Category: Identity

Architect of Your Own Character

“Let us not say, every man is the architect of his own fortune, but let us say, every man is the architect of his own character.” – George Dana Boardman

The cool thing about your life is that you get to choose who you want to be. Who you choose to be as a person speaks volumes. Our character allows us to experience things uniquely. It is so important to make sure that your character reflects who you truly want to be in this world.

I was just watching a video by Anna Akana talking about bumping into a random stranger who reacted badly. Rather than reciprocating with anger, Anna responded gently and asked, “Are you okay?” Then the stranger replied that she was sorry and that she was having a hard time because her father had passed away. Turns out Anna Akana faced a similar situation with her sister. So, the two enjoyed a deeper connection with each other just from the fact that Anna chose to respond with kindness rather than anger.

How we choose to respond or react in various scenarios is an integral part of our character. If you wish to live a more fulfilling lifestyle, you may choose to identify with values such as truth or love. That way, you can make the best of any type of scenario. We don’t know how other people really are until we choose to identify with kindness or compassion even through seemingly difficult times.

I like the idea of being your own architect of your own character. Rather than focusing on the superficial and giving into pure materialism, we can look within ourselves and learn how to be four-dimensional beings. That is, learn how to resonate at a higher frequency or higher state of consciousness. Then, enjoy more pleasant experiences, even changing negative events to good ones. The true test of character is to overcome the negative that comes along the way. Don’t you agree?

By the way, if you have the type of personality that reacts badly to any situation, it is totally possible to change your ways and to become a more positive or pleasant person. You can recreate new personality types and identify with different values. It takes some conscious effort to change in the beginning, but it is possible. For example, you can go from being a shy person to being the life of the party at social gatherings just by practicing talking in front of a mirror or by attending Toastmasters and getting used to speaking in front of an audience. Remember, personalities are moldable. And if you so choose to pick good habits over bad ones, all it takes is some upfront work, perhaps shedding old beliefs and accepting more empowering beliefs.

Is there a part of your character that you would like to change? If so, how would you go about changing it? Feel free to share in the comments.

How to Change Our Negative Thoughts

The majority of us suffer internally through our minds. It happens naturally because our minds are designed to form conclusions based upon our experiences. When we experience what we perceive to be a negative outcome repeatedly, we tend to form negative beliefs about ourselves or the world around us in order to avoid those seemingly negative events. The problem is that if you continue to build up these negative beliefs, eventually you become stuck in a comfort zone that is hard to get out of. Your mind entraps you, and you become a slave to your beliefs. Rather than enjoying life as it is with the ups and the downs, you succumb to mediocrity.

Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that we repeatedly tell ours, which we perceive to be true perceptions upon our reality. We navigate the world based upon our beliefs of how the world works and what we mean to it. If you form negative beliefs, it hinders your progress as a human being. It means that you may avoid doing certain tasks in order to live in a safe bubble.

How can we change our beliefs?

The first step to changing our beliefs is to examine them and to know that they are there. Sometimes, the negative scripts can be the most challenging ones to find. They are masked in our everyday actions. We naturally respond or react to events based on what we believe. So for example, if you define yourself as a person who cannot tolerate the cold during winter, you may bundle up or choose not to go outside. Rather than getting used to the cold and enjoying it for what it is, you perceive it to be negative, thus something that you avoid. If you can wrap your head around the cold being a refreshing feeling and maybe get used to the idea of running in the cold in order to raise your body temperature, you have shifted to a higher level of thinking through positivity. At the same time, you don’t want to go as far as doing something reckless, such as walking naked out in the cold. You can still be level-headed while leaning into a new perspective of finding ways to enjoy the cold (e.g. playing with the snow on cold snowy winter days).

When we form negative beliefs of people based on previous relationships we’ve experienced, we limit ourselves to the type of people we’d like to surround ourselves with. At the same time, you want to be careful about what those relationships meant to you. If you’re only way of determining your self worth is based on what a few people think of you (e.g. your family), then you become a slave to their thoughts and ideas. Why live that way when you can enjoy life on your own terms? We don’t have to give in to the negative self talk, such as “I don’t deserve love” or “I am worthless”. You can change your perception to being that now, you are in charge of your mind, and that you do deserve to be loved. You can shift it to being that you do care about other people, and other people would care about you once they get to know you. You can understand that love comes in many different forms, and although your parents or siblings did not know how to express it well, you know that deep down inside they care and they just want you to be happy.

