Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Secret to finding your Soulmate

Ah the age old search for the mysterious "Soulmate".  Well my friends, search no more! I have found a way for all of you to find your true Soulmate. Read on to learn more..
Do you get frustrated with the people around? Are you sick of hearing your friends go on and on about their smelly neighbor or the what happened last night on the bachelorette? Do you sometimes confide in others looking for comfort but end up feeling more confused than before?
I have quite a few close friends who I really do enjoy speaking with and spending time with but it is rare or perhaps impossible to find someone that will NEVER annoy you.  But alas my readers (if you do exist) there is one person out there where this does hold true.  This person will tell you exactly what you want to hear, they can make you laugh and know exactly what to say to encourage you.  They will always understand what you are trying to say and never betray you.
Yes EVERYONE has that person, and that person is - wait for it -  YOURSELF! Ok, ok, I know that last sentence sounded cheesier than a large pizza, but hear me out.  How many have you really tried to be best friends with yourself?
When you get home from a long day at work, to you ever pat yourself on the back and say "you did a great job today?" Do you ever look in the mirror and say "daaayum you are fineee" Do you ever make hilarious jokes and chuckle to yourself, saying "good one!"
Well, my dear reader you should! Because sorry to break it to you, that perfect person/soulmate is not out there - its in you.  Its about time we all started spending more time with ourselves and really appreciating how great we are.  In our lives we will meet some great people who will inspire us and bring us joy.  But these relationships will change over time and can disappear at any moment. If you start to treat yourself like a king/queen you wont need to take as much emotionally from others leaving space for you to give more back. Also, if you are ever stuck on a deserted island you will already have a best friend with you! So go ahead, give it a try!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Are Congratulations in order?

There comes a point in ones life when people start getting engaged, married and having children.  During this time it seems like life is full of selfies, lavish celebrations and endless congratulations.  Although these are definitely happy times, its seems that our generation is placing more and more emphasis on these milestones.  Thousands of dollars spent on rings, dresses, wedding reception etc, not to mention the countless photo ops and the sacrifices expected to be made by ones close friends and family.
For some people, their wedding day represents the most important event of their lives.  But if it were me, I would be pretty disappointed if that ended up being true.  Can you imagine your most proudest moment being when someone else decides to propose you? Does that validate you as a human being? How come we don't celebrate with such vigor and enthusiasm when people make successful leaps in their career? Lose 50 lbs? Become the master of their craft? Provide resources to areas of need? Those seem to be things that involve hard work and dedication, so congratulations would definitely be in order.  With respect to relationships, those who deserve congratulations should be the ones that have remained married for 10+ years and have had a supportive and honest union.  But we rarely see older couples celebrating their success or receiving recognition. Maybe if you only got to have a wedding celebration after you had a successful marriage for 10 years it might motivate people to work on their relationship for the reward at the end.  Let's be real, anyone can slap on a ring and squeeze on a dress, but not everyone can make it through the ups and downs of marriage and remain respectful and loving to their partner. 
I believe that if we celebrated the people trying to change the world, improve themselves, or work hard towards a worthwhile goals to the same extent, it might influence others to also strive to make progress in these areas.  This would have a more positive influence on the younger generation and perhaps make a significant change to society as a whole. Just food for though.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Are you blessed?

This morning I heard someone on the radio describe how he enjoyed taking his kids to areas of poverty to remind them how "blessed" they are.  Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth.  Unfortunately, I have heard scenarios like this many a time - i.e."finish your food, think of the starving children in Africa." Let me break down why I think this is offensive.
First of all by stating you are blessed in comparison to others is basically stating that those other people are NOT blessed.  Imagine how big your ego must be to think that God (or whatever higher power your believe in) blessed you and not them.  Furthermore, why do you need to compare yourself to others in order to feel gratitude for what you have?
Frankly, no one has the right or insight to determine who is fortunate/blessed and who isn't.  Some of the happiest people I have met would have been considered "disadvantaged' under these definitions.  Conversely, we can all think of celebrities with the utmost fame and fortune who ended up taking their own lives. So are fame, beauty and wealth really blessings? Are poverty, death and disability really misfortunes? Is a child really a blessing? (that will be a whole other post)
Life is transient and the more material "blessings" we have the more we are likely to be bound in our physical identity and the harder it will be for us to disassociate form our ego.  Those living lives with financial, physical or emotional struggles, may have been granted wisdom because of these hurdles- or then again - maybe not.  Regardless it is not in our place to judge.  We need to focus on our own life journey.  So the next time you pass a homeless or disabled person on the street, feel free to give them a helping hand but do not use them to give yourself an ego boost.  Blessings come in different forms and we may never understand the true lessons we are meant to learn until it is too late.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Time to procrastinate

'Work expands to fit the time available for its completion'

This is Parkinson's law and it has a lot of truth. It is the reason why procrastination works for a lot of people - they leave everything to the last minute because it really only takes them the last minute to complete the task! Here's an idea, what about trying to complete it in the FIRST minute so that you can relax for the rest of the time? Easier said than done, I know. However, you can still put Parkinson's law into use by giving yourself half the time you think you need when you are tackling assignments and household chores. Then you are left with the other half of the time available for you to pester the people surrounding you.

