Omni Positive Positive Mind, Positive Vibes, Positive Life Sun, 23 Apr 2017 16:25:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ways to Eat for a Healthier Life – The Right Mindset Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:43:53 +0000 I have been thinking about how we eat and diet, often with no success, and also how we have shifted our focus from eating healthy to excessively dieting and restricting calories at the cost of depleting our body of precious nutrients.
Eat Healthier Mindset

Indeed, when dieting, we eat less of certain categories of food, but what our body needs is a selection of healthier foods that will supply it with the needed nutrients that will support and activate our metabolism as well as supply our cells with proper nourishment.  Our body also needs to preserve its energy by avoiding attempts to draw nutrients from non-nutritional food or to deal with their negative impact on the body’s functions.

Some of us don’t necessarily know what is best to eat; we think eating salad and little meat while avoiding carbs and fat will help us stay in shape.  However, this is not enough to sustain us and nourish our cells, so we start to feel weak and tired, the body panics and sends craving signals, we binge, then start all over again. While the focus is on losing weight, it should be on nourishing the body to create and maintain the best shape.

The same happens with exercising – we overdo it with no success, and fall off track for a while then start all over again. Yet, all our body needs are movement and balance. So, we constantly battle against our own selves, our desires, and our appetite.

I spent the last few months pondering on the subject and piecing together all I learned on my journey to better health and came up with a proposition to better ways of eating that benefits our body, brain, and spirit. Eating better is linked to better living since nourishing the body entails lots of reorganization in our lifestyle that is necessary to maintain appropriate eating habits.

First, let’s say that, for this proposition, I’m not going to use 3 words that I find often mislead us. These words are: Diet, Change, and New.

Our mind tends to be suspicious about these terms. The word “diet” is often thought of as being limiting, restrictive. The word “change” is scary because it echoes the idea of unknown and our mind does not like to deal with the unknown, the risky. The same goes for the word “new” as it brings a kind of doubt.

Unconsciously we are telling ourselves:

Wow, wait a minute, what if I don’t like this new way, what if it pushes me past my outside my comfort zone, what if I can’t handle that.

So, let’s skip these words and replace them with terms like healthier vision, better health, wiser choices, being reasonable, enjoying the goodness of nature and food with no exaggeration and instead with moderation.

Our ancestors ate what nature offered them with little knowledge of all the biology and the chemistry that we now have at our disposal. They did not have to choose from a super market filled to the brim, they had their choices in nature in their backyard or by exchanging with others. What we need to do now is be inspired by their wisdom and mix it with all the knowledge and the technologies available to us today. We then can celebrate our progress and our efforts to nourish our body much better.

Now, let’s get into better ways to feed ourselves, making wiser choices, better food combinations that benefit our health, and using knowledgeable cooking styles that can enhance our food taste, safety, and appeal. This article focuses more on the Mindset of eating healthier. The next one will cover some practical tips to learn and implement healthier eating.

The best way to go about this is to go through these mandatory steps:

Know Yourself

Know what you like or dislike, your weaknesses, your strengths, your limitations and what motivates you. Also, know your numbers; have baseline measurements of your weight, your height, your waist, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your allergies, your blood sugar level, your cholesterol number. This is not to keep checking where you are at, but to have an idea where you are starting from and what needs to be taken care of first.

State Your Goal

Not in terms of how many pounds you want to lose, but rather in terms of how you want to feel and look, the size of dress you see yourself in with satisfaction, the condition of your skin, and how energetic, vibrant, and healthy you want to be. When you have a vision of what you want to become and you cherish it and work toward it, you have better chance to attain it. Think of the kind of food you would like to eat to feel like a prince or princess. An then get the healthier version of those. There is nothing to loose, but all to gain, including a leaner and fitter body, a sharper mind and a lighter spirit.

Envision a Different Mindset and Outlook on Your Habits

Find out what would be best to nourish your body and at the same time very satisfying to your spirit—what could you do to get in your best shape? What makes you feel energetic, calm, radiant, and sexy? Try to see things in a different light: the food choices you make and why, the time you spend to chew them, the timing of your meals, your sensations and feelings when you approach the table, and the people you share your meals with.  Be grateful for the experience and its benefits.  Feel all that differently, pay attention and stay present. Shut down the distractions like TV, iPhones, PCs. Stop doing this routinely, give value to the time you spend eating since it’s a precious moment of your life. It is a gesture that sustains life in you. Love your food, but love yourself first to stay healthy.

Treat Yourself Well

This way you can already feel good about yourself. Figure out which food stimulates your senses, whether it be the color, flavor, or presentation, etc. Think of a nice dinner that could be healthy, refreshing, and reinvigorating to you. Project in your mind a nice fruit tray with beautiful color, peaches, red or green apples, purple and green grapes, mangoes, blueberries, a piece of hard cheese or an excellent yogurt with nuts and dried fruits. Even picture a mango tree, a cherry tree, or anything else you can think of because they are all there for you in nature. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Our planet has everything good for us.

What’s bad for us is what is deeply transformed and over manipulated one way or another,  foods that have lost their soul, their natural core. Let your sight be amazed and stimulated by the beautiful colors, shapes and forms of natural whole food like some deep green broccoli florets.

Smell a baked cinnamon apple, feel the softness of a banana or a pear, salivate at the aroma of roasted meat, and be tempted by the vibrant color of some red pepper and eggs for breakfast turned over in coconut oil. Food can be gracious. Those fruits and fats are give you a nice skin complexion. Those proteins and cholesterol build your hormones. A glass of wine, from time to time, brings in antioxidants that protect your cells from aging too fast. A good shake or smoothie made of natural fruits and vegetables energizes and sustains your mind and body.

