TRICKING YOUR BRAIN TO LOVE DOING THE HARD THINGS: DOPAMINE DETOX

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Recently I have come to the realization that, the brain is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. Some of this realization has come from experience, but what really accentuated this fact, was my curiosity― that led to YouTube researching― to understand how the brain works and specifically in terms of opting to do the easier, fun and insidiously addictive activities instead of the difficult yet fulfilling, activities that produce long term results. Here is what I found out:

Take a minute and pause; ask yourself why it is so easy for you to stay on your phone for hours and hours yet so hard for you to focus on reading a book for 30 minutes. Well… it’s because of a chemical produced in the brain known as dopamine. Dopamine is simply what makes us desire; commonly referred to us the pleasure molecule but, it is in fact what gives us motivation to get up and do stuff. With this in mind, your motivation to do an activity is highly dependent on how much dopamine the activity produces. More dopamine means, a repetition of that activity and vice versa.

So which activities release the much acclaimed dopamine? Here is how it works. Your brain releases dopamine only if it anticipates that the activity will have an instant reward, however if an activity doesn’t give instant gratification― even if it has clear long term benefits like reading― your brain won’t release dopamine. A good example is opting to be spellbound by the glaring white screen of your phone for hours rather than invest that quality time, on a book or learning a new skill, even if the latter has long term benefits compared to the former. Which corroborates my aforementioned statement (on being a good servant but a terrible master); see the brain doesn’t care how detrimental an activity maybe to you, so long as it gets more and more dopamine.

This explains our guilty pleasures; our bad habits such as procrastination, addiction to porn, drugs, binge drinking and even binging junk food. Even with all the self-help books, podcasts, videos and seminars that incessantly inspire and motivate us to transcend our average selves; back sliding to our peril behaviors is always inevitable. Dopamine has become the digital heroine that is freely being prescribed to all ages in our generation.

Here is how to stand out in our generation today

But wait a minute… how come there are people around us who, regardless of all this dopamine triggers, are able to focus on their studies for long hours or set time each day for vigorous exercise? I personally have watched my grandma read her bible (deeply) for hours on end without fidgeting. I have read books and even watched in various documentaries how prisoners hold dear their time for exercise; spending about an hour or more each day vigorously ‘punishing’ their bodies.

There is only one explanation, these people (whether it’s your grandparent or that prisoner) don’t have the peril dopamine triggers in their lives; in other words, they only have these activities (reading, exercise or meditation) to produce dopamine, thus forcing the brain to find pleasure in such. This is where it gets interesting…

See, the brain is more relative than it is objective; you will most likely purchase an item from the super market because an exact similar item of a different brand is either more expensive or cheaper (depending on whether you are flamboyant or frugal, in other words depending on whether you are from Nyanza or Central). Similarly you are most likely to click on a video on YouTube video because a similar video of the same topic is either longer or shorter (again depending on whether you think you have more time or limited time to be on YouTube). Simply put, the brain makes decisions based on comparison. It is why discounts work so well, whether they are legitimate or not.

With this understanding, it is no wonder my grandma would opt to― and can in fact― stay for hours on end savoring the spiritual words from her Bible: She prefers that to simply doing nothing. The same applies to prisoners with exercising.

So how do we, “young-ins” ― considering that we are neither grandparents nor prisoners― trick our brains to love doing the hard things/ activities, in our digital world where dopamine is served hot at every corner; whether through junk food, sales or the internet? In other words, how can you go about dopamine detox?

The first thing is to identify all your guilty pleasures, triggers and bad habits; whether it is the internet, junk food, music, movies and series, video games, porn or binge drinking; be aware of them, for the simple reason that awareness precedes change.

Secondly, you need to embrace voluntary discomfort. Pick a day of the week, where you put off all these high release dopamine activities that you enjoy.

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Allow yourself to be in your own thoughts, to have moments of boredom that will prompt you to pick up a book and read. To have moments of solitude that will allow you to write down your thoughts in a journal or as those of us with toxic masculinity like to refer to as, meditating on paper (laughs). Let this day be your day off. Trust me, after a few months or weeks, your brain will be relishing these days.

Thirdly, you can opt to have your guilty pleasure as a reward at the end of every productive day. Take note of the words, end and productive. Also, let your rewards be sensible and moral. Pornography and drugs in the name of rewards will only flash all your hard work down the drain.

Remember that your life is not worth that ephemeral feel good sensation that will debase the quality of your life in the long run. Let your brain serve you by ensuring it releases this otherwise motivational chemical on activities that will have long-term benefits in your life. Take control.

Click here to access my podcast

To being your best self,

Kevin.

 

 

HOW TO ENSURE YOU CONSUME THE RIGHT CONTENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Think about the first time you ever got into social media; whether it was on Facebook, Instagram or the current wave, tik tok. I like to juxtapose that experience with an imaginative one:

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Think about the first time you ever got into social media; whether it was on Facebook, Instagram or the current wave, tik tok. I like to juxtapose that experience with an imaginative one: Imagine that you have just become of age to sign contracts without the need of your mother’s signature or be taken to prison upon sentencing instead of juvenile (in other words imagine you just turned 18) and you suddenly acquire this palpable sense of curiosity to try out one of those explicit drinks (insert your favorite brand of alcohol). To your convenience you suddenly find yourself in a pub equipped with all kinds of ‘genres’ of alcohol. Unlike any other time however, on this particular time that you are within the vicinity, all drinks happen to be on the house.