Those childhood events may have shaped you and became your identity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You get to decide who it is that you are. When we are young, people try to assign meaning to our life by figuring it out through how we act. But the truth is when you were a baby, you did not have all these meanings and connections of your identity at all. You were just living, breathing, pooping, taking it a day at a time. And through your five senses, you learned how the world works. There are some inescapable and mysterious ways of how the world works and that people have tried to figure out, such as the laws of gravitational pull and force. But then, there are meanings which we assign ourselves based off of what others say about us or how we perceive ourselves to be. If we didn’t talk much as a child, people might perceive us to be shy, and then we hold onto that mentality of “I’m shy”, avoiding confrontation in order to be aligned with that thought. However once you break out of that mold and realize that perhaps you were not shy but observant, you begin to form a new world of possibilities, where maybe you decide that you will be more outgoing and outspoken.

Replacing the negative belief with positive affirmations

If you are unsatisfied with your appearance, you might have the belief of “I’m ugly”. This is based off of the appearances that we are used to seeing in the media or on the streets. When we compare ourselves to other people through our appearances, we succumb to the ideology of believing that we do not look good. We spend our time trying to groom ourselves to look better. There is nothing wrong with taking some time and effort to enhance our appearance. However to the extreme, we might give in to methods such as plastic surgery in order to be satisfied with our appearance. Again, it is everyone’s choice what they may do to their bodies, but it can be damaging over time to be super focused on appearance rather than personality. And, it can be damaging to one’s self-esteem and self-worth.

Rather than thinking that you are ugly, you can acknowledge times that you’ve felt pretty with your natural appearance, or you can find traits about your appearance that you admire (e.g. kind eyes, good smile, nice head of hair, etc.). You can take a good look of yourself in the mirror and gently admire those good traits that you do have. And, you can admire that you are unique and different from those around you or on television. Replace “I’m ugly” with “I am beautiful” or “I am loved”. Acknowledge how you look, and learn how to be satisfied with what you’ve got. Of course, if you want to apply makeup to enhance your features, go right ahead. But don’t try to just mask your appearance by caking on layers of foundation. Try instead to solve any glaring problems if it is in your control. For example, no one likes acne. But rather than calling yourself ugly for having acne, you can realize that it is a health indicator that something needs to change. Perhaps you can get a skin treatment from a trusted dermatologist, you can drink more water on a daily basis, or you can get into a face care routine.

If you are feeling worthless because your parents used to ignore your cries for help, realize that it doesn’t have to be the case that you were worthless. It could mean that your parents just did not know what to do to make you feel better. They might have ignored you because they were busy working or were stressed out. They might have not known how to handle such a responsibility of taking care of you. Just because they treated you a certain way, does not mean that you are worthless. It could mean that you deserved love, but they did not know that attention was what you were seeking. And now that you’re older, you can turn to yourself for love and admiration. You might even be able to attract a partner who would love spending time with you. All you have to do is tune into the stream of consciousness of self-love. (;

You have to also realize that these negative thoughts are just what they are, thoughts. They are just ideas formed by your mind. You can point our a color or a shape for these thoughts. You did not “see” these thoughts. You experienced some events, and there were not inherent meanings behind those events. Can you point out when someone said that you were worthless? And even if someone said something like that, does it have to necessarily be true? Sometimes, the ones we love that are closest to us hurt us through their words. But can you see that their words are just words, not meaning anything inherently about yourself?

How should I feel once I remove several limiting beliefs?

After you finish removing several negative beliefs about yourself, you will feel as if you can conquer the world. You can do anything that you put your mind to. It is about having all your power back. You are the owner of not only your mind, but your body. Your bodily presence can be made known, or it can hide behind the rest of society and how they think. But, you don’t have to feel as if you are alone. You will feel as if you are connected with the rest of the world in a positive way once you’ve successfully demolished all the negative beliefs or negative self-talk that you catch yourself doing. And, you will reach a new state of enlightenment, the idea that the world is not so scary as it once seemed to be.

Work on You First

Often times, we focus on what’s going on externally from us. We perceive certain events to be for us or against us. We forget to take a look inwardly to see if there is something else going us, causing us to experience what we perceive to be negative.

Rather than working externally to change events, it is best to focus inwardly. Focus on yourself. Learn how to change and master your reality by focusing on your strengths and improving upon your weaknesses.

