The Fear of Losing Control


Living a normal life

Michael has a normal life just like most of us. He has a stable job, a wife, two kids, a mortgage and a new car payment, and he takes care of his health.

Michael understands that his family, mortgage, car payment and health expenses depend on his job.

Michael has a ‘perfect’ life, and it’s going the way he wants it to until, just as could happen to anyone, he undergoes a series of catastrophic events.

When the whole world flips upside down

One of his son turns suicidal; his hours at work get cut by half, so he loses his benefits and can’t afford his mortgage or car payments; and his wife suffers a disability and cannot work.

With all of this he is considering canceling his personal training membership. Michael now is under physical, moral, financial and health stress.

What are the best decisions to make?

Will you stop exercising and work double to keep the house and the car? Will you double your son’s drug prescription? What are the best steps to take when under stress?

What would you do?

Fortunately, Michael knew that good times are not forever and there will be bad times, so he saved some money for these events.

He decides to sell his house and buy a smaller, more affordable apartment, and he does the same with his car.

Now he can make both payments without getting another job and hopefully he can get a promotion by performing better.

Michael understands that his family is more important than any material or social status, so he starts helping his son understand life and spends extra time with him, taking away all the psychiatric medication that made his behavior worse.

Also he supports his wife and helps her to get better, so she can help out as soon as possible. They are very supportive of each other.

Committed to his health

The commitment he made a year ago to his health is still strong, but he does downgrade on his personal training sessions.

Instead of paying several sessions a month, he decides to meet only once with his personal trainer to go over his program, which he will continue on his own.

By doing this, he will save money on doctor visits, medication and personal training.

Stay strong…

These catastrophic events are a step back for Michael. He did not plan for them.

However, Michael is resilient and continues going forward.

Rehabbing his son, supporting his wife and getting a promotion at work won’t happen overnight. But he knows that if he continues moving forward someday his life will go back to normal.

After four years, Michael’s life is better

Michael has become the CEO of his company; his son is no longer on psychiatric drugs and is doing great in high school, winning some scholarships for college thanks to his grades and dedication; his house and car are paid off with his wife’s help, and they are planning to rent their small apartment and move to a bigger house.

And Michael is strong and healthy and training to do his first triathlon.

…and you can fix your life!

These events were a wake-up call for Michael.

He responded by coming up with a plan, spending more time with his son, doing better at work (where he had been just going through the motions), supporting his wife and buying something he could afford no matter the consequences, all without dropping his health habits.

Can you imagine what would have happened if he had stopped exercising, diet for weight loss, put his son on psychiatric drugs, divorced his wife and tried to maintain his social status by getting a second job?

What are your tendencies? Are you resilient? What is your strategic plan? What would you do?

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How to Replace Your Bad Habits with Good Habits

Bad habits lie in wait for us to adopt them, like evil pets!

We can find them around the corner with no effort. And once we have adopted them, they make our lives unhealthy and often unhappy.

One of my clients, “Bob,” told me recently that he doesn’t like to miss his exercise sessions because when he does he gets too comfortable and he might stop coming at all. He has achieved his first goal of losing 24 pounds. He’s 61 and thought that it would be almost impossible to lose weight, yet he achieved it. He’s now going for five more pounds.

One of Bob’s strengths is that he knows his weaknesses and is willing to fight them. Many of us don’t want to see it when we are sliding down the slope into bad habits, but Bob does and works to prevent relapses.

From personal experience I know that life is a constant fight to adopt and maintain positive habits. Unlike bad habits, however, good habits are not easy to adopt. Nonetheless the benefit of good habits is a higher quality of life, which in turn means happiness.


Bob came to see me because he knew he needed motivation to start a good habit, and now that’s really acquired it, he has the will continue exercising himself.

To stay on track, Bob focuses on the benefits that a good habit like exercise provides – such as weight loss, better appearance, strength, fewer visits to doctors, diminishing aches and more energy. Plus, the exercise habit has nowmotivated him to improve other habits and he eats better now.

