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Written by Alden Tan
I wrote this last week when my grandma passed on. I shared it on Facebook first and I figure I’d put it up here now. Hope you guys find some meaning in it.
It is with a tinge of sadness and tons of thoughts on my mind now that I type this to you.
The last couple of emails I sent were regarding my grandma being admitted in the hospital due to a fall she had. After being in a coma for 6 days, she peacefully passed away around midnight on the first day of Lunar New Year.
One could say it was the fall that caused her death. One could say it was the fainting spell she had and hence it was coming because of her old age of 85.
One could say many things. I know I want to. Here are all my thoughts laid out:
. My biggest concern in this period would be for my mom. My heart sank when I saw her speak into my grandma’s ear during the coma, telling her it was time to wake up and go home. My heart broke after my grandma passed on and I saw my mom cry, saying, “You’ve gone” in hokkien.
. But my mom is strong. It’ll be painful, but she is not self-destructive. She has after all, seen my dad go, her own dad go and now her mom. It is unfair if you think about it. It is honestly hence one of my biggest fears that me or my brother dies first before. She does not deserve to see her family go like that systematically.. My mom is so strong. It makes me feel bad for the times I was just annoyed with her for stupid, petty shit.
. I guess we all knew my grandma had to go before us, but one is never prepared for the death of a loved one. No one ever is.
. It is effectively a death sentence for any elderly folk to fall down and hit their head. Please be safe and please take measures to protect your elders in your family.
. The wake will be held at my grandma’s home for the next 4 days, followed by the funeral.
. In Chinese/Buddhist tradition, the wake is held such that some of us guys in the family will be keeping watch, making sure everything is in order and receiving guests. We do this even past midnight to sort of guard the coffin. . This, I honestly enjoy. This is when the boys unite and get together, like men doing their duty. Me and my cousin always stock up booze and drink the night away.
. It’s true what some people say, that death unites people.
. My grandma led a great life. She had 3 kids, 6 grand kids, and 3 great grand kids.
. It’s not like I was very close to her. I couldn’t communicate that well with her as my mandarin and hokkien suck, but I had known her my entire life.
. Randomest point here: After my grandma passed on in the hospital, me and my mom got home at about 230AM. We were greeted by two gigantic piles of dog shit my dog crapped out, one in my toilet, one in hers.
. I honestly cannot help but think, “It’s only February in 2019 now and all of this already happened.” This by the way, is the first time in my entire life that we did not do visitations to my grandma’s place for Lunar New Year. Wow man, just wow. First time, ever.
. Yes, I am overwhelmed somewhat and I fear for my future.
. I did not write about this before, but late last year, I made the decision of wanting to get a job. It was a big decision by me as, since I started the blog, I always felt this was it. I wanted to make a living writing on my own terms. After 6 years, the struggle, lessons, going broke multiple times over and emotional toil has really taken a toll on me. I am very tired. I made the decision last year when I tried to write something and I realized I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t having fun. Everything was annoying me. I have to be honest and say that despite writing about self-help/self-improvement and having the intention of wanting to help my readers, I really wasn’t feeling it anymore. So yes, I am looking for a job. January showed no luck so far, but it’s okay. As said, I am just wary of the future given what is happening now.
. I’ve mad respect for nurses working in hospitals. They must see death like it’s Netflix, not that it’s their favorite show.
. Death is absolute. Really, it is. When my dad died 13 years ago, just when I was going to turn 21, it made me realize how real death is.
. It’s the end game. There’s no going back. It’s permanent and entirely irreversible.
. I distinctly remember how upset I was with myself for wasting my time with toxic assholes. I wondered why I was making myself unhappy with such nonsense.
. This is why I have an absolute point of view when it comes to dealing with people and making the right friendships. I am rather harsh as through going with my gut and own judgement, I don’t give second chances to most people.
. I urge you to do the same. Way too many people make up excuses for assholes.
. I wrote this email with tears in my eyes as I thought about my own mother crying.
It’s moments like this. Truly, it’s moments like this.
No one gets to see me like this.
But this moment, is special to me.
I am writing and I am crying.
. When I turn my neck to the right, I see my dog sleeping on my bed.