I like to believe that, the curiosity that ostensibly killed the cat, will lead a majority to indulge in a manner that is indescribable; the question is, are you in the majority?

While my juxtaposition may be somewhat dramatic, the truth is that, it descriptively demonstrates our insidious behaviors while consuming content on social media. Unlike even alcohol consumption― where your dad, friend, elder sibling or even your bank account may pull you to the side and advised you on what to take and not what to even think about― getting into social media for a majority of us, meant figuring out how to manoeuvre its congested roads on our own. It explains why, a majority of young adults find themselves doused in pornography, upon getting into social media: There is no manual, to taming this wild beast.

I believe that social media is great; in fact, the purpose of social media is solely to share, learn, interact and market. (SLIM) Along the way however, many have diverted this purpose to fit their malicious intentions, and this has seen many, gradually and unknowingly be lopsided towards content that is detrimental to their lives.

Today it is almost mundane to hear testimonies of people admit their struggle with pornography. Peer pressure is now virtual, and it only takes a one minute video to make someone’s child feel miserable and depressed. It is sad that no one talks about this at the elementary level, parents and guardians will gladly let their children on to social media only to upbraid them later on, when their inner demons have been accentuated due to the type of content they consume. Well, here are tips that may help you avoid being victim to detrimental content.

Find out why Social media is making you Depressed

  1. Be Intentional

In other words, re-define what social media is to you. Is it a place to learn, get entertained, and market your brand; what are your intentions while on social media.

The problem is always at the beginning; we get into social sites because they are visited by the majority. We join social media platforms because of peer pressure. Set clear intentions that will act as a guide while consuming content on social media.

  1. Limit Your Time on Social Media

I’m sure you have heard this before; but let me offer you a scientific perspective.

According to an article by Harvard University Researcher Trevor Haynes, when you get a social media notification, your brain sends a chemical messenger called dopamine along a reward path way, in turn making you feel good. Dopamine is associated with food, exercise, drugs, sex, gambling. . . and now, social media.

Your dopamine receptors (in the brain) then begin to ask for more, as they get used to the initial good feeling. Translating to more time on social media. If you are consuming content, your brain begins exploring the media space searching for more explicit content and if you are one to be ‘turned on’ by notifications, you suffer from phantom vibration syndrome, where you feel your phone vibrate even when it isn’t.

  1. Be Conscious

In other words be self-aware every time you are on social media.

A common mistake that many of us fall prey to, is randomly scrolling through social media unaware of our initial intentions.

We are removed from the real present world and immersed into a fake, unrealistic and demoralizing world. We lose our self-awareness, while consuming unfiltered information.

Science has proven that digital devises such as TV and mobile phones, tend to put one at a theta state (where one consumes information without filtering. It explains why when calling someone who’s glued to the TV or phone, they might not hear you) and while this might be a creative state, with social media, it makes you vulnerable to susceptibility.

While it is sad that some of these life changing aspects of our lives are not taught at the most elementary level of education, it is important to note that, we are each individually responsible for the content that we consume on social media.

I urge you to start being very intentional; are you simply consuming a particular type of content because everyone else seems to be consuming it; does it affirm your core believes and values. You are what you consume. Social media is changing attitudes, personalities and altering individual’s beliefs: Don’t fall prey, take charge.

Continue reading “HOW TO ENSURE YOU CONSUME THE RIGHT CONTENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA”

6 TIPS THAT WILL MAKE EACH DAY IN QUARANTINE MORE PRODUCTIVE, FULFILLING AND LESS BORING

It is bad enough that each day, has found us changing from our night pajamas to our day pajamas, as we ensure that we are not late to the living room: What is worse however. . .

photo of brown and white short coated beagle lying on a pillow
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“Is it Friday already? Each day looks the same these days, I have lost track of time.” For the past few months this has been a common alibi for many of us while in quarantine.

It is bad enough that each day, has found us changing from our night pajamas to our day pajamas, as we ensure that we are not late to the living room: What is worse however, is that, for many of us, each day ends with a palpable sense of guilt, frustration and uselessness due to the monotony and unproductiveness imbued in each day.

If you have been feeling this way lately, I am writing this from a place of empathy. One thing that should be etched in your mind is that, if you’re currently in your day or night pajamas, slouched in a couch catching up on the latest show, then you are a true hero of today’s world. I believe our medical pundits and most certainly I, would rather you binge on Netflix within the walls of your cocoon all day, than go outside and rise the already rising COVID-19 curve.

However, even with all this affirmation to all our house bound guilty pleasures, human nature pre-empts that, a day that goes buy unproductively, equals to devaluing ones market value and especially in today’s competitive world. With all this in mind, it is important that you make sure that even in quarantine, there should be a sense of fulfillment with every sunset. Here are 6 tips, to help you in that regard.