Bad habits cannot be “deleted,” only replaced by good habits. And once you start by adopting one positive habit, other positive habits are easier to get on board. One becomes more conscious of one’s ability to improve and keeps going! Our health depends on our good habits.

Whoever thinks that practicing negative behaviors only for a short time will be exempt from consequences is making a mistake. It’s like playing with fire and not wanting to get burned.

You can be the prisoner of  your bad habits


When I was young I got into drinking, but a wise man saw me messing up and asked if I planned to drink like that my whole life. I was shocked and told him no.

He continued: “Do you think the people who become alcoholics or addicts dream of becoming alcoholics or addicts?”
“No,” I responded again.
“So,” he pursued, “you think you can control your drinking, but let me tell you, it becomes a habit and soon you’ll be prisoner of that habit. People who become addicted think that they are the exception.”

I’ve never forgotten those wise words. Since then, I’m cautious about my habits. People don’t plan to become a slave of their desires or addictions; instead they like to make choices.

Be strong willed

I’m gratefu I have the willpower to choose to make progress and improve my health and my body, just like Bob. He’s has chosen to better his life over his couch-potato tendencies. He’s happy to be leaving behind a sedentary lifestyle to improve his health and quality of life.

Psalm 126, verses 5-6 tell us that, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He, who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” My take on this ancient wisdomthat they are talking in their own way about habits.

Bob and I understand that good habits are the only genuine way to lose weight and keep it off. Don’t believe those silly TV and Internet ads: There isno shortcut!

Is weight loss your goal?

Do an inventory of your habits and find out which bad habits are making you gain weight. Then, start developing good habits that will do the opposite. Keep in mind that you may be so used to your bad habits that you might not be able to identify them. And you may have become so attached to those bad habits that unconsciously you don’t want to give them up.

Believe in yourself

But believe in change: You are stronger than any bad habit you have developed. Reclaim your life and start losing the pounds  you always wanted to lose.

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How Your Environment Affects What You Eat

If you don’t control your mind, someone else will.

— John Allston

How do you make decisions?

Are the decisions you are making strictly your own, or are they influenced by someone else?  Do you think you have control over your mind or that your mind has control over you?  Is junk food really what you want, or did someone else put that idea in your head?

I made some bad decisions in the past that yielded bad results.  These decisions were based on my experiences, knowledge, beliefs and feelings.

Went things went wrong, I used to blame it on everything and everyone.  I thought I was born with destructive desires and that there was nothing I could do to fix it.

First step: admitting blame

My negative desires were so powerful that I enjoyed them and I didn’t want to do anything about them because they gave me immediate pleasure.  Thinking about the future results of my negative behaviors was not one of my strong points.

There came a time when I admitted I was making wrong decisions and wanted to change.  I became hungry for knowledge.  This was the first time I challenged myself with questions that challenged societal norms.

The truth is that soon everything started to make sense to me.  I understoodwhy people were different and why cultures have different beliefs.

For some people it is very difficult to ask questions that go against their beliefs because their life has been guided by those beliefs.  It would be like building a house, living a comfortable life there and suddenly demolishing it.

Overcome negative influences from the environment

I started studying why I’d been making bad decisions.  It was partly because of the information I got from friends, teachers, my parents, TV and my surroundings.  This is what we call environment: everything that surrounds us and affects us.

A social environment is usually designed by the beliefs of the majority.  For example, if most people say that the earth is flat, then most people believe it.  Or if most people say that diseases are genetic, most people believe it.  And when someone goes against these norms, they are seen as being out of touch.

So my research led me to understand that my brain was programmed according to the environment and that no one taught me how to control my feelings.  I had no control over my mind.

The difference between a computer and a human being is that we have feelings upon which we base our decisions.  Machines make decisions according to their programming only.

Even if I don’t want it to, environment does affect my brain.  The reality is thatI can’t control my outside environment, but I can control how I respond to it.

Negative influences within your environment

For instance, if there are commercials on TV that make a particular food sound very delicious and cheap, I can choose not to watch TV at all.  I can’t control the commercials, but I can control what I can do about it.

