Being Wasteful

I thought of writing about this topic because I struggle sometimes while deciding on small purchases despite my awareness on the importance of being sustainable and economical. I think the most frustrating part is to convince myself and my family to buy less groceries or items that are on sale. It is ridiculous the amount of food that gets spoiled in the fridge in our house, or even fruits and vegetables that are purchased in duplicity due to lack of management.

From my own experience, I grew up believing that abundance was a positive thing, that having a lot of things meant status. The Chinese even keep the tradition of hosting lavish banquets where loads of food is served and most of the time result in leftovers (not take-aways). The etiquette in those situations even involves not finishing the dish on your plate to please the host, otherwise they would feel they didn’t prepare enough food for the guests.

I understand that debating about culture can get complicated and controversial, so the focus here is to make a reflection on the actual reason why people put so much importance on abundance and excessive consumerism. Why is it considered sophisticated to spend so many resources in order to keep a lifestyle? Why do we humans buy excessively and with no purpose?

We waste food, money and time on countless things and regret about them over and over. Any level of regret, for me, is somehow wasteful, regardless of one’s wealth. Even though consequences differ depending on one’s conditions, I believe that the core reason in only one, which is (lack of) self-esteem. Surely poor management and impulse may lead to abundance and waste, but at the end of the day, every person who is trapped in such vicious cycle is encountering some level of self doubt, need to be accepted by a group, frustration or anxiety – all related to self-esteem.

What does grocery shopping has to do with self-esteem? My theory is that this could be only one of the several symptoms one expresses when things aren’t going very well is their lives. This could be conscious or not, it’s just a matter of accepting the condition and taking time to evaluate your life as a whole and not just simply ignore it or believe that it will go away on its own. It is common to execute a task in attempt to withdraw or procrastinate from a dull task, and this is where major self-esteem issues hide.

I am not saying it’s easy to identify it, but it’s extremely important to pay attention to your feelings, actions and even to what people you trust tell you. And if you still can’t find what it is, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

In addition to the above, I’ve decided to discuss waste due to the growing awareness on sustainability and ways to live happier with less possessions. I hope we are able to produce less waste, and I trust that the starting point is to change our mindsets. However, we ought to believe in the importance of a cause before being able to actually change for the long term.

KISS

Keep it simple, stupid; aka KISS principle, means pretty much, what it says, except for the stupid part. It was a design concept created back in the 1960’s and praises simplicity over complexity. OK, but what does this has to do with our lives?

Remember a few posts back, when I mentioned “The Minimalists” documentary? Well, the moment has finally arrived!

I would be lying if I affirmed I am a minimalist, or that I have never collected shopping bags, CDs or shoes. I actually did all of that and maybe some other stuff, like stickers, lotions, makeup and the list goes on. Of course, I am not proud of any of these right now, but I believe I was proud of all that junk at some point. I believed the more things I possessed, the more empowered or popular I would be.

Although I wasn’t aware, today it is clear that my self-esteem was low because my grades were not great, I frequently argued with my parents, I was too skinny and was not the most popular girl in school. For me, if I dressed designer clothes, learned the newest songs and owned a cool “Discman”, people would like me more. I had no idea that everything I needed was actually inside of me, that I had to be a likeable person for my mentality and attitudes and not for what I dressed, or what my parents bought me. I guess the latter was the worst part of all because I couldn’t afford my stupid things and I am sorry my parents spent so much money on my shallow self.

Fast-forward some (many) years and I’ve started investing in my education and spirituality. It is an ongoing and long process, but I am making sure the results are long lasting and overall, I believe in my attitudes and that brings me joy. Throughout this journey, I am learning more about minimalism and sustainability.

Collecting things is not the main issue here, and there are actually professionals who do that for a living. My point is to raise awareness of accumulating items or shopping compulsively in attempt to fill a sort of emptiness in one´s life. I understand that most of us live in a capitalistic society and I am far from stating that it is sinful to desire things or dream about a new house or trip, but when such behavior has negative consequences, then change is required.

