend a month doing something I didn’t like. Instead, I would like to focus more on my attitude towards everything and a have a more stress-free year.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

-J.R.R. Tolkien

Choosing Presents

You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring you. Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.

– Rumi

While most people are busy buying presents, I want to post a small reminder that it doesn’t have to be big and expensive. A simple gift is enough to show how much we care or admire someone. If our appreciation for them is big enough, then there is no way we can “fit” that amount in an object. Sometimes¬†something small but thoughtful can make us¬†smile, while¬†something fancier might not match who we are.

‚ÄúOne can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.‚ÄĚ

–¬†J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I hope this helps all those who, like me, spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect gift.

Happy holidays!

Some Comedy Please

Comedy can be a great way to face your lives. It makes the problems look more interesting but less hurtful. If you talk to a friend about something that is troubling you and you find a way to laugh about it together, it might almost feel like you are already over it.

Many situations in life are actually hard and require a lot of patience and joking about them might even make matters worst. But it is surprising how many of our problems could be actually turned around. With a good joke or a small laugh we can remind ourselves that our worries are not so big. Or that they are big right now but will eventually be over. Even if we are not ready to laugh at our problems, seeing how other people in similar positions can find something funny, can give us enormous amounts of courage. It’s as if they went through it and survived. And kept their sense of humour. So¬†perhaps we can do the same and we will have an equally interesting story to tell.

Finding a way to see the comical side can be hard. The good news is we can leave it to the professionals. So here are a few quotes from one of my favourite comedians, Amy Poehler.

Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.

– Amy Poehler

I can understand this quote because I have very vivid images of how I and my life should be. In the past I have managed to let go of the idea that I should be taller. As a child I pictured my adult self as a tall girl, but it didn’t happen. But early in my teens I accepted my height and now I can actually see clearly that it has many advantages. There is nothing wrong with being persistent about chasing a dream, but some things can not change, and the sooner we accept them, the sooner we will be free of these negative thoughts.

As an actor, you can certainly, at any moment and at any time, discover 400 people who think you’re stupid, fat and ugly.

– Amy Poehler

You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.

– Amy Poehler

These two quotes have a similar meaning. It is important to be true to ourselves and do what we like. It’s our life after all and there is no possible way to gain everyone’s approval anyway.¬†Is it worth it to spend so much time and effort to impress others when we could be spending time on something we love?

There are many more quotes that I could include. I recently read her book “Yes Please” and it was very refreshing. It reminded me that I¬†have to go for what I¬†want and actually ask for it, otherwise it will never come. It reminded me that it is OK to go through different and crazy emotions, and that they are real. That my thoughts are a private matter and I shouldn’t be ashamed of them and try to control them. And last but not least, this book made me laugh and reminded me not to take myself too seriously.

Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler

 

Stay weird

There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.

-C.JoyBell C.

This is the second post featuring a quote from C.JoyBell C. I like the truth there is in these quotes and I can easily relate to them.

This one comments on those people who seem to be taken out of a mould and expect others to be like this as well. Being different is very hard and sometimes it feels wrong when you are surrounded by people who are different than you, but similar to each other. You frequently have to face judgement or rejection.

But living a life that is not yours, wearing clothes that you have not picked, doing things that don’t offer you anything, this ultimately leads to a lot of sadness. Not to mention all the time and effort that will be wasted in trying to do something that does not come naturally.

To all those people out there who don’t follow the rules and seek for some¬†originality¬†in their lives, you have my respect. You are doing the right thing.

Jim Jarmusch - Stranger Than Paradise
Jim Jarmusch – Stranger Than Paradise