This is why I would avoid TV: I’ve learned that food commercials are designed to touch us in a deeper level.  They may play upon a feeling, such as happiness, boredom, depression and so on.  Remember that more than 85 percent of our actions are unconscious, so these commercials affect our unconscious decisions leading us to choose these specific foods.


My friends can also affect my decisions. Sometimes we choose what our friends choose simply because we want to be accepted by them.  By choosing the same foods, even though we know these foods are not good, we feel accepted.  However, if I want to control what I eat, I need to control my decisions, but I can’t control my friend’s decisions, including their rejection.  I might want to find new friends.

Common wisdom

So-called common wisdom is another way environment affects me.  I used to trust authority, but now I question everything, and I make sure I find real research that backs up any statement. I use common sense as well.  I noticed that believing without questioning put me on the wrong path. Therefore I don’t take action without doing my own research.  (Well, I can still be foolish once in a while but not that often and soon I get back in track).

Environment will always affect the decisions I’ll make in the future.  However, I can also affect my environment by choosing what to watch, what to read and who to be with, and by actively searching for knowledge.

“It is virtually impossible to understand how biology works outside the context of environment.”

–Dr. Robert Sapolsky

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Exercises to Slim Down Your Hips

What are the best exercises to slim down your hips?

Exercising your legs or doing exercises that require your legs is the best exercise you can do to lose weight and tone your body and hips.

This is because your legs are the biggest muscle you have in your body and do require more energy than any other muscle. Before we get to the exercises that tone your hips, I want to help you understand why the myth of isolating or targeting fat on the body is just that – a myth.

Isolation exercises are not the best for burning fat

We all want your attention. I want your attention, the personal trainer wants your attention, the “magic lotion” seller wants your attention. Our job is to convince you that our product or our services are the ones that are going to work for you.

Therefore, we use all our strategies to convince you to buy from us. Now the question is, do we want to help you and exchange real value for your money, or do I just want your money by offering you something “easy” that will deliver what you want?

The reality is that there is not an exercise out there or method that will isolate fat on your body.

Let me show you some logic.

How does your body use fat for energy?

The body uses Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP) as energy. Fat is one of the nutrients that is converted into ATP for the body to use as energy. Fat is stored on your entire body, some people store it evenly, others in mostly their hips and others in their stomach.

When you do any exercise, let’s use your hips, for example, by doing squats, your body will extract fat from your whole body, not only your hips, to deliver it to the liver to convert it into ATP and then it will be delivered to the working muscle. In other words, you will lose weight evenly on your body.

Follow an effective weight loss program

Therefore to slim your hips, your stomach or your body in general, you will need to follow an effective weight loss program.

(I recommend you focus on your eating habits, cardiovascular training, strength training and mental health. I have found out that this is the most effective way to slim down your hips).

The best exercises to slim down your hips

Once you are using an effective weight loss program, if you want to tone your hips and legs, here are some exercises that are guaranteed to tone your hips and legs:

– Lunges; front lunges, reverse lunges, jumping lunges, walking lunges
– Bulgarian split squats
– One leg squat
– Romanian deadlift
– Deadlift
– Step ups
– Jumping squats

Benefits of compound exercises

These exercises will target all big muscle groups, such as the gluteus maximum, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, leg abductors and adductors, quadriceps and hamstrings.

In addition, I will recommend that you learn more about weight lifting periodization, if you are looking to tone your hips.

My job is to help you save time in your life and help you reach your goal quickly. Find a healthy and effective weight loss program, follow these exercises and your hips will get slim and toned.

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Whole Body Maintenance Regime

You probably already know what I’m about to tell you, but maybe you haven’t looked at it this way before…

Have you noticed that as soon as you clean your house, it just gets dirty again? Or maybe you feel like you just took your car in for service and it needs to go back to the shop already.  What about your laundry? Or your nails or hair — is it time to get them done again? Think about it.

Everything in life requires maintenance

If you stop doing your hair it may not look its best, or if you don’t take your car in for servicing it may die in the middle of the road (like mine did).  If you don’t clean your house it will probably become a mess.

