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7 Ways Doctor Who Makes You A Better Person

7 Ways Doctor Who Makes You A Better Person

Doctor Who is one of my favorite shows, and has been since about a year ago (I barely knew anything about it until one of my obsessed friends told me to give it a chance). Though I haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching the entire classic series, I am very familiar with the modern continuation of it, having watched and re-watched all eight series multiple times.

One thing I like to stress to people who both have and haven’t watched Doctor Who is that it literally made me a better person, or at least gave me a template for what a “good person” should be. Not to say that the Doctors are perfect, but they are heroic figures that one can usually look up to. So, you ask, how exactly does Doctor Who make you a better person, specifically speaking? I’ll tell you below (watch out for the spoilers, there are a bunch of them)…

1. You Will Acquire A More Whimsical Outlook On Life.

Doctor Who Playing Game

    The amount of emotion I exude on a daily basis often gets, more often than not, compared to a character like Dexter from the show Dexter more than anything else. So, you might find it surprising that my favorite modern doctor is 11, portrayed by Matt Smith. This Doctor is known for his constant cheerfulness, whimsical attitude, and brief flirtations with supreme anger and sadness. Whenever I watched 11 I thought to myself, “Man, I wish I was more like that guy!” 11 wasn’t exactly the person I aspire to be, but he embodied everything that I usually lack, what with his ability to exude energy and optimism at all times, connect with all kinds of people, and easily handle every situation with a grin, a fez, and clever one-liners.

    Even his theme music, from the classic “I Am The Doctor” to “The Majestic Tale of a Madman in a Box” emotes a sense of wonder, zanyness, and heroism that I envy. I give 11 credit for giving me the bravery to take theater classes in college, and convincing me to be more “out there” in my social interactions. Thanks Matt, you’ll be missed!

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    2. It Will Open Your Mind To Endless Possibilities.

    DWBP#2

      Well, this is a show about an alien who travels all of time and space, isn’t it? Nothing is impossible here, even the rules of time can be broken if the plot demands it (looking at you Stephen Moffat). This can be said of a few other science fiction shows, but Doctor Who is the only one that truly has no limits in what kinds of stories or situations it can present to you. It’s a good reminder that there’s a nearly endless universe out there to explore, which helps especially when you’re being brought down by the drudgery of daily life.

      3. It Will Teach You About Relationships.

      DWBP#3

        Doctor Who, at its core, is essentially a show about relationships, whether they be between the Doctor and his companion or the companion and another love interest. I’m sure all of you know about the 10th Doctor and Rose, or 11 and River, or Amy and Rory, or Clara and Danny (I guess I’ll throw Rose and Mickey in there too). The relationships on this show aren’t exactly the most stable, and they usually always end in some sort of catastrophic tragedy, but for the most part they are rather realistic and heartwarming, and provide a kind of blueprint for a real life relationship (especially Amy and Rory).

        4. It Will Help You Deal With Loss.

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        DWBP#4

          Doctor Who is one of the only shows I can think of that replaces its lead protagonist with a new actor every few years. While this keeps the show fresh, it also means that you have to see your favorite Doctor die/regenerate. I know I’m not the only one who felt a few tears welling up in their eyes when Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith left the stage. Tennant’s departure was especially jarring, since the show dragged it out so long and pulled on so many of the audience’s emotional strings that a large portion of the Doctor Who watching population refused to give Tennant’s successor Matt Smith a chance.

          Eventually though, most got over it, and came to enjoy the 11th Doctor regardless of the insanely tragic way that 10 left us. As most of you probably know, the 11th Doctor regenerated in a bit more of an optimistic manner, which stayed true to his character and made accepting 12 (Peter Capaldi) much easier. Not only does the Doctor change every few series, but so do the companions. Doctor Who helps you appreciate what you have while it’s still there, as you know that it can and will likely be gone in just a handful of episodes…

          5. You Will Become More Sociable.

          DWBP#5

            The best thing about Doctor Who for many is that it has such a large fanbase. I’ve worn a shirt that says “Bow Ties Are Cool” in several states across America, and everywhere I’ve gone I’ve had fellow Who fans high five me or comment on my apparel. It’s like being part of a secret club. It takes a peculiar person to like Doctor Who, and so right off the bat, if you find a fellow fan, you know you’ll have a ton in common. I will say however that it’s a bit of a strange fanbase, demographically speaking. Teenage girls and middle-aged men alike find something to like about the show, which I suppose says something about its magic.

            6. You Will Be More Inspired (Thanks To Its Soundtrack).

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              “I am the Doctor, and I name you THE BONELESS!”

              Doctor Who‘s music has a strangely satisfying effect on me. All I need to do is listen to one of the many versions of its theme song, or any of the Doctor’s themes, and I’m instantly pumped and ready to go. Even right now, as I type this, I’m listening to one of the Matt Smith era songs “A Mad Man In A Box,” which, while being slightly tear-inducing, is also highly motivational. The 12th Doctor’s theme music doesn’t have a name yet (at least not that I can find), but it’s equally inspiring to listen to.

              The 10th Doctor’s themes were a bit on the sad side, but also had heroic flourishes of their own. Maybe I’m just incredibly nerdy, but I often make a playlist of songs from Doctor Who’s many soundtracks and listen to them to push myself just a bit harder during my runs or other exercises. Nothing like reaching mile number two, feeling drained, and hearing the familiar intro to “I Am The Doctor” stream into your ears!

              7. You Will Be Able To Stand Up For Yourself.

                “I’m the Doctor. Basically…run.”

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                The modern iteration of Doctor Who has had its darker moments, and such times have required the Doctor to take things into his own hands and not let anyone or anything stand in his way. The 9th and 12th Doctors have been particularly harsh when it comes to dealing with enemies and allies alike, when it serves their purposes. 10 and 11 were a bit more on the whimsical side, especially the latter as noted above, but they too could turn on a switch inside their Time Lord minds and become absolutely scary in terms of how brutally they dealt with their enemies. The bottom line here is that, while you can be whimsical like 11, emotional like 10, or stubborn like 12, what truly matters is that you are able to put your foot down when it counts and not allow yourself to be stepped on, by anyone or anything.

                It was about a year ago today that I started watching Doctor Who on a daily basis, and it only took me about a month to catch up (actually, Matt’s last episode was the first one I caught live). While it didn’t teach me everything I know about life, it did make me a better person in a multitude of ways, more than I can even list here. They do say opposites attract, which is why I think I was so enamored with 11 and his out-of-the-box way of perceiving just about every situation. While I miss the man with the big hair, and all of his predecessors, I have enjoyed his successor as well (though this past Saturday’s finale was a bit too Clara-centric for my liking). Did Doctor Who change your life, or at the very least, change your perception about something? Please share in the comments below!

                Featured photo credit: Matt Smith’s Bow Tie/Paul Hudson via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                1. Take a step back and evaluate

                When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                1. What is the problem?
                2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                6. Give yourself a break

                If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                As Helen Keller once said,

                “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                1. What’s the situation?
                2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                4. Take action on your next steps!

                After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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