Archives for posts with tag: improvement

I just came home from a 4 km barefoot run in pitch dark. The bus wasn’t coming before another 20 minutes so I decided to use the opportunity to run. It had rained a couple of hours earlier, so the asphalt was wet and cool.

When I got home I took a cold shower. We have to make fire to get heat in the water tanks at home, and many times when I get back from a run, we don’t have any hot water so it’s just to step into the shower and get it over with. I didn’t mind though. And it was when I was standing in the shower, not minding it at all, that it got to me that there were many things I don’t mind today that I would’ve gotten very irritated by, just 2 years ago (or even more recently).

First off, just a couple of months ago I didn’t like cold showers at all and avoided them at all costs, even on hot summer days. But one day when I was in Korea 2 months ago, someone forgot to tell me about the hot water switch when I was alone in the apartment, so I stepped into the cold shower. And started laughing. It was such a funny situation that it was all I could do. If I’m gonna do something less enjoyable, I might as well make the most of it! And since that day I sometimes even willingly take cold showers even when there’s hot water in the tanks.

One other thing, is being barefoot. Until 2 years ago I really didn’t like being barefoot. I wanted my foot armor in shape of a shoe. It felt safe and stable. But at some time I started to enjoy being barefoot. Being more natural, not wearing shoes or socks (when it’s not too cold of course, that is), and lately I’ve been more and more into barefoot running. From not liking to be barefoot to prefer running without shoes even when I have them! It feels fantastic and I smile when I think about it.

It feels really good having made this progress in attitude towards things in life. Big ones and small ones. I don’t even sigh when I on rare occasions spill my cup of hot coffee over myself in the morning (don’t ask why I spill my coffee, I can’t answer), I just laugh over the silly situation and clean it up, feeling almost better than before!

Being able to laugh about things that might seem bad at first glance, but really is just silly or funny, have helped me relax and feel better. Good or bad is all about attitude and perspective, and you can chose whether you want to look on something as good or as bad. If something’s happened, it’s happened, and it won’t change because you don’t like it, so make the best of it and find the good or funny parts and laugh at it!

Many times we think that we need to be doing something all the time in order to be productive or just to prevent wasting our time. But even so, every so often we think we don’t have enough time or that we haven’t done enough.

What if the thing we haven’t done enough is to not do anything? The thing you’re worried about not having had time to do might just be that you haven’t taken your time to be still, to think, to not think, or to just enjoy being.

I bet there are hundreds of things in your head that you’d like to have time to process, but so many things are left untouched because you don’t have any time for your brain to work with what’s already in it.

When I ride the bus, the train or the subway, I barely see anyone without a phone in their hand, checking up on mail, communities, talking to someone somewhere else or playing games. People are desperately trying to fill out the ’empty’ time  while going somewhere.

Once in a while just try to consciously do nothing when riding the bus or the subway ( or at other times as well! ). Just be still, see if there are something you want to just think about, or just be, without thinking about anything. It’s strangely refreshing and your brain will probably like the time off from all the constant focus shifts that it has to withstand every day.

Spend some time with focus on yourself, just being aware of yourself, how your body feels, how your mind feels. Many times we’re so busy doing things that we don’t understand what we really need or that we’re getting stressed. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re stressed without even knowing it or because your head is whirling with thoughts.

By being still and quiet you can sometimes realize that something’s going on inside you, and that you might be able to fix it before it blooms, or think through things so you don’t do it the time just before you fall asleep. When being still and quiet, you may also come up with ideas and solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise because you were too busy doing something.

Try to leave some space. Sometimes the most productive thing to do is to do nothing at all.

You cannot change your reality with your will.

You can only adapt yourself, you actions and your mindset toward it.

When you realize this, a lot (but maybe not all) of your anger, irritation, and thoughts of unfairness towards you will dissolve.

You will realize what you need to do, and do it, and do it without feeling annoyed about having to do something. The reality is as it is. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. And you have to face it. All the time. Every day. All you can do is adapt, and take action if needed.

Peaceful moment in silence.

Enjoy being. Being present.

I used to have music in my ears at all time except for when talking to other people. Really, to and from the bus I used my mp3-player. On the bus I used it. At work, school, home, in the car. The times when I just got to work and realized I’d forgotten my mp3-player or my ear phones, my day was ruined! I mean, who can work a full day without listening to music?

Well, I can now. And I even prefer to do it without music (at least my current job).

Since I started to actively trying to get to learn myself better, and be more present, the need for constant distraction has reduced greatly. I focus on what I do, and wether I have music or not while doing it doesn’t really matter any more. Being present in silence is spending time on yourself, whatever you’re doing. And also my ability to be present and focused increase  when I’m not distracted by music and sounds.

I write this even though I love music. I’ve played in several bands and I’ve been to lots of live shows, but there’s a time for music, and there’s a time for silence. My default mode has switched from listening to music to listening to and enjoying silence. Of course I still listen to music, but when I do, I put on music to listen to it, not to keep it as background noise, as a distraction.

The few times I get home by driving a car, when I stop outside the house and turn off the car, the silence is almost magical. It’s so intense and calming. It’s just you, coming home after a probably lively day (or just from having spent some time in a noisy car), and silence. I sit and breath deeply for a while before I get out, almost as getting ready to face the world again. But actually, I’m almost more present in the world in the silence and presence within the quiet car because there are so few distractions.