Just like all of these other things, your health and body require maintenance.  If you stop maintaining your body, you may gain some extra weight, develop diseases, feel weak, get older faster and become dysfunctional.

You have a gift and it is one of the most valuable gifts of all.  Not everyone has the privilege to have a body just as perfect as yours. If you want to get the best from it, maintain it.  You will find more enjoyment in your body, health and life.

Here are a couple of things I recommend you do to maintain your body:

1. Exercise daily.  This could be running, walking, biking, weightlifting, hiking, climbing or swimming.  There is nothing like exercise to keep your body younger and performing at a high level.  Exercise will increase your metabolism, give you more energy, increase your strength and make your body a highly efficient machine.

2. Eat real foods.  By using premium gasoline my car runs smoothly and I go further on a tank.  If I were to use diesel in my gasoline engine, it might run, but it would break down soon.

The same happens to your body.  Find the best fuel for your body.  It is your body and it deserves the best!  Fuel it with organic, natural and whole foods.  Find out what is in everything you eat.  If you put in the wrong fuel, sooner or later your body will pay the consequences.

3. Get a checkup from a physician once in a while to make sure your body is running great.  You’ll notice that the healthier you are, the fewer doctor visits you will need.

4. Sleep from 6 to 8 hours.  I sleep 6 hours every day because I love to reach my goals.  My goals are what give me the energy to wake up every day. However, sometimes my body feels that it needs more sleep. Therefore, I take naps when I need them.  I have noticed that I function better when I have rested enough.

5. With all you put your body through — weightlifting, running, waking up early and digesting every day — I recommend you also spoil it once in a while with a cleanse, massage or acupuncture.

You will see what a difference any of these will make in your body.  To get true enjoyment from any of these relaxation methods, you need to put your body in maintenance stage.

Take care of your body – work at it every day

To live longer and stay healthy, strong and young, you need to maintain your body.  Of course, nobody will force you to do so, but there is no other way to get the benefits of maintaining your body than by working at it every day.

High maintenance of your body is a better feeling than coming to a clean house, having your hair done or driving a high performance machine. Live to the fullest and get your maintenance plan in action.  One, 10 or 50 years from now, you will be happy for having made the decision to take care of your body.

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Body Composition vs. Numbers on a Scale: Which Means More?

How many times have you got on the scales either at home, at the health club or in the doctor’s office?

What are the first thoughts that come through your head when you are about to get on the scale? Are all pounds equal when it comes to improving physical appearance and health?

Keep your focus away from the scales

People usually focus in different areas, some focus on the scale, others on the difficulties of their new habits and others in old and new goals. When peopleonly focus on the scale and don’t pay attention in their new habits and other changes, sometimes they end up dropping their weight loss program because they don’t see the scale change.

Body composition assessments are very important in a weight loss program

There are many ways of assessing body compositions, bioelectronical impedance, hydrostatic weighing, infrared body composition analysis, skinfold are some examples.

All have different costs and some are more accurate it than others.  Choosing a body composition assessment method comes down to preference availability, cost and beliefs.

My point here is to find a way to do a body composition assessment and here are the reasons why:

The results are not on the scales

When some of my clients focus on the scale, they become discouraged because they see a little or no change on the scale. However, usually they tell me that their clothes fits better, looser on the waist and shoulders.

Even though is not applicable for everyone, most of them, are losing fat and gaining muscle, reason why they weigh the same and the body is shaping to a smaller size. We, as a society, have an illusion about scale’s expectations even though we are already seeing results that can be measure in other ways.

Don’t be afraid of weight lifting

Many women are afraid of weight lifting because of many myths in society. I had many clients who were afraid of getting “muscular,” but as soon as they see their body taking form and toning, there worries are gone and they push more.

Weight loss is not what we should focus on

The first areas that we should be focusing on are habits and lifestyle changes. Ones we understand that, we need to focus on losing fat, not weight.

For some people the scale changes drastically. For others, is periodically small. It all depends in the levels of fat and muscle that the body has and the metabolism of the body. In addition, don’t forget that as we age, less muscle and more fat the body tends lose and gain.