  1. Start by being intentional

The first nugget to keep in mind, is that you should be conscious to make each day intentional. A brain tattoo that has helped me remain intentional through most days, is the fact that, every action that you take in any period of your life, is part of an indivisible whole. In other words, even the quasi trivial of actions, will lead you to your destiny. A common mistake made by many, is the deluded idea that, one can take a break from life. Quarantine doesn’t mean break time, it’s more of prep time.

Being intentional means that you start your day with a written statement outlining your day’s intention. Whether it is to be more happy that day or more calm or tranquil or productive; intentions will help you take control of your day.

  1. Schedule

Once your intentions are straight. It is time to create that schedule.

One thing I have learnt over the course of my young life is that, things that get schedule, are the things that get done. Try it!

Quarantine is not the time to give excuses; that you’ve been meaning to start on a project but haven’t had the time. You have 24 hours t at your disposal. No… it’s actually 24 hours of your valuable life (assuming you truly treasure your life). It is only fair that you account for every hour out of the 24, if not every minute.

Think of scheduling as budgeting for your hard earned money, (only that in this case, time has been given freely to you today, without a promise of tomorrow) you have to account from every dime (second) that leaves your bank account (24 hours).

  1. Create your Tight Bubble of Focus

It’s a concept that I learnt from one of my favorite reads, The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma.

Simply put; your days should have specific periods of time where you are entirely focused on high impact value activities. These are simply the 20% of activities that ultimately produce 80% of your results.

There is a reason why quarantine has made the majority lose track of time— we are in one place for a long time. In turn we end up spending our mornings just like we spend our evenings. Meaning that if you are a morning person, you end up wasting time that would rather have been exploited to increase your value, create or simply work on those activities that you know will generate long term results. The inverse is also true, if you are an evening person.

  1. Ensure that you learn something new everyday

Before you roll your eyes at this statement that has incessantly been repeated to you since day care, (chuckles) allow me to make sense of this platitude.

Think of our world today. A journalist, for example, cannot be employed only for his specialization in reporting, however, they will have a gargantuan competitive advantage, if they are all rounded. In other words they will be of market value if they can, report, gather news, write, handle equipment and edit the newscast.

Robin Sharma, author of The 5AM Club, said it better than I ever could; “success doesn’t come to you based on what you want but, based on who you are.” Your value is of the essence. So here is a paradigm shift, think of learning as increasing your value.

Perhaps another brilliant way to look at it is, by realizing that there has never been a better time to learn a skill or something new, than in this time of quarantine. The end of quarantine will mean two things, you either come out with increased value or devalued. It’s just like fitness, there are those who will come out of quarantine with extraordinary vitality, while others will emerge with the opposite. (I am not judging, I am just reporting, but if I’m hitting a spot in you, the better)

  1. Prioritize Solitude

“Silence and Solitude, the soul’s best friends.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Your days in quarantine should have intermittent periods of solitude. Where you are deeply rooted in silence, calmness and peace. Goosebumps I tell you. Try it!

It is in solitude that you evaluate your life, you seek clarity in all aspects of your life, you gain closure with your most intimate self; you purify your heart of any resentment and your mind of any anxiety. You sit still and listen to the birds chirping, the neighbor’s puppy whimpering or the hammering sound of a nearby construction site.

  1. Reward Yourself

This is where all the pleasure is rid of the guilt. In other words your guilty pleasures become not so guilty anymore.

A reward is simply an appreciation of your day’s commitment to living intentionally, scheduling your time, maintaining focus, learning and observing solitude.

Reward time means, catching up on that TV show or grabbing a piece of cake or treating yourself to some ice-cream. It is a deserved accolade, which reminds you, (perhaps briefly) on the importance of taking the right actions. Rewards will always cascade at the end.

So, even in quarantine live each day as if it is your last, and (this only applying to the married couples) as if it is your first (chuckles)

Keep safe, stay home, remember that no matter the circumstance, every action that you take, forms part of an indivisible whole.

Click here to listen in to my podcast. I just released a new episode (Ep 37) featuring an amazing Guest

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To being your best self,

Kevin.

A LETTER TO MY GENERATION

My unequivocal guarantee to you is that, yes! We are a revolutionary generation

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My unequivocal guarantee to you is that, yes! We are a revolutionary generation.  Over the years though, statistics have not favored us, scientists have lamented that we are the most depressed generation. In 1950 a “normal teenager” in today’s world, would be in a mental health facility. I do not refute that all this is true; our generation seems to be stuck in a quagmire of depression, anxiety and many other mental adversities.

However, there is a palpable sense that redemption is much closer than we may anticipate; 2020 has just proven this fact. From rising against racial injustices to serving others in these tough times that have forced us to slow down our rather frenetic lives; Generation Z seems to be at the front-line.

I am a strong advocate for always opting for the counter-intuitive in times of trial; and while there are many who have reiterated that the new normal, will not only cost us the economy but also our generation’s mental health, I believe that now, more than ever, is the right time to prove them wrong and opt for the counter-intuitive.