The point is to eat with purpose, and, for this, you need to learn about food. When you think about food that fuels you, think of meat, fish, lentils and cheese. When you think of food that detoxifies your body, think of beets, kale, spinach and lemon. Think of food that calms your nerves like yogurt, bananas, avocados, green leafy vegetables, and food that induces sleep like turkey, chocolate, honey and warm milk.

About Rose-Moraine

Rose-Moraine is a natural health enthusiast although her background is in nursing and psychology. Her journey became a quest for optimal health. She learns and gather information about natural health and now shares her experience and knowledge while still learning from new findings and researches daily.

]]> 0
Does our DNA Hold the Secret to Better Health? My Review Mon, 06 Feb 2017 07:00:55 +0000 A couple of months ago, I stumble upon the concept of DNA testing. There are several companies who offer, for a price, to analyse your DNA profile and send you your results with lifestyle recommendation. A scientific way to self-improvement. I’m game.

FitnessGenes Review

After doing a bit of research on Google, I settled on – from their own words:

At FitnessGenes, we use the combination of your DNA and relevant lifestyle data to make evidence-based recommendations on the type of diet and exercise strategies that are most likely to be effective for you. Looking to shed fat or build muscle? Our scientific approach to optimal fitness can help you to personalise your plans and can help you reach your goals easier and faster.

If it’s something that interests you, and that you can afford (it’s not cheap, I paid $379 CAD for mine), I recommend trying it out. In this long Fitness Genes Review, I’ll explain what FitnessGenes is and does and talk about my results.

Please note that the article contains affiliate links – basically if you decide to try FitnessGenes by clicking a link on this page, I’ll get a small commission for the referral. Thanks.

So, what the heck is FitnessGenes?

FitnessGenes offers custom fitness and nutritional programs based on the results of a DNA test. You must first submit a saliva sample that provides the DNA for extraction and analysis.

In my case, I purchased their “FitnessGenes Muscle-Building System” on October 20. My “kit” was shipped the next day, and I received it a few days later, on October 25.

The kit is essentially a lab tube that you must fill out with your saliva. It comes with instructions about how to do it – it’s very simple.

I shipped back my sample, and got a confirmation from FitnessGenes that they received it on November 14.

My Results was finally ready on December 1st. All in all, the process took about 1 month (in part due to me shipping my sample from Canada to the UK).

FitnessGenes DNA Results

In my case, FitnessGenes provided an analysis and my results on 41 genes that they say directly influence my response to exercise and diet.

Fitness Genes Results

I can access a summary of my results in a user-friendly dashboard that explains in plain English how the genetic data can be best used for choosing a fitness and nutrition program. The dashboard also includes an individualized action blueprint listing more specific strategies for training and nutrition.

As you can see from the screenshots below, the report includes detailed descriptions of each gene analyzed and how it contributes to my overall performance and dietary needs as well as explanations of how combinations of genes can interact to enhance or inhibit exercise benefits.

The report also includes full citations of scientific evidence.

Fitness Genes Results #2

To be honest, it was a bit overwhelming at first. That said, I then spent a bit of time each day to read on 2-3 genes at a time and it was very interesting.

For instance, some genes and explanations confirmed things I suspected. For example:

  • My genes correctly reflect my ethnic background and my eye color;
  • My genes confirmed that I am lactose intolerant;
  • My genes show that I’m less prone to over-eating, which is spot on.

The result also includes a plan for what is the best workout for my profile. My genes suggest:

  • I do resistance/strength training;
  • I do high-volume when I workout;
  • I mix in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • I eat less frequent but higher calorie meals;
  • I avoid refined grains and sugars;
  • There a number of other specific recommendations for me…

Fitness Genes Results #3

Fitness Genes Results #4

Fitness Genes Results #5

Indeed, this can vary from one person to the other. Some personal genetic makeup is best served by longer workouts of lower intensity. Another genetic marker is for appetite and some people should time their meals accordingly.

Other FitnessGenes Features

Since this a FitnessGenes review, I’ll talk a bit about the general features they offer.

The Member Area includes a library of e-books complete with images and videos showing how to do different exercises and a glossary to assist users with scientific terminology. It also provides links to each of the FitnessGenes training plans. For example, if you don’t want to pay as much as I did, there’s a “starter plan”.

FitnessGenes offers several different fitness plans to choose from. All plans are gender specific, and plans are categorized by general fitness goals. Those who are interested in slimming down can choose the “Fat-Loss” or “Bikini Body” program.

For those who wish to bulk up, FitnessGenes offers a general “Muscle-Building” plan, the one I picked, as well as an option designed by fitness expert Scott Herman.

Once a general plan is chosen, professional trainers and nutritionists at FitnessGenes incorporate our genetic data to make the plan truly specific to our goals, current level of fitness, and genetic makeup.

All plans provide a weekly overview and clear instructions on the genetically optimized exercise routines suggested for each day. It is very detailed.

The Plans also give individualized tips on how our genetic makeup can enhance or inhibit a workout. For example, a plan may offer suggestions for increasing testosterone levels, decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or utilizing caffeine for maximum gains.

The Plans also include a nutrition calculator to suggest the number of calories and proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that should be included in our daily meals and offers data-based suggestions on the timing of meals throughout the day. FitnessGenes suggests dietary supplements to mitigate vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by particular genes.

