Tag Archives: optimism

The Positives of the Negatives

Chaos that is constant in places including, but not limited to, Cairo really affects me negatively, every single day. People, whether I work with them or deal with them in public places are also a source of that negativity, partly. I think this is the story of everyone’s life, but we don’t realize that the unclear haze is within us. Condemning the outside world never changes anything, and here’s my take on how bad things make you believe and stay positive by choice.

Being a person who often falls in the above trap, I’m trying to exercise having more compassionate and patient habits. I started taking mental notes of the positives and negatives in my daily life. It feels great to wake up in the morning feeling enthusiastic about the day and looking forward to it, but with the inescapable negative stimulation I encounter, I feel drained and therefore end up feeling sorry for myself (doesn’t feel good), or blaming other people and the outside circumstances (only feels good for a short while). In the long run, this doesn’t do me any good or give me the inner peace I’d rather thrive with. Reacting mindlessly and with anger, or even not realizing that I have an option gets me behind, it never takes me forward, and this is why I’ve decided to get myself more aware about it.

Reacting and responding are too very similar yet very different processes. They’re usually outcomes of a situation, and they can both be good or bad. Reacting is easy, it’s quick and it’s usually a bad habit, but it could also be a plus if you’re avoiding an accident. While responding is a more well-thought, possibly kinder, practiced acknowledgment of a certain thing. It’s usually the right thing to do unless speed is needed. Mindfulness is the trick. It’s the catch. Mindfulness isn’t the easiest of practices, but once you’re aware, the path to mastering it only gets smoother.

Last week, I’ve talked about passion and how our choices can affect us from accomplishing what we’re most passionate about. Believe it or not, mindfulness has got a lot to do with passion. I’ve mentioned how things like gossiping, not having alone time, and doing things without savoring them can be huge barriers, and they’re obviously negative things that keep you in that same state, not on the bright side of life. I believe that instead of dreading our lives, we should get a thrill out of them and they should mostly be joyful!

This is what I’m reminding myself of from now on:

There’re a positive in every negative, and by focusing on it and relying on your power to be disciplined with your thoughts rather than letting go to anger and frustrations, you will start experiencing control over your life and emotions, instead of feeling powerless and being controlled by your environment.

The best part about having the choice is that you can always find a way out. A few days ago, I was sitting with a dear friend, and she went on and on about how her boss is unfair and judgemental. I don’t mind listening to my friends when they need someone to lend an ear, but at some point, the venting makes things worse, not more relieving. This conversation made me realize that I really am convinced that energy plays a big role in our life, and whichever type we feed, grows.

When my friend continued, I decided to stop her at some point, and reminded her that her boss is probably at home having fun with her family, while she is sitting and discussing a person who consumes 8 hours of her day already, still wasting her own time.

Since the attitude exchanged between people can really affect their moods, I’ve learned that the way to keep both sides feeling good was to engage in some energy Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu, a martial art, combat sport and self defense system, asserts that a smaller/weaker person can practice the technique and defeat a person who’s larger and believed to be stronger. The catch is, Jiu Jitsu, in its core, is basically the tactic to expertly seize the strength and power of the opponent and use it for your advantage.

Relating to the conversation I wrote about before that, the concept of Jiu Jitsu can easily be applied to negative and positive energy and how it doesn’t have to affect us. Consider the negative energy to be the larger opponent, if not taken a responsive action against, it will stay scary and big. If, however, the technique is done right, what seemed to be fragile can win. I’m assuming focusing can be shattered by distractions when you’re new at it.

So in the event of being surrounded by someone who’s in a negative frame of mind, take that person’s energy and remind them that they’re only affecting themselves by staying in that place. Be persistent and assertive, you will nourish your own belief, you’ve just benefited from someone’s complaints. We all have the tendency to take the easy way out and join in the whining about how the world is unfair. But that attitude will never change the world, just like worrying about a sick person will never make them healthier.

Another way to bring out the good is by being grateful. Gratitude and appreciation are both beautiful experiences, and they’re so easy to experience, even when you’re sad. Use your sad moments to appreciate your conditions, the fact that you have a roof over your head, the luxuries you have in your life. And appreciate knowing that whatever’s making you feel sorrowful probably wouldn’t matter in a week. Somedays are going to be brilliant, while others just won’t. Being aware of the difference is a gift.

Even if you’ve reacted, and even if you’re on your negatively programmed autopilot system, be thankful that you’re learning. Take your emotions as warning signs, things that you can change, things that aren’t worth feeling. Being reactive will teach you to be responsive, it will push you in the right direction. Acknowledge your bad reactions, forgive yourself and move on.

The heartbreaks and hardships make you who you are, they give you your edges and perks. They help you define your values, they help you get to know yourself, let them happen, let them help you. Learn to be the hero, not the victim. Your excuses won’t get you anywhere, and the more robustly you evolve out of a situation, the better you will be at life. Instead of being the person people want to avoid, be the person who carries the sunshine around, your long face will repel the rest of the sunshine, not attract it.

