Author: ennie

Why Punishment Never Solves Anything

Punishment is the misuse of power. It is destructive and vile. In my humble opinion, it never solves anything. It is a part of life and a way of life, but it is not the way I choose to live my life.

Earlier in one of my blog posts, I talked about creative ways to express your emotions such as anger. Sometimes we need to scream, and we can’t due to living arrangements. But, we can learn to express our emotions through various coping skills.

The reason punishment exists is because we experience various human emotions and we cannot process our feelings quickly enough. Some people are better at managing their emotions better than other people. However, other people misuse their power and punish others due to fear, anger, bitterness, or sadness. And this is never the answer because all it does is it causes a downward spiral of continual bullying.

What we need to do is learn how to deal with negativity using positive coping skills. I mentioned this in a previous article, but I’ll list it here again. You can use coping skills such as singing, dancing, exercise, or talking to a friend to cope with negativity.

Genius

When we think of a genius we typically think of people such as Aristotle, Albert Einstein, or Leonardo Da Vinci. But what makes one a genius? And why can’t everyone be a genius?

Everyone have their own unique talents and abilities. We all grow up in different ways. I have a unique ability to write my own blog posts. Someone else may have the ability to swim fast, like Michael Phelps. It’s our own unique talents and abilities that make us who we are, and we should harness those strengths.

We can also develop new abilities. You don’t have to be naturally gifted at something to be a genius. You can develop those skills and talents.

Geniuses are often thought of being highly educated or talented. But you too can be a genius. All you have to do is focus. You can start with harnessing your strengths, or you can focus on new areas and learn new skills.

Controlling Your Emotions

Emotions are the driving force of human nature. Without emotions, it would be hard to experience life at a deeper level. There are times when we experience the good, and other times when we experience the bad. However, sometimes our emotions can lead us to take actions that lead to negative consequences. So, we have to be careful in how we express our emotions.

Anger can be used as a destructive force, but it can be used for good too. You can let out your anger by going to the gym or singing a powerful song. Or, you can redirect your anger by stepping outside for a walk.

Sadness can be a painful emotion, but it can be expressed in creative ways. For example, you can listen to music or sing your heart out to your favorite song. You can journal your thoughts out.

The examples I gave of redirecting your anger or sadness are positive coping skills. Coping skills are ways in which you can deal with stress, and they can be both positive or negative. Positive coping skills are constructive while negative coping skills are destructive. You have to be careful to avoid negative coping skills because it can be harmful in the long run. On the other hand, positive coping skills can be beneficial and can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Anything can be a coping skill, and I recommend that you find positive coping skills. Some examples of positive coping skills include sight-seeing, dancing, hugging, and talking to a friend. There are many negative coping skills too, such as smoking, throwing a tantrum, or binge eating. So, you should try your best to avoid spiraling down into negativity and learn how to use positive coping skills to enhance your life.

Love for Yourself

The best place to start loving is to start with yourself. There are different ways to express your love: cuddling, kissing, hugging, giving a gift, and cooking for a loved one. But what does it mean to love yourself? And more importantly, why is it important to love yourself?

Love for yourself means taking time to know yourself, accept it, and embrace it. Self-love can come in different forms as well. Below are a list of ideas to get you started on your self-love journey.

Bath with candles

You can take a warm bath with scented candles. You can even use lush soaps or bath bombs and take a bubble bath. It’s a good way to relax in the evening. Depending on how your bath is set up, you can read a book or watch TV while soaking in hot water.

Blogging or journaling

Journaling is a form of creative self-expression. It’s good to get your thoughts out in writing. It’s meditative and can lead to self-reflection. You can blog, write your thoughts using different software, or write your thoughts in a paperback journal. Some people like to use fancy paperback journals to store all of their memories to refer back to at a later date.

Cooking for yourself

Try a new recipe. Or if you’re a complete beginner, take a cooking class. It’s good self-care to know how to cook. After all, food is one of our needs. And taking care of your body is a form of self-love.

There are many websites that you can learn easy to hard recipes from. I use All Recipes. You might want to check out Food Network or Delish.

Dining at a new restaurant or cafe

Nowadays with Yelp, you can find a new restaurant or cafe you’ve never been to by just searching up your favorite foods. It’s nice to treat yourself to something new once in a while, even if you’re on a budget. There are ways to make it affordable. Or, just go for dessert.

