Giving A Dollar

Dog sitting on homeless person's lap

Giving Is Worth More Than Receiving

If you find it in your heart to lend a helping hand to a person or organization in need, then you are leading a life worth feeling happy over. Human nature has it that we want much more than we give; selfishness makes up our DNA code. But just because we are coded in such a way, does not mean we cannot do the opposite.

The amount that you give is irrelevant. What matters is the act, your heart and your delivery! Even if you give one dollar to the breast cancer foundation while standing in line to board your flight to Pittsburgh, and you give it in a humble manner without expecting anything back, that counts much more than receiving.

If you feel compelled to give because “everyone is doing it,” then don’t even bother. Save your energy because your big bags of gold will not earn anyone’s favor. Jesus tells us a story in the bible where a poor woman gave her last coin to the church versus the proud and rich teachers of the law giving their big bags of coins.

Jesus educates us in the bible that the poor woman found favor in god’s heart and had a place in heaven as opposed to the arrogant rich men. It’s not how much you give but how you give it. A great pile of money is no good if its donor stinks to high heaven. But even one dollar from a heart of gold is worth everlasting more.

If you have not yet found it in your heart to donate, then it’s not too late to start today. There are many organizations accepting donations online; just make sure to find the honest ones. You can also try giving a homeless person a dollar. Don’t worry about what they will do with it.

Just practice the act of giving from your heart with a generous and loving intention!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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The Worst Things In Life Aren’t Free

Mannequin wearing red bowtie and suit

Free Is For Freedom

We all want nice things in life: a fast new car, a wicked shining glamorous home, expensive clothing, private jet rides, etc. There is nothing wrong with longing for materialism as long as it doesn’t chip away at your soul. The old saying “the best things in life are free” is absolutely true.

Happiness, pureness, thankfulness, pets, friendships, family, love, God . . . these are the things in life that cost nothing but your presence. But we often take these things for granted and find ourselves crying for more. When we distract ourselves with materialism, we start to ignore the important things in life.

When we start to ignore the important things in life, that is when God takes them away from us; not as punishment, but as a wakeup call to help set us back on the right path. Life is full of many paths: some distrustful and painful, while others beautiful and loving. When we gear off the right path, that is when God steps in to align us back on the right one.

Therefore, do not ignore the important things in life by replacing them with materialistic objectives. If you want materialism, then go for it, but remember that it comes far after God, family and love. And if you find yourself changing as a person because of materialism, then it might be time to take a long hard look at yourself.

It’s very easy to fall in the trap of money and lust; the roots of all evil. That’s why the worst things in life aren’t free: they usually cost you your soul. What does it benefit you to gain everything in the world at the expense of your soul? You cannot take materialism with you into God’s kingdom.

But you can take your soul! So keep it and focus on the important things in life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Person stepping out of comfort zone and watching penguin swim

Exploring Your Surroundings

The daily hurdles of life can entangle us in a thick bubble, making it more difficult to break free. This bubble is our daily surroundings: work, home, the local neighborhood . . . repeat. And the more we live in this bubble, the faster time appears to fly by us, leaving us wondering, “where’d my life go?”

No matter how stressful your life may be, you have to learn to step out of your comfort zone and explore your surroundings. Perhaps take a trip to another city when you get some time off from work: explore other cultures and ways of life. Do not surrender to the idea of a staycation because it’s easier and more convenient.

The more you explore new areas outside of your comfort zone, the more diverse and knowledgeable you will become. It will also help you reset your mindset and return back to work refreshed; it feels good to alter your state of consciousness by experiencing new places and things.

But if you continuously stay in the bubble which you are used to staying in, life will start to become repetitively dull. You will no longer feel stimulated by the constant environment which is providing you with little to no change. As humans, we need change from time to time to feel alive.

But some people are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. For instance, many locals of a given area refuse to ever leave their neighborhood which they grew up in. The more you stay in one location, the more anxious you start to feel regarding the idea of leaving. The anxiety revolves around the thought of starting life from scratch in a new but unknown location.