. This is who you truly you are. Just because no one sees it doesn’t mean it’s not real. If you’re feeling it deep down in your heart and in every (whatever word you can come up with) in your soul, that means it’s real, important and powerful. Never let anyone take it away from you. All my life, and I bet your life, people have been telling me what is right and what is important, so much so I forget the important moments in my own life. It’s easy to get lost in their messages and forget yours. But you get reminded. Be it through sadness, anger or lustful joy. You remember.
. Never forget who you really are even if it gets lonely at times.
That’s all I have to say in this email.
I hope it finds you well and that you’ll be happy for one thing today, just one thing.
(Ah Gong & Ah Ma, reunited at last.)
P.S. Buy my book here, 100 Days Of No-Bullshit Happiness (http://www.Alden-Tan.com/100-days)
. And this is my last point: Look what I did there? I slotted in a link to my book. It’s only $10. I was thought before to ask for the sale through a powerful story because it makes money. But yet, it makes me uncomfortable, like should be capitalizing on emotions?
. Yet at the same time, if I don’t ask for the sale, I won’t make money and me being a blogger is a joke.
. What a trip huh? It’s the artist in me that made me feel fucked up about making money. Ah well. Check out the book. I wrote it years ago and I feel it can help. I’d appreciate your support. If not, it’s cool too.
P.S.S. Love you Grandma. Rest In Peace, And Power.
Could you be having a money phobia problem? When dealing with personal financial matters, do you approach them calmly or do you tend to avoid them? What’s it like for you when it comes to filing tax, for instance? Do you start to feel dizzy, sweat profusely or sick in the stomach?
It was not clear to me that I had huge money phobias, at first. It would even sound ridiculous since I had worked in a bank for many years previously. There was a stage when I had to handle lots of physical cash when serving high net-worth individuals. Later on, I realised that while I was able to advise others on what to do about their investment portfolio, it was different when it comes to handling personal money matters.
In the past, I would give tons of excuses on why “now is not a good time” and would often delegate money related matters to the last in my to-do list. By making them low in priority, it meant that I almost rarely had to deal with them! If I should ever get to them, I would feel anxious, stressed and low in energy. The result was that I neglected managing my funds properly and wisely.
Luckily, all these have since changed for the better. I no longer have a bad brain fog that prevents me from addressing personal money matters. Nor do I allow any emotional discomfort to stop me from getting calculations done. What’s great is an increased ability to make difficult financial decisions in a way that is calm.
I have been finding out that I am not alone. Many women (more so than men, perhaps) tend to display money avoidance behaviour. They would find excuses or a way to dodge financial discussions.
Having dealt with a lot of my money phobia issues, I believe that releasing the disruptive energies is key in a better way forward. Recently, I have had the privilege of helping clients in this area. After working together, they reported to experiencing fewer headaches and stress-related symptoms when filing their income tax or reviewing credit card statements. Funny enough, that they were able to work through their personal financial blocks eventually translated to major breakthrough results for them, in terms of money. A truly empowering experience!
Ready to do this for yourself too? Let’s first address what a phobia is about.
A phobia arises due to excessive fear. With a phobia, you are prone to react in a way that is not proportionate to the issue at hand. And usually, the fear is irrational. For instance, watching too many movies with sharks as dangerous harmful creatures can have a negative effect on you. You develop a fear of swimming even in safe waters altogether.
“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” German Proverb
Having a money phobia problem is going to create negative consequences. Do realise that it’s virtually impossible not to have to handle money matters in this day and age. You can’t run away from them. For stress reduction, finding a better way forward is key!
Money phobic women tend to have confused ideas about finance.
Mostly, they prefer to leave all the money talk to their spouse or partner. They react in ways that do not best serve their financial well-being. They may also show up with erratic behaviour; such as going through periods of raking up huge credit card bills and then periods whereby they hoard excessively. Their erratic behaviour is also contributed by having little awareness of how much they have in the bank and an inability to manage their emotions tied to finance.
The medical term for the fear of money is Chrometophobia. Symptoms can vary from person to person. In a phobia, you may experience the following symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, stomach churning, irregular heartbeat and shaking. However, for most people, the signs are more subtle. Hence, you may not even know that you have a phobia until you start to pay attention to your relationship with money.