I believe that many people listen to music all the time during work and on the bus etc. because it feels like you’re a part of ‘it’ that way. That other people are listening to the same thing and that makes you connected to them the moment you also listen to it. It’s just that it doesn’t matter if you listen or not, you’re always part of the world. I think my ability to enjoy time without music has grown from having gotten to know myself better. Simply starting to enjoy spending time alone, or just being. The need for getting feedback that I’m part of ‘it’ is not there anymore.

Try spending some time in silence, intently forget your mp3-player,  try to spend just an hour without music at your work, or ride the bus without your ear phones plugged in! It might be a really pleasant experience! And also, it’s a very, very simple form of enjoying the moment! (And it’s cheap!)

Maybe you too enjoy spending time in silence and being present? Share this post, and feel free to subscribe yourself! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post!

Do weird things! Stand upside down!

Do weird things! Stand upside down!

I’ve been in Japan now for almost 10 months now. I took a trip to Korea for 18 days not long ago.
Since I started to live abroad I’ve started to appreciate lots of things I never even thought of before when I was in my old life with the perspective I had back then. Since I moved away I’ve gotten perspective on my own life, on the world, and insight in many other things. I’ve become interested in improving my self, my way of thinking, my mind, my life, the world and in nature.

I’ve become aware of habits and mindsets that I have that I thought was common in the world even though they’re not, and because of that I’ve begun to appreciate them too. Things my parents told me and taught me when I was younger have suddenly sunk in through the thick layers of my own “perfect ideas” I had when I was little, and I’ve started to see the value in them.

I love that I’ve become aware of these things and I love that I’ve started to appreciate them, and I can’t express well enough the awesome feeling of having lived abroad and get perspective! It’s amazing, and I feel that my life has become so more interesting since I came here!

I’ve started reading books that’re contributing to my life, and not just for fun (that doesn’t mean they’re not fun, I enjoy every second I spend reading them!).

Small things I’ve suddenly become thankful and happy for:

My parents’ teachings:
– I chew with my mouth closed. Not everyone in asia does that, not even many.
– I clean up after me. As we all know, people in the world who cleans up after themselves are pretty rare
– I believe in myself.
– I like myself
– I cover my mouth with the crook of my arm when I sneeze. This is common for people in general, at least in Sweden, but I haven’t spent much thought on it before. In asia people mostly sneeze in the flat of their hands which they later use for, well, everything; opening doors, holding on to something to keep their balance on the train etc.. I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter much in asia because people don’t greet each other with handshakes… unless they greet a foreigner. I feel a bit of terror every time I grab on to something on the train or when I shake hand with someone here. At least I think it helped me to finally stop biting my nails!
– I cook my own food. My teachers have been impressed even by a egg+salad sandwich I made myself. I was embarrassed ^^
– I keep my room and my possessions clean.
– I take time for myself to just be.
– I value myself over mindless work.
– I say no to things I don’t want to do (unless they’re really unavoidable).

Other things:
–  I get filled with joy when I see children playing and often wave and smile at them.
– I often seek eye contact with strangers, just for a moment, and often offer them a smile.
– I try to help others as much as I can.
– I’ve been inspired to live my life.
– I like watching nature.
– I get shivers when I hear about nature friendly energy sources (solar power <3<3) .
– I’ve started sleeping regularly.
–  I’m me.

These are things that came to mind just now, but I feel now that I am way more aware of small things now, that I didn’t spend much thought on when I was still in Sweden, and had no bigger thoughts on life itself.

I’m so happy that I’ve come in contact with the people and blogs that changed my life, and are still changing it!

Love your life! Pay attention to things around you and feel inspired by them! Enjoy life’s moments and don’t settle for something you don’t feel is right!

If you also feel amazed by small things, feel free to subscribe! And also feel free to follow me on twitter and retweet this post! Tweet

This is something I’ve been thinking and reading quite a lot about lately. What’s “tweaking your life” about?

For example, a few months ago I started practicing guitar more than I used to before. Maybe 30 minutes almost everyday. At first it seemed like usual, I didn’t see any instant results, so it felt a bit boring (Remember that this happens to me, even though I’ve been practicing guitar for years and KNOW results show up over time, and I still have a hard time convincing myself sometimes). I was practicing a thing called sweep picking, but it was really hard at the beginning, I went in slow motion speed, trying to get the pick and fingers in the right places ding the sweeps. But week by week I felt the speed and accuracy increase, and I got thrilled by it! I showed of my new skills to a friend, and she refused to believe that just a few months ago I couldn’t do it at all! I’m far from mastering it, but I’m way better than I was before.

Tweak: Started practicing guitar, which I like, about 30 minutes almost every day.
Result: Guitar skills improving faster than I imagined.

Everything you do add up do what you are. If you quit one bad habit, you’ve deleted one thing you didn’t like about yourself or your life. It might seem like a small thing, but then you learn something new that you like, and then you’ve deleted one bad thing and added one good thing, that’s two good things, and you’ve improved yourself towards what you want to be. And you have a lot of time in life to delete bad habits and add good ones and learn new skills. The more you do this the closer you’ll be to the person you want to be!

When I started thinking thinking more of the long run than the short run, that is, results over time instead of results in one hour, things started adding upp more quickly than I though. More than often the joy of doing new things or quitting bad things is the thrill of the moment. You always get that when you try something new, but it’s hard to sustain because once the first curve of success plains out a bit, it’s hard to imagine that what you don’t see results of right now will show result in the future, probably a closer future than the one you’re thinking of.

So don’t think it’s a waste doing small improvements. Big improvements start as small ones, and add up! It doesn’t just sound nice, it’s true as well! I’ve written about this before, but I’m so excited about it, I have to write about it again!