society

Let’s talk about race.

Racism

Let’s talk about race.

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time now, because I’m tired of seeing so many people, myself included, being judged and defined by skin colour. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning and it’s unwise to define our lives by it.

I was exposed to the same education and environments alongside peers with all different shades of skin colour, yet we all had different ideas of where we’d all end up in life. Our upbringings differed from home to home, our own decisions and our own motivations encouraged our individual paths in life, and it’s our individual experiences that influence these decisions and motivations. Unfortunately, when we accept messages that define us by the colour of our skin, we lose sight of our individual freedom and rights as we conform to stereotype and ideology. Enough is enough, we’re all worth so much more than the labels that define us.

Why are we so foolish to associate ourselves with untrue stereotypes? Why shape our lives based on the representation of our skin colours? It’s an issue that’s irritated me my entire life. Personally, I grew tired of feeling stuck in-between what felt like, a rock and a hard place; never feeling completely embraced as an individual because "he’s so white-washed" or “he’s so brown” were phrases that echoed through my entire existence.

Just like all of us, I am a product of my environment and a slave to the nature I inherited and as a result, I’ve become who I am… and it has very little to do with pigment. It’s just a colour, it has no meaning other than the clues it leads to my ancestry. With that said, we innately have more in common to unite us, compared to the differences we’re taught to separate us.

Who I am and who you are cannot be defined by any single label, prejudice or idea. Yes, there may be traits and traditions I share with others of similar cultural heritage, as do we all, but no, it’s not specific to the colour of my skin. Nor does my cultural heritage completely represent my identity, I’m much more than that too.

So, to the officer that profiled me, the employer that overlooked me, the group that rejected me and the politicians frightened of me. Generally to the people that choose to judge me because of my skin colour or any other prejudice for that matter, I will not continue to perpetuate hate by getting angry, nor will I hide away in shame or embarrassment. Instead, I’ll use the avenues I’ve embraced that showcase my identity in order to educate and inform. Although I may have to work a little harder in prejudice environments, I will not allow them to restrict my potential. It’s just the colour of my skin, just like the colour of my hair or the colour of my eyes, it doesn’t mean anything.

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Vancouver Life Coach

Image source: click here

How to be Happy

post written by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

smile

Every single person is on the same page when it comes to life. The details of our individual lives probably differ drastically, but the emotional experiences in which we wish to encounter, they're exactly the same.

I’m happy. Perhaps not all the time, but nowadays I can say with confidence that I’m living blissfully most of the time. I’ve walked away from the dark places I had convinced myself I was safe in, and I’ve stepped outside of perception and sought out truth. Many people make the mistake of “searching for happiness”  as if it’s some mystical treasure waiting to be found, but I’ve learned now that the key to happiness is much more internal, we just have to face it and let it out. It was the smartest thing I ever did.

To be happy, I needed to...

…accept and be proud of who I am.

This was the most effective contribution to my happiness. I grew up in an environment of expectation, everything from how I was expected to act and what I was expected to achieve in my life. To follow tradition and fulfill a role I simply wasn’t born to play. As my own identity did not fit the criteria of such expectation, it caused conflict within my mind which led to anxiety and depression...and up until a few years ago, it ruled my life. Today however, I feel free and unburdened, I can confidently explore life to seek answers; I am free to do what I want and be who I am. As a result I’ve found purpose and passion, I’ve learned about myself and what it is I love to do. It all began when I decided to live life by the traits of my own identity, it allowed me to define my own aspirations and as I progressed down my own path, I began uncovering a sense of pride and self-respect.

…find joy in not knowing and embrace the freedom of discovery.

If you look at how kids explore life, you realize the fun and joy it is to discover and seek answers. When I went traveling, I would freely ask questions in order to understand what I didn’t know. Each and every time I learned something new, it added a new layer of awareness to my identity. A sensation that made me feel empowered to explore life further, to immerse myself in the unknown so that I could understand and connect with the world a lot better. I’m not saying travel changed me, but it encouraged me to raise questions at home and in my everyday life whenever I had any feelings of doubt and uncertainty.

