How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

right-way-wrong-way2

Life is full of choices, and it’s the choices we make that shape our lives. Therefore the question remains, how do we make the right choices?

I’ve been asked this question over and over again. At first, I couldn’t give anyone a definitive answer because mindful-decision-making stems from the root of your identity. To know if you’re making the right choices in life, you must first evaluate your own identity:

  • Do you feel liberated and free to be yourself?
  • Are you restricting your identity just to fit in?
  • Are you struggling to open up about your problems and restricting yourself from seeking support?
  • Are you making meaningful connections with others?
  • If you’re in a relationship, does your partner see you for who you are?

In summary, are you yourself completely?

Before making a decision in your life, reconnect with yourself. Become self-realized and aware, and establish how much of your life is being experienced by you, versus a version of you that appeals more to your influencers. Think of influencers as things in your life that restrict, or have the potential to restrict, who you are and the great things you’re capable of. From people through to places – are you a product of your environment, or is your environment an extension of your identity?

Work to understand and unleash your identity and you’ll realize how to make the right choices. Whatever decision you’re faced with, you must always side with the choice that keeps your identity intact.

For those that have a responsibility to others such as children, ask yourself if a positive impact on your own life will strengthen your relationship to those you’re responsible for. You shouldn’t make your decisions out of obligation, but rather so that you can fulfill your obligations happily.

Many people come across this blog seeking answers, but the answers readers seek are buried within themselves. Hence its purpose is to encourage readers to be themselves; tune in to who you are, and you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. Tune into your identity and you’ll begin to recognize happiness as an emotion waiting to be set free, rather than an aspiration to work towards.

Vancouver Life Coach

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How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance… Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you’ll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Key to Maintaining Health and Happiness

Post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Awareness

Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of lasting bliss when all aspects of our lives, have reached a level of fulfillment we’re satisfied with. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be in life, health and happiness will seem to flow easily and we’ll begin feeling assertive and aligned with our aspirations.

When we arrive at these blissful moments in life, we’re prone to complacency and avoidance because moving forward may involve risk, which could disrupt this new equilibrium. Therefore it’s crucial to develop a healthy awareness of self, others and the world around us, in order to continue our pursuits to that dream life we’ve always envisioned.

Awareness is an extension of mindfulness and it teaches us to pay attention to how we impact our own lives. Whether or not we’ve reached a stage of fulfillment, our choices have dictated this destiny that’s currently being played out. Awareness helps us upkeep involvement and control over life; paying attention could be the difference in feeling like life is falling apart, and feeling like life’s falling into place.

Awareness begins with honesty. The first step is to focus on emotion, because it’s the emotions we feel that highlight the truth. When we hurt ourselves physically, we’re often very quick to notice the imbalance and work to resolve the pain as effectively as possible. However, how many of us can honestly say we do the same with our own state of mind.

As a relationship and life coach, I come across many broken souls living life irritated and insecure as a result of avoidance and complacency. On the other hand, I have clients that feel great within themselves but struggle to pursue new opportunities, in fear of losing something deemed safe and secure. The next stage of awareness, after uncovering present emotion, is to look back on the journey up until this point in time.

Many of us may not realize it, but our pasts hold many of the answers we seek to find about ourselves and our lives. How did I end up here? Why do I put up with this? How can I move forward? Why am I…? However poignant the question, the answer could be lurking within a previous moment in time. Investigating the past will help develop an awareness of motivation, uncover the triggers to motivation and we’ll learn how to avoid or promote certain behaviours.

If you’re looking to maintain health and happiness in your life, or if you’re looking to secure it, assess your current level of awareness and you may just realise where your life is headed. Today choose to take control, choose to eliminate fear and choose to overcome the insecurity you live with; Pay attention to how you contribute to your own misery and bliss, and you’ll become aware that you own your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to be Happy

post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

smile

Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they’re exactly the same.

I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness”  as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.

To be happy, I needed to…

…accept and be proud of who I am.

This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression…and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.

…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.

If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.

I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I’m on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I’m contributing to my own happiness. 

…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.

Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it’s easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won’t find it following trends or chasing myths.

I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I’ve learned to move on until I discover what’s right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn’t feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.

Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.

…take the time to better understand others.

Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.

If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.

…overcome fear and make it a priority.

I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.

I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn’t much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one. 

…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.

There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.

We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.

In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.

As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Move On From Resentment

Resentment

Image Credit: Nikko

Resentment is an internal pressure. It’s easy to forget that as you direct your emotions towards the cause of this bitter feeling.

I think back to moments in my life, where I’ve resented people and situations in my past and often enough, my own difficulties moving forward stemmed from an internal battle.

When you resent, your emotions clash with rationality. You find yourself in a state of bitterness because your identity has become compromised. Things like putting your life on hold for another and repeatedly leaving your vulnerabilities exposed, can cause you to repeat negative behavioral patterns that go against what you truly desire from life. As you begin to find it difficult to break through negative emotions, resentment makes you act in ways that truly aren’t in your nature.

The way to move on from resentment lies within your will to change.

When you’re steered away from your own pursuits and desires in life, your identity becomes confused. From my own experiences, resentment tends to arise when this realization occurs.

Rather than face and process the internal battle, you’ll often find it’s easier to cope by emotionally projecting your issues onto others and/or certain situations, like getting angry.