Long story short, nothing’s worth a troubled mind or moment, so admit it and move on. There’s virtue everywhere around us, when we choose to see it. Blaming the world won’t fix you, only you will.

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You’re Probably Living Without Passion

Most people are mediocre. Most people, just exist without questioning. They fall prey to trends and then go with the flow of whatever’s buzzing, never contemplating what’s within themselves. Most people, aren’t even aware that their lives are void.

I believe that everyone in this universe has something remarkable to offer, but they may never get to express that one-of-a-kind gift if they don’t unlock the door that’s guarding it. So here I am, writing this, because maybe I have something valuable to offer, and maybe by setting someone who’s unaware in motion, I will give them the momentum that will help them carry on.

If you’re living without passion, you’re probably just waiting for everyday to end, expecting the next day to be the same, not trying to identity what is it that fires you up. You probably don’t believe that you can accomplish something impactful one day. So whoever you are, this is a wake up call for you to step into a slightly deeper, maybe more confusing territory, and enjoy the ride!

Here are 9 signs you’re likely to be living without passion:

1. You spend time gossiping about others rather than assessing how you can make your own life better

You’re not honest. You think you are, and you tell yourself you are, but you really aren’t if you spend most of your time on other people’s business instead of yours. Yes, gossiping is that much easier. It distracts you from connecting with your inner self and makes you feel like you’re better off than other people. That might be true, but if you keep that on, you’re going to lose the race.

When you catch yourself talking about others, just make a note of it, and remind yourself that you’re not perfect either, if you were, you would have been busy building up your expertise, rather than throwing around shallow comments.

2. Your life revolves around a job you aren’t enthusiastic about

“I’ll quit when I save up enough money, or when I can say I’ve worked there for a long time.” Stop basing your life on money, and stop making life decisions considering how the next employer is going to see you. You might be good at that job, really good, but you’d be way better as an expert after practicing your unique talent. Or you might as well climb that ladder of fame, fortune, and unhappiness. People can’t thrive if they’re no longer healthy, and even though it might take you a while to become the best at what you love, the time’s going by anyway, so you might as well spend it wisely.

3. You fill your time with short-term, shallow activities instead of giving yourself time to rest in silence

Here you are again, distracting yourself from the things that really matter. You go out with the same people every time, and you prioritise your time with them over your time with yourself, getting replenished and realising that you enjoy your own company just as much.

4. You spend too much time dwelling on how someone might have hurt you and plotting your revenge

Don’t be a victim, please. That person probably didn’t mean to offend you, and they don’t even remember what happened. Becoming vengeful depletes your own energy, the energy you could be using doing things like: spending time with your family and loved ones, painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, or maybe even finding a cure for cancer!

5. You dream about what you love doing the most but think it will never be your reality

You get lost in thought before bed every night, thinking about how dreams are merely dreams, they don’t come true except if you’re lucky. And then you wake up the next morning doing the same things again. Get this, your mind and brain are versatile, you can actually change what your brain looks like by practicing new habits. As cliche as it sounds, practice does make perfect. You choose your reality, and you start where you are. You come up with a process, and you make it happen by taking baby steps. Don’t just sit there dreaming.

6. You avoid trying anything new

You’ve lost touch with your inner child, and you’ve grown up with a solid frame of mind of what you like and what you don’t. But that thing you think you don’t like, whether it is food, a game, a music genre, or an activity, have you even tried it to judge? Don’t stop yourself from doing things just because you’ve somehow managed to like or dislike them without coming into contact with them. Some experiences are bad, and some are good, but there’s always a lesson anyway. Trying new things will help you break the barriers of self judgement and judgement by others.

7. You care about how other people see you rather than how you see yourself

We all love being approved of, believe me, I’ve lived most of my life being a people pleaser. What have I learned when I’ve gotten that out of my system? I’ve become confident in my own skin, I’ve learned to trust myself and my decisions, and I’ve realised that even the oldest, most experienced people will limit you through their insecurities. You’re old enough to know whether what you’re doing is right.

8. You surround yourself with “cool” people who don’t truly love you, and neither do you love them

Yep, they’re just “cool” because they’re popular. Not because they create mind-blowing art, and not because they read books in 5 languages regularly. Instead of surrounding yourself with people who don’t even know what you love other than your favorite kind of food, be a part of a community than engages in deep knowledge regarding many interests. Hang out with the girl who takes dance classes behind her parents’ back because she’s most alive in those moments. Or the guy who reads about chemistry in his free time and wants to change the world. You will love them even if you have nothing in common but this zest for life.

9. You are inspired by people who do what they love, but you still criticise them because it probably means they’re “selfish, irresponsible, and/or lucky”

Again, don’t be a victim, please. Life hasn’t chosen to be nice to them and evil to you. You make your life. If you’re jealous, it’s a bit better than criticism, if that might fuel your fire. Now do something about it! Don’t be selfish, but be compassionate towards yourself without forgetting about others.

Are you living with or without passion?

