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How Not to Let Traumas Defeat You

How Not to Let Traumas Defeat You

Why do people fail?

Surprisingly, it’s not usually down to a lack of talent, ability or motivation.

In fact, plenty of very intelligent people fail for one simple reason: they lack resilience.

If you want to enjoy life, be successful, and cope well in a difficult world, you need to build up resilience.

Read on to find out how.

What is resilience?

Simply put, resilience is the ability to deal with whatever life throws at you without giving up.

Being resilient means being able to bounce back, even after something really bad happens.

One key characteristic of successful people is that they aren’t afraid to keep trying after they fail, and that’s because they’ve learned to be resilient.

Here’s an example:

Two people go to interviews for their dream job. Neither of them get the job.

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Person 1 is resilient. He doesn’t let a small setback knock him down, and he keeps applying for other jobs. Soon enough, he gets one – and it’s even better than the original job!

Person 2 isn’t resilient. When he doesn’t get the job, he loses all confidence. He thinks he’s a failure, that he should never have bothered trying, and that he might as well give up now. He stops applying for the jobs he really wants, and sticks with a career well below his ability level.

Want to learn more about how resilience can make you successful?

Read this article: Why There Are So Few Successful People in the World: Talents Are Overrated

How to become more resilient

Ready to start your journey towards resilience?

Here are some great places to start.

Learn to overcome trauma

Had a bad experience in the past that’s put you off trying again?

Maybe you fell off a bike while learning, and got too afraid to get back in the saddle?

Learning to overcome difficult memories is the first step towards building resilience.

Here’s an idea of how to get started:

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  • Accept what happened, and how it affected you.
  • Don’t feel like you shouldn’t be upset because ‘other people have it worse’.
  • Don’t set a strict timeline – let yourself overcome issues in your own time.
  • Ask for help. This could be from family, friends, or medical professionals.
  • Practice acceptance. You can’t change what happened, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.
  • Meditate and focus on all the things you have to be grateful for.

Want to read more about overcoming trauma?

Read this: How to Overcome a Trauma and Be Even Stronger Than Before

Look at how fear rules your life

Do you make decisions to avoid what you’re afraid of, rather than to move towards what you want?

Many of us live our lives ruled by fear – and this means we miss out on great opportunities and new experiences.

It takes time to overcome fear, but it is possible.

Start by identifying your fears, and trying to get to the root of them. Maybe you’re afraid of the unknown, of criticism, or of being rejected by others.

Try to imagine the worst case scenarios in each situation – often you’ll realize that they really aren’t that bad.

Want to learn more about how fear could be damaging your life?

Read this: How Fear Is Deep-Rooted in Our Everyday Life and Controlling Us

Learn to overcome fear

No matter what you fear, overcoming it is a worthwhile goal.

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Try a targeted approach to overcoming fear with this challenge:

30 Days Without Fear: A Plan That Will Make You Feel So Carefree Like Never Before

You’ll practice and develop fear-busting skills like:

  • Keeping a fear journal.
  • Creating more ‘me’ time.
  • Speaking in public.
  • Exercising daily.
  • Visiting new places.
  • Communicating in a more confident way.
  • Trying new, scary activities
  • Resolving conflict.

At the end of the 30 days you’ll feel like you’re ready to face anything.

Is resilience the same as optimism?

No. This is a common myth.

Of course it’s good to try and be positive – but blind optimism can actually do a lot of harm.

When something bad happens, do you brush it off, acting like you don’t care at all?

Suppressing your emotions in this way can be really harmful, and is actually the opposite of resilience.

Resilience means allowing yourself to experience difficult feelings and working through them in a healthy way – not pretending they don’t exist.

Optimist can also blind us to important things.

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If you feel bad about a job, it could be a sign for you to move onto to something new.

If you’re unhappy in the place you live, maybe it’s time to relocate?

Listening to your emotions can help you to make decisions that change your life for the better. Ignoring them could lead to missed opportunities for positive change.

Want to know more about how optimism differs from resilience?

Read this: Why You Shouldn’t Aim at Being an Optimistic Person

Take the resilience test to track your journey

So, you’ve started taking steps to become more resilient.

But how do you know that they’re working?

As well as looking out for benefits in your day-to-day life, you could trying taking this resilience test.

Be sure to make a note of your score and keep retaking the test to see how much you’ve improve.

Want to be strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you?

Start developing resilience today.

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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