Change is coming, and that’s a fact; ensuring that it is a long term change that will benefit generations to come, we’ll need awareness. Awareness precedes change. There are various directions to steer the wheel towards change, but one way that will ensure we achieve longevity is understanding fully our situation. Not acting from our primal instincts but rather taking a minute to breathe and proceed with “love power”

We need to unlearn some of the programming that society has incessantly instilled in us; to stop living in a limited perception and opt for the limitless. To unlearn the vices that have insidiously tainted our lives; to stop living from a scarcity mind-set and realize that there is sufficient for everyone. Another person’s success does not muddy yours.

For starters, we need to understand that it is never too early nor too late to start. In whatever your heart seems to be beating, faster than normal to, you cannot claim to be waiting for an appropriate time to start. If practical’s fail, theory is always in plenty, and so, as it is understandable that at times resources may lack, it is wise to equip yourself with all the knowledge that you can, in order to grab the opportunity by its head when it pops by.

Talking of knowledge… I cannot emphasize enough its importance, think of it as increasing your value. One of my favorite authors writes in his book that; success does not come to us because of what we want but based on who we are. The world today is seeking people who can come up with solutions. Instead of living on survival mode by doing the bare minimum, let us do our best in all our areas of dominance in order to thrive. It is the counter-intuitive, in a world where the majority is busy being busy.

Perhaps another important note is that, we are in control. No. . . Actually, you are in control, individually. Control of your thoughts, which in turn cascades to your actions, your habits and ultimately your destiny. The monks believe to conquer the mind is to conquer the world. Be painstakingly aware of every thought that is planted in your mind. Perhaps a little secret that might come in handy is the fact that you can only think of one thought at a time. Try it! It is that simple to turn a negative thought into a positive.

Lastly, be grateful. Stop viewing experiences as positive or negative and opt to experience them as mere experiences. Appreciate the turbulence just as much as you cherish the calm waters. Appreciate the finer things in life. Learn to find opportunities in challenges. Be grateful that you made it thus far. That you are who you are. That you can breathe, that you can see, that those akin to you are right by your side and they will remain by your side for as long as they live. The art of gratitude is the ultimate “paradigm shifter.” Practice it.

______

You are constantly in my prayers. I wish you the best as you seek to find your place in this world. I can only hope that your actions will be geared towards making our generation great; towards service.

Love + Respect,

Kevin.

 

 

THE ARTICLE THAT GOT PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER

What we can learn from Gacheru’s Story

Gacheru
I gave my feedback on this story

A phenomenal woman; that is the succinct description that I’d give if asked who Grace Gacheru is. One thing that took the spotlight was the fact that, without self-acceptance, even the fittest human being becomes disabled. Jim Kwik (author of limitless) says it best, “If you fight for your limitations you get to keep them.”

There is a palpable sense that Grace, has an innate drive to become here best self regardless of her circumstances; her childhood corroborates this fact. Despite being limited she was determined to crawl, even if it meant with her face. Two lessons can be drawn from this; the first is that, we are each born with a natural determination to thrive and excel. The second lesson is that, as we grow we learn to be complacent, play victim, feel insecure, and operate from a scarcity mind-set, these being among the many other characteristics that have made our generation to be a surviving generation instead of a thriving one.

Gacheru’s story is clear proof that, when faced with the intuitive (in her case, self-loathing, playing victim and whining) you can always opt for the counter-intuitive (self-acceptance, being grateful) In other words, with every adversity, there is always a lurking opportunity; which as Gacheru narrates, she was quick to seize.

She also affirms that, we are better off focusing on what we can change, rather than that which we cannot change. She shifted her paradigm from the ‘why me?’ questions to ‘how can I learn to live with what I have?’  As if that’s not enough, I was filled with reverence when she actually sought to make an impact on others; to serve. Perhaps the greatest show of selflessness and humility is when you can shift the attention from yourself to offering another person a little heaven down here on earth.  Our generation should be reminded that when all is said and done, the quality of one’s life ultimately comes down to the quality of their contribution.

One thing that should remain etched in our minds from Gacheru’s story is that, no one can insult you without your permission. Even with the ostensibly belittling titles from her peers (such as ‘Grace yule leftie’) Grace opted to embrace the unique identity that came with it rather than douse herself into depression or isolate herself from feeling ridiculed. At the end of the day, what truly matters is what you think of yourself, once your key in the self-acceptance, you bulletproof your journey to greatness.

 

 

 

5 SKILLS TO LEARN IN QUARANTINE THAT WILL PAY OFF FOREVER

You attract into your life based on who you are 

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When I think of the word skill, I think of my father. He has always almost incessantly emphasized on the importance of honing a skill. But my dad is not the only one who thinks that mastering a skill is key; Brendon Burchard, an elite performance coach corroborates that, the most elite performers that have graced our lands, have always sought clarity in their skills. In other words, they always asked themselves, “What are the three or four skills that I am learning right now?” ―   I will let you come up with that answer for yourself.

The thing about honing a skill is that, you individually increase your value. Why this is important is because, in today’s world, you do not receive success and influence into your life based on what you want: You attract into your life based on who you are. One of my favorite reads ― The 5 AM Club ― says it best; we magnetize ourselves to excellent rewards by raising the value of our selves. We live in a generation that has become used to being spoon fed; a majority of the world’s population has become complacent. We do the bare minimum to survive instead of opting to push our limits in order to thrive: This is why it is almost easy to stand out in this generation, all you need to do is, do a little bit more than the 95% are willing do, treasure the time that they are willing to waste and work painstakingly on a skill of your choice.

