A year in Canada with my Little Habits.🇨🇦

canada

Reliving February 05, 2016 of midnight at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport: My life is about to change, again.

After 23 long hours of travel, I finally arrived in Manitoba, Canada. It was winter -18 but feels like  -30 plus the wind chill. It was a tad different from where I used to live before (Dubai, UAE), where the weather feels +40 and worst could be +50 plus the sand storm. Nevertheless, I only have two things in mind. I don’t know what to expect and I am sick excited!

Fast forward to Present: February 05, 2017.

My first year has taught me a lot of things. I learned to find the optimism for change, for a better life, for a better me. And that’s a wonderful thing. I also learned to love less. When you focus on enjoying less, you focus on full enjoyment. You learn to be content with little, and when you do that, a life of happiness is at your disposal. The only limit to your happiness, then, is how much you can learn to enjoy less.

It’s amazing how big a difference a little thing can make. Starting your day mindfully with a meditation, for example, can change your entire day. A smile from a loved one can mean the world. And when these little things are repeated daily, and formed into habits, their benefits increase not just by multiples but also by exponents.

The little habits can be life changing.

My Little Habits:

1. Let go. Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, and barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments.

This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your plate and your palate.

Let go of attachments to what you’ve been doing for the past year, or years. Let go of failures. Let go of fears you’ve built up. Let go of reluctance. Let go of your ideas about what your life has to be like, because that’s the way it’s evolved so far. Let go of long-held beliefs and habits.

2. Clear away distractions and focus. Clear away email and Facebook and Instagram and your favorite blogs and news websites and social forums, clear away the iPhone or Blackberry or Android or cell phone, clear away all the little nagging work and chores and errands that pull at your attention, clear away the clutter that surrounds you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later).

3. Find happiness now. Don’t look at happiness as something that will come when you’re done with this goal, or when you’ve attained a certain accomplishment or certain amount of wealth or material goods. Don’t look at happiness as a destination, something that you’ll get later.

Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it back until later, it’ll never come. When you learn to be happy now, it’ll always be here.

When you’re doing whatever you’re passionate about, whatever matters most, whatever you decide is worthy of your time and heart and focus, be happy! You’re doing what you love. And that is truly a gift.

4. Take a walk & reflect. Taking a short walk is such a simple thing to do — you can do it during your lunch break, or take a break when you’ve been working for a couple hours straight. It only needs to be 10-20 minutes. Not only does the walk relieve stress and clear your head, it gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve been doing, and reflection is one of the most important tools for changing your life.

5. Breathe. When I get stressed, I just simply breathe.

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Accountability

Flashback to December 22, 2016. – Like everybody else, it was a busy day for people doing their last minute shopping. People would run around here and there, looking for the perfect present for their loved ones. I have to be honest, I suck at this, Gift-giving. Of course, I love giving gifts. But sometimes it takes a lot of time and a few decision-makings when it comes to wanting the spot-on gift. While I was at the mall with my friend, who was ticking his last minute shopping list, I suddenly thought while everyone is busy buying gifts for others, have they ever thought of a present for themselves?  And then I paused. Asked myself the same question and went in silence. I know I have accomplished all my holiday errands- so maybe it’s time to think of a little something for myself. While walking, my friend asked if I knew of the benefits of Fitbit. All I know is that it is a wearable wireless activity tracker. He confessed that he’s been meaning to change his diet for the past year but was having a difficult time as to work schedule constrictions and for the most part there was no accountability.  Accountability is very important in your willingness to accept a certain responsibility and to recognize the intention of doing the action either for yourself or for the benefit of others. It can be as simple as meditation, exercise, writing, reading and can be complex as big life decisions such as deciding a career, changing a career, figuring out where to live, rent or buy a house or to get married or not. Therefore, in every action and decision we make, it is always important to understand the accountability and the intention of the commitment. Oh, and to end our busy holiday shopping, my friend and I gave in and purchased the Fitbit Charge 2. Not only it keeps you motivated to exercise, it also helps you improve your health by tracking your activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep.

What a good and healthy way to start our 2017!

fitbit

When shit happens…

broken-pencil

1. Pain is part of growing Sometimes life closes doors because it’s time to move forward. And that’s a good thing because we often won’t move unless circumstances force us to. When times are tough, remind yourself that no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there. Good things take time. Stay patient and stay positive. Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually. Remember that there are two kinds of pain: pain that hurts and pain that changes you. When you roll with life, instead of resisting it, both kinds help you grow.

2. Everything in life is temporary Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you get hurt, you heal. After darkness there is always light — you are reminded of this every morning, but still you often forget, and instead choose to believe that the night will last forever. It won’t. Nothing lasts forever. So if things are good right now, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t easy at the moment, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. Every moment gives you a new beginning and a new ending. You get a second chance, every second. You just have to take it and make the best of it.

3. Worrying and complaining changes nothing Those who complain the most, accomplish the least. It’s always better to attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. It’s not over if you’ve lost; it’s over when you do nothing but complain about it. If you believe in something, keep trying. Don’t let the shadows of the past darken the doorstep of your future. Spending today complaining about yesterday won’t make tomorrow any brighter. Take action instead. Let what you’ve learned improve how you live. Make a change and never look back. And regardless of what happens in the long run, remember that true happiness begins to arrive only when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4. Your scars are symbols of your strength Don’t ever be ashamed of the scars life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over and the wound is closed. It means you conquered the pain, learned a lesson, grew stronger, and moved forward. A scar is the tattoo of a triumph to be proud of. Don’t allow your scars to hold you hostage. Don’t allow them to make you live your life in fear. You can’t make the scars in your life disappear, but you can change the way you see them. You can start seeing your scars as a sign of strength and not pain. Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.“ Nothing could be closer to the truth. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most powerful characters in this great world are seared with scars. See your scars as a sign of ”YES! I MADE IT! I survived and I have my scars to prove it! And now I have a chance to grow even stronger.”

5. Every little struggle is a step forward In life, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard on your dreams, knowing that the work is worth it. So if you’re going to try, put in the time and go all the way. Otherwise, there’s no point in starting. This could mean losing stability and comfort for a while, and maybe even your mind on occasion. It could mean not eating what, or sleeping where, you’re used to, for weeks on end. It could mean stretching your comfort zone so thin it gives you a nonstop case of the chills. It could mean sacrificing relationships and all that’s familiar. It could mean accepting ridicule from your peers. It could mean lots of time alone in solitude. Solitude, though, is the gift that makes great things possible. It gives you the space you need. Everything else is a test of your determination, of how much you really want it. And if you want it, you’ll do it, despite failure and rejection and the odds. And every step will feel better than anything else you can imagine. You will realize that the struggle is not found on the path, it is the path. And it’s worth it. So if you’re going to try, go all the way. There’s no better feeling in the world…there’s no better feeling than knowing what it means to be ALIVE.

6. Other people’s negativity is not your problem Be positive when negativity surrounds you. Smile when others try to bring you down. It’s an easy way to maintain your enthusiasm and focus. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them. Above all, don’t ever change just to impress someone who says you’re not good enough. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a brighter future. People are going to talk regardless of what you do or how well you do it. So worry about yourself before you worry about what others think. If you believe strongly in something, don’t be afraid to fight for it. Great strength comes from overcoming what others think is impossible. All jokes aside, your life only comes around once. This is IT. So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile, often.

7. What’s meant to be will, eventually, BE True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE. In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey. You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.

8. The best thing you can do is to keep going Don’t be afraid to get back up — to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best. Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher. Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too. Don’t stress over things you can’t change. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. And even if you fall short, keep going. Keep growing.

Choosing the right career path:

The word

Choosing the right career path is one of the most defining decisions we can make in life. Our job not only says a lot about what kind of person we are, but will influence what kind of house we live in, the people we associate with, and more. But above all these things, is the fact that we spend most of our waking moments at work! Which means that if our job does not fulfill us or does not allow us to pursue our life goals, than it is not the career we should spend the rest of our life doing.

Unfortunately most people go to work everyday and put in a mediocre performance, day after day because their heart is just not in their job. They’re not interested in learning more about the field that they work in, they don’t get excited about new developments, and they just do what is absolutely necessary to keep their job. Most people live for the weekend and are robots during the week. That’s 5 days of being a robot and 2 days of doing what you want to do. Why not pursue a passion for 5 days, while adding value to the lives of others, and leave 2 days for recreation and relaxation?

Life is just too short and fleeting to be spending so many precious hours each day doing something that makes us unhappy. It is impossible to do a job that we do not like and to feel fulfilled as a person, because our jobs take up such a large amount of our time. Our job is a big part of who we are.

We have to get clear about what it is that gives us fulfillment in life, what fascinates us, or what we are passionate about. Once our interests are defined, we have to think about what career paths are available in that area.

Because of the responsibilities of modern life and the necessity of money to support our lifestyle and family, we can’t just quit our job and immediately pursue our passion. It may take months or years of planning while we continue to work in our 9 to 5 job and bring in a regular wage. The important thing is that we are moving towards the goal of doing what inspires us in life. Without the clear focus and continual small steps towards achieving our dream job, we would just be kidding ourselves.

When we’re moving towards our dream job and have a clear path before us it makes our 9 to 5 job less of a problem. Rather than going to work each day and hating the things we do, we can appreciate the job for being a step towards doing what really inspires us. It is putting food on the table, paying the rent, and funding the way towards the right career path.

Giving up something good for something better

 

nothing worth having comes easy...

There are more than a few sorts of things that grounds people to feel fear in their lives. Fear of failure. Fear of ridicule. Fear of rejection. But the pits of all fear is that of losing something that you have already got, in particular, if it’s something “good” that you have worked to achieve. Like it or not, though, fear of any kind is a limitation that holds you back from taking certain risks. “Sacrifice is being willing to give up something good for something better.”-and I would certainly agree with this statement. In pursuing this, we often face obstacles which require us to forfeit physical or emotional comfort in the service of something that matters more. Often, the greater the dream or vision, the greater the shared sacrifice required to attain it. Sacrifice is easier when we stay focused on what we are choosing rather than what we are giving up. Life is full of boundless possibilities, but in order to transform a possibility into a reality we have to choose — sacrificing the many in order to attain the one. Nothing is gained without something relinquished. If you want to attain great things in life, you must be willing to risk all that you have currently achieved. It is a principle that can help make all aspects of your life better, including relationships, personal growth and development. Ultimately, the question you must answer is, whether “good” is good enough for you?