In reality, for most people, the anxiety only lasts a few weeks at most after moving to a new location. The human mind adapts very quickly to new places and things; it’s called survival. It’s in our genes to adapt and survive; otherwise, humans wouldn’t be the most intelligent creatures roaming the earth.

Therefore, put fear aside and step out into the world! Go see new places and things and meet new people who look different from you and hold different beliefs. This is how you will grow and gain more experience in life. This is how you will expand your consciousness and feel more alive.

This is how you will see what lies beyond your bubble.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mastering Time: The Ruler Of Your Reality

Person sitting on chair in the middle of a brown analog clock working on laptop

Effective Time Management Strategies

You start to have a good feel of your control over time when you can predict what time it is without looking at a watch. At this point, your internal clock and universal time are in sync. It feels good to develop this capability because it helps you to rely less on time; your brain now does the work for you.

But to reach this level of capability, you must implement effective time management strategies. It starts with discipline: the majority of your activities must be based on time intervals. For instance, here is an example of someone’s daily routine that incorporates effective time management:

  • Wake up at 6:00 am
  • Finish eating breakfast by 6:20 am
  • Write a blog post by 7:00 am
  • Be at work by 8:15 am
  • Leave work at 4:20 pm
  • Study from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm
  • Hit the gym from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Be in bed at 10:00 pm
  • Repeat

If you consistently build a daily schedule that revolves precisely around the exact minute, you will become much more organized and on top of your game! But keep in mind that all of this is meant to be fun and to help you out; it should not be a chore to apply effective time management strategies.

If you find yourself having difficulty keeping track of time, then try utilizing a digital timer which will ring after X amount of minutes. This method will help train your brain’s internal clock to become more in sync with universal time. Eventually, the goal is to rely less on the digital timer until you can do it on your own.

Part of the discipline of mastering time is avoiding procrastination; the killer of time itself. Putting off something intentionally or habitually messes up your entire rhythm; your internal clock goes to waste because it no longer adapts to universal time. To effectively master time, the minimum that is required is to avoid procrastination altogether.

Most importantly, but which cannot be reiterated enough: have fun with it! Don’t be hard on yourself. You will actually start to realize that life does become more enjoyable as you improve your discipline and work ethic, and effectively master time. You end up becoming a more efficient human being!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Emotional Imagery

Man practicing emotional imagery

The Art Of Visualization

Without meaningful and purposeful visions, your potential for achieving your goals and aspirations take a dip. Planting the seed in your mind is the first step towards success. Life is unpredictable in the way that some people achieve success without ever having dreamed of it; it’s called luck.

But for the majority of people, visualization is the tool that must be mastered before success is obtained. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you must repeatedly utilize emotional imagery; the act of visualizing something with emotions as if you have already received it.

It’s a very difficult task because it requires patience and much practice; many people give up after a few weeks or months into the process. Everyone wants immediate results without hard work and dedication. Unless you are gifted with a batch of luck, it just won’t happen.

The art of visualization is like a game: the more you play it, the better you will get. But games can get old very quickly; you must not allow this to happen with visualization. Everyday is an opportunity for you to reinforce your visions and dreams and build up your belief system.

Besides hard work, it takes a lot of confidence and belief to achieve big things. Intelligence is important too, but many people are wealthy and successful and not that intelligent. The most important factor is your heart! Do you feel that burning desire pumping within your ventricles?

Are you willing to put in 10,000 hours to achieve a specific goal? If not, then you will most likely not accomplish what you’re set out to accomplish. Patience is also very important. However long it takes, you must accept the duration of the process and go with the flow.

And take breaks in-between your grinding sessions. Don’t become robotic and lose your soul in the process. Life is meant to be fun, even if it requires a lot of hard work in the process. But remember to utilize emotional imagery and master the art of visualization! One day, you will realize how much your positive thoughts contributed to your success.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Give Up On Your Imagination

Smiling boy resting on his hand using his imagination

Dreams Do Come True

Part of the learning process of life is the trial and error of different mindsets. With constant change in our surroundings and the universe being disordered as per physics, we are almost forced to apply new ways of thinking in order to adapt; it’s called survival. But maladaptations can also occur and impact our future.