Quarantine means that, now you have more time for yourself, having more time for yourself simply means that, you have more time to increase your value. If you are a strong believer in the platitude, “I am work in progress,” then this is the time to make that progress. Equipping yourself with skills that will fuel your journey to greatness is the best place to start. Here are skills that you can work with the assurance that they will pay off forever.

  1. Listening

Nelson Mandela is universally regarded as a great leader. When asked how he learnt how to be a great leader he said that, being the son of a tribal chief he would attend the tribal meetings with his father and he used to notice two things; the first one was that, during the meetings all members would sit in a circle, the second one was that during every meeting, his father would be the last to speak. If listening sounds cliché to you then try always being last to speak.

Simon Sinek put it best when he said that, listening does not only make those around you feel like they have been heard and have contributed, but it also gives you the benefit of hearing what everyone else thinks before you render your opinion. You may claim that listening is innate to you, but perhaps try listening with empathy. Many people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

  1. Living in the Present

Majority of the population today is either too depressed because of the past or too anxious because of the future. We forget that real change can only be made in the present, wait… we actually know this; the possible explanation is probably the fact that, common sense is not always common practice.

You can only source real happiness from yourself, to do this you need to live in the present. How the can you do this? The simplest way is probably taking control of your thoughts; always taking note of every moment that you find your mind drifting into the future or the past. The beauty of this is that you actually realize that you are able to intentionally refocus your mind, to be in the moment by simply taking control of your thoughts.

Another simple way is practicing the art of gratitude by looking at what you can savor at the moment. As I write this article I appreciate this platform and the additional fact that I can reach to you, my reader and share profound insights with you, would you look at that! Perfect example (chuckles)

  1. Managing your time

It is the most precious commodity that you have, yes time. The 7 habits of highly effective people by Steve Covey talks about developing a deathbed mentality; try it! What will those akin to you whisper about you at your funeral? As quasi-gory as it may sound, it is necessary to always live your life with the end in mind.

For your information, managing your time is less about being busy being busy and more about spending most of your time working on your high impact value activities; the 20% of the activities you engage in during the day, that produce 80% of your result. We live in a generation that has replaced effective with being busy. The busiest bodies are referred to as hard workers while the effective ones are frowned upon. Time management could the distinction between those who have control over their lives and those who live through spontaneous thoughtless accidents.

  1. Not Complaining

An experiment was done by Lyanla Vanzant where by, individuals were instructed that, for every time they complain, they should put a quarter of a dollar (equivalent to about KSH 27) into a jar. At the end of the week, participants presented their jars, quite happily: Not because they had complained less than expected, but because they had saved more money than they would have in a month, with some presenting up to two jars completely filled with coins. The amazing thing about the experiment however was that, many of the participants came to the realization that they were never ever aware of the amount of complaining that they did on a regular basis.

The truth is, we are each individually brought into the world with innate tolerance, determination and desire to do good. With time however, society teaches us to be complacent, to operate from a scarcity mind-set and worse of all to complain. We are quick to say, ‘I can’t’ to ask ‘why me?’ and to believe that we are more disadvantaged than the next person. The counter-intuitive however is to develop self-acceptance, to focus on what you can control and learn to appreciate what you already have. I strongly recommend the latter.

  1. Confidence

You will be surprised at how much the world today is in need of individuals who exude self-confidence. Majority of the highly successful individuals in the world are not where they are because of their talents, quality of product or luck; it is because of their confidence.

Confidence does not only give you an edge in society but it also rewires your perspective. What the majority see as a challenge, you get to see an opportunity. Confidence gives you the power to see your biggest dreams come to life.

Remember, quarantine has given many of us the opportunity to simply increase our value. Seize the opportunity and equip yourself with these skills that will give your longevity in your career, purpose and dreams.

Keep in touch on the comment section. Access my podcast here and my YouTube channel here

With love and Respect,

Kevin.

 

Vocabulary

Longevity- long existence

Corroborates – supporting

Painstaking – carefully

Platitude – Over used

Quasi – Similar to

Gory – Bloody

Innate – Inborn

 

 

 

DEALING WITH REJECTION

Rejection does not define you, it is not you .

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Rejection does not define you, you are not rejection

Think about when you once rejected someone; my guess is that you probably did it out of pure respect, honesty and for some of us, we did it because the person we were ostensibly rejecting, deserved better. You see, we tend to forget that being rejected doesn’t necessarily mean that someone resents or despises us; it could be that they are saving us from a greater pain that may be lurking if they opt to be  dishonest and in turn boondoggle our time. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are various ways of being rejected and some are from pure spite, like bullying; however a majority of life’s rejections are more often than not out of pure honesty.

Perhaps the single best, most succinct advice I’d give to anyone about rejection is. “Be ready for it.” Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t put any effort in your relationships or shy away from taking risks; in fact with this knowledge, you will realize the importance of truly understanding how much that relationship means to you and if you are shrewd enough, you will understand that it’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket; that you are better off savoring every meaningful relationship equally and your points are even higher if you are willing to work on your talents, hobbies and skills like you are willing to show support those of others.