…place emphasis on mindset and its key role in success.

I reflect back on moments I first shared this blog with my friends on Facebook, and how much I feared judgement and ridicule from those who thought they knew me. Today I share it with the world and also coach individuals into fulfillment. I realized that if I want to be happy, I should stick with what I love to do. Although coaching is an avenue towards bigger aspirations in my life, I love the process. Everyday, at this current moment in time, I feel I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Rarely do I fear how life will end up, because however long it may take, at least I'm on the right path. Happiness isn’t something you can earn or accumulate, it’s something you contribute to and on this path, I'm contributing to my own happiness. 

…submit to fact and adapt my behavior accordingly.

Living blissfully in ignorance is not happiness and personally I think we choose to be ignorant. They say misery needs company, however ignorance actually has it and plenty of it, and it's easy to join a herd to feel like you belong and fit in. However happiness is personal, you won't find it following trends or chasing myths.

I started my own journey for my own peace-of-mind and happiness, for nobody else. The proof is in my own well-being and if whatever I pursue turns out to be wrong, I've learned to move on until I discover what's right. If corporate gigs made me miserable, then I had to accept that to move forward. I did, and I ventured onto something far more valuable. It took me about 5 years to figure it out, but that time is experience, it signifies growth, it means something, it doesn't feel wasted and I already have so many lessons to share from them and I continue to learn.

Perception can be and often is blurred, waking up to reality and adapting my behavior towards the truth, definitely led me to a happier life. If something is factual and proven, and there’s no logical reason to challenge it, accept it and move on.

…take the time to better understand others.

Understanding other people better and getting to know them for who they really are, allowed me to better understand their actions, their perception of others and of me. For example, I realized that malicious intent was more about an internal conflict than it was about causing harm. We all desire happiness and fulfillment, but sometimes our own insecurities and troubles can make us act out in unintended ways. If you work to understand how much a person isn’t happy and fulfilled, you’ll be able to connect with them and reason with their actions.

If you take the time to learn about someone, you can learn to accept and communicate to them. In many cases, you could probably help them. There’s an empowerment that comes from this, because you begin realizing that we’re all more alike than we’re actually led to believe. It helps you ease the pressure of living with what other people think of you and it makes you feel less alone and more connected.

…overcome fear and make it a priority.

I don’t have many fears today and now I’m currently learning to overcome my fear of snakes. However other fears, like the fear of what people think of you, the fear of not succeeding or even the fear of not fitting in, will soon eradicate if you nurture the “law of awareness.” Put simply, you only need focus on being present and in the moment, for it’s the choices and actions of today that impact your future and control your past.

I’ve spoken to enough senior members of society to conceptualize regret, so get your head out of non-existent moments in time, wake up to now and allow your emotions to guide you through your reality. Which is how I made overcoming fear a priority, because overcoming it helped me regain control. Now I feel there isn't much that can stop me from chasing down my aspirations, especially no-one. 

…directly challenge those that threatened my vulnerability.

There are a lot of prejudices in the world and a reason why a lot of it still exists, is because many people feel powerless to direct change. However, if you’re unhappy, perhaps change is what you actually need. I personally grew tired of people trying to understand me through the connotations that came with my skin color. I grew tired of keeping my emotions at bay, because of the connotations that came with my gender. I grew tired of having to accept everyone’s definition of success because I had my own ideas. With tiredness came frustration and frustration led to self-doubt. So I decided the only way out of this endless torment, was to face those that made me feel inferior in any way.

We’re all equals, that’s what I grew up learning and that’s what I ended up exploring and accepting. Any opportunity someone had to put me down, I simply asked them why? I’d respond in an attempt to understand rather than with a negative emotion like anger. When you give people the response they want, they win. Don’t give them the response they want, they’ll provoke. Challenge their motivation and intent and in my experience, they’ll back off.

In situations around the workplace, among your social circles and even at home, attempt to understand, educate and hopefully inspire. I don’t have time anymore for circumstances that make me feel worse about myself. I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel, my emotions are the most honest thing I can rely on, so I’m going to protect them.