Nowadays with the cold weather, I can feel tired at times. I go to the gym as a way to stay active and to not slide down into laziness or procrastination. And, I make sure that I am drinking enough fluids, especially something that has electrolytes such as coconut water.

When you work on yourself first, you are able to function at an optimal level. You are able to take on more tasks and are able to transform your life into something you’ve always envisioned. It just takes some practice.

What is one thing you could do starting from today that will benefit you in the long run? You can start simply by engaging in small habits, and then build upon those habits over time. For example, your morning routine can consist of eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, and changing into your daytime clothes. Rather than hitting the snooze button every morning, get up and enjoy some nice sunshine and maybe a sip of tea.

Working on yourself can be challenging or fun, depending on how you approach it. It can be rewarding to work on yourself. You can do anything that you put your mind to. It sometimes requires self-discipline, but with practice, you can transform your life into something amazing. You want to be able to look at the mirror and happily say, “That’s me!”

How to Overcome Self-Hatred

Self-hatred usually stems from earlier experiences had as a child. If you experience self-hatred, it could mean that you have unresolved feelings or terrible memories from your past. If you allow those thoughts to linger and to continue on, you will form beliefs of self-hatred, and it will affect your everyday living.

Where did this idea of self-hatred come from?

If you were neglected as a child, you may feel as if you are unworthy of love or attention at such a young age. The reason may be due to how your parents treat you. You give meaning to the events of your parents treating you a certain way just because you are unworthy of love. However, that conclusion that you made in your mind is only one perception. That is to say, there are other more empowering beliefs or thoughts that can shift your experience.

How do you overcome self-hatred?

Let’s say every time you cried, your parents ignored you and move on to doing something else. It could mean that they cared about you, but that they didn’t know how to respond to your cry. It could mean that there was a gap in understanding each other since you did not know your parent’s native language. It could mean that just because they ignored you as a child doesn’t mean that other parents would react the same way. There are many different conclusions that you could come up with.

If you can draw up these different ideas of where self-hatred comes from, you can paint a new picture. You can reframe those thoughts to more empowering ones such as your parents did care, but they were busy taking care of other daily obligations such as housework or their job. And maybe at the time, you couldn’t do much for yourself or communicate with them, but later you could.

Letting go of this idea of self-hatred is not easy, but it is quite simple. What makes you different from anyone else? Why are you the only one who does not deserve to be loved? Can you see how you are just victimizing yourself to a point of self-destruction?

When you accept the past for what it was, that’s when you’re ready to move onto the stage of self-love. It does not mean that you deserved to be hurt or punished at that time during your childhood, but it could mean that you had enough strength to move on to the next stage of your life. It could just mean that as a child, you came up with a conclusion that hurt you, and that it’s time to change that idea.

 

How to Stand Up for Yourself

You are responsible for your own life. That means that whatever happens to you, you have to be there for yourself. This can be a hard concept for some people because they’ve felt like they’ve been bullied or told what to do many times. But, you have to realize that no one can be there 100% except for yourself.

When someone makes snide remarks about me, I choose to ignore it and find other people to engage with. This can be difficult to do if it is people in your own living situation (e.g. your parents, your spouse, your siblings, your roommates, etc.) who are bringing you down. But every day, if you stand up for yourself and your values, these people will change and maybe even support you once they understand the wrong that they are doing.

As a vegan, I am always faced with questions from other people who do not approve of my vegan lifestyle. I choose it because it is the more ethical and healthy path for me. And when people question my food choices, I just say, “Hey, this is my life. I choose to be vegan. If you want to eat something else, go ahead. But, this is how I choose to live my life.”

Another criticism I receive is not settling for a job and choosing to go the entrepreneurial path. To those people stuck in the scarcity mindset of money, thinking that a job is the only way out, I let them know, “Hey, I’m taking care of my own finances. What is it to you?”

You can always stand up for yourself using your own power through your own words. Of course, you don’t always have to be rude about it. You can simply let the other person know that you are living the life you choose to live, and that it’s none of their concern about how you choose to live.

It’s a little trickier if you live with family. They might be trying to help, but they might not know the best way to help. So, you have to be confident in whatever path you choose to follow.

You can also use some humor to deflect back the negative criticism. My mother used to always tell me that I should get married. I’m nowhere near ready to get married, and I get tired of hearing her say that. But all I do is joke around with a smile and say, “Married? What is that? I’m never getting married.” That usually gets her to stay questioning me about my relationship status, haha. 😀

Often times, it’s best to avoid arguments. If you’re living with people who are expecting you to get a job when you’d prefer to start a business, it may be a good idea to move out. Or, find a job temporarily and save up before moving out. It’s up to you. It can be a bit scary to become independent, but that is part of taking charge of your life and being there for yourself. (;

Unleashing Your Inner Child

We all have an inner child within us. Most of our habits and actions are based around our experiences with life as a child. This means that we have instilled thoughts in ourselves due to what we perceived or learned from adults and peers at a young age.

Sometimes, our inner child wants to express itself differently. It requires courage and tenacity to tune into that inner child and learn how to let go of our past baggage. It requires strength and vulnerability at the same time, learning from our past mistakes and moving onto the new.

My inner child likes to express itself in various ways: dance, color, swim, sing, and more. So, these are activities that I try my best to practice regularly. Some people discount their childhood and believe that as adults, we have to just be responsible and not engage in fun. These types of people put on a serious facade. But others know that it is good to reveal your inner child. It is good to enjoy life and to experience the things we did as a child. We can always enjoy a playful life in moderation with our career or finances.

How do I tap into my inner child?

One way to tap into your inner child is to think of fun times you had during your childhood or teenage years. Did you enjoy sports? Were you in the math club? Just because you’re older now does not mean that you cannot still enjoy those activities. If you enjoyed these activities at a young age, you can try to engage in these same activities again.

Another way to tune into your inner child is to write or journal. Write our your dreams and where you would like to go or visit. Write about the most joyful times of your life and figure out what it is that is most important to you.

When I was a child, I loved singing and I loved hanging around children. I still do. As a result, every so often, I post songs on both YouTube and Soundcloud of me singing. And, I sing these songs for some young people to enjoy.

I used to love playing with lego blocks. There are adults who buy special lego kits to build up and enjoy (such as spaceships or castles). This can be a fun hobby.

What hobbies do you think you’d like to enjoy?

Feelings Are Not Facts

Sometimes, we perceive feelings to be facts. But, that is not always the case. Feelings arise from our perception of reality.

Our minds create thoughts, conclusions that we base on our experiences. We can always change the story as we go. Sometimes, we may think negatively. Other times, we may think positively. And still other times, we may think on a neutral standpoint.

You want to be careful about how you think. There are some people who tend to be highly optimistic. But the problem with thinking positively all the time is that you may face certain dangers.

Other times, there are overly pessimistic people who do not know how to escape their negative thinking. These people tend to look at the downside of events. And, they do not know how to achieve a higher state of positive thinking.

The best approach is to balance the positive with the negative. This perception of reality is useful so that you know how to be wary of dangers while still being open to new and fun experiences.

Just because we feel a certain way does not mean that we always have to be that way. It could mean that we are not aligned with our higher principles of truth, love, and power (more about this through Steve Pavlina’s book on Personal Development for Smart People). When we are aligned with these three principles, we are able to function at a higher and more purposeful level.

Remember that feelings are temporary. Character is more solid, and lays out a good foundation for yourself. As Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

So it is best to process your thoughts and feelings by getting yourself into a calm state of being. That is when you can think logically and rationally. It is also when you are able to get into a higher state of enlightenment. That is when you are able to achieve anything your put your mind to.

Feelings arise from our perceptions of reality. Some people may enjoy when it snows, but others might look at it as impeding doom, another day of shoveling or driving carefully on the streets. But you have to realize that events are just events. It only creates meaning if we assign it meaning.

Some ways in which we can process our feelings include the follow:

– Singing
– Dancing
– Writing
– Painting
– Meditating

For more help in processing your feelings, therapy can be useful. You can seek services locally. Or alternatively, you can try self-therapy, journalling out your thoughts and seeing where those thoughts are coming from.

Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Are you curious to know more about the digital nomad lifestyle? Digital nomads are people who use technology to work and are independent in terms of location. How can you live the digital nomad lifestyle? It’s not necessarily easy to first start, but once you dabble into different ideas, it can become natural and feel rewarding.

Nowadays with the advancement of technology, it’s quite easy to live the digital nomad lifestyle. All you need is a laptop and/or phone.

For those who want to travel but want some stability, you can have a modified digital nomad lifestyle by renting or owning a property.

Is Digital Nomad Lifestyle a Good Decision for Me?

You should think carefully before embarking on the digital nomad lifestyle. It requires some self-discipline in terms of making sure that your finances are in order. You are your own boss. You have to figure out how to make money online on your own or through some guidance.

