The Problem With Living Your Best Life

I’m sure by now so many of you have heard the phrase “live your best life”. A motto like that has good intentions I’m sure. But the more I see that way of thinking affecting people today (youths especially), the more I’m starting to feel that a phrase like that just does more harm than good. Let me explain…

I have seen that this motto of living your best life is actually starting to make a lot of people stressed out and feel under pressure. It creates this way of thinking that if at any moment you are unhappy with anything in your life, you need to drop it immediately because it’s keeping you from living your best life. It’s causing us, especially as a generation, to not work as hard as those before us. It’s as if we no longer want to have to endure the hard work that comes along with so many good things in life because why go through that if it’s not “your best life”. Here are some examples.

Take marriage for instance. In prior generations, marriage actually meant something. It was a lifelong commitment to your partner; a promise that even when things got rough, you would still stick it out and work through those it all. But now, we are so quick to give up! If we don’t feel constantly infatuated and in love with our partner, we want to end it. Instead of having that enduring love for our partners, we are so quick to give up because in that moment, we are not “living our best life”. We think, “why go through this if I can just end it and be with someone else who I don’t have problems with”. The thing is though, sooner or later we will start to have problems and disagreements even with that new beau. That infatuation wears off and before you know it, you’re right back where you were with your last partner. We are so quick to think about the what feels best in the moment rather than thinking about the long term consequences of our actions.

Another example is work. Before, it was long understood that you have to do the nitty-gritty, dirty work before you can make your way to the “top”. It was understood that you have to work your way up in your career which meant that you’d probably have to start out doing work that you hated. But it was worth it because there was a goal in sight and you knew that this was the way to start on your road to success. That was the understanding before but now, people just want their first job to be their dream job. They want to start out making millions. I have seen so many people that refuse to do any work (even though their dirt broke and living off their parents) simply because it’s not their dream job or not “what they want to be doing with their lives”. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! It doesn’t matter if this is what you want to do with your life or not. The bottom line is you need money right now for your day to day expenses. You may have to work a retail job, a waitressing job, or at as a gas station clerk for the moment. That doesn’t mean you have to work there indefinitely. You can work on reaching your career goals on the side while you also work a not so glamorous job to get by. That’s just life. But now that we have this expectation that we have to constantly be living our best life, the thinking now is “why work at a job I hate if it’s not my best life?” And I agree that you don’t have to stay at a job that makes you miserable (at least not forever) but you may for a time have to stick it out, just until you have something else you can lean on financially. We have lost our work ethic. We no longer know how to work hard and to endure anything. We want to give up and quit so easily and it’s all because we’re basically told that we should.

Another reason why I don’t like this motto is that I feel it keeps us constantly dissatisfied. Years ago, people would appreciate their “mundane” lives. They appreciated their family unit, their home, they had a steady income, good health, basically they had all their needs met and they were satisfied. Now, we are always constantly striving to be bigger and better. We no longer are OK in a normal family home. No, now we want to live a luxurious fast lifestyle. We want fast cars, exotic trips around the world, a mansion, lots of money, we basically want the life of a celebrity. We’re no longer satisfied with the typical family life because why be satisfied with just that when you can have it all? In a way, it causes us to be greedy because we think that there’s always better out there for us. But you know what, the grass is always greener and will always be. We will always think that there is more out there that will make us happy. But having that mindset is exactly why happiness will always elude us. We will never be content and satisfied in life so we will always feel that we need to trade in our life for a bigger and better one and then we will finally be happy.

I also feel like that saying keeps us from being content with our bodies. I don’t mind people working out and trying to look their best. But I do have a problem when people are constantly going through plastic surgeries and injections, trying to obtain the “perfect” look. It’s no judgement against any person. I think if I had some extreme “flaw” that really made me self conscious, I would maybe consider getting it fixed. But most of the times that’s not what’s happening. People want to give their lips the “perfect” pout, they want to shave their nose down ever so slightly and get injections in their butt to look like a photoshopped version of a celebrity. These aren’t major “flaws”. There is nothing wrong with them to begin with. This is obsessing over your body and trying to get it to obtain a look that you can never achieve (because it’s fake). But we are told to live our best life, which at times involves doing whatever it takes to be “happy” even if it is going under risky, life threatening surgeries. But again, these things hardly ever end with someone feeling happy and satisfied with their results. It often becomes an obsession. Once they see one thing “wrong” they start noticing all these other things they’d like to fix too.

Living your best life basically makes you feel like you can never be satisfied with your current life. You must always be improving and bettering until you one day you are living your best life. It causes us to see “problems” in our life that we never saw before. We are told that we can’t be satisfied being “just a mom”, or a dad who works a normal 9-5 job and comes home to his happy family. Why settle with that when you can have a bigger and better life?