My Personal FitnessGenes Review Summary

FitnessGenes provide a lot of info. I’m still digging through mine, and I haven’t really started implementing their training guide. Nutrition wise, their recommendations seem spot on for me so far.

One additional perk I found very useful is the private Facebook group all the members have access to. The CEO and co-founder of FitnessGenes, Dr. Dan Reardon, answers questions directly and offers tips and recommendations both for workouts and nutrition.

At the end of the day, I’m happy I did the DNA test – I learned a lot. If you can afford it, I recommend you try out

]]> 0
7 Reasons Why Quitting Sugar Will Make You Happier Sun, 29 Jan 2017 15:23:59 +0000 The average person currently consumes approximately 180 pounds of sugar annually. It sounds shocking, but it is a fact. Yet, if asked, most people would grossly underestimate how much sugar they eat. When trying to guess their daily intake, most would only take into consideration how much sugar they consciously consume.

Quit Sugar to Be Happier

How much sugar did I add to my cup of coffee?


How many donuts did I eat?

The problem is that sugar is currently found in almost every food imaginable; even those that we might not immediately equate as sweet. For example, ketchup, bread, sports drinks, salad dressing, oatmeal, fat-free foods are all loaded with sugar.

This means that giving up sugar may not be as easy as it sounds. Although difficult, it is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Here are 7 reasons why quitting sugar will make you happier.

1. Losing Weight

Without a doubt, losing weight is one of the biggest advantages of giving up sugar. People who indulge in high sugar diets are always hungry and constantly experience cravings. This is because sugar is quickly processed and converted in the body leading to a perpetual feeling of hunger.

By cutting out sugar of your diet, it becomes easier to control your cravings, what you eat, and by extension your weight. By losing weight, health is improved and there is nothing more important in determining happiness than one’s health.

2. Less Irritable, Anxious and Moody

If you find yourself irritable, anxious, and moody, the reason could be the sugar in your diet. The body is very sensitive to changing glucose levels. The term sugar high is used in everyday language in a jocular manner, but it is a proven scientific fact. When fed sugar, the body releases endorphins giving the feeling of a high. However, this only lasts for a short while before eventually, a crash occurs, leading to fluctuating moods.

Giving up sugar will re-establish the hormonal equilibrium in your brain and thus reduce these changes in mood.

3. Stop Hurting Your Body

You will stop exposing your body to sugar and harmful preservatives. Gary Taubes, the author of the book “The Case Against Sugar” goes so far as to describe sugar as a toxic substance. As extreme as this may sound to some, it is difficult to argue with his assertion when some studies have shown sugar has the same addictive qualities as cocaine and heroin.

People who quit sugar actually liken their symptoms to having withdrawals.

4. Better Sleep

You will sleep better and longer. High blood sugar levels are a leading cause of insomnia. This is because sugar has the effect of keeping you up. Therefore quitting sugar will help improve your sleep patterns.

5. Improved Lifestyle

There can be a renewed focus on a healthy, wholesome lifestyle. Giving up sugar requires a dedication and single-mindedness. It means a conscious effort to educate oneself, read food labels, cook from scratch, change diet, and avoid certain foods altogether. In other words, it requires a commitment to a total lifestyle change. Thus you will join the category of people living happy, healthy, holistic lives.

6. Look Your Best Self

The old adage “Looking good is feeling good“, applies in this case simply because sugar has such a detrimental effect on one’s appearance. People who give up sugar report clearer skin, healthier hair, stronger teeth, and of course weight loss. A better appearance leads to improved feelings of self-worth.

7. More Productive

Improved productivity, memory, and alertness. Those who consume a lot of sugar are prone to peaks and slumps of energy throughout their day. Cutting out sugar helps increase focus and this is beneficial to daily life in work and school.

The benefits of giving up sugar far outweigh those of keeping it in your diet. Quitting sugar is the first step in taking charge of your health and overall well-being. Not only will your body improve, so will your mind.

Sources and Further Reading on Sugar:

]]> 0
How To Become a Good Listener – Do These 8 Things Sat, 30 Jul 2016 16:46:10 +0000 Relationships are built on communication, and communication is a two-way street. To do so you need to be a good listener. You can’t have a good conversation if you’re always preparing to explain yourself, add in your two cents or tell your own related story. That’s not a meaningful conversation, that’s a monologue!

How to become a good listener

Good communication requires good listening, but good listening isn’t easy. No doubt you’ve been on the receiving end of a poor listener before. Have you ever poured out your heart to a friend, only to have her completely misunderstand you? Can you recall conversing with someone who only used the time that you were speaking to plan what he was going to say next? Have you ever felt like talking to your partner is like talking to a brick wall?

It’s hard to talk to people who don’t listen well, but to be honest, we’re all guilty of poor listening at times. This is a problem because poor listeners are more likely to end up in conflict. They are also less able to de-escalate a situation and more likely to feel undervalued in relationships.

Often, bad listeners are not even aware that they’re bad, in part because our communication habits are deeply ingrained in us from our childhood. Our habits are a mishmash absorbed from our own personalities, the people we are around, the conflict we witnessed and the ways of communicating we became habituated to. This makes it difficult to identify a bad habit and even harder to break one.

Eight Practices to Make You a Good Listener

It is possible, however, to make a few simple changes to your communication style. If you want to be a good listener and improve your conversations and relationships, you’ll need to intentionally adapt the way you interact with others.

1. Use “Peak Listening”

Peak Listening,” according to Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson’s The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success, occurs when you have broken through your own defenses and can listen to someone under the assumption that they’re right. Often, poor listeners are quick to feel threatened by a speaker’s tone, words or attitude, and they become eager to defend themselves. Unfortunately, defensiveness stops a conversation from progressing, and both parties leave feeling frustrated and unheard. To achieve “peak listening,” you will have to ignore your feelings of being under attack, even if you are, and engage the other person with the intention that you will find some point on which you can agree. Not only can this technique be disarming to someone who is angry or hurt, but it ensures your own response is based on what the other person said rather than how you felt about it.

2. Don’t Think About Your Response While Listening

One bad listening habit that most people struggle with is planning what they will say while the other person is still talking. Thinking about how you will respond rather than concentrating on the other person’s words is a big problem. It trains your focus on your own thoughts and feelings rather than on the speaker’s. It might make you excellent at speaking your mind, but all the other person will hear in your response is what you missed.

Are you thinking about your next story? Or planning how to phrase your advice? Remind yourself that you’ll have plenty of time to respond once the other person finishes. You can even make space in your conversation for you to collect your thoughts by explaining to the speaker, “I want to think about what you just said before I respond.” This ensures you are giving enough consideration to your answer while assuring your friend that you are being thoughtful rather than zoning out.

3. Ignore Distractions

Distractions can come upon you without warning, and it is often those impromptu distractions that shift your intentional focus away from the speaker. Some people can be distracted by the way a person looks or speaks. Others struggle with distractions in the form of their cell phone going off or a notification scrolling by. Anytime you, as a listener, break eye contact to check your phone, you have just made yourself seem disinterested in the person talking.

If this is something you struggle with, plan to silence or put away your phone to have a conversation. And if something about the speaker is distracting you, focus instead on something neutral so you can continue to hear their words rather than your own inner commentary. Giving the other person your full attention is the basis for any productive and meaningful interaction.

4. “Listen” Nonverbally

As speakers, we naturally look for signs that our listeners are paying attention. Someone whose attention starts to wander or who begins fidgeting or who sits with arms crossed is sending clear signals of disinterest or disagreement. Be sure that these signals are not coming from you. Being a good listener with your nonverbal means making eye contact when necessary, having open body language with head, feet and torso pointed toward the other person and maintaining careful, neutral expressions.

Don’t roll your eyes, cross your arms, turn your head, pull up your nose or smirk while you listen. This negative behavior will make you seem judgmental, condescending or disinterested. If you catch yourself giving a negative nonverbal cue, counteract it with a positive one. Smile, nod your head, open your hands or lean forward. Maintaining your physical interest will also help you stay mentally engaged with the speaker.

5. A Good Listener Asks Clarifying Questions

Sometimes people have difficulty expressing themselves correctly. Other times we do lose focus on what is being said and may not remember well. It’s important to ask questions to clarify what was meant in these cases. The following are examples of good clarifying questions.

“When you said ___, I didn’t understand. Can you explain what you meant?”

“You said ___. Can you provide a specific example?”

“Will you repeat the part about ___ for me?”

Questions like these give the speaker a chance to address the gaps in their own communication while assuring them you want to understand their perspective.

6. Paraphrase What The Other Person Tells You

Repeating what the other person says is another great technique for avoiding misunderstandings. Similar to asking clarifying questions, paraphrasing is more focused on what was said rather than on what you didn’t understand. Sometimes, a person can be saying one thing while you are hearing something completely different. So if you fail to clarify what you hear, you risk a major miscommunication. Paraphrasing is an especially good practice in close relationships or in those that are prone to conflict. Examples include the following.

“I heard you say ___. Is that what you meant?”

“I just want to be sure I understood you. You think that ___.”

“So what you’re saying is ___. Did I understand that correctly?”

7. Be Interested In The Other Person – Don’t Fake It

A good listener believes that others are worthy of their time. If you don’t actually believe this, even your best attempt at good listening will be betrayed by something involuntary. For example, a glance at the clock or an impatient eye roll. If you don’t feel interested in the speaker, find something about them that you like and focus on that. This will help you stay truly engaged as a listener instead of as someone who is faking it.

8. Do Not Judge – Keep An Open Mind

Being a good listener requires keeping an open mind. Now, having an open mind does not mean that you automatically agree with what the other person is saying. However, it does mean that you are willing to listen to everything they are saying and to consider the issue from their point of view.

A lot of times, we are unwilling to fully hear the other person out because we are afraid that they will perceive our listening as an endorsement of their behavior or response. The problem with this viewpoint is that unless a person feels heard or understood, they are not likely to listen to any advice or correction. When we start with an open mind and a determination to understand, even if we don’t agree with how someone might feel such a way, we are more likely to listen better. Judgment is the last thing we want to feel.

The above list is not comprehensive, but it can serve as a good beginning for improving anyone’s listening skills. You’ll need to start with an open mind and a willingness to fully understand another person’s perspective. This mindset will be a strong foundation for you to build on as you add other good listening behaviors into your communication skill set. Chances are, you’ll need to be very intentional about breaking poor listening habits as you work to establish good ones.

References & Further Reading

To become a better listener, make sure to read the following reference materials that inspired me to write this article:

]]> 0
The Importance of Having a Shutdown Ritual Mon, 25 Apr 2016 08:45:23 +0000 If you have a 9 to 5 job, you may have trouble preventing your professional life from interfering with your personal life. Considering the omnipresence of technology in our lives nowadays, it can feel like we’re always on the clock, especially if you’re a student or a knowledge worker (lawyer, accountant, teacher, executive etc.) of some sort. That’s why you need a shutdown ritual.
shutdown ritual

Even if your work mostly involves manual labor, with a clear cut-off time, it probably still occupies your mind after your shift is official over. Whether it’d be because you’re thinking about the things you have to do the next day or about co-worker interactions, work has a tendency to weigh heavy on the mind.

I’ve recently been exposed to the idea of shutting down at the end of the work day, to be more fully engaged in our personal life and responsibilities once we live the office. I’ve implemented it and it has had a great impact.

What’s a shutting down ritual

I first came into contact with the idea in Professor Cal Newport’s excellent book, Deep Work. Deep Work essentially champions the idea that any important, meaningful activity, professional, creative or otherwise, should be performed during periods of distraction-free concentration. In the future, I’ll write more about some key concepts of the book and of Professor Newport’s ideas, particularly scheduling and time-blocking.

But back to the topic at hand, in one chapter of the book, Professor Newport describes the importance and benefits of having a shutdown ritual to ensure that when your work day ends, it really ends:

Another key commitment for succeeding with this strategy is to support your commitment to shutting down with a strict shutdown ritual that you use at the end of the work-day to maximize the probability that you succeed. In more detail, this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or projects has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisited when the time is right. […] When you’re done, have a set phrase you say that indicates complete (to end my own ritual, I say, “Shutdown complete”).

As you can see, the concept revolves around performing a work brain dump at the end of day and making sure that any lingering tasks or to-do is planned for or scheduled at a specific time in the future.

How I do it and how you can too

I started implementing a shutdown ritual to the end of my current day job (I’m a lawyer) about two months ago, and it’s been great. The most visible impact it has had on me is that I rarely feel the need to recheck my work emails late at night, because I know that anything that needs to be taken care of is planned or scheduled and will be dealt with at some already decided point in time.

The way I do it is simple: 15 minutes before leaving work, I’ll stop working and go over my to-do list for the day and calendar for the week/month. Anything that’s left on my to-do list for the day or that was added to it during the workday is scheduled in a time slot for the next day(s) or simply discarded if it’s not important. I will then complete a quick and concise to-do list for the next day, which I will usually review and adjust the next morning as part of my morning ritual (more on that in other article). To complete my shutdown ritual, as I walk away from my office, I’ll say my own personal cheesy shutdown sentence “Shut you down.” (I say this as if I was signing the hook of an old school rap song from The Alchemist).

And that’s it.

I strongly recommend you try it too at the end of your school or work day:

  • Review the remaining tasks and upcoming tasks you have to do;
  • Discard the ones that have become unnecessary;
  • Schedule the ones that need to be taken care for specific times in the next day(s);
  • Write down a quick version of tomorrow’s to-do list in your notebook (I use this one, I like to use a notebook since I’ll review it in the morning at home before heading to work);
  • Say a set (cheesy) phrase that marks the clear ending of your working day.

Do you have a shutdown ritual? What else do you do to strictly end your school or work day? Let me know in the comments.

You should read Professor Newport’s Deep Work.

]]> 0
How to Overcome the Fear of Judgment: This is My Story Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:51:45 +0000 “Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” – Eckhart Tolle

fear of judgment

A few weeks ago I had to give a keynote presentation to my local Rotary Club about the habits to create long term happiness. After almost 4 years from my last public speech, when I was at university, this experience brought back to mind my early public presentations of my life.

As a student I gave several presentations in front classmates and professors, but it wasn’t always easy; especially in the beginning I felt terrified.

For some people, being evaluated in social situations such as public speaking, making an appointment or sitting for an exam, is equivalent to experiencing an excruciating pain.

In my case I felt, in part at least, to be under constant evaluation by my audience. I would slowly put myself in defense mode, so that they could not discover my flaws and spot my weaknesses.

Because I saw my audience as the judge of my imperfections, I also believed that they would seize on any misstep and despise me for that.

From my experience, I noticed several factors that could intensify or mitigate the fear during this type of events, and they usually concern vulnerability-related attributes like:

  • The status of the evaluator and her power within the society.
  • Your skills in presenting an attractive and persuasive “facade”.
  • The confidence in your own abilities.
  • The evaluation of the degree of threat, of the potential damage and the likelihood of this happening.
  • Some automatic defenses like verbal inhibition, memory block and spontaneity control can weaken someone’s performance.
  • The anticipation of punishment from the evaluator for a given act that goes against the rules or for a below standard performance.


Knowing how to properly cope with certain adverse social events, requires a good degree of self-confidence in your abilities. Your confidence is related to the perceived magnitude of your expectations, your difficulties and the potential punishment derived from a scarce performance.

In certain circumstances your self-confidence can be threatened and weakened:

  • When you feel inferior and not good enough to rightfully answer the evaluator’s requests.
  • When you fear a negative consequence for a bad performance (job loss, suspension from school or the end of a relationship).

Physiological Reactions

Fear of judgment, not only triggers internal reactions, but external too. Blushing, sense of fatigue, muscular tension and palpitations are some of the most common symptoms.

When I was at university, even before the dreaded event took place, I used to get absorbed by my prophetic fears that soon after would lead me to physical and mental stiffening. That inhibition interfered with the natural expression of myself, my mind got confused and my words got jumbled.

In essence, I undervalued my skills and became more vulnerable.

Overcoming social anxiety, and in particular fear of negative evaluation, is not an easy thing to do; yet many other people, myself included have done it. Although I’m not a certified therapist, I want to show you what has worked for me.

While I was in the middle of this problem, I felt completely despaired – as if it could never get better – until I made these simple adjustments to my life.


When you try to impress someone, you are no longer real and authentic with that person. When you just express yourself, that opens up a whole new channel where you can authentically connect with another human being.

More self-love helped me achieve this result. When you don’t love yourself, the only thing you can use your time for is to worry about what other people think.

The more love you have for yourself, the more you’ll be able to authentically express yourself.

Life is Everywhere

As soon as I realised that it wasn’t only about me, and that there are millions of other people in the world, then it became clear that the world doesn’t have time to think about me.

The majority of the time people are not thinking about you, instead they are thinking about them.

We have to stop being so egocentric and think that the whole world revolves around us.

Don’t Please Everyone

Many people beg to be liked by each and everyone, but we have to remind ourselves that we are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations. We are here to be ourselves and authentic 100%.

Setting up your own unique value system is an incredible favor you can do yourself. When you allow someone else to give you value, you automatically lose self-confidence.

Give yourself your own definition of value. Do everything for yourself first, before doing it for anyone else.

Accept that you cannot control what other people think of you. You can’t control how people act, you can only control how you respond to their actions.


Leave a comment below if you are going through this process right now. Comment with the steps that you are taking to overcome fear of judgment. Comment if you, like me, overcame fear of judgment and want to share your personal story. Comment if you have questions you want me to answer. Comment also if you hated this post. I love hearing from you!

]]> 3
How Many Times Do You Ask Yourself: Who Am I? Fri, 10 Apr 2015 13:40:37 +0000 Sometimes we don’t realize it, but we are far from understanding who we really are. Our parents, colleagues and the society around us pretend to teach us how to live, by deliberately neglecting how these teachings have the potential to dim our true identity.
 who am i

When this happens, we find ourselves on roads that someone else forced us to walk. We have to deal with life choices that probably don’t belong to us but to others. In essence, we are living someone else’s life.

At times we find ourselves giving up, when instead we should persevere; while other times we insist, when instead it would be better to let it go.

When no one teaches us how important is to recognize and value each aspect of ourselves, we risk to live life trying to be like others define us, or worse, trying to prove them wrong.

This focuses all our energy on our supposed “imperfections”, rather than asking ourselves the most important question:

Who am I?

Everyone, sooner or later, experiences some distressing moments where everything just doesn’t seem to make sense. When these moments present themselves, you start telling yourself: “I shouldn’t be here”, “Why am I still in this relationship?” or “I don’t like my job”.

Related Read: 8 Long-Held Misconceptions People Have About Life

These thoughts can be scary because, if materialized, they can subvert your equilibrium and your life as you know it. But those are also the exact intuitions you need to follow if you want to find your own path and live the life you desire.

To know yourself better every day, you don’t have to stop questioning why you do what you do.

What makes you feel alive?

Those are your interests, your passions and everything that makes you feel fulfilled and think about future projects you might undertake, both personal and professional.

Are there things you do with ease?

You probably haven’t noticed it, but you have a talent. There is something that you are good at more than anybody else. Work hard on your talent. Protect it and use it at your advantage.

Take a pen and paper

If there were no limits of time, money or fears, what are 30 things you would do right now? What are 30 things you want to have? Voilà! Now you have a list of things you are denying yourself.


You keep filling your time with short term objectives so that you don’t have to think. Try instead to spend some time with yourself. Give yourself the chance to question your life. Answer to your questions and build long-term life projects based on what you find.

Don’t stop being curious

Of yourself, of others and strangers. Without curiosity, there is no life.

What could you regret?

Imagine yourself in 40 years. Think about it and look back at your life. What are you disappointed about? For what would you say: “If only I could go back in time, I …”?

Now go back in time and start changing the life of your future you.

Remember that you are unique and that there’s no one and never will be anyone like you. Then, why not giving you the possibility to be who you should be?

What do you think? Who are you keeping locked up inside of you?

]]> 0
80+ Inspiring Random Acts Of Kindness Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:37:21 +0000 Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of videos going on around the internet of people helping others. But what if I told you there is a way we could help hundreds of people by just doing one random act of kindness?

random acts of kindness

Here below, you find the “Awesome Random Acts of Kindness Guide” with 88 inspiring deeds on it.

What would be really cool is if you would print it out and when you’re done, you just pass it on to the people that you do the good deeds for.

Enjoy it!