--

As I navigate my way through life, I may come across a more concise way to discuss how to be happy. However, what I realized as I put this blog post together, to be happy, I never really had to ask for or do much, I just had to allow myself the opportunity to be me, to be happy.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Reform: A Rude Awakening

Che Guevara A Rude Awakening...

  1. When you realize you've been living your life controlled by perceived perception.
  2. When you realize how much work it takes to feel significant and how simple it can be.
  3. When you acquire knowledge and you realize that you will always need to learn more to fully understand.
  4. When you realize you have no control over death, not at least without burden.
  5. When love is experienced.
  6. When love is not experienced.
  7. When you discover an answer that leads to even more questions.
  8. When you wake up to the moment you had accepted defeat.
  9. When you realize that you can rise from defeat.
  10. When you understand what equality really means and how the world actually operates.
  11. When you have faith in people even though they have no faith in themselves.
  12. When you define the line between distraction and avoidance.
  13. When you experience genuine detachment.
  14. When you realize that money, marriage and religion are all man-made.
  15. When you discover the similarities between worship and slavery.
  16. When you realize your own potential is limitless.
  17. When you realize that your truest purpose impacts the world positively.
  18. When you see yourself for who you really are.
  19. When you see others for who they truly are…and it’s often wonderful when you understand them.
  20. When you realize that this list is merely subjective.

Question everything until you uncover the facts. Uncover the truth in order to wake up.

 

VanCity

2015: Reintroducing Spirituality to Success

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nay31hvEvrY[/embed]

I heard the above tune back in 1998 when I was about 10 years old. Now almost 17 years on, I still have it on my iPod and I’m gutted at the fact that Tupac might be right, that nothing will ever change. I listened to this track yesterday and picked out a handful of lyrics:

  • “Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a ni***, he's a hero.”
  • “Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.”
  • “There's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.”
  • “Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right."

The world has advanced in so many ways, yet nearly 20 years on, this song could have been released today and still be relevant. So I began to wonder what was missing in our pursuit of success. After all, when we think about wanting success, it's often motivated by the desire for change.

After some reflection, I began to wonder why society has become so socially latent; it seems the very pursuit of success has been misguided and reduced to self-indulgence and lifestyle. Making us blind to issues (like the ones above) that our successes could help eliminate.

Defining the Pursuit of success

We’re 15 years into the third millennium and I’m thinking about my own future and that of our future generations. I want them to become successful of course, but what message can I share that ensures their success isn’t pursued in vain. That their pursuit of success does not perpetuate social latency, because the idea of having a fancy car trumps the value of personal accomplishment.

We often look up to successful people today for all the wrong reasons, they set so many bad examples of what it means to be successful. Causing society to substitute true fulfillment for material possessions, to replace true leaders with pop icons and to adopt mass trends instead of embracing their own ideas.

I meet so many people living “successful lives” yet they struggle to find any fulfillment in the lives they live…that’s not success.

The pursuit of success seems lost in translation. It’s surprising how many people want success yet find it difficult to define it, let alone have any worthwhile reason as to why they want it. Lacking purpose and identity.

I think the pressure to look successful has blurred the true meaning of what it means to be successful.

The entire reason I anchored this topic off of Tupac, was to illustrate how much we have disconnected with the spirit behind success, and how this disconnect can result in no real progression or change. Be it in ourselves or circumstance.

Here’s a man who pursued success for much defined reasons. He became successful because he had the right spirit. That spirit then left a lingering echo through time. Leaving an awareness that identified some of his unfulfilled aspirations, for others to then recognize and connect with. To me that's a very good example of what it means to become successful.

Success and Spirituality

It’s spirituality that exists within great people of today and those that have left legacies behind for others to align with. The advances in science, the innovation in technology, the force of community, the boldness in art and the tenacity in sport. They were all driven by the spirit within individuals. Industries moved forward because those that carried the spirit of success prevailed.

I sometimes can’t help feeling that the connection civilization had to spirituality has been lost. Through the misinterpretation of religion perhaps, or the lack of belief and trust in those that lead us.