Maladaptive thoughts are the ones which don’t serve your best interest; they are there to set you back or prevent you from moving forward. They are not always implemented on purpose; many times, your unconscious mind is responsible for maladaptive thoughts.

Part of these maladaptive thoughts is the burial of your imagination. For instance, something very stressful happens in your life, initiating a change in mindset which also involves the loss of your imagination. By observing past failures and reacting too strongly, unconsciously or consciously, you start to lose interest in your creative forces.

Imagination should never be given up on. Some people claim that this great ability of the mind is what God gave to man as one form of proof of his existence; that God also imagined life before it was created. Why would you throw away what God gave you? Imagination is a gift that can set you free.

Many people become frustrated with their imagination because they do not see the results which they’ve been longing for. This is part of the process! By agreeing to imagine, you are accepting the fact that what you imagine may never come true. But this shouldn’t stop you from playing!

Imagination should be a fun mental process that gives you aspiration. But as with anything, breaks are needed or else your imaginative forces will burnout. And keep your expectations low for Pete’s sake! Stop being so hard on yourself all of the time, expecting this and that. Allow nature to take its course.

Living life is your first gift. Imagination is your second. Dreams coming true is your third and final gift!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Becoming A Doctor

Pre-med student studying and writing on paper next to coffee mug

The Exhausting Pre-Med Path And Beyond

Becoming a doctor is very rewarding once you make it to residency and beyond. But before reaching residency, a brutal pre-med path and medical school curriculum must be tackled and persevered. Not everyone makes it. In fact, many drop out at the level of organic chemistry, the so called “weed out class” in college.

It’s not required to pick a pre-med path during college, but you do have to take prerequisites to be accepted into medical school. These include general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. On top of that, you have to complete the courses required by your major.

Juggling 4-5 courses in a semester can be very difficult, especially when you are dealing with the sciences! To not only successfully pass these courses, but to excel and receive a B+ or A requires many hours of daily studying; to the point where it just becomes your life.

On top of that, you must also get involved with research, volunteer work, 10-20 hours of shadowing a physician, obtaining letters of recommendation and doing well on the MCAT. You pretty much have to dedicate your college life to excelling in academics in order to make it into medical school.

In the latter half of your senior year of college, you will have a good feeling as to whether you will make it into medical school. Your MCAT scores are the most important factor! You may have everything else on your resume, but if your MCAT scores are low, the brutal truth is that you will most likely not get accepted into an allopathic medical school.

Getting accepted into allopathic medical schools, the traditional schools in the U.S. which give you an MD title after graduation, is becoming more competitive every year. The MCAT basically makes you or breaks you. Unfortunately, the system has to rely on this standardized test because the competition is simply too fierce.

For those having difficulty getting accepted into an allopathic medical school, there is always the option of osteopathic medical schools or Caribbean medical schools. The best Caribbean medical school is St. Georges University School of Medicine. This school delivers an excellent medical education, helps you build stamina and discipline and challenges you to push yourself to the next level!

For everyone out there who is currently on the pre-med path or considering it, just remember one important point: do not get discouraged if you find yourself slipping in the process. This road is full of potholes and moments of misery. There will be times when you will literally hate your life and just want to give up.

Don’t ever give up. The more often you get yourself back up from the rubble, the more you will persevere and inch closer to the finish line!

You can do it if you put your mind, heart and soul into it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Appreciate What You Have

White toy bear holding "homeless" sign in front of apartment

Losing What You Once Had

Human nature, on many occasions, sets our course backwards rather than forwards. We become inpatient with our current situation and long for more; nothing seems to be enough. We obtain something and immediately soak it up like a sponge and want something new; human nature is very parasitic at times.