A house, a desk, a drawer, a cabinet, a wardrobe full of things are already too much to handle, not to mention when on top of that, they are messy as well. Even if you actually needed everything you owe, I doubt you use everything on a daily basis, or need more than one unit of each item. We believe that having options is positive, while having to choose between more than two things is actually torture and causes one to waste time.

Keeping things simple goes beyond having fewer things, which involves facilitating processes, feelings and attitudes. We tend to complicate things by overthinking, by adding extra steps to simple chores.

If you relate to my story and want to learn more about keeping things simple, drop me a line, stupid 🙂

Finding Inner Peace

Have you asked yourself what is wrong with the world? Why are people so intolerant, impatient and angry? Of course I am making a general statement and fortunately there are people and situations that spark a little bit of hope in us every now and then. If you are lucky enough, perhaps your reality is closer to “good vibes”, so stick to it!

Many religions and faiths state that the solution to all the evil and war against each other is inner peace. But wait: what exactly is inner peace? Is it a philosophy, lifestyle or feeling?

In my point of view, inner peace may vary from a person to another and it consists of a combination of different factors. However, I believe that these factors are not material (aka possession-related), regardless of the person’s lifestyle, wealth, culture, etc. Because if peace was reached with belongings, then it would be a contradictory concept, wouldn’t it?

Anyhow, I’ve decided to open this discussion because I hope this topic is debated broadly, and that my fellow humans understand that the world cannot be fixed on its own, neither solved by a different government or based on changing one another, if one is not feeling well with him/herself.

One way to identify if one is not at peace with him/herself is when someone is very critic and intolerant of another person. Usually a person is critic and judgmental of characteristics or attitudes they wish they had, while the person they criticize actually has. Isn’t it a crazy thing? Obviously it’s not something easy to recognize nor acknowledged. Or maybe someone else is totally different from you, has a different ideology or just doesn’t care about what you think of him/her. And this bothers you, someway somehow. So the main question to ask yourself is “Why does this person bother me so much?Why do I care and why do I want to argue/fight/hurt this person?”

This is beyond the sphere of what is right or wrong, but tolerance is built based on understanding differences and respecting one another with patience. In my opinion, this would be enough to establish world peace already, as no one is expected to best-friend someone they don’t like. However, respect is key to civilization and consequently, there wouldn’t be free insults towards people we find different, for instance. It’s the famous “let’s agree to disagree”.

That’s all for today, I hope you dedicate a few minutes to think about this. Let’s find our inner peace. Let’s just be happy :)))

I am Annoying

annoying-hated

Disclaimer: The below post may discredit my reputation as a coach, but I can’t help expressing my real thoughts and personality.

The purpose of this post is to stimulate a look into ourselves and think of ways to change bad habits and evaluate what attitudes are worth eliminating. It is easier to point at other people’s flaws instead of ours, so the task here is to spend a few minutes to analyze some patterns and question if we have missed on any career or relationship opportunities because of personality traits, reactions towards advice and even opinions given towards a certain topic.

When a negative response towards something we are working on is frequent, we must stop and think of a different way to do it. One will never reach the expected result if he/she insists on the same process, and the same is valid for anything.

Regardless of your goal, if you are frustrated about not getting something you really want, I suggest you make a list of possible reasons why you haven’t reach it. Take responsibility for your failures instead of blaming an external factor. I invite you to do that and in order to support you, I have removed my own layers as an example. You may feel bad about yourself at first, when you take a look at an enormous list of flaws, but later you will find it helpful and I will guide you through this journey in my upcoming posts 🙂

Once I was told: “You are a nice friend, but it must be unbearable to date you.” I couldn’t agree more and I am 100% sure that I am annoying and here are some reasons:

  1. I am very talkative, like, all the time, since the time I wake up;
  2. I don’t have boundaries;
  3. I am loud;
  4. I am too honest;
  5. I am too energetic;
  6. I get excited about the smallest things and I find fun in absolutely everything;
  7. I like many things and get bored easily;
  8. I am selfish;
  9. I don’t take sides when two friends are fighting;
  10. I can’t stand dramatic people;
  11. I don’t say nice things just to please someone;
  12. I am not sweet;
  13. I am demanding;
  14. I like things my way;
  15. I don’t take advice;
  16. I am too proud and cocky;
  17. I am impulsive
  18. I can never finish what I start…

When Help is Refused

Happy Monday everyone!