Not sure if you have the signs of a money phobia? Here are possible tell-tale signs…
1. Procrastinate filing tax because you can’t bear to look at your personal financial statements.
2. Actively divert any serious talk about money and finances to shoes and shopping.
3. View any mention of large sums of money as unreal.
4. Find taking any form of financial planning or action a bore.
5. Experience anxiety whenever your credit card statement arrives.
6. Glazing your eyes over the finance section of the newspaper even though some knowledge of these can be beneficial for you.
7. Can’t keep a close watch on spending and a refusal to budget.
8. Do not know exactly how much you earn.
9. Leaves your spouse or partner to handle every financial aspect that affects you and turning a blind eye.
10. Experience a brain fog every time money matters are being discussed.
It is possible to be challenged by a dramatic life event that forces you to undertake financial responsibility.
This can happen in a divorce, death, loss of a job and so on.
Let’s take divorce. A few friends I know floundered in confusion after their marriages collapsed. Prior to the relationship breakdown, they had trusted their spouses to be take care of all financial matters for the family. However, after the collapse in the marriage, they had to learn money management – especially if there are kids involved – and understand all legal financial implications.
It was when they began to realise that avoidance had been the worst thing to do. One girlfriend managed to unearth secrets about money amounts that were siphoned away by her ex-husband. A sure wake up call!
Where there is money phobia, it pays to address fears quickly. Don’t procrastinate before your money phobia behaviour cost you dearly! There is nothing to lose. On the contrary, there is everything to gain.
Avoiding money matters is not helpful. Never wait for a catastrophic event to happen before taking charge. As billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the most important investment is in yourself”. And, the first step to investing is less about learning how to make more money but more about mastering your fears.
Understand that fears are not real. As it is often metaphorically alluded, refrain from making the “wolf” bigger than what it truly is. Ask yourself what your phobia is about. Did your fear come from a childhood event or belief? Do you have limiting beliefs that you are “too slow” or “stupid” to take charge of finances? If needed, seek appropriate assistance to address any money phobia.
Becoming mindful about your physical and emotional reactions help to let you know what your blocks are. When you put any money phobia out of the way, learning financial management becomes a whole lot easier. With clear thinking, you are able to make better and wise decisions about personal money matters.
Love and Abundance Always,
Abundance Life Coach for Women
P.S. Do take a moment to share this post on social media, if you find it helpful. Thank you in advance
Share Your Thoughts
If you have any thoughts to share to my above post, please do so in the comments below….
Written by Alden Tan
This is to prove that you don’t really need to be super smart or honest to (mis)lead people into thinking that you’re a cool, sophisticated person who looks as if he’s got his shit together and leading a meaningful life.
It’s all about drawing attention from the outside, not the insides.
And this shit works, cause I was duped into thinking some so-called friends were really cool people when in reality, they were nothing but insecure losers.
1) Travel to one country and talk about that country only
Nobody gives a shit about how many different stamps your passport has.
Then, use words like “culture” and how you absorbed the shit out of it. This is to prove to others that you’re beyond going to touristy places for shopping, partying and meaningless shit.
Also, tell them that your favorite activity is “people watching” and how you made observations in the area of body language, mannerisms and fashion.
2) Go to some scenic place and tell them you found yourself
This is where you regale your ultimate “Eat Pray Love” tale. You HAVE to tell people you found yourself! Wherever the fuck you’ve been.
Use words like “spirituality.” Say, “It made me realize there’s more to life.” You then have to talk about how you there’s a “passion deep within you that’s dying to come out.” It is however, okay to say that you’ve not found your passion yet. This is to give the illusion that you’re now purpose-driven and have a goal in life.
You should then add that money is not everything and that your new hobby is meditation and yoga combined.
3) Get all your answers from Yahoo! Answers
Or Quora. Or basically, anywhere on the damn internet.
Learn one fact or answer. Memorize it and regurgitate the same thing to everybody you meet. Be vehement in the way you answer. This is to make people think that you’ve a world view and that you’re making a stand.
It is even better if the topic is controversial, like politics or how vaccines causes autism (bullshit of course.) Read that shit up and then blatantly bring up the topic to your circle of friends.