Some people have second thoughts about dining alone. But, the experience can be enhanced by increasing your awareness and focusing on the ambience of the atmosphere and the flavors of the food. Added bonus: you don’t have to worry about eating sloppily in front of a guest.

Drink a warm cup of tea, hot cocoa, or coffee

Use your favorite mug and prepare your favorite tea, hot chocolate, or coffee. Or, consider trying a new flavor for a change. Feel the warmth of the contents with your fingers (carefully of course!). Engage your senses, taking in the aroma and sweet flavors.

Dance or listen to music

Music is therapeutic. Dancing is a fun way to exercise the body and enjoy music. You can also just nod your head along to a song and sing to it. Or, just listen and take in the lyrics. Self-reflect. Make sure that the song is loving or positive. Good vibes go a long way.

Exercise

There are many classes that you can take to exercise: dance, zumba, yoga, pilates, boxing, jiu jitsu, karate, and more. Alternatively, you can hit the gym. Health is wealth after all, and what better way to love your body than to give it a good physical workout to maintain all its life functions?

Go for a walk

Maybe exercise isn’t your cup of tea. Perhaps going for a walk will be a soothing activity for you. You can travel somewhere new, or go for a stroll in the neighborhood. Take in all the sights and sounds. Wander in your thoughts and self explore.

Massage

Why not go for a massage? Even self-massages can be soothing. It’s a good way to get your blood circulating and flowing in a good way. And obviously, it’s a good way to relax.

Meditating

Meditation comes in a variety of ways. There are the guided meditations. You can find many of these on websites like YouTube. You can also meditate by simply closing your eyes in a relaxed position, perhaps sitting or lying in your bed. There are other ways to meditate too.

Reading a good book

There are so many books out there that you can purchase from a bookstore, Amazon, or a thrift store. You can even borrow a book from a local library or from a cafe that has books lying around. Reading a book is a gateway to new worlds and self-exploration. It is a way to gain knowledge and put ideas into new perspectives. What better way to love yourself than to learn something new?

Sight-seeing

With a whole world at your leisure to explore, why not travel and go sight-seeing? It could be anywhere from taking a walk in a new neighborhood to exploring The Alps. Clear your head and engage your senses. Take pictures along the way and collect fun memories.

You don’t have to go with someone else to enjoy the journey too. You can go solo and enjoy the visual experience. Or, perhaps you’ll meet a new friend along the way. Either way, it’s a good way to treat yourself.

Sleeping

Feeling a little down or tired? Hit the snooze button and snuggle up to your warm blankets. Feel the smooth or fuzzy sensations of your blankets. Dream on. Enjoy that extra rest. You deserve it.

Snuggling with a pet or stuffed animal

If you’re flying solo, you might want to snuggle with a pet or with a stuffed animal. Research has shown that petting a cat leads to lower resting heart rates. It can ease your nerves and help calm you down.

A stuffed animal can do the job well too. Stuffed animals come in different sizes and shapes. You can buy them from a local toy store or Walmart. Here is one you can buy from Amazon.

Remember to practice self-love on a daily basis. My favorite ways of self-love from the list are getting a massage, exercising, blogging, and dancing to music. But, I make sure you incorporate different ways of loving myself every day. I hope that you do the same as well.

Doing Trivial Things vs. Doing Nothing

There are certain inessential activities— moths of precious time— and it is worse to busy yourself with the trivial than to do nothing.

Baltasar Gracian

This is a quote from my daily calendar. I’m not sure if I quite agree with this statement. The reason is because sometimes, we can be caught up in trivial things. And that is just part of the journey. Plus, what seems trivial to one person might not necessarily be trivial to another person.

I think that doing nothing is meditative and can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. I think that is the point of the quote. However, you can also figure out your life by doing trivial things. Not everyone can though. So that is why it is better to do nothing than trivial things.

How do you know if you’re caught up in triviality?

If you find yourself stuck in the same old routine, feeling unsatisfied and drained or feeling at a loss, it may be because you are caught up with the trivial. However, there are few things that I consider to be trivial. That’s because I find value in everything I do, and what is not important to me (such as the news) may be significant to someone else (such as a world leader). What is trivial to you is whatever you find to be of little value.

It can be uncomfortable to sit in discomfort. But, it is a good way to self-reflect. You can figure out your life by contemplating on it or dreaming of your future. Or, you can sit in a meditative state and learn how to expand your awareness, learning how to enjoy the present moment.

