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What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

Some people are wild about body art. They become living canvases of tattoos and piercings. We were curious to find out what drives people to get such modifications.

We talked to two people who turn heads when they walk down the street because of their obsession with body art. Regina is covered in tattoos. Sam has oh-so-many piercings. What are they trying to say, and what’s it like to walk through the world in their skin?

When you become living art

Lifehack: Why did you get so many body modifications?

Regina: I’ve always liked tattoos. I’m an artist, so it fits. I didn’t intend to get so many, but I got hooked.

Sam: When I was younger, I got into metal music, and the musicians had piercings. Music was like my lifeline, and those guys were my role models. I got my labret (lip piercing) when I was 16, and I haven’t looked back.

Lifehack: What have you learned from having so much body art?

Regina: It’s OK to be different.

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Sam: I’m not afraid to stand out. Whenever I go somewhere new, I always have something to talk about with people. Most people aren’t so bad.

Lifehack: How do your loved ones feel about your tattoos and piercings?

Regina: I don’t really talk to my family. By the time my friends met me, I was already inked. The tattoos were just part of the package.

Sam: My family doesn’t mind at all. My mom took me to get my first piercing. My grandparents don’t really understand why I do this to myself, but they are ok about it.

Lifehack: How many piercings/ tattoos do you have?

Regina: I have 7 piercings and 37 tattoos.

Sam: I have 30 piercings, but I’m not done yet.

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Lifehack: How much do you spend on body modifications?

Regina: A lot. The key when you’re getting this much ink is to go to a good artist. My guy doesn’t pick up a tattoo gun for less than $150 an hour. The more color and detail, the more expensive it’s going to be. I have about $20,000 wrapped up in these full sleeves, and there’s still more that I want to do with them. I can only get a little work done each year because of the cost.

Sam: I got a few of these – like my ears – done for less than $50 a piercing. These dermals were $150 for the three of them. It just depends on the area.

Lifehack: What kind of identity are you expressing with your tattoos/ piercings?

Regina: I’ve always gone against the grain, so it makes sense that I’d do it with my body too. The tattoos are my way of carrying art on my body at all times.

Sam: I’m not going for a specific identity. I just don’t want to be like everyone else.

Lifehack: Do you get shunned by society? Do people give you weird looks or comments?

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Regina: I definitely get looks. My first few tattoos were small, so it didn’t matter, but once I got them on my neck, people started to stare. People do say things, sometimes. Just today, a woman screamed out her car window that I needed to go to church. Go figure.

Sam: The piercings on my face and head are pretty extreme by most standards. People might stare, but this hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do.

Lifehack: Is it acceptable for you to have this body art at work?

Regina: The tattoos are part of my work, so it’s fine. I know if I wanted to get a job in an office, I’d have trouble.

Sam: I’m a barber at an edgy shop downtown. It’s completely acceptable there.

Lifehack: Do you need to hide your body art?

Regina: It’s a tough for me to hide them now, but when I first met my fiance’s parents, I did cover them. I was afraid they’d be alarmed by my appearance.

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Sam: I can’t cover them anymore. There’d just be big holes all over my face. It looks better when they’re in. People just have to accept me.

Lifehack: Did it hurt? Which one hurt the most?

Regina: Of course it hurt! Have you ever had someone dig a needle into your skin for several hours? The tops of my feet and my rib-cage hurt the worst. It felt like the needle was hitting bones the whole time.

Sam: My nipple piercings were the worst. They hurt so freaking bad! My dermals hurt too. It was totally worth it though.

There’s more than meets the eye with body mods

We enjoyed having Sam and Regina answer our burning questions about body modifications. Our interviewees reminded us that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

More by this author

Samantha Aloysius

Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology and has experience in diabetes care counselling.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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