4) Your diet must include being a vegan, gluten-free and paleo, and your form of exercise is crossfit only
Nothing beats the power of vegan and being gluten-free as fuck! Add in paleo and crossfit and you’ve got a winner in the game of sophistication.
Keep talking about it. Don’t shut up. Be sure to reveal this from the get go without even being asked.
5) Carry a fucking bottle of mineral water wherever you go
Buy Fiji. That’d make you look both hydrated and sophisticated.
6) Say you’re on a sabbatical even though you’re actually lazy as fuck
Are you a lazy, unmotivated asshole who only likes to complain about his job? Congrats! You’ve a winning formula in showing others you’re sophisticated right in your hands.
However, do not just tell them you quit your job. Instead, say you’re on a sabbatical.
This is where you, again, get to tell others you’re in the fulfilling journey of finding yourself. Or better yet, tell them you need time off to find your muse!
7) Carry a fucking book wherever you go
Have a book like Antifragile by Nassim Taleb in hand. That shit would impress the shit out of others. You don’t even need to talk about it. Just make sure you put it at a place with the cover facing up.
Also, remember to attach a bookmark somewhere in the middle. If you’ve reading glasses, put it on top of the book too. Be sure to tilt your head and take them off in a very prominent way as you look up from your book as others try to get your attention.
“Sorry. Just give me a minute to finish up this chapter” is what you should say.
8) During the World Cup or Olympics, memorize the scores of one event
Are you sports fan? It doesn’t fucking matter.
During these events, just memorize the scores of some event from the news to show others you watch this shit. Memorize the name of the star player or underdog too.
9) Drink red wine
What is that shit you’re sniffing? HazelNutBerry? You don’t even know what that is, but who the fuck cares? Did you let that bottle breathe too? You need to smooth them tennins, or tennants. I don’t know.
What’s that you said as you smack your lips after you sip that shit? It has a nutty finish? Well, that makes you sound like you’ve balls in your mouth, but that’s okay. It’s to show people you know what nutty finish means and how it “brings you back.”
Also, be sure to loudly correct other non-wine drinkers, “Excuse me, it’s not pronounced Mer-LOT.”
10) Have a gay friend
Not that you should objectify gay people, but nothing screams sophistication and tolerance better than having a gay friend!
11) Have a bunch of Instant Messaging apps installed in your phone
Line. Whatsapp. WeChat. KaoKaoTalk. Make sure you download the shit out of them!
Why? Because each app is more popular in different countries. This will show others that you’ve a shit ton of foreign friends and hence by association, you’ve been to their countries and absorbed their culture like a blob. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not, cause nobody knows for certain!
12) Tell people you just had a meeting with a friend to discuss business
“Oh sorry I’m late. I had a business meeting with a friend” said you as you arrived an hour late.
Whoa! What the fuck? You’re definitely ahead of the human race as you reject the 9 to 5 lifestyle. You have a world-changing idea that’s going to change the way people see whatever of course.
Did you do your research? Did you validate your idea with a prototype? Do you carve a niche for yourself so you can find your spot in the market? Do you even have capital? It doesn’t fucking matter! You just need an idea you pulled out of your ass.
Then tell others you were busy from having so many meetings to talk about that idea. You don’t have to follow up shit.
13) Tell people you read the book before the movie came out
Then keep making comparisons. Don’t let up! The director really took some unnecessary risks and you definitely could have done a better job.
14) Borrow one element of the Hipster culture so you can say you’re not a hipster
For example, all your songs in your phone should be remixed from that obscure guy you discovered on YouTube.
You definitely aren’t that mainstream, but you are not cool enough to want to be a real hipster, at which point you should vehemently assert yourself saying that you are definitely not a hipster.
15) Choose to only eat at places with an all-day breakfast menu
You’re so fucking sophisticated that your meals transcend the essence of time itself.
Who cares what time it is? Eggs benedict for every god damn meal. Then tell them this reminds you of the time you had a full English breakfast set at wherever the fuck you went.
16) All your Instagram photos should be Throwbacks
Don’t have the time or money to travel again to show off? Never fear. Just hashtag the shit out #Throwback on your Instagram account. Then talk about how you miss that fucking place so much.
Shit! You’re so sophisticated you throwback every god damn day!