Simply weighing a person does not tell us anything about their body composition

Thus, a muscular individual may have a higher weight but less fat compared to a “healthy weight” individual. Focusing on weight loss as an indicator of improved fat loss has a similar limitation. By developing healthier living patterns, one’s body composition may change.

This may result in a loss of body fat, a slight increase in muscle mass, a smaller waistline with little or no change in body weight. Therefore, relax if you don’t see any changes on the scale and continue changing your lifestyle.

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Burning Desire: the Secret to Weight Loss

The secret to your success in weight loss

Here are two indispensable virtues you need to succeed in your weight-loss and health goals: desire and commitment. These two virtues are correlated. The bigger your desire to reach your goal, the more committed you will be to your program. On the other hand, the less desire you have, the less committed you will be.

Let me explain further. We can guess that all people who are enrolled in a weight-loss program have a desire to lose weight. But the reality is that many of these people do not. They just want all the benefits that a healthy body weight provides. Many people want to enjoy many active recreational activities and fit in clothes that they fit in when they were younger. But they don’t want to pay the price. This is one of the reasons why they opt for easy ways out like surgery, diet pills, hormone treatments, diets and so on.

What is a ‘burning desire’?

A burning desire means that the person is willing to sacrifice anything to get to his or her goal (except his or her personal relations, integrity and health). Not many people have a burning desire.

I remember when I started to exercise. I was at the gym 6 times a week no matter the consequences. Back then, I had to work two jobs, one after the other. My day started at 6 a.m. and ended at 2 a.m. My first job started at 7 a.m. and finished at 4 p.m. Then, my second job started right after the first one ended and I be finished by 12 am. I’d drive to the 24-hour gym, work out for an hour and drive home. I had a burning desire to improve my appearance. Now that I’m where I want to be, all I have to do is maintain it.

I heard that where we spend the most energy to move anything is at the beginning. Think about a car, ship or airplane. The same rule applies to any goal. Just like any object, once we are moving toward the goal, things gets easier.

Determine your goals

I have a burning desire to help people to be happier and achieve their fitness goals and also to open a nonprofit organization to help animals all over the world, and I’m working on it. I prefer to sacrifice all distractionsthat keep me from moving toward my goal. This is one of the reasons why I take the time to write all these articles to you.

I have some clients that have 3-5 children, own a business, have physical limitations, are older than 70, and have stressful lives, yet they continue fighting obstacles and negative thoughts. Nevertheless, I have also found people that have fewer limitations and yet they make excuses. It is easy to conclude who has a burning desire to get to their goal.

How committed are you?

This leads to the level of commitment that the person will devote to his or her program. People who don’t have a burning desire to be fit, lose weight and be healthier are simply not committed. They come out with all kinds of excuses to avoid their program. As a result, they never reach their goal.

I don’t blame anybody for not having a burning desire. Such a thing is not easy to discover in yourself and not everyone understands the need for a healthier life either, which helps wake up the desire to exercise. However, if you are ready to enjoy a healthier life and you want to kindle that burning desire, here are some tips for you:

First you need to understand that exercise, eating healthy and dealing with stress is good for anyone who wants to improve his or her life and also contributes to genuine happiness.

Identifying your problems

The past

Once you understand that, you need to think about your past and the suffering that a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices have caused you, such as diabetes or other diseases; the chance you had to ride your bike, but you had to say no because you didn’t think you were fit enough; the time when you wanted to be part of a sports team, but you didn’t feel in good enough shape and had to turn down the offer; the time when your kids or grandkids wanted to play with you and you simply did not have the energy. Or when you wanted to wear those pants that looked good on you in the past but you could no longer fit in them.

The present

Now think about your present problems. The doctor bills you must pay because of the insulin you are taking only because you are not exercising and improving your eating habits. Think about how difficult it is to climb stairs or carry your luggage when you are traveling, that this summer is gone and you did not want to go to the beach because you lacked confidence in your appearance.