The point is, rejection is part of life and unfortunately society has programmed us to view a “no” as a sign of failure and worthlessness rather than a sign that we are pushing our limits. Being agreeable is praised more than being objective and let’s face it, it is almost intuitive to feel an ounce of pain when hit with that rejection no matter how trivial. Fortunately unfortunately, each one of us has gone through rejection and will intermittently have seasons imbued with rejection. Here are tips that might help deal with those seasons.

  1. You are in control of your emotions

Before you resent me let me clear the air. I strongly believe that when faced hurt (and in this case when faced with rejection) you need to allow yourself to feel the emotions, because as Sigmud Freud once said, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and they will come forth in uglier ways.”

So whether its sadness or anger, you need to express that: However! You need to remember that, how much something or someone hurts you is all dependent on your response-ability, (unless of course it’s physical pain); meaning that, how much a rejection hurts you depends on how you respond to that rejection. The intuitive is always to douse yourself in sorrow, holding pity parties or seeking some sort of revenge but, the counter-intuitive is always similarly but blindly at our disposal; to preserve our happiness, avoid self-destruction and appreciate the experience. I advise you opt for the latter.

  1. Bolster your self-awareness/ Journal

It is important to be kind to yourself, as we are naturally lopsided to being harsh on ourselves when faced with rejection: Self-loathing and the feeling of not being good enough tends to creep in and in order to combat this natural cascade, you need to remind yourself of who you truly are, you need to boost your self-esteem, you need to remember your goals and dreams.

In other words, bolstering your self-awareness is about combating the insidious intuition to self-destruct when rejected; by remembering your core values, appreciating what you still have in life, forgiving yourself for being harsh on yourself and opting not to take the rejection personal. For this you need to journal. You need to pour your heart out in writing, recording how you feel, how you’d opt to feel if it weren’t for you current emotions and how you can replace any negative emotion with a positive one.

  1. Switch Entitlement with Empathy

Yes! You heard me right; rather than letting the feeling of entitlement lead you to pain and suffering, seek to face rejection with empathy. When faced with a “no” seek to face it from your “rejecter’s” vantage point. Perhaps they are not ready; perhaps they are dealing with something in their lives that they would rather not have you go through it with them; perhaps you truly deserve better; perhaps you are too different to be together or work together.

Avoid letting your ego delude you into entitlement; empathize. Needless to say this switch can only be made once you have truly bolstered your self-awareness.

  1. Embrace the Rejection

Seek to learn from rejection. Have it etched in your mind that, at times rejection simply saves you from experiencing greater pain that may later come forth in uglier ways. Imagine if someone that you respectfully are not attracted asked you to go out on a date with them; if you say yes out of sympathy, you end up treating them as a chore rather than having a genuine time with them. You in turn make a fool out of them and God forbid, if they found out the truth, they’d wish that you had been genuine with them.  The transpose is also true.

Always remember that you are not rejection neither does a rejection define you. When faced with a “no” remember that you deserve better and you are indeed pushing your limits and that should not stop you from chasing your dreams, taking more risks or simply having the courage to ask that crash out on a date; you know why, because you are limitless.

I wish you an abundance of success in your life; remember rejection is part of life, so it doesn’t need to hurt lest you respond inappropriately.

Keep in touch in the comment section.

Love and Respect,

Kevin.

Access my Podcast here and my YouTube channel here

Vocabulary

Ostensibly – apparently

Lurking – Remaining in hiding so as to wait in ambush

Boondoggle – waste money or time

Intermittently – not continuous; seasonal

Delude- Mislead

Bolster – Strengthen

Empathy – with understanding

Succinct- In short

Spite – Desire to hurt

HERE ARE 4 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOLSTER YOUR SELF-LOVE

person holding white rose flower
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I once heard a quote that said, “Perhaps you should treat yourself like you’d want to treat others.” The orator sought to disrupt the platitude that reads; “Treat others like you’d want to be treated.”

If you genuinely ruminate about the latter, you might realize that perhaps the saying has an insidious effect on our current generation.  Growing up has made me realize that we each individually have an innate self-destruct button that tends to gleam its red brighter than the preferred self-bolstering, green button. This explains why we tend to be our harshest critics, our biggest doubters and even why we are each comfortable with convincing ourselves that we are lesser than we actually are. Succinctly put, that we are our greatest adversaries.

It’s ironic how committed we can get as individuals to work twice as hard in order please others, yet we do the bare minimum to see ourselves smile: We tend to check on our social media, more than we check on ourselves. We have lost the understanding of what self-love truly means; funny thing is that we each have an idea of what it actually means. Talk to anyone about self-love and they will lecture you on how to love yourself but their actions will barely corroborate their lectures. Steve Covey probably said it best; “Common sense is not Common practice.”

Self-love as I have come to learn, is the foundation upon which you build you best holistic self. It is the root that sees the fruition of your dreams: The ship that sails you peaceful through the turbulence of life and like any other vessel it requires fueling, constant check ups and repair. Here are some ways to tackle that course.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself.

