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How Blogging can Help You Find Your True Purpose in Life

How Blogging can Help You Find Your True Purpose in Life

Coming of age is a gentle concept. We rush to the ocean, dye our hair blue and welcome the morning with bright eyes. Soon enough, colors start to wear thin, and what used to be ecstatic beauty of existence slowly turns into itchy uncertainty. Everything we knew becomes crooked, and we now stand on the crossroads. Our growing sorrows explode with confusion, our confusion demands answers, and those answers pursuit purpose. We no longer want the world, but inner silence and a piece of sky to call our own. And above all, we need meaning.

A Note to Ourselves

A writers desk with coffee

    So, you too have lived with no regrets. Eventually, you grew tired and decided to stay home. Tuesdays are gloomy now, the edgy bands you once rocked out to are mellow, and you can’t help but feeling disillusioned and nostalgic. There are some pages to be red, duties to be met and hard, hard choices to be made. Your friends have all set off, but that’s okay anyway, for the days of unending, flickering conversations are long gone. You now seek peace of art and self-reflection. “In order to write about life first you must live it.” Now that you’ve experienced it all, the time is right to make a new diary entry.

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    Virtual Thoughts

    You can’t stain it with coffee circles and damp it with tears, but a blog is still much more than a diary – you can share it. There’s comfort in connecting with others that share your newfound interests and struggles, and relief in touching their equally wearisome minds. Besides, you certainly have a lot to express, and you feel you’re not gifted enough. Well, there’s the beauty of writing for you! For writing, you don’t need any particular talents, only thoughts (and you already have legions of those) and a cup of black tea or coffee. Through written words, those thoughts get crystallized and the soul gets lighter.

    As a form of virtual self-expression, blogging offers an opportunity of voicing your opinions, reaching out to like-minded people and getting their feedback. The process of exchanging ideas is enlightening – it makes you dive deep into your soul and discover what makes you truly fascinated, inspired and happy. Here’s how.

    Creative Juices

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    Sharpened pencil

      Besides being a blank piece of paper for you to fill with your words of Weltschmerz, a blog offers plenty of barren space for all of your other unrivaled talents. Just think about how much time has passed since you’ve last had crayons in your hands! Well, building a personal blog is just like tinting a coloring book – revisit your inner child while creating a logo, designing a background and finding the perfect photo to symbolize your personality and mood. And that’s only the beginning! Whatever you choose to articulate through your blog, there’s someone out there looking to find it.

      If you’re feeling blue, publish a photography series of the ocean, sky and denim. If you’re feeling ingenious, film a short movie and ask for some creative output. When the day is dull and rainy, write about your love for mottled umbrellas. Consider your blog as your own, personal tabula rasa, and be daring enough to explore anything you currently feel passionate about. Sensing a new, tingling outburst of creativity will heal your messy mind.

      Exploring the Depth

      We do have a lot on our minds during the bumpy ride through our twenties. Our parents are getting weak and old, the migration crisis is a mess, and David Bowie had just died. Expressing our emotions and opinions is the only way to stay healthy and outgrow the overwhelming fuddle of our thoughts. But being a personal notebook of ideas, a blog is also a public meeting place. Every opinion you do shout will entice a response, and it may happen that some of them will not be well-minded. Nonetheless, it is a splendid opportunity for a discussion with yourself. While self-expressing is always mending, it becomes purposeful (and we all strive toward discovering our purpose) only when carefully thought-through.

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      So, before you share your statements with the world, take a second and really think about them. Explore the real meaning of the problem that’s been rocking your boat, read more about it and brainstorm constructive solutions. That way, writing a blog can help you develop your debate skills and learn more about the world that perplexes us more with each day. It’s a process of spiritual and empiric empowerment and self-improvement.

      A World of Possibilities

      Travel van ready to go

        You may not be tortured by your unyielding mind, but you must be lost in your soul-searching feat. Opening the new chapter in your life means reshaping your old interests and finding a solid ground. Discovering your place under the sun is possibly the hardest adventure you’ll embark on, but luckily, you’ll find that the world of possibilities awaits, and the only thing you’ll have to do is to pick one. Through blogging, you can tip your toes in all of them, and eventually, stick with the one that suites you the most. Now, you can keep pursuing your chosen field of interest and with that improve your knowledge and skills and develop your unique outlook. But, if you still haven’t found any, why not try them all?

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        If your mind is set on heart-shaped purses and lacy bralettes, start a fashion blog; if you can’t keep crying while watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower, explore your dilettante interest in cinematography; if the only place in the world you want to be in is a cafe in Montmartre, start writing about the joy of travelling. Running a blog allows you to be anyone you wish you were, to stumble upon new fascinating notions you haven’t considered before and – why not – recognize your true calling.

        Getting To Know the New You

        We grow up so suddenly and change so much that sometimes, it’s impossible to recognize the person looking back from the window reflection. There’s a whole new universe to discover, and on our path to personal fulfillment, it’s so easy to get stranded. A walk down the beach might help, but the summer is nowhere in sight and we are left alone with decisions, choices and commitments. With no one but yourself to keep you company, you’ll need to silence the clamor down and listen to your inner voice. There is, of course, a number of things to ease your restlessness, and believe it or not, all of them can be acquired through blogging.

        For starters, whatever you passionately blog about will reward you with inspiration that will rekindle your spirit and keep you motivated. While writing, you’ll ask important questions and come up with meaningful answers. Among your readers, you’ll find new, fascinating people that share your interests, challenge your thoughts and offer empathy and support. You can nurture your life calling or discover new ideas to feel enthusiastic about.

        A blog is your personal ocean now, and it’s full of opportunities. Whether you’re feeling blue or excited, avoiding a big decision or simply passing your time, don’t spend a minute more on meaningless online procrastination. Blogging can actually lead you towards your true purpose, and if in the meantime you have some fun and enjoy meeting the person you’ve become, all the better!

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        Nemanja Manojlovic

        Editor at MyCity Web

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        Last Updated on September 30, 2020

        How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

        How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

        We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

        In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

        The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

        The Importance of Living in the Moment

        “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

        While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

        Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

        Better Health

        By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

        Improve Your Relationships

        Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

        Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

        How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

        By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

        Greater Self-Control

        You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

        Why Do We Worry?

        Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

        When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

        Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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        Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

        3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

        Step 1: Overcome Worrying

        In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

        Calm Your Mind

        When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

        The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

        In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

        Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

        Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

        People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

        If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

        Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

        In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

        Racing Mind

        Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

        You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

        If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

        Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

        None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

        So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

        By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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        In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

        Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

        A Wandering Mind

        From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

        Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

        Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

        Outside Influences

        Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

        Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

        Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

        So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

        Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

        Understand Mindfulness

        The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

        When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

        You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

        This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

        To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

        If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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        You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

        Mindfulness Meditation

        Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

        Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

        You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

        This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

        If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

        Mindful Breathing

        While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

        You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

        Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

        Mindful Walking

        Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

        Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

        Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

        You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

        In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

        You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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        Mindful Eating

        Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

        The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

        Live in the present with mindful eating.

          Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

          So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

          • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
          • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
          • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

          You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

          Mindful Activities

          Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

          Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

          You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

          Final Thoughts

          Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

          Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

          Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

          The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

          More About Living in the Present

          Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

          Reference

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