The future

What will the future bring if you continue a sedentary lifestyle? I’ll let your imagination work. I know it sounds a little depressing, but this pain is part of what drives me to be healthy and to achieve other things, such as building my future organization. When I see people mistreating animals I suffer so much that I get upset. But being upset won’t help me or the animals. So I use this pain to get out of my comfort zone and help push myself to achieve my goal.

Overcoming personal barriers

Now let’s talk about the real you, the one who wants to conquer the world. You are going to think about all the benefits that exercise is bringing to your life. When you finish reading, I want you to close your eyes and bring these ideas into your head, smell them, feel them, listen to them.

Think about the pleasures exercise and eating healthy are bringing to your life. No more medicine, no more “no” to any recreational activity. Now you are playing with your loved ones. You are hiking the hill that you always wanted to. You are riding your bike with no boundaries. Those pants that you were thinking about giving away are now fitting like never before. You can go to sleep every night restfully and without pain. You are not getting older but stronger and more aware now that your body is rejuvenating. When you are traveling, you are carrying your luggage and helping the elderly or beautiful woman who needs assistance and you feel proud because YOU CAN.

You are not depending on anyone anymore. Your quality of life has increased thanks to the effort you have put into improving your health.

Wake up your burning desire to lose weight and get healthier.

Burning Desire = Commitment = Results.

This is the only way to get what you want. There is no way out. I hope my words have changed your thinking pattern, or cognitive thinking, as psychologists call it. My dream is to make a change in this world, and I hope I spent these two hours writing this article in a productive way.

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Negative Weightloss Factors – What’s Stopping You Slimming Down?

Negative weightloss factors and why we struggle with them

Having difficulty losing that extra fat and toning your body? Getting in shape is not easy as it may seem. In my experience as a Body Transformation Expert I have noticed that losing weight and getting fit takes more than exercise and eating healthily.

The problem is more formidable than people think, although of course it is highly attainable.  Signing up for a weight loss program is the first easy step, though keeping up with the program is harder.

Stress is one of the most common negative weightloss factors

One’s working schedule, as well as health problems, are some forms of stress. Work and health issues are sometimes out of our control and therefore it messes around with our weight loss program.

But a balance can always be found. If we don’t find it, we will never get to our desired body weight.

Bad habits keep the fat on

 Another factor that can disrupt a weightloss or fitness program is a repetitive bad habit. I read that a human being can never erase a bad habit- it needs to be replaced by a positive habit.

Sometimes, due to lack of knowledge, people don’t even know that their habits are putting their health at risk. Of course, others simply don’t want to give up bad habits because of their prompt relief.  Instant gratification is reinforcing, but we can learn to think more long-term and, with steady work, begin to morph and mold our day to day practices and diet.

Good habits result in slow but lifelong rewards- which a bad habit does not do.

The existence of past traumas can affect your goals

Another factor in determining whether or not people will change their lifestyle can be the existence of past traumas.

The other day, on my walk, I ran into a young man I know who confided in me that he was afraid to try a real career because he’d been raised to feel he would be a failure no matter what he tried. He was a bright person but had pretty much stopped trying at all!

We chatted for a while, and I tried to make him see that without some failures we can’t learn to succeed.

Because it’s true.

People who are successful needed to make many mistakes to get to where they are. For the many arrows that missed the target, one of them will hit it. Some people who have been traumatized by their past don’t give their best or make the commitment to succeed, whether it’s losing weight or sticking to a workout routine.

They say, “Why try? I’m not going to succeed,” So they are already failures before they start. My feeling is that, as scary as it sounds, we need to enjoy our failures as much as our success. Life is a journey.

The shadow of a past injury can hold you back

One more factor that prevents people from successful physical training is past injuries to the body. People are afraid of pain and want to avoid reinjuring their bodies.

For them, if they feel any pain while they exercise, it’s a warning sign to them, and they stop exercising. That’s where a Fitness Professional comes in! We can help a person differentiate “good” pain from “bad” pain.

There are pains which show us that we are getting in shape: one overloads the muscles a little each time, and this helps us get to our goals. Once we know what pain is “good,” we can train our minds not to panic if we feel a twinge or two while or after a workout.