Ellen DeGeneres is popularly known for her saying, “Be kind to one another.” I couldn’t agree more but, it is important to note that, you cannot be kind to another if you are not kind to yourself. Whatever lurks on the inside will surely exude on the outside.

Being kind to yourself means that, you are quick to forgive yourself;  It means that you are quick to plunder any self-critic, that you are willing to admit to yourself that you look beautiful in that dress (or in those pajamas, considering the current status quo, where we are changing from our day to night pajamas). Being kind means you are willing to constantly shower yourself with kind words. What I am simply trying to say is that, “Treat yourself like you’d want to treat others.”

  1. Embrace Your Uniqueness

It is overwhelming at how good we are at comparing ourselves to others. Comparison has become the new contagion, yet we forget that comparison is the thief of joy.

Embracing your uniqueness simply means, embracing yourself. In other words, be yourself, because everyone else is taken.  Embracing who you are brings to light your strengths, similarly you become aware of your weaknesses and work towards obstructing them from debasing your life.

Without even mentioning how much self-confidence you will master, I could go on and on about the importance of embracing yourself while seeking to bolster self-love. I encourage that you perhaps develop a mantra that you repeat daily to remind you, that you are one of kind.

“I am fun, I am crazy, I am unique. There is no one quite like me. There is no one else I’d rather be. My distinction is what gives me leverage to reach my primal genius.” – My mantra

  1. Find the Time to Escape

In other words, embrace solitude. With the current crisis, the opportunity has been present to you.

Seek quiet times dedicated to you and yourself; where you can attain a certain level of closeness with yourself; intimacy if you will.

Solitude enables you to acquire that palpable sense of self-love. Use the time to pour your heart into a journal. What do you most appreciate about yourself? What do you seek to improve? What are your greatest fears? How can you confront those fears? Are they even real? See the closeness I am talking about? Goosebumps if you ask me.

Get to realize that you are the source and owner of your happiness.

  1. Serve Others

As I trust that you are an ardent reader of this blog, you probably already know that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your contribution.

But here is how seeking to serve others, increases self-love: The monks believe that in order to change the world you must first change yourself. Serving others will automatically prompt you to equip yourself fully in order to help that other person. A good example is, exactly what is happening right now; for me to serve you through this blog, I need to have done my research alongside applying these simple tips in order to share them with you. Needles to say, there is no specific way of serving; you could be serving through music or your YouTube channel or your cooking. I guess what I am trying to say is that the best form of service is through what you love. The common denominator is that, it improves someone else’s life.

 

Don’t shy away from loving yourself, you will learn a lot and for me that’s a good enough reason. You will conquer, you will inspire and you will be a reason for many to smile. As you bolster that self-love, keep safe, because the world needs more people like you.

Keep in touch in the comment section.

Love + Respect,

Kevin.

Tap here to access my podcast

Maina Mind YouTube channel

Vocabulary

Platitude – Cliché

Insidious – with dangerous effects

Bolster – strengthen

Succinctly – In short

Gleam – shine

Corroborate – Give evidence

Ostensibly – Apparently, seemingly.

Debase, – Reduce the quality of

Palpable – almost tangible. Strongly felt

Exude – Cascade, flow or follow up.

Adversary- Enemy

Plunder- Destroy

LEARNING TO FORGIVE YOURSELF

art back view backlit boy
Photo by Victor on Pexels.com

It was mid last week that I found myself encapsulated in a predicament. I had sailed too close to the winds and unraveled the sins of my past that had once insidiously tainted my life: It was a Himalayan blunder. This time, however, unlike the many other times I had fallen into the quicksand, I found it easier and almost natural to find my ground of peace that, propelled me quicker to self-forgiveness.

Looking back at hindsight, I am now convinced that self-forgiveness is a tripartite affair that involves; self-awareness, self-love and an innate desire to do good. Confucius said it best, “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” I couldn’t agree more. Knowing oneself is probably the toughest job there is; it’s a never ending journey that can be satisfying when patiently and painstakingly pursued.

Perhaps the pacesetter for your self-forgiveness odyssey is your response-ability: How you respond. It’s intuitive to be harsh on yourself regardless of the weight of your misdemeanor; whether gargantuan or minutiae, we each individual tend to be our biggest critics, posing judgements and more judgements on to ourselves. It’s important to note that the wisest and kindest alternative would be to correct and treat yourself with love. Be quick to notice when you judge yourself, when you get overly into your head that you misjudge a trivial event of sin.

Like I said however, your response-ability unfolds the genesis of your self-forgiveness journey; but in order to see yourself through the finish line where you finally catch a breath prostrate on your ground of peace, here are some tips you might need.

  1. Awareness

Awareness precedes change. Perhaps the most important determinant to self-forgiveness is acknowledging your actions. Awareness simply calls one to be aware of their mistake, acknowledge their mistake and allow the mind to process their emotions.

A weakness that I’d like to believe many of us have fallen victim to, is the insidious habit of simply putting it off, trying to forget and pretend that we did not make the mistake. Being afraid to accept the consequence, to accept the reality that indeed we each have that lurking demon that, craves a taste of the forbidden fruit; regardless of which one yours may be.

