::20 THINGS TO START DOING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS::

source: pinterest

::COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY::

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Last week I decided to go for a quick jog. It had been a while since my last run, but even though it was a rainy day, I felt like my body longed for a well-deserved exercise. I noticed that my endurance wasn’t what it used to be, but hey, I was doing my best! After 45 minutes I could see my house appear in the distance and I was about to finish my run. I smiled with self-fulfillment and decided to increase my pace to the finish line at home.

But then, out of nowhere came superwoman or “super mommy” so to speak. She pushed a stroller (with twins!) while running past me like a gazelle. Her legs must have been light as feathers, because she past me without a single drop of sweat! OMG woman, are you serious?! I though. In one split second my runners high evaporated in the air.

When I returned home, I realized that it is in our human nature to compare ourselves to others. Comparing yourself to other’s can be both inspiring and motivating. But when this comparison turns into jealousy, having less self-esteem, feeling frustrated etc. it might be time to snap out of it and give yourself a break.

Yes, we live in a competitive society with high expectations. We not only expect a lot from ourselves but also from others. We’re fighting to get the best job, we want to have cutting-edge gadgets, wear cool outfits, travel to faraway places and share the latest news before anyone else beats you to it.

Don’t we all know that wanting more stuff, wanting more money, wanting more parties and friends than the person next to you, is not the key to happiness? Will Smith was right when he said:

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

The truth is: there will always be someone “better” than you (smarter, taller, skinnier, faster, and richer) but, there will always be someone “worse” than you (fatter, shorter, slower, and poorer). Let’s just focus on ourselves instead!

Want to give yourself a comparison break? Below you’ll find a list of 10 things you should focus on instead:

  • Think positive (you won’t create a positive life with a negative mind)
  • Stay true to yourself
  • Know your values (see blog post 24th June)
  • Celebrate your strengths
  • Surround yourself with those people who inspire you
  • Learn from your mistakes (you’re only human)
  • Know when “good” is good enough!
  • Get on your own side (cheer yourself on)
  • Improve yourself one step at a time
  • Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle

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::MISO SOUP FOR THE SOUL::

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We all love a fresh bowl of homemade soup. Soup warms you up from the inside and some soups even give your immune system a boost. We all love the soothing feeling we get after eating a bowl of soup. And with autumn and winter coming up, soup is perhaps the best thing one could wish for on a rainy and cold day. So, treat yourself and your loved ones to a homemade bowl of soup and fight those winter blues!

I love to make a nice hearty soup and usually French onion soup is one of my favorites. However, we all need to try something new and I’ve only recently discovered the delicious taste of miso soup! I used to think of miso soup as a rather boring kind of soup. I never paid much attention to miso soup when visiting Japanese restaurants, because I was way too eager to eat my sushi instead.

The other day I was craving a healthy ramen soup and used miso paste as its stock. To my surprise it turned out super delicious and I’ve been hooked on miso soup ever since.

I decided to Google a few miso recipes and while I was browsing through various recipe sites, I actually discovered that miso provides great health benefits. A bowl of miraculous miso soup a day could make a world of difference to your health.

Miso soup:

  • Reduces risks of cancer
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Is antiviral
  • Prevents aging – high in antioxidants
  • Helps maintain nutritional balance – full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, miso provides: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
  • Helps preserve beautiful skin – miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments.
  • Helps reduce menopausal complaints – the isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flashes.

Miso has a wonderful sweet/salty flavor that can be used in a wide variety of recipes. The color of miso can vary from light yellow, good to use in a sweet miso soup during warm weather, to a deep dark brown with earthy tones and hearty flavor, which can be cooked with cubed root vegetables and dark leafy greens during the colder months.

Et voilà! This is how my miso soup turned out:

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I personally don’t like sticking to recipes. So, my advice to you would be: just get creative and simply add your own touch, while enhancing the stock to taste.

Ingredients used: 5 miso sachets incl. dried vegetables, 1x Chinese cabbage, spring onions, carrots, sugar, tiny bit of sesame oil, ramen noodles, boiled eggs, red chili, diced garlic, minced fresh ginger, umami paste, Kikkoman soy sauce (I ran out of miso sachets)

Now it’s your turn! Are you ready to make your own miso soup?

:: ADVICE OF THE DAY::

::FACEBOOK SABBATICAL::

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I am predicting a new trend: the Facebook sabbatical. Taking a break from what’s supposed to be a social way to scan your friends’ pages, supposedly giving you a warm embrace. You’ll be surprised how peaceful it is to disconnect for a while.

Let’s be honest: do you feel better or worse after logging into your Facebook account? Do status updates and skimming through photo’s make you feel satisfied?

The truth is that Facebook only shows us at our best. Ever read status updates about being depressed? Losing your job for the second time in a year? Relationship problems? Financial issues? Kids that actually drive you insane? No right?

