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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 January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

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