I’ve decided to make my blog posts more frequent and plan to write every 15 days, so I hope it works and that you enjoy the content!

This time I’d like to write about help from another perspective, as I’ve came across some situations in which I’d found myself at a dead end. As much as we read and discuss about offering help or accepting help from one another, there are times when one’s gonna stop and ask him or herself “wait, what if this person does not want my help?” I guess that’s how the expression “help me help you” was created?

In my home city in Brazil, unfortunately it is common to see beggars and homeless people in the streets, and they usually receive donations from pedestrians or people who live or work in the neighborhood. However, I have seen these people – who we believe are poor and would accept anything -refuse donations, and not just due to shyness, but instead, with aggressive gestures, even throwing the given food on the ground. Although there are plenty of explanations for what I’ve described, my aim here is to express that what we see or think is not necessary right, and sometimes we believe we are helping someone when we are actually annoying the other party.

Examples aside, I would like to explore the nuance of offering help to those who do not want help, also known as “unwanted advice”. I believe everyone has experienced this, on both ends. I can relate to this very easily, as I am aware of my behavior, which turns into preaching sometimes (I am working towards change in this aspect). In my case, I may even irritate friends and family with my energetic speech while I feel I am doing no harm to the person.

On the other spectrum, it seems like some people behave in a certain way that leads to unwanted advice, such as complaining and nagging about things they don’t really want to change. I am sure you – who are reading this now- know or had worked with someone with such behavior, say, the “complainer”. Moreover, some people even go further to ask for advice but regret they’d asked when they have to listen to the truth. Suddenly a defensive side is shown and the advising party becomes the bad cop. Complicated situation, isn’t it?

Don’t worry, we are humans and most of us don’t like negative feedback. Then what’s the solution?

In my opinion and from my experience, I believe that role models work wonders over advice. Because the secret behind change is taking responsibility towards one’s own life and decisions. Remember when we were younger and rebellious? No? Ok, when I was younger, I disliked every time my parents asked me to do something for them, regardless of how good a class or a habit would represent to me in the future.

Nevertheless, I would be very diligent towards activities and things I thought were good to me. Have you ever had an idol or a favorite singer you felt inspired to follow? It’s the same concept and this is something interesting we should use as adults as well. We must have role models – famous or ordinary, so we feel inspired and take responsibility towards our actions. The power to decide and change, when it’s originated from within can do miracles, while being told or advised by someone we don’t admire just makes us feel weak, incapable and annoyed.

Feel free to try this method and let me know if it has worked for you. When you are 100% committed to a decision without anyone else telling you what to do, you will go further with your goals and feel good about it.

Lastly, in my last post I mentioned there would be an announcement soon, and I am thrilled to inform that I have been working in partnership with a good friend on a podcast series! I will publish all the details in my next post, so stay tuned.

Hope you get inspired and see you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Summary

Hello Everyone!

Looking back at the past year, I am glad that it is over in a sense that it was a busy and tough year for most of us, and to be honest, I was desperately craving some rest.

If I had to review my accomplishments and lessons learned from 2017, I think I could summarize it as self-learning year, as I’d had the opportunity to learn more about spiritualism (which is different from religion) and focus on developing new skills in order to improve myself. However, although it sounds beautiful in writing, it is a continuous and ongoing process that I would describe as painful and demands a burning desire for change.