Remember, this is your life and if you’re facing any resentment, it’s up to you to take charge and direct change. Although it may ease the pressure by getting angry and attempting to have others feel your dismay, take it as an indication that your identity has risen to the surface and that you’re ready to take back control over your life.

This is a crucial time to be pro-active, rise above the cause and reconnect with who you truly are.

Take this awakening to re-establish your self-worth. Your feeling this because you’ve discovered that there is something better for you to find. Be it a better life, partner, career, lifestyle…whatever the circumstance, a little shift in perspective can turn resentment into a motivational trigger.

Whatever the case maybe, if you are facing resentment, take time away from the cause and thrust yourself towards things that make you feel like you. Connect with your passions, engage in activities that motivate you, do something that you want to do (I personally enjoy a short trip away). As you engage in blissful activities that spark your spirit, you’ll begin to take back control over your life piece by piece, until your identity is fully restored and you’re prepared to move on from resentment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Are Your Motivations Man-made?

Thinker

Have you ever wondered how much of your life is man-made? Ever considered how much of your life is driven by man-made philosophies that guide your choices, mould your identity and overrun your emotions and natural desires?

Take the institution of marriage for example, it’s not necessarily an innate desire, we’re taught to long for this lawful union. Religion too, people submit lives, generations even, towards words written by man. Our careers maybe, are they driven by our thirst for power and purpose or do we slave away for the sake of climbing a social ladder?

I was on a date a few weeks ago and the girl I met was nice enough, she was pretty, very intelligent and I would say she was text-book perfect. Problem was, I found her very reserved, afraid to open up and let out what she truly wanted from life. It seemed she was conditioned to believe marriage was one of life’s natural wonders, so when I posed the question, “What if the entire concept of marriage didn’t exist, what would be your drive for companionship?” She stared at me with the blankest expression as if her mind had been formatted, I felt like I had insulted her.

It got me thinking about how many people in my life have very similar views, I don’t think a week goes by where a family member or a friend asks me about my marital status or how many digits occupy my bank account. Is it not enough to just accept that I’m happy, healthy and human, surrounded by a truck load of love and that I now live with a mountain sized passion for life? It’s like many cannot accept that I could arrive at this level of fulfillment without having followed certain ideologies.

Is it that difficult to comprehend, that we can drive ourselves simply by the honesty we carry in our emotions? That life is actually a lot simpler outside the flow of man-made principles.

I’m beginning to wonder if humanity has lost touch with the very things that make us human. How is anyone supposed to reach self-actualization and fulfilment, if we’re so conditioned to live life dictated by man-made values, popular movements and lean our desires towards marketable trends?

OK, maybe I’m heading off on a frustrated tangent here, but think about it, when was the last time you did something unstructured and genuinely honest? How much of your life is innately motivated?

Give yourself the opportunity to ponder this thought and tap into your true intent, before making your next life decision.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Holding on to a Fantasy isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

Fantasy

My journey from living with insecurities to living with confidence and esteem has been long. It’s taken leaps and bounds overcoming challenges and threats to my identity but I made it through, partly because I held on to what once seemed like a fantasy.

7 years ago, if anyone had told me that I’d be living the life that I am today, and that I’d be living it happily, I’d liken such wisdom to fantasy. Although I yearned for it, no part of my being believed it. However entertaining the idea of how life could be offered me moments of escape where I could live out my ultimate dreams. The mere thought would stimulate emotion, enough emotion to encourage the spirit to act.

We grow up to be adults with plans and realistic tendencies that repress any thought deemed too fantastical. When living inside the ideologies of society we fail to see sense in exercising this natural ability.

The way I see it, what we have as human beings is meant to be embraced. Our imagination has no bounds, has no limits and has no restrictions. Our minds have the ability to give us whatever we want. Whether it’s that great love we desire to experience someday or the success we wish to encounter, we all have it in us to live it in the form of fantasy.

So what good is this fantasy? It’s not real, what use do we have for it? My answer is hope, and not that hope associated with religion. It’s the hope that inspires courage and determination and gives us the right to our identities free. It gives us the ability to dream and inspires us to locate opportunities to pull that dream into the realm of reality.

Life is fu*king tough, it’s not easy, but we do have something to turn to if we do need some comfort to cope. Our fantasies can be something we fuel our minds with to move forward and push through our struggles.

One thing about fantasy, and it’s sort of warping my mind even thinking about it, is that the imagination; the idea; this omnipresent force that exists within our minds allows us to feel. Feelings we cannot and must not deny.

The empathy we experience as we read a book or watch a movie. The connection we make with others that cannot be explained, and the raw expression of our own identities when there is no fear nor judgment to face. Our fantasies contribute so much to who we are and they give us so much to live for, yet we dismiss them because we’re taught to be realistic.

Today, I want to advise you that it’s OK to let your mind travel, it’s OK to enjoy the bliss and comfort that comes with being free to think and feel without the burden of reality. Hold on to your fantasies, let them fill your spirit with all the goodness that empowers you to become the best that you can be in your reality.

You have to be so much already; you may have so many hats to wear and roles to play in your everyday life. So long as you’re not harming anyone, explore your fantasy. Be free, be happy and don’t let the struggles of reality bring you down. This life I’m living now was once deemed a fantasy. Generations once enslaved also had a fantasy; lovers once deemed mentally ill also had a fantasy, and although there may be quite a bit of distance between the two realms, never let go of the possibility that one day that distance will decrease.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach