This started with the recent thread Cheer up tips . I thought of an email that I had sent to a friend to help him get through some tough times. I thought I'd post that email here as other people might benefit from it too.
Anyway I've cut out as much personal details as possible, some of it may not apply to you or your situation, but some of it can be used by anyone. Some of it sounds like I'm actually talking to someone so the context sounds weird. I do apologise, I'll edit it as I get the time.
I know it's long and I do apologise but please take the time to read it all if you feel the need. It can't hurt!
I'll add to this and edit it as I compile other words of inspiration. I like to collect them. Here goes:
1. Taking on too much at once:
I know you have a lot on your plate at times and this always pushes your stress levels up (it would do the same for anyone). But sometimes you may try to tackle too much at once. You have one hundred problems buzzing around in your head that you want to fix all at once. Your mind is full of these problems and you want to sort them out. Now it's normal to want to sort them out, but the problem is that your mind is full, it's using all of it's processing power just trying to remember and track all of the problems that you want fixed. It's clouded with all of this rubbish, it's so busy doing all of this that there's no processing power left to actually sit down and fix any of them!
The best way to get around is to start by getting them all down on paper. Normally the order that you write them down will be the priority/order that you want them fixed! Though, once you have them written down, put them in order of the ones most urgent, then most critical, then down to the ones that aren't so critical. It can be very worrying just to look at the list, but that's OK, it's normal!
Now that they're on paper, prioritised, go and have a rest. Forget about the darned things, they're on paper and your mind should be empty (that is the point of writing them down). When they're on paper, try to let them go from your mind and say - I'll get to them one by one, so I'll let it go. You don't have to continually try to track them in your mind as the paper is doing that for you. Just try to clear your head. Maybe meditate for a while or even play your favourite game to take your mind off it all.
Then move through the list (with someone - me if you like) and think of a possible way around or resolution for each. Just a quick note to mark a possible fix for the problem. Getting a friend’s perspective can help here. Some on the list you'll be able to cross off and say ‘stuff it' as they are actually insignificant in comparison to other things. This is good, try to cross some smaller shit off the list.
Doing this all on a whiteboard can help.
Once you have a possible work around for the big ones that's good. Now cover up all of the issues besides number 1. Now set about sorting that out. It might take you a day or whatever but bloody well sort it out whatever way. It's easier as you're only dealing with one problem. Once that one is sorted out, go and uncover number 2 on your list. Then tackle that one - use the 'possible solution or workaround' that we wrote down beside it a day or two earlier.
Doing it this way is much easier for your brain to handle and manage. Often it's only when problems build up and seem like there's too many that we crack. I come close at times, where I feel there's just too much going on it my head, too many problems, I start to panic and lose control. Then I think, hey, I'm starting to panic/lose it and it only makes things worse. I start with the problem that worries me most and I focus on it. I focus on it fully and I forget the others. Then I can solve number 1. Then I just move on from there, focusing on each one, one by one.
2) Smoking dope/doing drugs:
Firstly there's the financial losses if you buy it. That $20 someone might spend here and there adds up. Then, you might come across a time where Vodafone or your telco block incoming calls because you can't pay the bill. That stresses you out - but really could have been avoided if you collected the $20 here and there that you spent, it could have paid the bill. Then, you would not have this stress from Vodafone blocking your calls.
I know some of you might get it for free from friends. Now I've never met any of your friends so I can't speak for their character, however I think if they truly cared about you they'd be trying to help you get off it, and wouldn't be giving it to you. Maybe they give it to you because they like someone else to be hooked. You need to be strong - and learn to say NO. You need to rise above dope, rise above (your friend/s) and say "THANKS, BUT NO THANKS. I'm clean now". Not just once, or twice, or for a few weeks, but for GOOD. It's no use giving it up for a month or two, as the benefits of giving it up progressively come on over months and even years. I know you may have been off it at times here and there, which is good, but you need to stay off it, otherwise your efforts giving it up for a month are wasted!
I really believe that a strong will is one of the major factors in having a good life (more on that later). Now you need to RISE UP above pot - you don't need it, and I guarantee you'll be better off without it. SAY NO THANKS! Your friends might be surprised, maybe even pissed off at first, but you need to keep saying no thanks. Soon they'll give up offering and it won't be a challenge for you to say NO. You need to stick to your guns, use your strong will. Prove to yourself that you can do it, make it a challenge, a goal - and win. You'll be a stronger person at the end of it.
Now we'll always be available to back you up, but you need to do it for yourself. If you give in once, you'll give in again, and again and you'll fall back into it.
Pot affects the way that you view problems that you come across in our daily lives. You know that the first times are your best with pot. After that it's not as good, and it just seems to lose it's effect. That's because on a whole you're starting to feel more like shit - though you don't realise it because it happens to you so gradually. You start to feel like shit, but you think it's normal because it's so gradual. Then, you smoke pot and you feel good again, BUT really, smoking pot just makes you feel about as good as you once felt before you had ever started it.
After you've done it for a long time, you feel like absolute shit, the world feels like shit and everything is just going to shit. HOWEVER, the whole time you think that it's just normal life, just how life always was and always seemed - BUT, that's only because you've forgotten how life was before you started. Now when you smoke you just feel a bit better, but still worse than you what you ever did before you started.
I drew up this graph in Photoshop to help explain what I mean:
This is just a graph of generally how you feel. The blue line is a normal person, and their 'ups and downs' in life. The red line is someone going 'up and down' when they smoke pot. See towards the end, the person on pot smokes it, but still feels worse than the guy who is just straight. The person on pot also has huge 'downs' where everything just feels totally screwed up.