I decided to ask my friends what their top 10 Facebook frustrations are.

Below you’ll find a list of the most common replies:

  • Baby updates and pictures. You think your baby is the most adorable thing on earth, reality check: friends may not be interested in your baby’s eating pattern and how rough your night was.
  • My boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife is so sweet and the greatest and I love him/her sooooooo much!!! Look at these flowers/gifts/handwritten love letters he/she gave me!
  • Selfies, especially duck face selfies and those “I’m looking at myself in the mirror thinking I look hot in this outfit” selfies.
  • Concert/event pictures and status updates that proudly scream: “ticket in da pocket for Beyonce’s concert”
  • Vague depressing status updates like: “sigh…”, “need to be alone”, “feeling blah today” clearly asking for attention and triggering friends to publically ask you what’s wrong.
  • Millions of vacation pictures of a crappy sunset/10 pictures of the same dinner/basically unedited pics, just upload everything that’s on the camera and hit ‘publish’
  • Engagement/pregnancy pics
  • “Is loving life and everything is so great and bla bla bla and I have the best everything anyone could ever have…EVER”
  • Workout pics, pics of your running shoes and especially those who connect their Nike Running app to Facebook
  • Anything with excessive use of !!!! ????
  • The materialists. The show offs who excessively post expensive brands, fashion, accessories, cars etc.

Are you ready to take a Facebook sabbatical? If you agree with more than 5 replies, it might be a good idea to take a break.

::TO SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE?::

do not covet ideas

Motivational author and Saatchi & Saatchi’s Creative Director legend, Paul Arden suggests that you’re alot better off by freeing your ideas and staying hungry for new ones. “Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will come back to you” is the title ripped directly from his must-read book It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be.

“You will remember from school other students preventing you from seeing their answers by placing their arm around their exercise book or exam paper.

It is the same at work, people are secretive with ideas. ‘Don’t tell them that, they’ll take credit for it.’

The problem with hoarding is that you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale.

If you give away everything you have, you’re left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.

Somehow, the more you give away, the more comes back to you.

Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership.

They’re not your ideas anyway, they’re someone else’s. They are out there floating in the ether.

You just have to put yourself in a frame of mind to pick them up.” Paul Arden

the hoarder

Have you ever been astonished by those who’d rather covet their ideas? In a time of mass/instant communication it does seem silly to hoard ideas when they could be brought to fruition. Feel free to express your thoughts on the quote.

::LOSE YOUR JOB, BUT FIND YOURSELF + YOUR VALUES::

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We all face difficult decisions and life always finds a way to throw circumstances at us, which test our patience, our character and our peace of mind.

Let’s take today’s crisis for example. Many of us have lost our jobs and face a time of uncertainty. But what if we use this time as an opportunity to reflect, get to know ourselves, figure out what drives us and reassess our priorities? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to set priorities that lead to happiness? By setting your true life values, you are able to focus on what’s really important to you.

Now let’s look at the story of John:

Ever since the day John lost his job, his goal has been to find a job ASAP. He spent day after day applying for jobs and had many sleepless nights feeling frustrated about the situation. He completely forgot about the world around him, because he wasn’t allowing himself to have fun. As weeks went by and piles of rejections followed, John finally realized that he wasn’t acting or feeling like himself anymore, he felt stressed and uncomfortable. He completely forgot to have fun, he forgot to relax and he even forgot to socialize with family and friends. John’s job hunt gave him tunnel vision and he lost track of his true life values.

It is not surprising that John felt this way. When your behavior doesn’t match your values, you begin to sense an uneasiness that slowly grows inside you. This uncomfortable feeling tells you that something in your life is off and you feel out-of-touch with yourself. These feelings can be the source of your anxiety and unhappiness.

But when your actions and words do align with your values, life is generally good and you feel content, confident and satisfied - even in the middle of a job hunt, sticking to your values can make life easier.

If you are eager to change your jobless situation, you have to realize that besides doing the best you can to find that job, the economy is not something you can control. So, what if you tried to change the strategy in which you deal with the situation?

When you know your life values, you will know what your motives are; the “why” behind your actions. Your values will serve as a compass in your life. And if you learn to live from your values ​​instead of achieving concrete goals, you’ll feel more in control of all the situations that life throws at you.

So, here is a simple exercise for you!

Below you’ll find a sample list of values.(I am sure there are more detailed lists/tests that can be found online)

1. Copy the list

2. Mark the values which most resonate with you

3. Sort your list in order of priority

As you scan the values list below, you may find that while most values have little or no significance to, there are those values that just jump out and call to you, and you feel, “Yes, this value is part of me.”

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This values list is merely a quick guide to the exercise, so feel free to add unlisted values to your own list and elaborate as to why this value is important to you.

Good luck, have fun and feel free to share your values with our readers!

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