Spirituality is personal-growth, it’s giving our lives meaning, giving our ventures a reason to be pursued. It’s developing an elevated feeling of purpose. It’s the connection we can’t measure, yet have with our dream.

Spirituality authenticates our aspirations. It’s our journey, we should make it significant.

Having spirituality in success defines the outcome we desire. It’s the umbrella that hosts determination, courage, confidence, motivation, perseverance and pretty much anything else we require, that contributes to believing in ourselves.

Let the pursuit of success once again become a virtue. With it, make positive changes within ourselves and to world we live in.

We have the opportunity within us to leave a legacy, not just a memory. Pursue accomplishment and be successful, don’t just pursue the idea of success.

“You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.”

– Tupac Shakur, Changes

VanCity

A Message to My Peers: Fitting In Is A Scam

Fitting in

Recently I’ve been researching Sikhism, a religion I was born into but never really adopted. The lines between religion and culture were always blurred. Making the entire idea seem like one big contradiction.

My mother’s been trying to teach me the true meaning of what it means to be Sikh for years. Until now I was always too stubborn to listen. However, I’m finding stories of defending for what’s right, equality and breaking free from oppression inspiring, because of the much-needed change in the world we live in today.

The more I learned, her teachings didn’t feel religious. It felt more like a common sense guide on life and humanity.

I’m understanding more than ever, the requirement for equality, serving and contributing to society, awareness and the balance of body and mind. I know it sounds a bit hippie-ish, but when you filter out the crap messages that dominate our society, you realise how many of us are led away from our very own fulfilment. You realise how many people are frustrated with the way of the world right now, and how we contribute to it.

Reflection: A Quarter of a Century

February, 2013. I was approaching my 25th Birthday. Life was high and love came in abundance. I was on the verge of completing many goals I had set to achieve at this age.

As deadlines loomed, I was also closer to figuring out my passions. I was employed and earning money to live comfortably within my means, and I had secured my permanent residency abroad. For the first time, I felt like I was on track with a life I had set out to live.

However, I felt like I was on the verge of losing control over it.

After turning 25, it seemed the pressure was on to settle down and to start taking “life seriously.” To find a career and begin to live life just as the world expected me too. Ideologies became the framework for my life and all of a sudden everyone around me seemed to make my love life and my career a point of discussion.

It was all too overwhelming, it was like society was prepping me for adulthood. An adult life I never envisioned as a child.

Where I thought I’d gain control, the world wanted me to change and navigate the rest of my life for me. Before harnessing that control for myself, I shifted control and guidance away from my parents and almost handed it over to an unfulfilled, judgmental and overbearing society.

There I was, 25 years old, trying to fit into a world crippling under prejudice and inequality: socially, economically, culturally and politically.

As my innocence wore off I felt the colour of my skin illuminated. My gender had influence in society, my social status; from where I lived to how much I earned seemed to influence many outcomes too. My age, my personality, my aspirations, my hobbies and interests…It seemed that the world would pick apart my identity piece by piece. Until I became insecure enough and conformed to social norms, in order to “succeed” in an unequal world.

Behind curtain #1

It’s ironic; adulthood. I spent my younger years being told to dream big. That I can be anything I wanted to be. Believing it will happen one day if I worked hard enough and remained dedicated. Furthermore, I was taught how to be good and to act responsibly among society. Simply put, I was taught to be something and to discover my passions until I found fulfillment in life.

Sounds unrealistic right? Well that’s my point, I began believing that to.

I almost moulded myself into a society that shuns you for being different and dismisses you for having the guts to dream. Pretty much making you feel like an outsider for going against social norm. I realised that my decisions at this point in time we’re crucial to my well-being.

Do I work towards building a life of my own choosing? To realize my passions and figure out what I’m all about. Where fulfillment is mine to discover.

Or

Do I follow a template that will grant me access to an example/idea of fulfillment?

Either way I’ll be lead down to success, how much time and effort required will significantly differ, but which one would be worth it in the long run?