What it Means to be Authoritative

Authority has a negative connotation. However, authority is an important aspect of one’s life. For example, when you make decisions, you want to make sure that you exert your power and are authoritative.

Leaders are often thought of being authoritative. But, you too can be the authority of your own life. All you have to do is take action. And of course, you want to make sure you have some forethought to those actions.

When you are authoritative, you exert power. You want to yield that power with confidence and careful decision-making. You don’t want to misuse your power for evil. Some people try to exert power over others and abuse them, but this is not aligned with truth. It is cowardly to misuse your power.

Being a true authoritative person requires truth. It means making decisions that feel aligned. It feels like being the powerful creator of your life. And, it doesn’t take that much time to practice. All you have to do is decide what you want and go after it with the alignment of truth.

Disadvantages of Braces

I’ve had braces for 10 months now. Although they are good for straightening my teeth, they are also distressing in many ways. Here are the disadvantages that I’ve noticed thus far:

Tightness

Every time you go to get your braces adjusted, you have to deal with the tightness of the brackets. It’s not that they tighten the brackets, but rather that the combination of the wires and brackets are pushing your teeth in a new direction. The result is pain. Sometimes it’s tolerable, and sometimes you want to pop a Tylenol. But either way, it sucks.

Metal in Your Mouth Feels Uncomfortable

Especially the first time that you have braces, you’re going to notice mild to severe discomfort of braces. The metal is dry and harsh. The bands can help ease a bit of the discomfort, but it still feels pretty weird to have metal in your mouth on your teeth pressing against the insides of your lips and mouth.

Metal Scraping the Sides of your Mouth

I find this to be more annoying than the tightness of the braces. Sometimes, the metal parts sticking out on the sides of your braces or potential hooks that you have installed on your braces scrape along the sides of your mouth or your gums. This is no fun at all and sometimes leaves unwanted and open cuts. It also depends on the quality of your braces. Unfortunately for me, I went with a cheaper option, and now suffer for it on a regular basis. Talking more with your braces can also lead to more scraping. So, you have to be more careful about talking, and sometimes, about chewing your food.

The Appearance Looks Weird

Braces can look endearing, but the first time you get braces, it’s going to take some time to get used to the look. The braces can look heavy and can sometimes enhance the flaws of your teeth. For example, it can enhance the size, misalignment, or yellow coloring of your teeth.

But the good thing is that if you choose your band color wisely, it can disguise the flaws of your teeth as well. So my advice is just to rock it as best as you can. Experiment with different colors. Dark blue tends to work for most people.

Teeth Grinding

Sometimes, you feel like grinding your teeth more due to the new adjustments. That’s because your teeth are aligning and adjusting to a new position. And for you, it can feel just plain weird. So the result is that you might grind your teeth more.

Food Stuck in Your Bands or Between Your Teeth

Food can be stubborn and get lost in between the bands of your teeth or in between your teeth. If you get the singular bands that are on individual teeth, it might not be so much of a problem. But if you get the bands that are connected across multiple teeth, food can get stuck more easily. This makes brushing your teeth and flossing more difficult.

The worst part about this is when you’re out in public. It’s not so bad if you’re at home and can deal with it on your own. But it’s not so great when you flash a smile and there’s spinach hanging down from the bands of your front teeth.

Brushing Your Teeth and Flossing Take Longer

Not everyone with braces take extra time to brush their teeth, but braces require a higher level of hygiene. Brushing your teeth takes longer because food particles get stuck more easily in the braces and around your teeth. Also, flossing takes longer as it requires a special device that is shaped like a needle to pull the floss in between the brackets of the teeth. Toothpicks are also handy.

The longer that you wear braces, the less time you eventually find in brushing your teeth. But when you first start wearing braces, you will find that it takes longer to keep them clean.

Dry or Chapped Lips

For some reason, having braces can cause you to have more dry or chapped lips. I find that I have to apply vaseline or chapstick on my lips more frequently in order to combat with the dryness. It works, but you’ll find that your lips need more maintenance as opposed to not having braces at all.

Talking Funny

Your enunciation of words is going to sound off. It can be helped with practice and awareness of the positioning of your mouth. But like all the disadvantages with braces, it takes some effort and time to getting used to.

There are many disadvantages of braces. But in the end, it is a way to straighten your teeth. And once the treatment is fully over, you get to enjoy your straightened teeth. You most likely have to stick to wearing a retainer, which may feel tight in the beginning. But it is a good way to maintain your smile. This is the price you have to pay for straightened teeth. However if you put in a little effort to maintain and get used to your braces, it can be well worth it.