On all levels of life, pain is part of it and is needed to succeed in most aspects of life. It is important to talk to a professional dedicated to your wellbeing to understand the difference between pains.

Subconscious factors are a reality

Sometimes we wonder why we can’t lose weight and change our lives. These factors are most likely subconscious. Thus, many factors contribute to our weight loss or fitness problems, including psychological, physical, and environment dynamics.

Nonetheless, we have control over our lives, and we can do whatever we want if we really want it from the bottom of our heart. The power of change lies with you and only you.

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Acceptance and Empathy – Understanding Your Depression

“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”

— Proverbs 25:20

Understanding your depression

It was a dark night. I was alone in my room with a lot of pain in my heart. Negative — even suicidal — thoughts were in my head.

Three months earlier, my life had been good.  I was a regular person with the same desires as anyone else.  Then it happened; I lost a loved one.  I thought this could only happen to famous people, a neighbour, or a co-worker, but I never thought it would happen to me.

I had never lost a loved one before.  After three months I discovered that things were even worse than I imagined.

Living in silence with depression

So there I was in my bed, feeling demons around me reminding me that I deserve the pain,  that if I had made better decisions in my life, it would have been different.  Even though the light was on, the room felt dark.

In silence with my depression, I started asking myself questions that I would never forget: “Why is everyone happy and I’m not?”, “Is there is something wrong with my life or are people good at faking their lives?”, “Did my decisions put me where I am? Or is everything that’s happening merely coincidence?” 

A new beginning

These questions felt like a ray of light entering my room.  I picked up a self-help book that I had superficially read a long time ago and which was collecting dust in my room.  This was the new beginning of my new life.

After three years of researching and fighting against negative thoughts (or demons), I finally overcame my depression.  I found the answers to all my questions.

These days, I study psychology in college and do my own research as well.  Many people believe that depression is a genetic disease or can be caused by altitude.  Others know that depression is a state of mind, that it’s under our control and we can manipulate it.

Have control over your depression

I choose to have control over depression.  I know that I’m not mentally lazy, and I’m not going to let other people or events control my life and thoughts.  Genetics is only a suggestion for me.

I learned that we enter into state of depression when we lose someone or something valuable.  This can range from a loved one or pet to a part of our body or sensation to material things such as our house or money.

Sometimes even our status in society can lead  us into depression:  We can lose our jobs, get demoted or lose our fame or popularity.  Also depression can be triggered when we lose control of our surroundings or things that can affect us.

Control your thoughts to overcome depression

The truth is we can’t control our surroundings directly, but we can control their impact by controlling our thoughts.

There are many steps I followed to overcome depression.  One of them was talking to God.  That is how Mother Teresa describes it, but Buddhism refers to it as a “connecting with the universe.”

When I was depressed, all I wanted was not to suffer any more over my loss.  I was drinking and listening to sad music.  While it made me feel good for the moment, those behaviors were like drinking sea water when thirsty:  It actually makes the problem worse and soon will kill me.  The human mind can be deceived when we are not consciously aware.

The affect music has on our minds

Things went on like this for three months until the night I decided to change my life and make conscious decisions.

I learned that our minds respond to what we are listening to.  For example, the more sad music we listen to, the more sad we feel.  Nevertheless, our mind and heart enjoy such music.

I have noticed when I listen to sad music, I get depressed, and people who are depressed listen to sad music.

Nevertheless, sad music is not a bad influence in ours lives.

There are five stages of grief. These are the stages that we go through when we lose something or someone that is very meaningful for us:


We don’t know if it’s real.  Sometimes we even ignore it.  We start contemplating all the details about how it happened and why it happened.  Sometimes we look for someone or something to blame.


We are angry with the world, God, people, events, life and whoever orwhatever we think is guilty for the results.  Many musicians create songs based on this emotion and express their anger through music.

This is the reason we empathize with many of them and listen to their music.  It helps us to understand this stage, but if we want to heal, we need to get to the next stage, which is…


We ask for forgiveness from people, the Universe and ourselves.  We accept our mistakes and we are willing to make our lives better and not make the same mistakes any more.