Regaining control

Over the last couple of years, I took my blogging and writing seriously and decided not to give up on my newly discovered passions. I decided that I want my own life.

As tough as it was going against the grain of society, I decided to stop taking promotions in a job I wasn’t comfortable going to. I decided to stop getting into relationships that offered nothing but physical affection or meaningless companionship. I wanted to work for myself and do something I enjoyed. I simply didn’t want to waste my life nor fill it with anything that I wasn’t fulfilled by.

However it does get difficult and sometimes, I get irritated because of the time it takes. I sometimes think about giving up writing altogether. Giving it all up in fact, coaching others, my book and turning my back on the aspirations of positively impacting society.

As I have the skills to earn more money in meaningless jobs available to me, I could have it much easier.

Then I remember, I only turned 25 in February 2013. The journey from then to now has been phenomenal. Even though I haven’t earned a penny yet from my writing, I’ve learned so much about the world and about life. By simply not adhering to societal pressure, I’ve grown immensely in confidence and in self-belief.

In the unlikely situation that all odds are truly against me and I don’t manage to fulfill my aspirations in this lifetime. Then my words will remain until they inspire someone who will. If I get hit by a car on my way out of this coffee shop, or if like my father, I develop an illness that rapidly prepares me for the inevitable. My life won’t have been lived in vain.

As I live or when I die, what lessons will my nieces and nephews learn from me? What will my peers appreciate about me? But most importantly, what would I have done in my life, or tried to do in my life that I was truly proud of and fulfilled by.

To gain fulfillment is to take back control

If you think of hate, judgement, fear and negativity, these problematic frustrations stem from a lack of fulfilment. Frustrations build up overtime, because we systematically close the doors on our natural motivations, to reach self-actualization. We keep that door firmly shut and perpetuate this broken society, because it’s easier to progress that way in this unequal world. To gain fulfillment is to take back control.  Regain control and you’ll no longer fear the world.

And for the first time in my life, I’m taking some lessons from my religion. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t believe in a deity judging us from above and you won’t catch me rocking a turban. Nor will you ever find me preaching any holy manuscript either.

I’m writing my own life’s story with some help from some quality teachings (that’s the biggest lesson we can all take from religion). I’m progressing in life by understanding what makes sense and disregarding anything outdated, pointless and defective.

F.Y.I. If anyone is searching for a God, then look within yourselves for any voice of hope, which tells you to do something with your life. Don’t sit there and pray or hope for a miracle. Take your life in your own hands and awaken your inner God.

Whether I’m facing an ounce of doubt or a crumb of judgment I’ll look back on the words that fill these pages. I’m glad I chose to discover my own purpose, an early adopter of a better world and a chance at true fulfillment.

Don’t blind yourself to what you truly want in life. F*** what anyone else thinks about you or your aspirations. Have the guts to go out into the world and do your own thing. Take a chance on yourself, don’t let society (or religion for that matter) dictate your actions. Don’t believe everything you’re told – you’re smarter than that, embrace research. Take from them the lessons you require but ultimately navigate your own path and live your own life. Lastly, make your life one to be lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Motivational Mantra: Be the Best or Be the First.

Motivational Mantra

The search for yourself and your passions starts exactly where you are, open your mind and look at how you’re spending your life.

The day I woke up to life was upon my return from my first ever visit to New York City. I had seen hundreds of unique individuals living fast and working hard, it was intimidating yet there was something unappealing about these devoted employees that worked in those gigantic buildings. It seemed each individual lived with a desire to be noticed and to feel appreciated, yet no one would ever care nor stop long enough to notice.

I made a decision when I returned home, I was about 20 years old and I decided that so long as I live, I don’t merely want to exist, I want to experience life and claim my place on this planet. To experience what it will feel like to fulfill my potential, experience piece of mind, passion and prominence – and not being afraid to aim for it.

We’re given one life, just one!

Well one that we’re conscious of anyway so why waste it by not trying? Why waste it settling for someone who just happened to be there, when there’s another half of you to be found? Why move up the corporate ladder, when you’re so desperate to climb off? Why make more money when you’re not putting to use the money you have? Why suffer the company of people who bring you down when there’s a network of like-minded individuals out there waiting to connect?