Hungry for Success

These days, I feel like I put myself on an intense supertrial. I went from being 131 lbs to around 122 lbs, waking up at 6:30AM on weekdays, reading a book every day, blogging 2 times daily, exercising 2-4 times a week, shaving almost daily, dressing up fashionably daily, cooking daily, and praying daily. Part of the reason for this is because I developed an A player mindset. I’ve set reasonable goals that are challenging, yet within my limits. I push myself a little farther, but without the rubber band effect. And part of it is that I also ensure getting adequate amounts of rest at night, totaling 9.5 hours of sleep per night. It’s more than the average person, and I’m slowly but surely trying to get back to 8 hours of sleep per night. But overall, I’ve been feeling productive most days, so I don’t mind the little extra sleep.

Success looks different depending on the person. We all have ideas of what success means. For one person, it could mean owning a single home. For another person, it could mean a 6-figure income. For me, it looks like the following:

1) $1000 or more in passive income monthly
2) A published book
3) A comfortable living space
4) High quality technology (smartphone and computer)

It’s a simple list, but that’s what success means to me right now. Nothing too fancy or crazy. Just enough to keep my life going, but a little extra for fun. To some people though, the $1000 or more in passive income goal might seem a little ambitious. For someone who has just dabbled here and there in passive income, it is an ambitious goal. But, I know that I will succeed in attaining that goal.

How to Set Goals

The best way to set goals is to start medium. If you set your standards too low, too small, you might sidetrack due to boredom. You want to challenge yourself without burning yourself out. You don’t want to start lifting 300 lbs if you never lifted before. But, you don’t want to settle for 1 lb dumbbells either. Go within your limits, but push yourself a little. That’s what smart ambitious people do.

Make sure that the goals are measurable. Give the goal a numeric value such as $100 in passive income per month, or losing 5 lbs of weight within 2 weeks. That way, you can say for sure whether or not you’ve succeeded in reaching your goal.

You can set short-term and long-term goals. I set daily and weekly goals. But, I also have yearly and even longer-term goals. Some daily goals include hitting the gym and showering. Some weekly goals are grocery shopping or going to a new place. And yearly goals including moving to a new location. A longer-term goal of mine is to become a millionaire. I don’t anticipate reaching that goal this year, but hey, who knows depending on how it goes with passive income.

Whatever you do though, make sure to practice enough self-care so that you don’t burn yourself out. Highly effective ambitious people succeed because they know their limits well, but learn how to work within those limits and expand those limits over time. You can do the same too through careful goal-setting and planning.

How to Surround Yourself with “A” Players

An A player is someone who excels at life. It is someone who conquers most or all areas of their life, from health to finances to relationships to spirituality. Such people that I would define as A players are Ramit Sethi, Steve Pavlina, Leo Babauta, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Kim Yugyeom. 😀 I am always looking to surround myself with A players because as they say, you become the people you surround yourself with.

How can you find ways to surround yourself with A players? The first is just to engage yourself in activities that you enjoy and that you would look for in people who you would consider A players. You don’t necessarily have to engage with these people directly. For example, I go to the gym to get a workout and see people there who are motivated, pumped, and athletic. I don’t converse with these people aside from maybe the instructor and maybe someone taking the same class if the opportunity presents itself. But still, I am motivated to work out because I see other people doing the same. And in my mind, an A player consists of someone who cares about their wellbeing and health. So in my mind, anyone who hits the gym regularly is an A player in health.

Another way that I plan to surround myself with A players is to attend a dance class. I love dancers because they are very expressive with their moves and they also tend to care about health, appearance, and hygiene. So one way I can surround myself with these people is to attend a local dance meetup such as through Meetup or EventBrite. Or I can take dance classes through an academy and search for it on Yelp or Yellow Pages. I’m planning to attend these classes sometime in the beginning of March. It should be fun!

I also find entrepreneurs and business-minded people to be A players. I want to pursue passive income and have dabbled a bit here and there, and it’s motivating to be in connection with people who have succeeded in generating a significant amount of passive income such as thousands of dollars per month. There are some meetup groups as well, but I’m planning to start with Toastmasters to connect with these people. Toastmasters draws in people of all sorts of backgrounds and statuses, but I’m planning to connect with those business-oriented people who also enjoy life and like to socialize. It’s also a great way to practice public speaking. And someday, it’s my goal to give a Ted Talk. That takes A player motivation and drive to do.

