How to Have a Happy Life

There is only one person in the world who is responsible for your happiness.

You.

This is pretty much the most important realization that you will ever have in your entire life. The moment you take responsibility for yourself and your choices is more powerful and freeing than anything else you could possibly imagine.

It will FREE you.

The answer to every problem is usually the simplest, but we love to over-complicate things. Yes, sometimes things are complex, but the answers are still usually able to be put in blunt terms.

Have a shitty job? Quit.

Have a horrible relationship? Leave.

Despise your school? Switch or drop out. You can learn on your own.

Sick of your messy house? Get rid of most of your stuff.

Bored of everything? It’s because you’re boring. Challenge yourself. Become adventurous.

Hate the world? Make it better. Help someone.

Tired of being ill? Nourish yourself properly. Start sleeping enough. Get outside. Learn from people who are actually extremely healthy, not people with prescription pads.

Lonely? Take the abundant love you have inside you and give it to yourself. Get out there. Do things. You’ll meet people. Don’t be a dick. Respect others, do good things, and you won’t be lonely. It’s impossible. Even if you’re alone, you will love being with you.

Trapped? ESCAPE. People have broken out of jail, escaped from other countries, and done everything possible to get out of bad situations. If you want it badly enough, you will make it happen. There is always a way.

If you are seriously miserable in a situation, you are rarely trapped. You DO have options. You might not like them, but have you thought of them all? (No, they are endless). Have you really gone out of your comfort zone? That is where the answers lie.

Isn’t your life worth it? Isn’t being happy worth it? Otherwise, can you call it living?

You can’t be happy unless you make it a priority, and only you know what makes you happy. If you don’t know, you need to do some deep soul searching, because who wants to be bored, lonely, and depressed their entire lives? Do you want to be a curmudgeon? Do you want to die regretful?

Sometimes people think they are happy, but they numb out with the typical things, tricking themselves, but they ignore their true desires because those things got buried in the muck of whatever life threw at them.

Life bumps do happen. Tragedies occur, obviously. But people get through them, people get by, people heal. And the ones who don’t  – why? Staying stuck in the same spot forever is doing you no good. It’s like cement around your ankles. Get a sledgehammer and MOVE. The only way to happiness is THROUGH shitty times, and to gain the strength to say FUCK NO to whatever is holding you from that happiness. It’s to say you are worth having a good life – no one else is going to give it to you. Even if you are handed anything you could ever want, if you don’t feel you deserve it, it won’t matter.

Believe you deserve a good life. If you are a good person, you deserve to be happy, just because you are alive.

 

~~~

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How to Start Living When You’re Afraid

Photo by Lorenza Daprà.

Have you ever heard that cliche that goes: FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real?

In regards to most things, this is totally true. Fear is useful when you are in a fight-or-flight situation. It’s why you even have fear in the first place. It’s useful when you are potentially going to die.

It’s not useful when you want to go forth with something important and you freeze, panic, retreat, and go nowhere. You just stare at screens, eat junk, numb out, go to work, sleep, drink, whine about boredom.

(Psst – you’re bored because you’re ignoring your dreams).

So how do you get past FEAR?

  • Realize that your fear is not based on any reality. It’s based on your beliefs, ONLY, or possibly on things that have happened to you in the past. The best ways to get past these fears are to: A) Be so overwhelmingly passionate about what you are doing that fear can be bypassed by tenacity and purpose, and: B) Questioning your beliefs.
  • Do some research into people that you really admire, and see what fears they have overcome, and how. Nobody is immune to fear and anxiety when it comes to going for what they want. Realize that every person who has ever accomplished anything amazing has been just as human as you, and just as nervous as you.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

  •  Ask yourself if you are afraid of failure, or success. Most people are unknowingly afraid of both. Success comes with a lot of drawbacks like criticism and usually a hard work ethic, so even if you manage to bypass the initial fear of failure, you may hold back for fear of actually succeeding. Don’t. We need you, we need your passion – nobody can please everyone. Can you imagine if everyone loved you?! Every failure is a stepping stone to succeeding. Absolutely no one, EVER, has succeeded at something right away. It takes dedication and tenacity. You must look at “failure” as steps on a ladder to your dream. If you were climbing, and slipped down a couple of notches, but the best reward possible was at the very top, would you stop climbing just because you slipped? Is that “failure?” Or is it learning?
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
– Sun Tzu
  • Get scared of the alternative. Ask yourself what will become of you if you don’t pursue what you most love. Picture it. Dream it as if it’s a nightmare (it is). Write it out. Draw or describe yourself as an old person, and feel how that would feel. Really feel it. Then do everything possible to make sure the opposite happens.
  • Write out a story of the person you’d love to become. It doesn’t have to be well-written – don’t edit it, don’t worry about grammar, just write the story of who you want to become. Meditate on how that would feel. The feeling and emotion is important. Then figure out your first steps to becoming who that is. Write about yourself as if you were a character in a novel – write how this character becomes an amazing, inspiring, beautiful human being, and then do the same things, in real life.
“What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.”
– Maya Angelou
  • Take SMALL steps, every day. Even if they seem like the tiniest, most useless steps – they’re steps. These will add up over time, and your confidence will build, because you will see progress.
  • Remember that any fear you feel is only in your mind. There is no monster in front of you. It’s not real. The scariest thing to consider is a secure, boring mediocre life, because you get just one, and you don’t get another chance. Let that terrify you. That is far scarier than any single thing you could possibly be up against.

“In the beginning there is not much difference between the coward and the courageous person. The only difference is, the coward listens to his fears and follows them, and the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead. The courageous person goes into the unknown in spite of all the fears.”

-Osho

 

True failure is not giving your whole heart over to what you love to do. True failure is not living your life fully. True failure is merely existing instead of really being alive.

You cannot fail, if you step bravely towards what you are meant to do.

