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Be Tenacious! 8 Super Useful Mental Models You Need in Order to Thrive

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Be Tenacious! 8 Super Useful Mental Models You Need in Order to Thrive

Exuding a calm, deliberate confidence is the secret sauce to thriving in life, don’t you agree?

But in order to achieve that, we need to solve a problem. Your inner critic. The sower of doubt, fueled by faulty conditioning. Like an annoying pop-up, it keeps harassing you with messages that distract you. That nagging little voice. “I can’t do it because of [fill in irrelevant fact]”.

It convinces you to falter…to stop…

You avoid taking action to achieve your goals, your dreams or just to get stuff done in general. Your inner critic convinces you that your cozy comfort zone is way too comfy to leave.

Why is it so difficult to act without doubt and anxiety? Your brain is running some faulty mental models. Over our lifetimes, we all adopt limiting beliefs that are acquired through media, upbringing or unrepresentative experiences.These mental models keep us grounded instead of free and confident.

In order to thrive, we need to replace faulty scripts with the right ones. Because whatever you might tell yourself, you are not too old/nerdy/fat/dumb or whatever to improve your life. You are awesomely you and you can have a thriving life!

Here are eight examples of mental models you need to adopt in order to thrive in this life.

1. Accept the world as it is

First off, you must develop utter acceptance of the world you live in.

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There are a lot of uncomfortable facts in life that we try to hide from. Uncomfortable facts, harsh realities. The world may seem unfair, but it’s not. The world just is. There is no inherent goodness or badness about it. It is just a collection of things in being.

So stop putting your head in the sand–take a breath and see it for what it is. Confront yourself with reality. Don’t sugar coat it, but also don’t get pulled into exaggerated thoughts of doom.

As you accept how things are, you can take steps to effectively improve them.

2. Take responsibility for your life

You are the primary stakeholder in your life and, ultimately, the only one that will always care. You are also the one with the most direct influence on your life. That means you are responsible for where you end up.

You might have been dealt a bad hand, but there is no reshuffling the deck. You can only play the cards you have. It’s up to you to do well.

If you don’t like something in your life, change your attitude towards it or change the situation. Develop active coping strategies. Don’t blame other people, God or the universe. You have free will; you are in charge. Take the constructive view to look towards yourself for progress.

3. No self pity

Self pity is a devastating emotion. It’s so unproductive to feel sorry for yourself. No matter how justifiable, it is toxic.

Nothing is gained by engaging in this rotting state of mind. You are dirt poor? You are plain ugly? You are 30 and still living in your mom’s basement? Your life may truly suck, but you can’t live in self pity because then things will never change!

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Suck it up. Accept your situation and plan to improve on it. Feeling sorry for yourself only makes the situation worse. Lose the victim mentality. Learn you can change yourself and the situation.

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    No more pity parties for you!

    4. Redefine failure in a learning experience

    Failure has a big stigma in western culture. Once you fail, you are a loser. Too many people believe that somehow you should be able to win instantly. Well, that is not going to happen. So why not give yourself permission to suck and fail in life.

    Learn from your mistakes. You are not a loser because you have failed! The real losers are those that don’t even try, or who give up too quickly. The one who fails and gets back up is ultimately the winner.

    Try not to see a specific goal as the definition of your success. Instead, view making progress as success. It is not going to be a straight line to perfection, but making the effort to move forward, through failure and learning is truly success!

    5. Fear is your guide

    As you move through life you will sometimes halt, paralyzed by fear. Feel the fear and take action anyway. Unless you are about to win a Darwin award, you were probably on the right track.

    Fear shows you where you want to go, but you have to take a leap. Let fear indicate something you need to do. Push through. Let fear be your ominous guide to prosperity.

    fear as a guiding emotion
      Let fear lead the way

      6. Think about your death

      Good new everyone! We are all going to die.

      Okay, so maybe that isn’t such great news, but it’s true. Use this as a reminder that your time is finite. One day you will be gone. It might be tomorrow; it might be in 80 years. All of your small pettiness, fears and jealousies should pale in comparison to the large unknown nothingness that awaits you. So why not make the most of this wonderful life of yours?

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      Take the time to confront yourself with this impending doom, and rejoice that you are still alive!

      Time to enjoy life even more by taking risks and making progress toward even the simplest of goals.

      7. Don’t take life too serious

      What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of your life?

      If you go down that rabbit hole, you will end up with this answer: The meaning of life is to live.

      It’s not very grave, but it’s very significant.

      Culture and upbringing might argue otherwise, but the importance of arbitrary events, parameters and people is mostly exaggerated. There is no significant higher goal to attain, no higher purpose except the one you give yourself through living.

      So take it easy.

      There is not a checkpoint you have to pass to achieve a fulfilling life.

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      It’s just not that serious! It is to be enjoyed whenever possible. You choose how you want to live, so why not take it easy–despite what people try to tell you.

      too soon too serious
        There is always time for singing

        8. Live in the now

        Last but not least, to truly thrive, you must live in the now. Learn to let go of your mind. Stop chasing lost moments and anticipating potential futures.

        Your predictions are mostly off, and your memories are remixes of unalterable events. Instead, learn to truly experience what is right in front of you, no denying but embracing the now. Whether it’s through sports, nature, or meditation, embrace the present.

        Adapting these mental models won’t be an easy task, and it won’t happen overnight. But if you remind yourself of them and make small steps towards your goals, you will see over time that your programming will be changed and it will have an amazing impact on your life.

        Good luck on thriving!

        Liked this? How about you adapt these 5 habits to becoming confident as well!

        Photo Credits: Joshua Earl – Jumping Person in Forest, Mr Crabs Violin, Scary Movie PianoLooking on the bright side

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        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earl via unsplash.com

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        Last Updated on January 24, 2022

        21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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        21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

        Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

        Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

        Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

        Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

        Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

        People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

        Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

        Still, many of us try them.

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        However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

        Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too.

        Here’re 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

        1. Avoid excessive communication.

        It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

        Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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        2. See it as an opportunity.

        “If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

        View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

        As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

        “I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

        3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

        Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

        For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

        4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

        Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

        To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

        5. Talk dirty with each other.

        Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

        Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

        6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

        If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

        You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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        You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

        Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

        7. Do things together.

        Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

        You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

        8. Do similar things.

        Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

        Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

        9. Make visits to each other.

        Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

        After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

        The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

        10. Have a goal in mind.

        Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

        In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

        So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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        It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

        That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

        11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

        You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

        12. Stay honest with each other.

        Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

        13. Know each other’s schedules.

        It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

        14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

        Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

        15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

        Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

        16. Get a good messaging app.

        This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

        Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

        17. Snail-mail your gift.

        Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

        18. Stay positive.

        You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

        One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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        19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

        This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

        Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

        20. Video-call whenever possible.

        Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

        A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

        21. Give each other pet names.

        Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

        Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

        With the best wishes…

        Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

        Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

        More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
        • Carol Morgan —  A communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach
        • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
        • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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