There’s an uplifting feeling of bliss and acceptance when you enter a life of fulfillment and it’s so easy to start; just be honest about what you want. It sounds ridiculously simple and it can be, so long as you change your mind-set and apply yourself.

You can instantly begin channeling your life closer to your dream, you just require the motivation and hunger to spend your time working on discovering/pursuing your passions, as you live within your means.

Stop investing in a life that controls you and starting investing in a life you control. When was the last time you saved up for an experience that sparked the interest of your aspirations, or saved up to take a risk on yourself?

“So, what about me? I have responsibilities!” - I hear you and it’s those responsibilities you need to protect. Parents, what example do you want to set? Carer's, what support do you want to offer? A leader needs to be a person of strength, inspiration and courage. You can’t effectively lead, if those you lead don’t have faith in you, and that can only be established if you have faith in yourself.

Be the best, or be the first!

How many of you reading this item are following the footsteps of a bad example?

If I decide to have children, then I’m making sure they learn the value of life and that it shouldn't be wasted trying to attain the latest cell phone or what celebrity turns up on the internet naked. To be invested in becoming the best that they can be, and then aim higher than that.

Money, fast cars and homes that go on for acres didn't motivate a man to step foot on the moon, they didn't motivate athletes to win gold medals and they didn't motivate people to fight for freedom either. They either had a mind-set to be the best or be the first. Anything that followed their success were simply perks that came with accomplishment.

Developing a mind-set that guarantees achievement allows you to leave behind a legacy, and the peace of mind in knowing that your life mattered.

Today, many people work to fill their lives with empty fulfillment that lasts merely moments. What have you invested in that will contribute to your legacy? The cars rot, the homes decay and money gets spent quicker than it does for your body to decompose.

Develop a mind-set to be the best or be the first and feed your life with meaning, purpose and a journey towards lasting fulfillment that will echo down through generations.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Deterring from “Default Success” to Join the “Happy Elite”

Happy Elite

Growing from strength to strength has a lot to do with the ability to see past what you believe is your limit.

I was sitting in seat 24E on a flight from Spain to England, we had finally ascended above the clouds and the plane had settled as it continued to cruise through to its destination. I thought to myself “how many people set their limits to a certain point, that they go through life not experiencing the calm and stillness that comes with being self-actualized.

I find that many people never get a chance to experience their own potential because they set their limits based on the actions and achievements of other people in similar situations. Furthermore, so many people struggle to think beyond the clouds because they allow their success to be default. Success that is expected by following a standard pattern of living – default success.

The idea of default success halts their imagination and constricts their ability to be the best that they can be.

Rather than working to their own potential, they work towards the potential of other elements such as their education, their environment and perhaps their money and upbringing. I find that the majority of people aim for ‘default success’ because it is safe and it is easy, yet they fail to realize the loss of control: finding it difficult to pursue something they really want because of the fear of failure.

Problem is, safe and easy gets safer and easier and there’s nothing wrong with that,  until there is, when their entire belief system is turned upside down. The moment they've realized that they have missed out on huge opportunities, those moments they reflect on life wishing they had spent more time investing in their passions. Those moments they've realized that they have no idea of who they are. Moments like these affect so many people negatively because life was never truly lived and turning back or starting over feels like an even bigger risk than continuing on an unfulfilled  path.

This happened to millions around the globe during the economic crisis and it won’t take you long to find an example of the many people that chose the securer option, only to lose the very security they believed in.

The annoying thing with people stuck on the belief of default success, is that they repeat the behavior when things hadn't gone to plan, for example: returning to school to obtain a skill, to secure another position they don't really want.

The chase for default success restricts you from joining what I call the ‘happy elite’.

The ‘happy elite’ are people who have the guts to really dream and put that dream into action, even if the investment to begin with is minimal. Those that aren't intimidated by another person’s possessions or monetary wealth. Those only concerned with living life confidently the way that they want to. Investing time in the things that make them happy and surrounded by positive attitudes. Working and determined to make their dreams a reality and free from the fear of failure. Those in the happy elite would only return to school to obtain skills to pursue a passion, with an eagerness to learn and participate.