And that ladies and gentlemen is why I hate when we say “live your best life”. I understand that it has good intentions. It basically is supposed to be motivation to better yourself and your life and I am always for that. But I feel the actual outcome of trying to live by this motto is just a generation of people who are never satisfied. When ever we have problems, we just want to drop whatever is causing them and runaway from it. We no longer want to put in the work that most great things in life require. But the thing is that most of the time we have to muddle through the rough times to enjoy the good ones waiting for us on the the other side.

Let me know in the comments below what you guys think. Do you agree with my viewpoint or do you think I’m just taking it all too seriously? I would really love to hear from you and see how you guys feel about it. But until then, I’ll see you all next time. Bye!

Paula

Why The Terrible Two’s Really Aren’t So Terrible At All

Before I had my daughter, I was terrified of when she would turn 2. I would hear from everyone how kids are so crazy, throw so many tantrums and scream and fuss when they’re at that age. I was never worried about the newborn stage, the self sacrifice of being a parent, or anything like that. But I was anxious of my toddler throwing a full blown, uncontrollable fit at target that would turn everyone’s heads and that I wouldn’t be able to stop. But let me tell you why the “terrible two’s” is all one big fat lie. Toddlers don’t have to be crazy wild childs at all and I’ll tell you how you can prevent all of that from happening.

First let’s talk about when is the right time to tell your kids “no”. I would see on online forums that some moms would ask when’s the right time to say no to their kids. Now, that’s something I have never understood. So many parents would act like you can’t tell a baby no. But why? If my baby did something wrong or that wasn’t nice (say for example hitting someone) I would tell her “no, that’s not nice.” And very soon she understood that that was not acceptable behavior. I don’t know why someone would delay saying no to their child. A lot of people on that forum said that you could start saying no once your child was close to two years old. Then they would wonder why their child started acting out around that same time. But imagine getting everything you want, no one ever refusing any demands you made for 2 full years and after getting that special treatment for so long, you start getting told “no” and for so many things. I think that would make anyone frustrated, so just imagine how a toddler, who is still learning how to express their emotions, would react and feel. So my first tip is to not be afraid to tell your kids no, even when they are babies. I honestly don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to tell their kids that a certain behavior is wrong and not OK to do. I don’t feel that that’s a mean thing to do at all. And your kids will understand what no means very soon. They are so much smarter than we even know.

My next tip would be to stick to your word. If you tell your child that if they aren’t listening then you would take a certain thing away from them, then you need to stick with that (even if it does make things more difficult for you). They need to know that when you say something, you mean it. If you don’t stick with your word, your kids won’t take what you say seriously. They’ll know that they can just negotiate their way out of things and that there’s no real consequences for their actions. And that’s just not right. That’s not the way the world works.

I was actually at my daughters gymnastics class yesterday when she had thrown a toy where it didn’t belong and with a little attitude too. I told her that she needed to pick it up and put it back where it belonged. At first she just looked at me and tried walking away. So I told her one more time that she needs to put it back where it goes or we were going to leave right then and there. So she quickly picked it up and put it away. Mind you, she’s only 2.5 years old. But she knows by now that when mom says something, she means it. That’s when one of the other moms there said “wow my son would’ve never listened to me. He would’ve just ignored me.” But that’s not right and that little boy needs to learn that that is not OK.

A lot of time, sticking with what you say can be more work for you. For example if my daughter chose not to listen at gymnastics, we would’ve had to leave. Now, I enjoy my time over there and I personally would not have wanted to leave. My daughter probably would’ve cried very loudly as we left, directing everyone’s attention to us. And no, I would not have wanted any of that. But I know that a little work now will pay off so much in the near future. You will have such a well behaved and respectful child who listens to you if you just stick to what you say. Because I put in that work when my daughter was younger, she listens so well now as a toddler.

I know of 4 year olds who still throw tantrums but when you look at the discipline that child gets, you’ll see that it’s inconsistent and they often get away with everything. Most of the time there is no discipline for that child. I’m tired of people saying that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds and then other people saying, ‘you think 3 is bad, just wait till they turn 4’. It’s all so ridiculous to me. I honestly believe it all boils down to the parenting: is that child getting disciplined and corrected for his wrong behavior? Are the parents talking to him and letting him know why that’s not acceptable? If not, then please don’t blame the child’s age. It really ruins it for those who have never had kids of their own. I know some people who are seriously not having kids because their scared of the terrible 2’s. If only they knew it was all a myth! I try telling them it’s not true, but there’s just so much fear focused around that age that they don’t believe me.

I hope these tips were able to help you. This is not to judge anyone’s parenting. This article is more so for parents who haven’t entered into this stage yet and are fearful over it. I want you to know that there is nothing to be worried about. I’d say, yes as a 2 year old kid will want to be more independent and you can let them do things on their own when you’re able to. Sometimes it’s just not practical or there may not be enough time. It’s OK to say no when you need to. At first your kids may get upset and cry a bit because they wanted to do it. But you can simply explain that sometimes they can do it but sometimes mama needs to do it. It should never escalate to a full blown tantrum though. And soon enough they’ll be more calm when you tell them that you need to do it this time.