Exactly, CHANGE. Coincidentally, I got the book “Change or Die” as a Christmas gift from someone who had no idea I was going through that very same process, and I feel it was a sign that I am in the right path. Ok, getting back to what I was saying, it is mandatory to have at least the wish to improve, change, or have a slight idea that something different needs to be done. And the amazing aspect is that anyone could benefit from this, from a successful person to someone who is broke, as long as there is an awareness of such situation.

As a life and career coach, I deal with a wide range of coachees who seek assistance to achieve personal and professional goals. All of them own a common quality: the desire to change their status quo regardless of their beliefs, profession, gender or age. Ironically, I realized I was neglecting my own life and procrastinating changes while I was helping my coachees, friends and colleagues.

Little did I know that something so simple ended up causing me to feel tired and unmotivated at times, until my body started to emit signs that I needed to slow down and take a rest. Unfortunately, it took me a few months to notice them until I hurt my leg and took months to recover, while it would have taken only a few weeks under normal conditions. Actually, that was only the trigger to the entire “self-learning” process, and I realized my body and mind wanted to tell me “Suzana: it’s time to rest, whether you want it or not.”

My aim here is to warn you to listen to what your body tells you. Gladly, I am healthy and  nothing really serious had happened to me, but it could have if I kept ignoring my inner needs. I had always been a cheerful and energetic person but I felt exhausted for a couple months last year and even didn’t feel like myself at times. In addition, the most shocking part was when a friend said she was afraid I was getting depressed. After that, I decided I was going to review my life and agenda, and even my daily workouts had to be cut down for me to reach a more balanced life. Yeap, even healthy habits can cause stress if it becomes an addiction or when one surpasses his/her physical and mental conditions!

I apologize for not sounding so positive in this first post of 2018 and I am not saying it’s bad to help other people, but we gotta be feeling well before taking care of someone else for instance. I just wish I knew it before!

Anyhow, I hope I am able to help those out there who are in a similar situation, or struggling with something at the moment. You are not alone and I would love to hear your story!

Wish you a Happy New Year and soon I will announce some big news here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stubbornness Vs. Determination

As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When asked how he felt about failing a thousand times, Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, but the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Do you believe Edison was stubborn or determined?

Thomas Edison was determined. Because he attempted a thousand different ways in order to invent the light bulb instead of trying the same method and giving up in the middle of the process.

It sounds obvious but how many of us have insisted in a mistake or wasted time (and money) trying to achieve something and neglecting to try alternative forms? Perhaps no one has ever called us “stubborn”, but deep down we don’t really need someone to tell us that, do we?
Stubbornness may sound very bad to our ears because we tend to have prejudice towards this word and immediately associate it with someone who is very conservative, old school, unpleasant or even narrow-minded. 

Truth is, anyone at some point in their lives might have encountered a situation in which they were resistant and stubborn and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t cause you deep sadness, great disappointment, permanent giving up or fear of failure.

Then what is the solution to our daily problems? Determination.
A determined person has a target and will do anything and everything to reach it. However, please note that the objective must be clear as water, or all the work involved will be disposable. Besides having a defined objective, it takes discipline and organization to follow the strategies towards any goal. That is why determination is key to getting anywhere, moreover, if one is not aware of the importance of reaching the target, it will be very easy to get distracted and give up in between.

On the other hand, a stubborn person with a clear goal would only be successful by chance, or if he/she is luckily a genius. I affirm this because again, how can one reach a goal by trying the same method repeatedly, but failing to realize that some adjustments are necessary. I would risk to add that a stubborn person is also lazy and proud. Lazy because is too comfortable in a situation and ignores the need to change or learn a skill, and proud because lacks humility to recognize something is wrong or ask for help.

There is nothing wrong with taking longer than expected to achieve a goal, as long as one is trying different alternatives and learning during the process. There is no such thing as “failure” when you are having fun doing it. You will eventually get somewhere, even if it’s not your original destination.

Happy weekend!