Life is no longer a rat race, and it definitely isn't about “catching up” to peers nor where I should be on society’s timeline. I’m in full control and I’m piloting this plane straight to the destination I have in mind. The day I decided to really invest my life into what I really wanted from it, also including the process it took to understand and discover what that really was, was the day I became a part of this extraordinary minority.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Questions I Asked Someone That Let Religion Hold Them Back...I'd write the 5th question on the front cover of all religious texts.

You'll be judged regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another. Religion is a big part of society and I know some of my followers, as well as some very close friends of mine that cannot seem to shake off certain religious teachings that hold them back from what they truly want from life.

My motivation for this topic came from an email I received today, I was presented with the following question:

"...I love your blog, however how am I supposed to live my life the way I want to, if my religion beliefs suggest that everything I do is wrong?" - Anonymous

I spent so much time constructing my response to this email, I felt I'd share it publicly because I think it may help others that also struggle with this issue. I know it's not my typical post but the essence is definitely there.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your email and your support. Religion is such a tough topic and having been brought up within a culture centered around religion, I can understand it's burden. I have always refrained from writing about religion and its impact on my life, but your email inspired me to go for it.

I believe all anyone should truly learn from religion is how to be a good person, both to yourself and to others. I've read texts by different religions and despite the obvious differences the common theme is still centered around how to be good. I think that's how I've always saw religion, I'll live my life exactly how I choose, but I'll always try to be good.

People are very quick to dismiss religion and on the other hand people are very quick to disagree with fact. However there are things that religion has probably taught you that you can't learn in a classroom and things you learn in a classroom that dismiss things within your religion. For instance; I don't think I have ever had a lesson in my school that taught me about equality like my religious teachings as a child definitely did.

I'm not devoted and there are a lot of religious teachings that I disagree with, but I can't deny the positive impacts it has made on society either. I used to believe for the longest time that religion had nothing to offer as Science has advanced our understanding about the world and because religious extremists have completely blurred perception. Yet I look at Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama  for example and other amazing people, that have done wonderful things because of their devotion. I feel the issues you face with religion lie within the final question I'll ask you.

Here's 5 questions you should think about that may help your perspective.

1.       Who or what are you living your life for?

Help yourself before helping others is a lesson I've been taught numerous times. It sounds selfish but it's far from it. If I gave advice to help other people before figuring out my own goals first, it would put me in a compromising position. How would I be able to inspire others to aim for their dreams if I wasn't aiming for mine?

Take a look at major philanthropists, the majority of them worked on their own lives and dreams, putting their own needs first before having any positive impact on anyone else's. Until you're living a satisfied and fulfilled life, you're not going to be much help to any cause.

People will judge you regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another.

2.       "God-fearing" Was it God's intention to have people fear him/her?

No one should live life with fear, it's unfair.

I put this question to a Catholic friend of mine after watching a documentary called 'Baby Bible Bashers' the debate got a little heated but it's a valid question. I'm pretty sure if there is a God out there his/her intention is not to have you fear him/her. It's incredibly stupid for someone to embrace somebody they fear, they'll forever struggle with controlling their own lives. (I came across this thought when reading about a woman who was getting battered by her husband - she used the term fear)

I feel God is how people characterize hope. Look to your hopes and see how you feel compared turning to your fears and uncertainties. Your hopes will carry you forward your fears will hold you back.

3.       Does your religion inspire you to do something or encourage you to do something?

Being inspired to act comes from the heart, being encouraged to act comes from the mind. Dwell on that for a moment and evaluate your teachings.

4.       If there is an afterlife, can you honestly tell others waiting for you on the other side that you lived a fulfilled life?

What impact did you have on the world? We're you happy? We're you free? Did you make use of free will and learn lessons from your mistakes?