~~~
 
Recommended Reads:
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – by Susan Jeffers
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
The Possible Human – Jean Houston
Courage by Osho (epic – if this doesn’t inspire you to be bold and courageous within 10 pages, I dunno what will).

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The Danger of Inspiration

I love inspirational and motivational things.

Books, Instagram posts, Facebook, blogs, memes, videos – anything that makes me go YES!!! and want to take action IMMEDIATELY. I know I’m not alone because there is SO much of it out there!

It’s ENDLESS, and it can be addicting to read these things or watch these things, because they make us feel hopeful, they make us feel like we can succeed and prosper.

But just like a gym membership won’t get you rock-hard abs without putting in the actual time and work-outs, inspirational media will not get you anywhere unless you write out a plan and actually TAKE those steps. When does the INSPO end and the DOING begin?

What I’m writing here is not new information, clearly, but it is a CALL for action – it is me TELLING you that taking ANY movement in the direction of a goal, a dream, a desire, is better than just reading motivational quotes and watching some awesome person you wish you could be on youtube.

You can be like those people – but in your own way. You have to do it YOUR way – you can’t copy. It must be YOU. Wouldn’t you rather be fully who YOU are, than a pale imitation of someone else?

The inspiration you should take from ALL of these people that you admire and that you feel inspired by, is that they are just people. They’re human. They didn’t start with anything more than you had, likely. The difference, only, is that they kept at it. They kept taking steps. They started off with whatever they had at their disposal. They didn’t need anything expensive, they just needed to use what they had.

Better things will come along as you move forward – they just will.

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” – Napoleon Hill

The thing they all did was take action. Maybe they read inspirational stuff too, I don’t know, but that’s not all they did. They just did something. They moved in the direction of their goal.

 

So put down the phone, close your laptop, power off your desktop, close the book, mute the audiobook or podcast, and get a pen and paper. Write down something you’ve always wanted to achieve. What is the smallest step you can take in that direction? Do it – NOW. And then write the next one. If you can do it right away, then do it. But keep doing this until you get to where you want to go.

People have achieved crazy things that most people would deem impossible. Those people are just as human as you, so stop denying that you have power, stop being a victim, and step-up to what you are able to do – because you ARE able, you just don’t believe it. Shift that attitude, because you fucking CAN.

Why Life Seems Difficult

Photo of me by Aiko Yoshida.

The lament of most adults I know is that life is hard, annoying, and exhausting. I get it. I have been in that space, so I know. Even now I sometimes wish for the 90s when I was a teenager and had little to worry about other than how to get a certain guy, afford a CD I wanted, or how to get people to stop harassing me in school.

But adulting – that’s annoying. Or is it?

Definitely some of it is, but then why are there many happy adults? Why are some people happy and others not? Why are the vast majority just blah and numbing out to reality TV and large pizzas?

It’s because they are not doing what they are passionate about. Either they have forgotten, or they are afraid.

When you are aligned with the work you are meant to do, with the dreams you’ve cultivated deep inside, things magically start shifting.

But you must be taking steps, no matter how minuscule, to go in the direction you’ve always imagined. You must start somewhere. Don’t make me use a cliche!

And for god’s sake take care of your health. Without proper nutrition you are going to have little energy to spare. Do you really want all your energy to be given to A JOB? (a 4-letter work, remember?) What about YOUR work? The work that makes YOU happy and that makes the world better – more beautiful, more interesting, more fun, more fantastic – for you and all the people you could help aim higher?

Life is not meant to be a drudgery. It’s meant to be special – you are no accident. Your desires and dreams are not random. They pester you and haunt you for a reason, and they will continue to until you take action on them. Movement creates momentum, so take that first step, however tiny it may be, and then take another step the next day (or the next hour)! Even if it takes you years of daily steps, you will eventually reach your destination. It will be impossible not to, because you are moving in that direction.