Digital nomads have many different ways of making money. For example, they can pursue passive income, or they can freelance. Some digital nomads create courses and garner most of their money through that.

Digital nomad lifestyle also requires a minimalist mindset. That is, you buy only your essential needs (i.e. some clothes, a few shoes, toothbrush, etc.) without spending lavishly.

If you want the digital lifestyle, but with some security, you can maybe rent out part of a storage facility, or you can rent out an apartment. You can also swap places to rent with other people or friends that want to travel.

Some digital nomads rely on coach surfing while in return, offering services such as cleaning up or giving lessons (such as teaching English in exchange for room and board in Thailand). You have to be careful about who you coach surf with. Females may feel safer coach surfing with other females, and vice versa for males.

If you want to become a digital nomad, you must ask yourself if you are ready to be your own boss. You have to play by your own rules. And, you have to take full responsibility for yourself.

It’s not that hard once you dabble into working for yourself, or finding ways to provide value online. The ways in which I pursue passive income (so that I can travel freely later) is by these avenues: eBook publishing, blogging, and uploading YouTube videos. I’m thinking about designing my own merchandise too and selling it only through services such as Shopify.

Why Surrendering is Sometimes Good

Sometimes, we overexert ourselves and feel overwhelmed. When these times are present, it’s best to find ways to relax and engage in stress-free activities. Surrendering does not necessarily mean that you are weak. Even if it is seen as being weak, it is not. Sometimes, surrendering can be a wise choice.

We are often at wars with ourselves. We battle our own inner demons. Some people are better at managing their inner chaos than others. If you find it hard to overcome the struggle, it’s okay. As Aaliyah once said in her song Try Again, “Cause if at first you don’t succeed. You can dust it off and try again.”

There are micro and macro ways of surrendering. The macro ways of surrendering are in terms of global affairs. Sometimes, countries are at war with each other due to misunderstandings and greed. Or in the case of low income or middle class people, they may choose to surrender to the legal and political system just because they are not sure of how it works (for example, paying taxes when you don’t actually owe any money).

Surrendering also gives us a chance to explore ourselves. We can figure out our life purpose by experiencing old and new activities. We can find the things that we enjoy. We can reflect upon ourselves and find out what we truly desire.

I think in the end, all people want is happiness. If you tend to be a busy person and find your life to be unfulfilling, you can start over bit by bit or completely, rejuvenate yourself, and learn what it is that you wish to do.

For people who take full-on breaks, there are a variety of ways to surrender and relax:

– Going for walks
– Sleeping more
Journalling
– Spending more time with friends and family
– Stretching
– Taking time off from your job or business
– Travelling somewhere

Don’t feel bad if you have to take a break for yourself to figure out what’s going on within you. There’s nothing wrong with failing or giving up. And just because you give up one time, that’s okay, because you can always find a way to get up again. (;

Why Music Can Be Healing for the Soul

Music can be therapeutic. There are many genres of music that we choose to listen to: emo, punk, rock, gothic, rock and roll, classical, pop, R&B, foreign, K-pop, J-pop, C-pop, and more. What we choose to listen to can depict and influence our mood.

Personally, when I listen to classical music, it feels calm and relaxed. It makes me feel like I am in peace. It helps me to get in a meditative state of being. I like classical music because I used to play it when I was younger, and I took lessons for two years and learned how to enjoy it. But others might not have a taste for it because it is from

My favorite genres to listen to are pop and K-pop, though I have shifted over to listening more to American pop these days. I used to listen to some K-pop and J-pop when I was younger, so I am familiar with it and enjoy it a lot.

Listening to music can influence your mood. So, we should be careful about the kinds of music we listen to. We attract good into our life by listening to music that is nice and upbeat. We attract more negativity into our lives by listening to emo music, and I know this by experience. So first, learn how different genres of music influence your mood. Choose the one you identify with to express yourself.

Listening to music and dancing or singing to music can be healing for the soul. Try experimenting with different sounds until you find the music that you like. Try not to resolve to negative coping skills that are harmful.

You can also listen to music while taking care of other things. For example, when you’re organizing and cleaning, you can enjoy listening to music in the background. Exciting music could help with that too. Or if you would like, you can listen to classical music while blogging.

You can even listen to music while journalling and map your thoughts out. Maybe you could talk about how the music influences your mood while you’re writing. Or, you can talk about how you identify yourself with the kind of music that you like.