17) Learn some stupid phrases in a foreign language
Then tell others, “Yeah I know a little [insert foreign language]. Self-taught.”
Can you hold a proper conversation in that tongue? Fuck no. But who cares? Just spam that shit.
I can’t teach you to be a pretentious bitch. I can only teach you how to lead a meaningful life. Click here.
The post 17 Ways To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Sophisticated As Fuck appeared first on Alden-tan.com.
Social success has a lot to do with attaining and maintaining a position of power within a group, from which you can exert a large amount of influence. But not all power is created equal. When talking about this topic, I find it useful to make on crucial distinction: the one between formal and informal power.
Formal power comes from the official position one holds within an organization or social structure. It is properly recognized by some type of written contract or official agreement, and regulated by a strict set of rules that everyone in the organization or social structure knows and must obey.
Formal forms of power exist in politics, business, religion, but also in social structures like a sports team or a student’s club. The manager of a company has formal power. So does the captain of a football team. This type of power changes as one’s official position within a structure changes, which is why many people compulsively seek to better their position.
Informal power comes, not from an official position, but from the respect and appreciation one has earned from the members of a group. This respect and appreciation allow the individual to influence his or her peers in a way that others within the group cannot.
Informal power comes from a person’s internal qualities. An employee may gain informal power in his department by being known as very competent and skilled in what he does. A person may gain informal power by having integrity and being trustworthy. And another person may gain informal power by being likable and charismatic.
Making the distinction between the two kinds of power is essential. Because many people simply aren’t aware of the existence or influence of informal power, and they blindly compete with others for the limited amount of positions that provide formal power. They wanna be managers, and leaders, and bosses, and CEOs. However, informal power is not only real, but it can often be much more valuable than formal power.
Here’s an example I’ve seen transpire many times while coaching clients within companies and corporations.
There is a manager of a department of a company, and he has formal power in that department, stipulated by his job description. In the same department, there is also a guy who is a simple employee, but who is known to be very skilled at his job. Everyone goes to him for advice, and he is eager to help. He is friendly and likable, he encourages others, and he knows everyone by name, while the manager doesn’t bother with such ‘details’ and acts more like a dictator than a manager.
In such a situation, the manager has formal power, but this employee has a lot of informal power. So much informal power, in fact, that it may be worth more than the formal power of the manager. For instance, this employee may have such good relationships with his colleagues, that if he leaves to another company, half of them would follow him. And his manager knows this. Such influence is no small thing, and a smart manager would make sure that such an employee is treated well, because otherwise he might do some real damage.
It’s just one type of situation, but informal power can trump formal power in many ways, in all kind of organizations and social structures.
So, while formal power is good and not something to ignore, after this analysis I hope it is clear that many times, informal power is even more desirable.
Ideally, you wanna have both forms of power within a structure. Also, achieving informal power first is often a great way to then acquire formal power as well. But even if you can’t acquire formal power due to heavy competition and political games, you may be better off by acquiring informal power anyway.
How do you attain informal power? It takes three key ingredients, to which I’ve already alluded above:
1) Competence. There is no doubt that people respect competence, especially in a field relevant to them. Members of a debate club respect good debaters; members of a sales team respect good salespeople. So getting good at what you do within an organization or social structure is a great way to earn respect, and thus informal power.
2) Character. Great leadership books and courses regularly talk about the value of character. But its role is much more important in acquiring informal power than formal one, because, like competence, in triggers respect, as well as trust. Being honest, having integrity, being fair, having confidence, being resolute, this kind of character traits will get you far within any group.
3) Social Skills. Your social skills play perhaps the most important role. You wanna be able to engage people in interesting conversations, be witty and funny, and make them enjoy your presence. If they like you, they are much more eager to follow your lead. You also wanna be able to speak in a way that persuades, inspires and motivates people, which directly gives you more informal power over them.
Fortunately, you can cultivate these 3 traits and use them to gain informal power incrementally. Each day you can put in some work, and each day you can see your informal influence rise.
For top practical resources to help you develop your character and social skills, first I recommend you check out this video presentation I created, in which I’ll share with you some top-notch techniques for boosting your social confidence and social skills, based on my 8+years of experience as a confidence and communication coach.