The pain of losing what you once had is more unbearable than having something which no longer excites you. With something that no longer excites you, it’s still there the following day; it can still be utilized when you wish. But when you lose something, your world suddenly creates an empty space; a very painful empty space.

These empty spaces can add up over time and set you up for a depressive course; say goodbye to smiling for a while. You wanted to complain about your current situation and now life has taken that away from you! You remain empty-handed under the pouring rain while staring at the gray sky, wondering how to proceed forward.

Proceeding forward is what you should do. But now you are potentially battling a depressive course which makes your life even more miserable. Not only do you have to move on from what you have lost, but you now have to find a way to defeat the depressive virus infecting humanity.

The point is to avoid complaining about something which no longer excites you. Appreciate what you have even though it might not stimulate you anymore. Stay positive and work on bettering yourself and improving your current situation. Do not make your life harder than it has to be.

Take the trip. Enjoy the process. Keep moving along.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Think Outside The Box

Colorful wooden birdhouses

There is More Than You Know

The events surrounding your life have a deeper meaning than what you may think you know. Many times, you will never find out the deeper meanings; everything is orchestrated in the background behind the scenes. For good or bad, you will realize that you do not often have control over these events.

For instance, do not believe everything that you hear in the news. CNN has their agenda to sell their stories, while FOX News has theirs. And Hollywood surely does a great job hiding subliminal messages within their films and music videos. Thinking outside the box means searching for a different story that makes more sense.

Oftentimes, the story which you are presented is only partially true; the real version is disguised. This is because the real version is often controversial and would disturb the masses if revealed in its entirety. You only know the real version if you are in it yourself or know somebody who is; if neither is the case, then you are part of the script.

Thinking outside the box means remaining vigilant of your surroundings and reality. As previously mentioned, your unconscious mind pulls the strings of your conscious mind, but who is pulling the strings of your unconscious mind? Do you even care to find out?

Thinking outside the box has nothing to do with being negative, but has everything to do with being wise and protecting yourself. But you have to be very careful to not fall into the depths of paranoia. Once paranoia kicks in, it’s like being sucked into a powerful vortex.

And most often, you will have great difficulty freeing yourself from a vortex. Therefore, be very careful how much searching for meaning you do. If you find yourself tackling much more information than you can handle, then take a step back and unwind. Do not cross the invisible line of no return.

Have you stepped outside the box yet?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Adolescent Decisions

Four teenage boys sitting on mountain trail

Choices Matter

It’s no secret that teenagers are easily influenced by their peers. Often times, what the group says is what goes; if you question it, you become the laughingstock of your peers. That is why many teenagers experience difficulty stopping an inappropriate activity once they have begun; they want to avoid ridicule at all costs.

For instance, many teenagers start smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol during their adolescent years in high school. Some of them genuinely like the substances and have no interest in quitting; they see their new group as their new home. But many become disinterested in using these substances; especially daily use as many teenagers partake in.

For these adolescents, it becomes difficult to leave a group or even to just tell the group that they are not interested in the substance. They are afraid to lose approval, or even worse, lose their friends. They’ve worked hard to reach their status and break into the group as one of the members; they don’t want to jeopardize their popularity.

The teenagers who choose not to leave a group decide to substitute one substance for another. For instance, their group may be known as the “stoners”, but the person who is not so fond of smoking decides to drink more alcohol; he now stands out in the group as the “alchy.”

As a teenager, it is very important to choose your friends wisely. Do not necessarily target the popular kids, because the popular kids can get you down a rabbit hole from which you may never come out of again. There are many different types of popular kids: you have the stoners, the druggies, the jocks, the rockstars, etc.

Remember one important take-home message: no matter who you decide to spend your free time with, always be yourself and do not do something which you do not agree with. If that means losing your role in a particular group, then lose your role! Your life is more important than satisfying a group of kids, whom in all honesty, will probably no longer be your friends during or after college.

Choices matter. Your life matters. Do the right thing!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)