(And just to clarify, when I say discipline, I do not mean beating your child. I don’t know why but some people think they mean the same thing when they absolutely do not. The majority of the time, discipline for me means taking away something my daughter would want, like her cartoons or I’ll send her to her room for literally 2 minutes so she can calm down. But I’ll always give her a warning before I take anything away and then I always explain to her afterwards why.)

Let me know what you guys thought of this article. And how do you feel? Can the “terrible 2’s” be avoided or is it just inevitable for every child? I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

Paula

Self Love Series-Part 1: Why It Is So Important To Wear Clothes That Fit You Right Now (And Get Rid Of Those That Don’t)

To many that may seem like a basic concept: just wear clothes that are your correct size. But for years, I and along with so many others, have been wearing the wrong size. It’s normally because we want to use it as a motivator to lose weight or because we’re too embarrassed to have to shop for larger sizes. I personally just realized right now as a 22 year old that I have been wearing clothes that were about one to two sizes too small. And I would always wonder how come my clothes always felt so tight and uncomfortable no matter how much weight I lost. I figured that as long as a certain size fit me, that meant that it was my size. So even though XS clothing would be super tight on me, I would buy it thinking that was my size. Even when I would feel terribly uncomfortable in that clothing, I wouldn’t dare size up. I feared that would just cause me to gain more and more weight and that I would just continuously size up from there. I felt that this was the size I was supposed to be so if my clothes felt tight, I would just have to lose more weight (even though the clothes never really fit me to begin with). I want to talk to you though about why I think that’s such a toxic thing to do for your self esteem especially if you’re someone like me who’s on a self love journey.

Wearing clothes that are too tight for you because you think it’ll motivate you to lose weight may be doing more harm than good. When you wear clothes that are so restrictive that it makes it hard to breath, it feels like you’re torturing yourself. And why do we do it? So that it could hopefully move us to lose weight. But doesn’t that seem like an act of hate towards our bodies, like we’re punishing ourselves? I sure feel that way. Plus, when you wear clothes that are too small, it just doesn’t look good. So not only do you not feel comfortable, you also probably don’t feel your most attractive. Why do we do that to ourselves? We then say, well when I lose the weight these clothes will finally fit better. So are we supposed to just endure our achingly tight jeans and shirt that is so small it shows off each and every roll we have? That may take months. By doing that, we send ourselves the message that we don’t deserve to feel good in what we wear or how we look until we make ourselves smaller and that’s not right.

I’ve just recently sized up in my clothing (like literally this past month) and finally got the right size for me. I was still trying to fit into the same size that I wore as a 15 year old girl even though I am now 22. My body has changed so much in that time, just as it rightfully should. In that time my hips have widen, I have grown and birthed my beautiful baby girl, and I have completed puberty. How can I expect my now grown and womanly body to still fit the same size as a young teenager? I finally bought clothes in a size medium and let me tell you, I feel 1000 times better about myself. I am so much more confident about the way I look. My clothes flatter me now. And I just generally feel so much better about myself. To be honest with you, I was scared of going up to a medium size. I wanted to stay with the label of small or extra small. It’s silly, I know, because just because your clothes have a certain label on them doesn’t mean they’re going to look good on your body type or size. Isn’t that what we all want, to look good in whatever it is we’re wearing? And the crazy thing is, depending on the brand you may have to go up or down a size. So that just goes to show that a size label is just that, a label.

By writing this article, I’m not saying that you can’t have weight loss goals or want to be a smaller size. I believe in self improvement and bettering your body with exercise and healthy eating. I just feel when self loves comes into play, it’ll help you to still strive towards those goals but in a way that is allowing you to still be kind and loving to yourself. So you won’t have to starve yourself or wear clothes that make you feel bad all in the name of weight loss. You can still lose weight but in a way that shows your body and yourself that you love you. You can do it with clean eating and exercise because those things make you feel good, and not because you hate yourself or your appearance.

So please go into your closet today and get rid of all those clothes that don’t make you feel good about yourself. It may be a process that takes some time. It all depends on how quickly you’re able to replace those clothes with new ones that are your true size. But it is definitely something that is worth doing. Stop forcing yourself to feel uncomfortable day in and day out in hopes that one day you’ll lose the weight and your small clothes will start to fit you better. You deserve to feel good now and if you did happen to lose weight later on then you could always buy yourself some new clothes then. You don’t have to wait till you’re a certain size to feel confident. You can do that right now.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article and that it was something you could take to heart. If you did like it, then please leave a comment or a like down below so I know to write more pieces like this for you guys. I hope you all have a good day and I’ll see you next time.

Thanks,

Paula Moral