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Where I Think Courage Comes From

I recently started training with the amazing CaiRollers, we’re the very first roller derby team in Egypt. Before I started training, I literally knew very little about derby, I still don’t know the rules of the game very well, and I only attended my 2nd practice today, and I also had no idea that the moves so effortlessly performed by the more advanced girls are so difficult!

During the first practice, I literally fell as soon as I put on my skates. I hadn’t skated in years (at least 10, if not more) and I remembered this to be easier, a lot easier! I was happy with my first fall because it was quick and not painful at all. Eight falls later, I was laughing it off, wondering about how many bruises I’ll have on my butt and thighs when I get home. Even though I got the hang of skating quickly again, I realized that my perspective on this whole thing is what helped me do that, not the fact that I used to skate when I was younger. I didn’t have the memory of bad or serious falls before the first practice.

Derby needs courage in the beginning, and that applies to everything else in life. But the beginning doesn’t only mean that the first time’s the hardest, because on your second time, memories of the first time could either make it easier or harder.

I got to my second practice today, and as soon as I put my skates on, I didn’t want to get off the bench because I was too scared that I was going to fall. I looked at the gravel underneath my feet, and I was certain, that I was going to fall as soon as I got up. I felt uncomfortable and out of control. I eventually talked myself into it, got up, and actually didn’t fall. The thought of falling was still on my mind though. All I could think of were the 9 times I tripped last time, turning my own spinal cord into an accordion, the sounds of cracking bones replacing real music. I dwelled and lingered. I skated, almost freely, but then again, I dwelled and lingered on the thoughts of falling. Until I thought to myself, “Don’t think, don’t try, just do.”

I’ve heard this saying a few years ago, and I don’t specifically remember where I heard it, but I recall it was something related to the law of attraction. Now when I look it up, I can only remotely relate it to Horace (Roman poet). Before you start wondering, don’t worry, I won’t be telling you more about Horace in this post.

When I first heard the saying, I didn’t really feel like I grasped it. I was automatically skeptical about the not thinking and not trying parts. Why can I not think? Actually how can I not think? And isn’t everything really about trying? And trying again if you fail? Well yes, but not quite.

Now I know this is paradoxal, how can I agree and disagree at the same time? This honestly confuses me probably as much as it’s confusing you right now, but hear me out.

We’re raised up to always think about things before we do them, decisions before we take them, people before we become friends with them, and practically everything else in our lives. We’re warned about taking hasty decisions, and we’re labeled as “too emotional” when we base decisions on our feelings or intuitions. We must always think logically about things. All of that sounds safe, just safe.

Also, when we’re attempting things for the first time, this is just what it is, an attempt. We try and we fail, and then we try again and maybe even fail again. And this is exactly the problem. We expect failure. Isn’t that negative?

If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been really repetitive in the paragraph where I was telling you about the story of my second derby practice. I’ve done this on purpose, because this is exactly how we think when we’re thinking about things we shouldn’t think about.

Thinking makes us miss out on the good stuff. It’s good to be prepared, but it isn’t good to obsessively check whether you are or not. I was prepared today at practice, I had all my protection gear on, and it was very unlikely that I would get injured when I’m covered from head to toe. My thoughts about falling held me back. I wasted some of my own time, and I reached my goals in a longer time than I should have. Maybe it doesn’t matter that much when it comes to playing derby, but it matters a lot more when it comes to other things in life that need courage. Derby’s just a small example.

Trying makes us focus on failure. We focus on failure more than we focus on success. Trying gives us the option to fail, not taking into account the fact that if we don’t even have that option, and if we gather up courage, we’re actually more likely to succeed.

By the middle of today’s practice, I repeated this in my head, again and again, “Don’t think, don’t try, just do.” I skated freely, I attempted a correct way of falling, I fell, not perfectly, but I stopped myself from thinking and just took a leap of faith. I should do this again next time (and more often in my life.)

This is where courage comes from.

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Everything vs. Nothing

Starting off, welcome to my blog. I consider my blog to be my very own private yet public space. The name Everything vs. Nothing could mean a lot of things, but I chose it specifically to convey this meaning: I’m into so many things, and I’m always open to exploring more likes and dislikes, my blog isn’t only about one thing, it’s about everything and so it’s about nothing, nothing specific at least.

This is not my first blog, but it will be the first blog I take seriously. I haven’t taken the previous one seriously because I wasn’t ready to share my thoughts, and I wasn’t confident enough to make them public. I’ve decided to get out of my comfort zone though, and just go for it.

I believe in living life to the fullest, positivity, and persistence. I believe in changing and developing, but I also believe in acceptance. I change my mind and my opinions quite often, but that’s only because I experience “the other side” and so I tend to stop myself from judging too fast, or at least not judging something negatively before I understand it.

So since I believe in making the most out of life, this is where I’ll express that life. Life is all about experience, and as cliche as that sounds, you’ll never know how something feels unless you actually go through it yourself. Be patient, expect the best, and don’t judge too fast.

Here goes experience, reflection, and a lot of writing!

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