I noticed this after a year or two of heavy use. I totally forgot how life felt before I was on it, and it scared me ALOT. When you get off it, it takes a while but you start to realise that life was better before you ever touched it. For you it will take longer before you notice how much better life is without it because you've done it longer. But that's Ok, just stick it out - I know you can and I know you'll be happier at the end.
3) Give time to all aspects of your life:
This means that you should not focus ALL of your efforts and energy to one aspect of your life. You should always keep a balance. I know when you've picked up a new MLM project you go at it real hard. It's good in theory because the project goes well. HOWEVER, everything else in your life begins to fail, because you're not maintaining other important things like:
1) Family and friends
3) Eating well
4) Sleeping well
5) Recreational time (going out, having fun OUTSIDE of work, anything where you DO NOT think of work at all)
6) Quiet time for yourself
7) Anything else important to you
You need to diversify - don't put all your eggs in one basket as they say. See, if you've put 100% of your energy and efforts into only one aspect of your life for 2 months, then that suddenly grinds to a halt or crashes for some reason - the other parts of your life (like the list above) are all in the shit. Your health, diet, recreation etc are all screwed up because you've ignored them for two months. This means you've got nothing left to keep you going.
This is more important than you think. Say you put 20% into each one, or if you wanted to you put 30% into a new MLM project or work, and 15% into each other aspect just temporarily. At least then if the MLM project screws up, you've only lost 30% of the things that you value in your life, you've only lost 30% of the things that drive your life and your will, rather than losing 100%. The other aspects of your life are still in tact and you fall back on these to keep you going, until you pick up another work or career related project.
So you might feel like you're not doing enough for you career if you only put in 30%, but really you're doing it GOOD. Because if your career hits a barrier or some hardships, it is these other important aspects THAT HELP YOU THROUGH tough times with your career. So you've got more chance of your career being successful. If you don't pay these other aspects some attention, they're not there to help you through problems with your career when things get tough. And let's face it, every aspect of your life will experience some tough times at some stage of your life. So, you should always diversify - Don't put 100% into your exercise either, because again if something happens there all the other things will be screwed up.
This is why when I started to get annoyed because everytime that you called me about working on this project, you were always working and talking about work, even on weekends or at 11pm on a Friday night. I think that's unhealthy, we need time to nurture and massage the other IMPORTANT aspects of our lives to make sure that we MAINTAIN BALANCE.
Find the balance that is good for you. I think I've found mine but you can adjust it whenever you want, as your life changes. If I want to speed up my career a bit, I'll give it 25% of my effort instead of 20%, though my sleep may be deducted 5% for a while. I hope you understand, and I hope this helps.
This is a VERY important point.
4) Take a different perspective on things:
There are times when you're facing problems that just really get you down. It happens to everyone, it happens to me. Though I can always put things into perspective and try to look at the brighter things in life. There's many, many, many others out there on this planet that are in much worse a position that you or I. Things could be much, much worse than however bad they might seem.
You might think that this is a stupid analogy, but when I smashed my car into a fence (hit a Wombat!) I was really torn. I loved that car and kept it in pristine condition. When I had the stack it went from perfect to trashed in seconds. It knocked $5000-$6000 off the value of it, gone in a few seconds. I drove on and was going to turn the bloody thing around and go home. But I then thought "Why? It's not going to restore the car to normal, it won't fix the car - I'll only go home and mope about it all weekend and feel worse!". I could still drive it, I was lucky I could drive it away and wasn't stuck in the middle of nowhere (it was in a remote location) with a dud car and I was lucky I was still alive. So I thought the best way out of this is to say "hey, the car's damaged, I'm on my way to Bathurst, I'm Ok, and I'm going to have a good bloody weekend!". Not only that, but now I can take the car wherever and I'm not so worried about someone scratching it!
It's just an example of how your attitude can affect the way that problem makes you feel. It's the same problem, but depending on the way that you view it, can make you feel very different. I wasn't happy about the bloody car, but I knew that feeling down and angry about it simply DID NOT HELP ME. It wouldn't fix the car or anything so it was a waste of my energy and happiness.
Do you see problems or challenges? Is anger or panic a useful emotion? No!
That's about it for now. I'll add more soon. I'm currently away with work and find it hard to get the time. I do apologise for any foul language (I did scan it for some) used - I can connect better with this friend that way as he uses it himself.
Hope this helps. Best wishes to all.
Tips to cope better
Just a few other points on 'perspective'...
Let's say you have a problem. Problem A. You can look at it in two ways. If you get all NEGATIVE about it, you still have that same problem. It won't go away. Being negative will not solve the problem, or ease your pain, or turn back the clock. Being negative will only make you miserable and unhappy. In the end you're still left with the same problem, only you're now miserable, unhappy and negative to boot. It's a horrible combination.
If you look at it in a positive light, you still have the same problem, yes. But, you're still relatively happy, positive and you're able to either put the problem behind you, look to the future and learn from the mistake. You can put your positive energy into actually solving the problem or finding a workaround. It's the same problem, though just through your perspective you've already increased your chances of getting through it 10x over!
Thanks for your very thoughtful posts, SilentRain!
Thanks for the feedback Ineligible. I think among all of us members there's a load of positive energy and advice. It'd be great to focus it all on those that come here needing some positive energy and advice.
I often have different thoughts and ideas that come to mind as friends etc might come to me for my opinion/advice (if you could call it that!) on an issue. Often as I move through life and deal with my own issues I discover helpful ways to get through any issues that I might come across.
If anyone could make use of it here then that's great. I'd love for others to add their positive thoughts and advice - there's such a wealth of it on these boards...