However, we are looking to go back in time and change the event.  Our hope is to restitute our lost.  What we need is to come to terms with the loss.


We have an internal battle.  Having overcome the three past stages does not mean that we are going to climb out of the five stages.  Many of us make wrong decisions and unconsciously go back to the denial stage.

Or many of us stay here since we “enjoy” depression:  We like to feel victimized.  Many people have created the best art in their lives in this stage, including musicians.  Here is where we love listening to sad music.

Listening to sad music when we are in this stage can help us.  When we listen to sad music we feel that someone understands our pain.  The words resonate with our event, thoughts and life; we feel empathy.

We also feel less alone in the world.  Nevertheless, if we want to heal, just as in the anger stage, we need to become mentally strong and get to…


We discover that there’s no one to blame and that things happen the way they’re supposed to happen.  We learn to live with the loss and leave the past in the past.  We understand that thanks to the loss, we become a stronger, better person and have learned something because of it.  That without that specific event, we could not become better.

Personally, after my loss, I started to empathize with people.  I understood that I was made to serve others and make this a better world.  I started listening to people and not judge them anymore.  That specific loss made me stronger and now little things that used to bother me are easier to overcome.

Thanks to my loss, I have found real happiness and I’m doing my bit to  make this world a better place.  My success is thanks to my loss.

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How To Gain Success with Motivation and Dedication

Michael Jordan said:

“Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t. Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym. Maybe I made you think that every shot I took was a game winner. That my game was built on flash, and not fire. Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength; that my pain gave me motivation. Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a God given gift, and not something I worked for, every single day of my life. Maybe I destroyed the game. Or maybe, you’re just making excuses.”

Practice makes perfect

We often think that many people are lucky for having what they have or for being where they are. Sometimes we only focus on all the achievements of the person, and never on their struggles. For successful people to be where there are, they have encountered many obstacles that many of us ignored. Personally, everything that I have achieved has taken an extra effort in the field.

For successful people to succeed, they needed to practice and practice and practice, over and over again. To be able to hit a target, many arrows need to be thrown. And practice will make an expert. Failures come attached with success. Failures are nothing other than lessons that make us better in our next decision. My revised mistakes are the ones that have helped me to be able to “hit the target.”

Pain is the real motivator

Some people say that I’m a great motivator. I don’t like it, and the reason is because a motivator sounds like a clown imitation. Pain is my real motivation. I noticed that pain makes people aware of their surroundings. In my view, I understand what Michael Jordan means with “my pain gave me motivation.”

Emotional and physical pain has helped me grow. When I was in emotional pain, that was when I grew the most spiritual, professional and mentally strong. And it seems that more I read about successful people, the more I understand that pain is a real motivator.

You still need to work hard

People who have left a mark in this world, such as Michael Jordan or Albert Einstein, they have because they work for it, “every single day of their life.” Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Also, Steve Jobs added that people who have changed the world are not smarter than we are. Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

All we need to do is be passionate and love what we do. My point here is that nothing is a “God given gift.” We need to work for it if we want it! We need to do the extra work from the average people to get the extra results that the average people don’t get.

Motivation cannot be taught, but it can be felt.

Sometimes someone will say something as simple as, “Aren’t you happy you are alive?” And this sentence is so deep it really falls deep into our hearts and makes us feel motivated to change our life.

There are no excuses

Exercise needs motivation. You need to feel that you want to change your life, to be able to do every session that you need to attend to be healthy. Schwarzenegger explains, “If you are motivated enough, you will find a way to make sure you get in your training sessions, no matter what. If you don’t find the time, if don’t do the work, you don’t get the results.”

According to him, the Pope, presidents and actors, who he considers the busiest men in the world, make time to stay fit. He also mentions that there are different studies to support that we waste more time in other unfruitful activities.

Let me put it another way. If you want to lose weight, get toned or have a healthy body, the only way to do it is by motivation and dedication. Let’s stop making excuses and get active by practicing all that we know to get to our “dream body.” This is the only way to succeed in our journey to get fit and healthy.

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