Anyways, procrastination isn't all bad. In fact, here are some instances that I have come up with where I think it would be wise to procrastinate:

1. Telling someone off. It is always wise to waste as much time as possible before rushing to confront someone. This small lapse of time will surely give your kettle sometime to cool off, so you can think more clearly and be less likely to scorch your victim. Also, in the time you take to wait and confront, you may realize the person is not actually at fault thereby sparing you the embarrassment and uncomfortable apologies. It will also give you some time to re-think if it is even worth it or perhaps to come up with more clever, piercing insults! But remember, words can never be erased or taken back. Even if you cool down later and apologize, it will be too late, the irreversible damage will be done. You may be forgiven, but it will NEVER be forgotten. On the other hand, if you had taken the time to come up with an especially sharp retort perhaps you will be remembered for you wit instead of your witchiness.

2. Eating junk food. Usually if you procrastinate for reasons like being too lazy to get out of your chair or not wanting to take those few extra steps to the fridge, your craving might actually disappear. This is especially true if it is a sweet craving that comes directly after a meal as these will go away as the food you just ate begins to digest.

3. Having kids/getting married. Although I have no firsthand knowledge, I am sure we can agree that many couples should not be together. Because they have a commitment of some sort (being married or having kids) they are stuck to each other like a press on nail (the permanent kind). This would be an ideal situation if the fact that they are unwillingly glued together forces them to resolve their issues, but this is usually not the case. Instead, because they decided to rush into committing in one way or another, they never got a chance to set boundaries/make rules/really get to know one another. Does it make sense that we procrastinate paying our bills, doing our dishes, doing our paper work but when it comes to something that involves all of that and more people jump in faster than you can say bobs-your-uncle?! I think not!!!

Well that's my 2 cents, feel free to leave a comment, or plan on leaving one now and wait and wait until the last minute.

Can I offer you some low self-esteem?

Having low self-esteem is considered an insult in our society. You can be accused of this affliction if you are anything from reserved, to very loud (you must be compensating for something), depressed, a push-over, a masochist, etc. Terms like low self-esteem and low confidence are thrown around all the time. However, saying that someone is a person with low self-esteem is just as erroneous as saying that someone is a person with hunger. It is a passing phase that happens often and to all, and some more often and strongly than others. I am certain that everyone has had periods of their life where they have experienced feelings of inadequacy or experience these feelings with respect to different aspects of their lives.

There has always been a negative connotation with low-self esteem whereas high confidence has been associated with positive attributions - i.e. confidence brings success, happiness, friends, money..etc.But being confident isn't necessarily all its cracked up to be. As Charles Darwin so eloquently stated, 'Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge'. This means that knowing your limitations, and even underestimating your abilities can actually be more powerful than believing too much in yourself. I find this especially true in relation to your academic and professional life.In a psychological study done at Cornell University, students found that people who performed the worst in tests of logic, grammar and comedy also were the ones to have most overestimated their abilities. Those who performed better, were better aware of the limitations of their abilities. (http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf)

Evidently, if you begin to dwell too much on your limitations - because trust me EVERYONE has A LOT of them, it may prevent you from attempting new things. Having perpetually low self-esteem can lead to self-pity and depression. However, a healthy dose of low self-esteem is always good - it is better to err on the negative side as opposed to overestimations, as these could certainly lead to precarious outcomes!! Just be careful not to overestimate your abilities of underestimating your abilities!!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Most people in our society consider themselves to be ethical people with strong morals. At least more ethical than the crooks in their city jail? Right?

Scenario 1: You are on your way home from a busy day at work. Strolling along in the summer sun, you find a wallet with $40 and the owner's name and phone number. You promptly call the number and arrange to return the missing wallet and cash. You blush as the owner gushes 'Oh God bless you, you are such a good person, your momma must have raised you well!'. You then you go to the supermarket to reward your good deed for the day with a Twix. The cashier boy is too busy oogling the girl behind you that he hands you $5 in change instead of 5 cents. Being the morally righteous person that you are, you alert him to his mistake.

Does this sound like you? Would you go home smug, perhaps brag about your actions to a friend? Do you think those actions will give you a karmic reward from the heavens /a gold star /a cookie from your sister? Before you get all high on yourself for being an ethically moral person, read on..

Scenario 2: You are on your way to your second shift, strolling along in the summer sun. You have just used your full paycheck to pay your rent and buy diapers and are wondering when you will get enough money for your groceries when you spot the glistening wallet on the corner. You pocket the $40 for your groceries and return the wallet an IDs to a security guard.

Now, does this person's greater need for the $40 justify their 'unethical' behaviour? And if their need does justify it, what happens when we're not talking about money, but about lying, cheating, stealing and - gasp - killing? I can think of scenarios where all these actions can be justified, but I am not going waste time debating whether or not they would be considered 'ethical'.
Let's look at it this way: someone who recently downed an entire birthday cake may not be as tempted to take a bite out of the muffin you left on your desk when you went to the washroom as someone who has not eaten in 4 days. Similarly, someone who has never been homeless, starving or threatened, can't exactly pat themselves on the back for not having stolen, cheated or killed. Since I have never been in those situations, I can honestly say I don't know what I would do if it were me. All I do know is that I should be less quick to judge whoever just ate my muffin!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Just follow your instincts...

'Just follow your instincts' - What great advice!...NOT!!! How many times have I thought I was supposed to turn right and then ended up on the other side of town taking me 3 hours extra to walk home. Or when I met someone who I was certain was the type to kill animals in his spare time only to discover he was a male Mother Teresa. I am sure this has happened to all of you, but these examples will never come to your mind when you think about your instincts. Incidences where your thoughts have led to the correct conclusion will always pop up and, therefore most people probably believe they are intuitive i.e. special (aside: face it - if everyone is special in their own way, no one is actually special, sorry). Now I am by no means stating that we don't have a form of 'intuition' or little voice that is sometimes able to tell us correctly where to go or how to judge someone. I believe that this it is simply our highly intelligent subconscious that is able to piece together past experiences, peripheral visions, conversations, facial expressions etc. to give us our 'instinct' that comes to us before we can consciously figure out how we actually knew the answer. A common example is ' I just had a feeling he was cheating on me, gosh I was so right, it must have been my womanly intuition'. Sorry to say, dumbo, (not dumbo because you got cheated on, but dumbo because you thought it was your female intuition that caught him) I am certain that your significant other was leaving some very obvious clues, not to mention behavioural changes which led you to conclude that he was a swine. If your womanly instincts were actually that good then you wouldn't have been with him in the first place. To mistakenly rely on this 'intuition' as some magic fairy godmother that will tell you the answer when you have no other way of finding it out would be ridiculous; although, your 'intuition' i.e. subconscious would be the best thing to use if you had no other option! However, when you do have the option, relying on intuition would be highly dangerous in science, for example, and a horrible way to approach meeting new people. I guess what I am trying to say is don't listen to people who tell you to blindly follow your gut. The advice I would give would be not to follow your instincts but to LISTEN to them. Be aware of them, be conscious of their limitations. Then you can choose whether or not it would be wise to go ahead an follow them or if you should search for some more empirical evidence to base your belief.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


If it is not followed by a flash, it is one of the most irritating instructions someone can give you. Usually if you're not smiling, there's a reason: you can be complacent, thinking, grumpy or sad. Either way you are experiencing (or not experiencing) an emotion and people should let you be. Granted, it may not be the best idea to always sport a gloomy expression and smiling to people as you meet them is a great way to give off a friendly vibe; however, once in a while if it just doesn't feel right, it is ok! The argument 'If you smile, you will automatically be in a better mood', is true - nevertheless, ordering someone to smile is the wrong way to go about it. First of all, if you have to ask someone to smile and they haven't smiled already when they made eye contact with you, chances are you are not smiling yourself. If you had been smiling (you hypocrite) a nice natural smile probably would have crept up on your frowning friend's face. If you're already Mr. Cheery, full of warmth and empathy, and no amount of radiance will influence your victim, you can assume that he/she is unhappy to see you or if you're lucky, they may just be having a bad day. Wouldn't offering to help or lending an ear be a better idea than ordering this person to hide their emotions? Finally, the forced smile that you may receive out of politeness will be fake and unattractive thereby disproving the 'You look prettier when you smile' argument that men like to use on unsmiling females. So, if you are one of those people who like to go around telling people to smile, I suggest YOU become more entertaining company - that way you won't have to force a reaction from your audience :)