Awareness requires your self-awareness and your innate desire to do good― remember? The tripartite members? It calls upon for you to accept the appalling reality that, yes! You made a mistake, as abhorring or demining as it may be; you understand the consequences but, you are willing to emerge victorious and not let your misdemeanor define you.

  1. Find the Rose within the thorns

As I sought to forgive myself mid last week for my goof, I smiled at the palpable realization that I am only human. I received the sudden realization that, no matter how many strides of self-improvement― from my previous self― I had made, I was still capable of bungling my immense improvement, I was still capable of returning a thousand steps backwards by simply taking one step into the wrong direction.  I was learning from my blunder.

Finding the rose within the thorns, calls upon you as an individual, to learn from your mistake. To find that lesson and meaning; to unravel your weak points.

  1. Take Action

When all is said and done the question remains, ‘now that you made that mistake, what next?’

Taking action is as serious as taking the initiative to calibrate a written statement. It is where you call for a meeting with yourself, run down through the events that transpired, develop the next course of action, ensure that members involved (yourself) are in unanimity, put a seal on the document and see to it that all points of action have been fulfilled.

My next course of action mid last week was prayer. I also sought to remind myself, who I truly I am and what I stand for. I purposed to focus my energy into my innate desire to serve through my craft, to bring joy into people’s lives and make them realize that they are more that their misdemeanors. Today I am a self-forgiven man, such bliss!

Oprah Winfrey said it better than I ever could; “True forgiveness is when you can say thank you for that experience.”

Don’t be hard on yourself, keep in touch via the comment section.

Love and Respect,

Kevin

Tap to listen to my podcast

HOW YOU CAN GET RID OF THAT QUARANTINE BOREDOM

photo of brown and white short coated beagle lying on a pillow
Photo by Dina Nasyrova on Pexels.com

Who would have thought that a time would come when both Furahi-day AKA Friday and Monday would feel the same? And worse, each day leaving and finding you within the same mundane walls of your cocoon, as you change from your “day pajamas” to your “night pajamas”; an endless cycle, a plateau if you will.

It’s understandable to experience that palpable sense of boredom and especially in these uncertain times that prod us to remain housebound: There is even a tiktok challenge for it, creatively expressing how individuals are “In the house bored” ― I mean, how bored is bored when you can creatively calibrate a challenge for it?

The intuitive is always to hold boredom akin to frustration and perhaps that’s reasonable with a generation that has been without an end doused in a frenetic lifestyle up until now; which only makes sense to me that the universe is forcing us to catch a breathe: Don’t get me wrong, it’s horrible what the world has turned out to be but, it is definitely not unprecedented. Needless to say, the aforementioned word has been  misused over the past few weeks; but again I digress.

Simply put that, there is always the counter intuitive; perhaps bored is akin to safety. I mean, think about it, if you are finding yourself bored encapsulated within the walls of your cocoon, then, that probably means that you are observing the stringent measures put in place to save your life: It means that you are breathing comfortably unlike thousands of unfortunate patients requiring external aid to fill air into their lungs: It also probably means that, your family members are safe with you, hence no need for any concern. I could go on and on, and in fact I will; because this is a perfect segue to my points.

  1. Paradigm Shift

In other words, change your perspective. It is quite patent, from the aforementioned paragraph that, shifting your paradigm of viewing boredom from a frustration point of view to a safety vantage point, offers you a reason to actually embrace the boredom; but there is more.

If you truly want to reverse the quarantine boredom, you have to shift your perspective from “self” to “service”. At the end of the day, the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your contribution.

If mundane has become a succinct identifier of your life, try changing someone else’s.

  1. Increase your heart rate

“You are most alive when your heart beats the fastest.”  The Monk who sold his Ferrari.

There are various ways to satisfy our innate desire for thrill and excitement; but my favorite has to be doing what you love. As if that’s not enough, try serving through what you love;your gifts and talents. Service is not merely about taking out that other persons plate after they are done with their meal; service is more about putting a smile on someone’s face, and if you can do that through your inherent talents and gifts, you will be surprised by how thrilling the experience will be.

It will almost come naturally to perform better in order to serve better, to be happier in order to spill the joy onto another. You will not only obliterate your boredom, but also, that of others.

  1. Observe the 80/20 rule

This is a common rule observed by high performers to maximize productivity. The rule simply states that only 20% of the activities you perform in a day produce 80% of the results, thus encouraging success minded individuals to maximize their time working on what is referred to as the “high impact value activities”; the 20% .

Why this is relevant to obliterating boredom is because, it simply means that, in this time of quarantine you can opt to simply dwell on what brings you joy, without the limitations of a strict schedule that would normally require you to be behind a desk in a class or an office.

The 80/20 rule will allow you to purely focus on sharpening those intrinsic talents and gifts that bring joy to your heart. You will be in a position to understand how each talent and gift can add up to service and strive to transmute the ideas into their physical equivalent. How sweet!!

So perhaps boredom is not that bad after all, perhaps it’s just that green light that reminds you , “Hey, you are healthy and safe, you have the go ahead to turn that frown upside down.”

I have a new episode on my podcast