The larger your steps, the quicker you’ll get there, but obstacles will show up. This is normal, in physical journeys, mental ones, artistic ones, financial ones – but inch by inch, penny by penny, stroke by stroke, word by word, you will attain something resembling your desires, but doing absolutely NOTHING gets you NOWHERE except the same place you are today. And are you happy there? Or are you lamenting how being an adult sucks?

When you’re small, you dream of being a grown up, to be able to do whatever you wish – and you CAN. Remember, you have been educated to think otherwise. You’ve been misled, lied to, and led astray by all the things you think you are SUPPOSED to do. You aren’t taught alternatives. You have to discover them yourself. You have to risk, you have to listen to your misery and see what it is teaching you – it is SHOWING you that you are not in tune with your inner voice, the one that has been speaking to you for your whole life, the one you continually ignore, and so other voices overshadow it – the ones that say you’re lame, that you’re no good, that you’re afraid, that you can’t, that you’re lazy and weak.

But what if you fed that other voice? What if you pandered to it? What if you let it scream so it drowns out all the others and sends them scurrying into the black?

That voice will then lead you, but you must LISTEN. That voice is the true you, and it is ageless. Being an adult isn’t hard, life isn’t difficult – what’s difficult is not being who you truly are.

How to Come Alive After You’ve Been Dying

Photo of me by Aiko Yoshida

The answers to my previous post, How to Know If You’re Dying, are infinite. My answers may not be your answers, but I can tell you what works for me, and what I know can at least guide you in the right direction.

If you always feeling like a sinking ship, you must become buoyant.

How do you fill up so you can surface? First, you have to become empty. Free yourself – meditate, get still. Be calm, remove all distractions, sit in silence, in nature. Do this for hours if necessary. Have your pen and notebook. Write down insights. Do this as many times as possible until you have clarity. Actually DO this. Now.

There is no timeline on this – it could be instant, it could take years, but get clear, as otherwise you will just continue as you are. If you’re dying, that’s not a place to loiter.

Removing ALL distractions is necessary. Endless inspiration is detrimental sometimes, because we focus on being inspired instead of actually DOING something. It gives us a jolt of adrenaline, a glimpse of hope, but without any action, it will fade from your memory pretty quickly, leaving you yearning for the next hit. Inspiration is fantastic, and I love it, but there needs to be movement afterwards.

Take inspiration from this and DO something that will propel you forward, even if it’s just an inch! Turn off this computer, look away from your phone. Take the paper and ink and go, be quiet. Feel what you already know, deeply.

You already know what you need to do. You are scared. You don’t need to be.

What is your alternative? You would not be here if you were not dead inside, at least somewhat. You would not be here if you were not looking for guidance.

So I am guiding you – to look within, to the depths, where your sparks glow, like seeds in the dark, waiting to bloom, waiting for water, waiting for fire to bring them to life.

So how do you do this? How do you come alive when everything has been buried so deep?

Seeds buried too deeply never blossom. They rot, they whither, they die. They vanish.

You need to replant those forgotten seeds. You need to put them near the SURFACE, and tend to them DAILY.

At first, your dream garden will need cautious, tender care. Not too much, but just enough – and when they sprout, and start to grow, prepare for wildness – but they need the right conditions. They need to be nourished. They need to be tended, and they need to be shared. Once wild, they flourish, and they continue to grow and spread and take over with no help from you – they show up like dandelions in the sidewalk, where you wouldn’t expect life to succeed, because those roots are deep, and powerful.

When you garden literally, you do it to be surrounded by beauty, or to have nourishment to feed your body. It is the same when you care for your garden of desires.

1. Identify your passion

If you have too many dreams, get clear – which are the ones you ALWAYS feel nagged by? Which is the thing you always say first when someone asks you your interests? What has been the mainstay since you were small, or what is the thing that scares you the most, but that you most wish you could accomplish? That’s the one. The one you must do.

2. Write steps. Small steps.

What is that ultimate dream of yours? Pretend you are that. And then write the step down from it. And the step down from that. And so on, until you get very, very small. Once it’s so small it seems ridiculous – take that first small step, and go back up.

3. Do this every single day, in any free moment you have. Maybe you are swamped with other obligations, or you are exhausted – you make room. You find that shred of energy. You say fuck you to resistance. The moments you usually spend mindlessly are the moments you will take to make small steps. Even if it’s just to put a notebook in your bag, write out an idea, do some push-ups, register a domain name, or take a look at guitars in the store and inquire about payment plans.

4. Nourish yourself properly.

Get enough rest. You will not fully feel alive unless your body is cared for first.

5. Ask yourself what the alternative is.

Write out your Plan Z, and then make your dream your Plan A. No in-betweens. Fuck everything else.