Awesome Random Acts Of Kindness Guide

1. Tell a street performer how amazing he or she is

2. Bring flowers to a nursing home

3. Leave a letter in a library book

4. Leave happy note around town

5. Tell someone why they are special to you

6. Email or write a letter to an old teacher who made a difference in your life

7. Pray for a friend or family member

8. Compliment a stranger

9. Stand up for the underdog

10. Hold a “dog wash” to raise money for a good cause

dog wash

11. Help someone carry their grocery bags

12. Donate blood

13. Give up your seat on a bus

14. Leave flowers on someone’s car

15. Praise the work of others

16. Befriend with a lonely person

17. Help someone whose car has broken down

18. Bring dog/cat food to a shelter

19. Forgive someone. Repeat as necessary.

20. Give away stuff you don’t use anymore for free


21. Do a chore for someone without them knowing

22. Do something nice for yourself

23. Greet everyone you see

24. Give an unexpected gift

25. Call your parents and tell them you love them

26. Lend your knowledge and expertise

27. Make two lunches and give one for free

28. Leave a colouring book and crayons in a hospital waiting room

29. Sit with someone who is eating alone

30. Buy dessert for someone at a restaurant anonymously

31. Clean someone’s windshield

32. Put sticky notes with positive words in public places

positive sticky note

33. Smile at others

34. Give cold drinks to road workers in the summer months and hot drinks in the winter time

35. Help lost people in your city

36. Make someone laugh

37. Give your neighbour a treat

38. Give coupons for someone to use at the grocery store

39. Share your umbrella with someone who didn’t bring one

40. Hug random people

free hug

41. Write a thank you note

42. Let a car in front of you merge

43. Plant a tree

44. Surprise someone who lives far away by visiting them unexpectedly

45. Return someone’s cart at the store

46. Connect people to each other

47. Leave cookies for the mailman

48. Pay someone’s parking meter

49. Bring in your neighbour’s trash cans

trash can help

50. Be empathetic

51. Let someone go in line in front of you

52. Let someone take your parking spot

53. Buy a dozen flowers and hand them out to random people

54. Walk dogs at the shelter

55. Donate used clothing

56. Hold the door open for someone

57. Be encouraging

58. Be understanding

59. If you’re just thinking nice things about a person, text them to let them know.

60. Be kind to someone you dislike

61. Tell a stranger in the dressing room who is shopping alone that something looks great on them.

62. Buy a coffee for the person behind you

line at coffee shop

63. Offer a ride to someone who is car-less

64. Donate used books to the library

65. Send a handmade card to someone

66. Make a donation in your name to a charity

67. Offer a meal to a homeless person

68. Be thoughtful

69. Wash someone’s car for free

70. Bake a treat for someone

71. Take the time to listen to someone’s story

72. Offer to fix something broken at your friend’s or parents’ house

73. Leave a generous tip

generous tip

74. Be patient

75. Call a homeless shelter. Ask what they need. Bring it.

76. Pick up litter

77. Help someone with yard work

78. Be thankful

79. Bring donuts to work

80. Offer to take a picture for tourists

81. Say thank you to a janitor

82. Buy parking passes to give to parents of children in the hospital

83. Make a memory box for someone you are with little paper notes of all the things you did together over the years and give it to them

84. Drop off bus tickets to a shelter

85. Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog

86. Leave “Have a happy day” on the windshield of as many cars as possible

87. Help an elderly person or someone in need to cross the street

88. Share this list to encourage other to do Random Acts of Kindness

you don't need a reason to help people

What are you waiting for? Let’s change the world together, and if you can’t print out the list, you can also help out by just sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter.

If we spread it across the internet enough, maybe this list will go around the whole world.

Until next time.

]]> 0
8 Long-Held Misconceptions People Have About Life Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:56:15 +0000 Many of our beliefs are just as crazy as they sound, but when we hear talking about them since our childhood (youth), we end up considering them as the norm.

8 long-held misconceptions people have about life

In Ancient Greece, for example, people thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe and that all the planets, stars and the Sun revolved around it. By the 16th Century, Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus proved the geocentric model wrong.

Beliefs can be found in anything related to how we live our life; being it a relationship with a person, a thing or an emotion. Whatever it is we go through in our life, our mind can make it believable. Beliefs are also the basis for action.

Our minds can make our life experiences real even when they aren’t, and until we question our beliefs we’ll never know whether what we do right or wrong.

While I was in the process of questioning my personal beliefs, I observed eight recurring ideas that people in our society still believe to be true.

1. Other people are more fortunate than me

I’m getting left behind. What did I do wrong?” Those are the kind of things I would tell myself and I would start comparing my life to others.

Are you so caught up in looking over to your right or to your left? How many of us go on Instagram or Facebook and stalk people? Admit it. You look at people smiling and having fun in some exotic location and ask yourself: “Why them and not me?

Instead, be original, create your own fortune. Don’t worry about living other people’s lives, know yourself, appreciate who you are, be confident in your abilities and work hard for what you want to accomplish.

2. Life is suffering

Life is hard, painful, you have to struggle.

Well, that’s what my parents told me, and their parents told them that, too.

When I realized that I didn’t have to live in the “conveyor belt” lifestyle that everyone else was living, I realized that life can be whatever I choose.

When you say that life is full of pain and suffering, that is what you attract. When you say that you have the power to mold life into whatever you want to make it, that’s when you tap into your greatness and can achieve whatever you dream.

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is always a choice and the pain is temporary.

Suffering is caused by not being able to let go of the temporary pain you’ve experienced.


3. Money is a right

Some people think, because they have a lot of money, they have the right to do whatever they want.

I used to think this way, my identity and self-worth were tied to my material possessions until I lost it all.

During the rebuilding process, I realized that even though we live in a material world, material possessions don’t make me who I am. They are just things I own.

When it’ll be all said and done, all you’ll have are the memories you shared with the people who mattered most in your life.

The experiences, not the things. That’s what you should be focusing on more and more every day. The relationships.

4. You should get married

Society tells us that we have to get married and have children by a certain age, and if we don’t do that we are clearly doing something wrong.

Where do all of these ideas come from? Who implanted them into our minds?

As we evolve in consciousness, we realize that none of us have to get married and none of us have to have children, but we do have to do what resonates with our heart.

I think it’s wonderful to be in divine union and to have children, but don’t feel guilty if you aren’t doing those things.

5. Degrees mean success

Growing up that’s all I wanted to do. Just study, because I thought the more I studied that was a guarantee I could live a successful life.