How can you develop an A player mindset?

The first step is to be ruthless about what you want. Sometimes, developing an A player mindset requires you to cut out certain friendships and social connections. This can be because certain friendships and acquaintances can drain your energy and bring you to a lower mind of awareness. For example, if you want to quit smoking, it’s counter-intuitive to hang out with people who smoke a lot. You’re just going to be tempted to smoke again. And sometimes, it can seem cruel to cut off or wean off from these friendships. But if you really want to succeed at life, you sometimes have to burn the ships and be selfish about what you want. There’s nothing wrong with change. It’s just in your mind as mild discomfort. Sometimes, you can naturally stop hanging around average people by just hanging around A players some more. And the more you expose yourself to A players, the more your mindset improves, and the more you naturally drift to these A players and stop hanging around average people.

A simple exercise you can do in order to figure out what an A player means to you is to list the qualities of your ideal type or of what you want to be. Here is a sample list of qualities that I personally seek for in an A player:

– Vegan
– Six figures or more
– Clean shaven and fashionable appearance
– Artistically talented
– Confident at giving speeches
– Good at cooking vegan
– Fit or athletic
– Leader

Note that you don’t need to find all the qualities in a person. It’s possible to find someone who only have a few of these qualities and is still an A player. But the more qualities a person has close to your ideal type, the better it is. And of course, the more naturally drawn you will be to that person. Plus looking at your list, you will feel more compelled to cut off draining friendships and relationships.

The Courage to Be an A Player

Becoming an A player takes courage. It means destroying old habits and replacing them with healthier and more fulfilling habits. It means eliminating old baggage. It means reinventing yourself. It means dedicating every single day to bettering yourself and becoming your highest potential.

It can be hard at first to become an A player because we can get stuck in old routines and rely on what’s comfortable. A players are A players because they know how to conquer life and how to lean into discomfort. The majority of people avoid discomfort and soak in short-term pleasures of life. But A players delay gratification and shoot for the stars. It’s not an easy task to be an A player when you’re shooting so high every day, but that’s what makes them exceptional. And you are also exceptional. You also have untapped potential. And if you want to be a superstar, you can be that superstar. All you have to do is believe in yourself and to lean into that discomfort and give it a try.

For me, it’s going to be uncomfortable attending my first Toastmasters session. However, I know that I will benefit from it in the long run. I will become a better public speaker and I will socialize more with people I want to surround myself with, which are leaders. One way in which I will prepare myself to go is to practice self-care (my appearance) and to prepare business cards to introduce myself. The business cards give a simple introduction of myself being vegan and into personal growth, being a voice talent and songwriter, and my blog, Instagram and Youtube links. It’s a good way for me to ease my nerves just in case I’m at a loss for words and want to introduce myself in a more relaxed manner. Plus, it’s more professional.

If you want to learn how to overcome your fear in order to become an A player, you have to either remove limiting beliefs of yourself or learn how to lean into the fear. You have to get used to your heart racing at times, and you have to learn how to not avoid it. It’s okay to be afraid to connect with someone new. It’s okay to be nervous about attending your first dance class. But, realize that it’s not going to kill you to try something new. It’s part of the excitement. This is what A players do every day. They venture off into new directions, tackling their fears and accomplishing new feats. And this can be you too. Why settle for comfort when you can lead a exceptional life?

Believe in Yourself / My Dreams

Believe in Yourself

Set your standards high
You deserve the best
Try for what you want
And never settle for less.

Believe in yourself
No matter what you choose
Keep a winning attitude
And you can never lose.

Think about your destination
But don’t worry if you stray
Because the most important thing
Is what you’ve learned along the way.

Take all that you’ve become
To be all that you can be.
Soar above the clouds
And let your dreams set you free.

Jillian K. Hunt

 

This year, I’m planning to set my standards high and reach my dreams. My goals for the next year:

1) Write a music album with 5 songs
2) Write a book
3) Move to LA
4) $1000/month in passive income

These are all pretty challenging goals, but I think I can achieve these goals over the course of a year. I’ve been wanting to produce a music album for some time now. I’ll work on it in the coming months. As for the book, I have a few ideas that I’m presently working on, but nothing set in stone. I’d like to move to LA sometime by the end of the year. And I’m currently actively working on my passive income goal.