Also, join my free social success newsletter, to get regular advice from me on improving your social competence, career and social life. I’m certain you’ll learn a lot from it.
A lot of people wanna be cool, and even more people want at least to appear cool to others. This is probably why much of the self-help advice out there focuses on how to adopt the external demeanor of a cool person, in order to create the perception of being cool.
It’s not an entirely bad strategy; a “fake it till you make it” approach can work sometimes, in some situations. However, there are some serious problems with trying to look cool, which I’ve discovered both through my own experience and those of my communication coaching clients.
So I wanna talk about these problems, and provide a much better alternative to trying to look cool. The major problems are three in number:
Successfully appearing cool is not only about adopting a set of edgy behaviors; it’s also about using them at the right time and at the right intensity. These behaviors need to be properly calibrated to the social situation you’re in. And if they don’t come from the inside, good social calibration is very hard to pull off.
It’s very common for men and women trying to look cool to go over the top with some actions and gestures. For example, many guys read online that, in order to look cool or “alpha”, they should take up a lot of space, especially when sitting down. But they’ll seriously overdo it. That’s how you’ll see some guy at a party, stretching on a sofa like a pancake, taking up three spots, and thinking he’s being cool. He’s not being cool; most likely he just looks like a weirdo.
Behavioral leakage is a very interesting psychological concept, which says that if you try to act out of character, your true character and emotional state will tend to come out in subtle ways. They will leak out, and do so repeatedly, despite your desire to repress them.
For instance, during a conversation with a member of the opposite sex, maybe you act confident and cool, and maybe they buy it for a few minutes. But at some point they make a teasing remark about you (maybe comment on your beer belly or something), and for a few seconds, your true insecure self involuntarily comes out. It can be something subtle like breaking eye contact, fidgeting, or nervous laughter. Either way, the person will probably tell that you’re actually not as confident as you initially seemed. Even if you get back into your act really fast, your insecurity has leaked out.
Since trying to appear cool through deliberate actions entails playing a role, it will be very demanding on your mental and physical energy. It’s hard to keep up an act, even for a short while. Many of my coaching clients have shared with me that when they were acting out of character, even a 45-minute conversation with another person for a coffee was exhausting.
Since the energy drain of trying to look cool is high, it means you can’t keep up the act for too long. Eventually, the large part of your real self will come out with bells and whistles, especially as you interact repeatedly with someone and you end up having longer interactions. And even if you can keep up the act, it takes all the fun out of socializing.
So, due to improper calibration, behavioral leakage and the high energy drain, trying to appear cool to others is not a good strategy. What’s the alternative then? There is a very good one, which takes more time, but has a huge return on investment.
Our mental state influences our behavior to a large degree. People who naturally behave and look cool do so because they are in a mental state conducive to that, which I call the mental state of cool.
What does this state imply? First and foremost, I’d say it implies feeling confident and composed in social situations. That’s the main thing. It also involves liking yourself and having a positive self-image, which relates closely to social confidence. And it’s also about feeling okay being yourself and expressing your unique side in social settings, while at the same time seeking to stay connected to other people’s needs.
When you have this kind of a mix of attitudes, your social behavior simply oozes cool. And it’s not the kind of superficial cool that comes with having the latest fashionable smartphone; it’s the kind of meaningful cool reflected in a centered, expressive and appealing demeanor.
Developing the mental state of cool does not happen overnight. It takes some time, and perhaps some guidance. You need to work on your beliefs system and automatic emotional reactions to reach a perpetual mental state of cool. But it is definitely worth it; because actually being cool is 100 times better than just pretending to be cool.
I’ve been helping people develop their social confidence and the state of cool for almost a decade now. If you wanna learn how to do it, I encourage you to check out right now this instructional video I created, in which I’ll share with you some of my top psychology advice for building social confidence and becoming a cool, charismatic person.
Also, join my free social success newsletter, where I share regularly tried and tested techniques for improving your confidence and your social skills.
Personal development usually works best from the inside out. Build your social confidence, learn how to manage your mental state in social situations, and the right behavior and right results will follow naturally.
I have some really good things to bring to your attention. Firstly, I want to start off with a post about manifestation. Did you know that you can retrain your mind to help you bring good things into your life? I would like for you to look into your own life and see if things …. Read More