6. Always make yourself the first priority.

Instead of working for someone else as soon as you awaken, do work for yourself. Love yourself, do your own thing, always first, so you can be more present, and feel as if you are making some momentum. Morning ritual is so important, and new to me, and I can’t even believe I’ve gone so far without it – and how far will I go now?

If you are depressed or feeling dead, you are not aligned with what you are here to do. We need your passion. It doesn’t matter how many people are already doing it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12 years old or 95. It only matters that you start honouring yourself and what you love, because why the hell else are you alive? The word ALIVE is not describing you – make it so everyone uses that as your adjective. It is now your description. How would that feel for you? To take on that meaning for yourself?

So are you going to stay dead, or be infused with life? Get moving, or stay in your coffin, where you will stay until the day you actually die for real.

You have so much time to be dead. BE ALIVE, NOW.

What If I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life?

 

“what the hell do i do with my life?”

 

too many damn interests? how to choose?

often it just becomes too overwhelming and it’s just easier to do…nothing.

or just consume everything, and not create.

 

the secret is…combining. getting quiet. and only focusing on 2 or 3 main passions. ONE if possible.

 

the other interests can be part-time, small parts of your life. you can still have them. just don’t make them your focus.

 

so what’s your main passion? if you’re like me, it changes on you, regularly! you think you’ve figured it out, and then WHAM, you’re suddenly enamoured with something else.

if this happens, you need to remove all your distractions, and dig deep.

you need to think back as far as possible.

and you need to remember how you were as a kid.

what has persisted since then? what have you wanted to do this whole time?

 

and how do you want to FEEL? which of these things lights you up like nothing else?

THAT is the ONE THING. THAT is your focus. If you can combine it with another interest, then even better.

 

You already know the answer to what your greatest passion is. it’s usually the simplest, most obvious answer. If you’ve ever written out lists of what you love to do, for social media, for dating profiles, interests on your resume – it’s generally the first thing you write, or at least in the first 3.

 

you already know. so do that. every day, as much as possible. center everything around it. make space.

if you don’t, you are ignoring your inner flame, and dousing it with apathy.

we have enough darkness.

light up.

~~~

Recommended reads:

The War of Art

The Artist’s Way

The Desire Map

How Your Diet is Linked to Your Passion

Do you know what you want to do with your life, but you just waffle away your hours doing bullshit? Twiddling around, staring at screens, blubbering on about nothing, scrolling comment sections that are bombarded by trolls who do nothing with their lives? Why are you doing those things? What is stopping you from doing what would make your life spectacular?

Is it:

Lack of energy?
Fear, anxiety?
Lack of self-confidence?
Fear of failure?
Pathetic drone-like existence?
Ennui?
Mental health issues?
“Trapped” in corporate slavery?
Capitalism?

It could be one, all, or a combination of these – but when your passion burns bright enough, you can go for anything, no matter what your situation is. You will find a way.

However, if you are taking shit care of yourself, you will not likely have the vigor, the enthusiasm, or self-love that is imperative in actually going for it. Your brain clarity is fogged – when you can CLEAR it, and see everything as it is – pristine, obvious – you can find ways, options, and paths that were not noticeable before.

When you clean up your diet, and you are eating the way your body is designed to, abundant energy is freed up, and this blindness you’ve had forever is suddenly gone. The paths appear.

Diet and lifestyle are crucial to everything in life, if you want it to be as stellar as possible, and this includes being able to pursue what you truly love. Some people can do this anyway, regardless of how they treat themselves, but for the vast majority of people, this just isn’t the case. Most people are numbed out – by distractions, by chemicals in their “food,” by monotonous brainwashing they have heard their whole lives – telling them to be realistic, telling them what they want is not feasible. Eventually people become so jaded that they settle into a boring trap they never envisioned for themselves.

Eating only raw foods is like taking a truth serum.

You can’t hide from yourself anymore. You become too sensitive – if you ignore your true passions, you become depressed, so much so that you will eventually explode and become a firebolt heading in the direction you need to go.

You absolutely CANNOT ignore your desires anymore – you can’t deny yourself what you truly love. Because, now, you will love yourself.

Feeding yourself pristine food and nourishing your entire being is the ultimate act of self-love, because it frees you up – it frees you from the worry of illness, it frees you from lethargy, and you realize how much you’ve been lied to, and how much you’ve lied to yourself.

If you feel like you’re missing something, you likely are. A one-way ticket to getting where you want to go is to put yourself first and focus solely on what you physically and mentally consume. Raw plant foods, and positive input only. Ignore the gossip, ignore the comments sections, ignore media if you have to, and only take in what is going to propel you forward.

What’s the alternative? Being held back, being stuck, being unhappy, sick, depressed. Who wants that?

The bullet train to euphoric passion is raw, fresh foods. So simple, but for those who’ve tried – you know. You’ve found magic.