Studying is wonderful. It opens doors and your mind, but if you don’t go to university you can still make it.

If you don’t have a degree you can still live your dreams.

6. You have to look perfect

Many people fixate on having the perfect body, the perfect shape or being the perfect size.

I used to think that I needed the perfect body image. I had a program running in my head that was the be all and end all.

How many of us go on diets just to try and fit into an image which probably doesn’t even exist, because that person in the magazine has been digitally manipulated?

What I realized is that you have to have a body, shape and size that is truthful to you along your journey, not somebody else’s journey.

Whatever you do, do it for yourself. The more you do it, the more you realize that none of us is supposed to look exactly the same. We are supposed to look how we envision ourselves in our minds at our highest level.

look perfect

7. Your greatness has a limit

How many of us say: “Ok I’ve done enough. I reached my limit. Let me stop now and take a break”.

The truth is there is no limit. Many people stunt their growth, they rest on their laurels and put their tools away.

You have to have your tools out every day because, you never know when you might need them to build something.

Sometimes you are building at night and other times you build as first thing in the morning; but the more you build and the more you create, the more you perfect your craft.

But if you stop working and you wait for the perfect moment, and continue living in your comfort zone, you will become stagnant.

the sky is the limit

8. You have to have it all figured out

Enlightenment is knowing how much you don’t know. When you embark on a voyage, you must let go of the old and embrace the new.

By doing so, you’ll start to realize how much more there is to know.

If you fail, try again, dust yourself off, get back on your feet and move on. The secret is to take action and not to try and have it all figured out.

Many of the things you believe to be true, are true only as long as you think they are. As soon as you disconnect from this idea and stop being confined by it, you’ll recognize that you can achieve, obtain and become whatever you want. Most of the times, something totally different than your original belief.

Anything you think and naturally consider to be true can be defined as a belief. None of your beliefs though have a higher chance of being true than all your other thoughts.

But as soon as you tag your thoughts as beliefs, then they fall into the “untouchable” category and you stop questioning them.

Ultimately, don’t think that because lots of people believe in something, that has to be true. The number of people believing in a particular thing doesn’t increases the chances of it to be right.

The lesson?

Question your beliefs, always.

]]> 0
5 Mindsets Of Successful Entrepreneurs Tue, 17 Mar 2015 19:28:04 +0000 Like most guys, I’m a huge fan of martial arts films. Recently, while watching a film, I read a Bruce Lee quote that made me pause and consider his life from a different perspective. When you hear the name Bruce Lee, entrepreneur is not the first word that comes to mind.

5 mindsets of successful entrepreneurs

However, before he was a world famous actor and pop culture icon, he was in fact an entrepreneur. During the 60’s, he opened and operated several martial art schools in Seattle and Oakland and was focused on teaching martial arts until the glitz and glam of Hollywood came calling.

The quote that jarred my thinking was, “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” This is an extremely powerful statement from an entrepreneurial stand point, it conveys with passion the necessity to control your own success.

While meditating on the man and this quote five mindsets for successful entrepreneurs came to mind.

1) The mindset of a student

Education is critical to success in a number of things, this is especially true with regard to entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur must not only learn their desired industry (preferably in the pre-venture stage) but also, adopt an attitude of continuous learning.

Changes in life and work are inevitable. To be successful, an entrepreneur has to be committed to continuously learning new techniques, processes, or strategies to improve the operation of their business. How can you stay ahead of your competition if, you don’t stay informed.

2) The mindset of a rebel

The idea that an entrepreneur has to have a rebellious nature isn’t particularly new. However, many people fail to grasp the opportunity to become entrepreneurs simply because they are afraid to challenge the status quo.

To be a successful entrepreneur, a person has to be willing to give themselves permission to break away from the establishment and pursue new opportunities and approaches.

If you’ve never been told it’s ok to buck the system, I’ll say it to you now: Be a rebel, DO NOT waste that great idea, don’t let fear hold you back, ignore the nay-sayers and conformists, break away from the pack, and find your own path to happiness and career success.

3) The mindset of a visionary

A visionary is able to see what others can’t. To be a successful entrepreneur, a person must embrace the visionary mindset by seizing or creating opportunities before competitors even see them.

Developing this focused vision, allows successful entrepreneurs to aggressively take action on perceived opportunities and gather external support for their vision often producing game-changing impacts.

4) The mindset of a warrior

A warrior is someone who embraces conflict, challenges fear, and false beliefs. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, there’s nothing glamorous about struggling to progress an idea from inception into an organization.

From day one, you can be absolutely certain that your patience, mental and physical health, financial commitment, and convictions will be sorely tested.

To be a successful entrepreneur, a person has to be willing to embrace the warrior mindset; by courageously fighting against fear (their own and others), and be steadfast in their commitment to realize their dream.

5) The mindset of a strategist

Today’s unpredictable business environment makes it extremely difficult to conceptualize and employ the right tactics to keep your organization competitive.

Successful entrepreneurs embrace the mindset of a strategist by focusing not on what is but, on what could be, and using new technologies and techniques to overcome the odds. This requires taking calculated risks based on incomplete information and the willingness to be flexible and quickly shift strategies.

If entrepreneurship is your calling, begin the process by learning your desired industry, give yourself permission to challenge the status quo, seizing new opportunities, challenge your fears and be steadfast in fighting for your convictions.

What other mindsets do you think will be helpful on your journey?  If you are already an entrepreneur, what mindsets have you adopted to help you become successful and maintain that success?

]]> 0