I don't believe in an afterlife but I always think of the stories and teachings I would pass onto my future kids one day and most of them would come from my own experiences. I won't deny that I've learned a lot from my religion but it doesn't control my life, it assists it.

 5.       How much of your religion is blurred by outdated cultural practices?

This question I can relate to 100%. For example: as a man, my culture suggests women are inferior but it was religion that taught me men and women are equal. I'm Sikh and when I date a girl that doesn't belong to my caste, religion or even race it's my culture that tends to have a problem with it, never my religion.

You know that saying "only God can judge me" and remember what I said earlier on how I reckon God represents your hope. Put the two together and you'll realize who really is in charge of your life. It's you all the way!

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Don't kid yourself if you 'think' you're happy, a big F U! To societies timeline.

F U Ok, someone had to say it. I write this after an encounter with someone in my past. You see, she said that she "thinks" she's happier now. Great! But from my experience, I've been pretty bang on when I know if I'm happy or not and I have never had to contact a member of my past for declaration.

I'm currently listening to some great music, I'm working towards my goal and I'm getting closer to my dreams more than ever before. I'm very happy :-D Although I may not have reached my destination yet, I know I'm happy because I know that my life isn't being wasted by putting my aspirations on hold. I'm living life exactly how I intended too, the way I have decided, towards that definitive "vision."

Yet when someone uses the term "I think?" when talking about their own happiness, I can't help but believe that they are so far from it. It frustrates me. I've had a taste of what life REALLY has to offer and there truly is no room for "I think?"

I have an opinion; I believe those who "think" they are happy, need to really look into their life decisions; did society or the image of "perfection" lead them to this so-called happiness?  We're bombarded by so many images of the "perfect lifestyle" draped over the framework of a socially "accepted" timeline.

Ideologies suggest we should live a "perfect" life, in line with this "time frame" that realistically is unattainable if one wants to focus on one's own goals.

I've always lived my life how I've wanted to and I have rarely used the words "I think?" I go with what I know. Call me a "renegade," but I can' t understand living my life under the influence of other people. When was it decided that now should be the time to settle down, that now should be the time I should focus on an "alternative" career as a backup option...No thanks, I have too much ambition to limit my potential.

The dreams I stand by set my goals, the goals I set ignite my passion and drive. My failure to follow my societies expectation, removes all the speech marks from my life and allows me to live how I intend to.

Dream big folks and keep working towards them, f*** what anyone else has to say or share if it means putting what you want from life on hold. Life is awesome if you live it your way.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Overcome the Illusion of Having Zero Confidence

Confidence Society today is blurred by what it means to be confident. People often associate the term with appearance and/or one's ability to socialize and meet new people, but I reckon confidence is what you gain from mastering a skill, which of course takes practice.

I see confidence in everyone, just observe anyone doing what they're good at. I watch a mother who struggles to interact with new people, yet oozes confidence when it comes to supporting her family.  An introverted computer genius may feel inadequate to ask a random girl out on a date, but put that same guy in front of a computer and watch his confidence transmit.

Every single person has confidence and you can find it in those "time to shine" moments of life. Everyone is an expert at something, therefore when you want to tap into your confidence, look to moments when people turn to you for advice and guidance. Where your skills and abilities are strongest is where you'll find your pool of self-belief and what it feels to be confident.

Confidence issue

If you feel you lack confidence, the first thing you need to do is be unambiguous.

I always get asked "how do I become more confident?" I tell you now there's no switch that you can turn on which will make you strut down the street, with your head held high taking on the world. The question needs to be specific, ask "how do I build more confidence in..."

People who miraculously appear confident can never hold onto it. Certain things you change in your everyday life may help you feel more confident, but only for short while. You need to build confidence piece by piece until  specific skills are acquired, these skills will help you overcome your confidence issues in the long run.

Just like when you learn a new sport, you have to train and the more you train the better you get, the better you get your confidence grows.

So don't live life by the illusion of having zero confidence when you really do have heaps of it stashed away. If you ever feel inadequate, timid or unsure it's probably because you haven't acquired the skills you desire yet. Remind yourself of that now and again and build confidence with plenty of practice.

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach