Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Art of Aging Significantly Well – 3 Things You Need to Do Today for a More Youthful Tomorrow

People often rely on “good genetics” as their key to aging well or are under the impression that we cannot control the aging process. Of course genetics plays a huge role and certain aspects are out of our hands in terms of the way in which we age. However, it is great knowing that we can actually control the aging process based on our everyday life decisions. It order to slow it down, we as individuals need to take personal responsibility and accountability of ourselves throughout the course of our lives. I always say, “Self care is the best health care.” By that I mean, by proactively taking the time to make your health a top priority today, you are creating a better tomorrow.

Another advantage of making healthy life choices each day is that this will preserve your youth. There are many things you can do to increase your vitality and physically look much younger than your physical age that come down to focusing on these three components:

Take Care of Your Skin – A person often likes to determine a person’s age based on their skin, specifically their face but this can also include the entire body. No matter what your gender is (*yes, I am talking to men too), you need to apply face moisturizer every day (at least once a day but twice if you can) and do not forget to bring it all the way down to your neck. Ideally, look for one with sun protection for the day time and something more rich for the evening with anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid. If you add other things to your skincare routine such as a toner and face serum, you are even more ahead of the skincare game. It might go without saying to stay out of the sun but I do like to point this out as well as it is important to avoid extended sun exposure as much as you can. I am a runner but I make sure to wear a hat and load up on SPF when I know I will be out in the sun or I try to go very late or super early in the morning to avoid the sun in its entirety.

[* I find that many men are not socialized to use skincare and take care of their skin the way that women are told to do so at a young age. That is why I want to point out, men should equally be taking care of their skin too. Although there aren’t as many male skincare products out on the market, they do very well exist and most skincare products are unisex anyhow so there is actually a lot to choose from].

Eat Clean and Healthy Foods – As they say, “You are what you eat.” I couldn’t agree more! For those of you who are gifted with skinny genes in which you do not gain much weight or any weight at all, that does not give you a pass to neglect your health altogether and just sit back and eat pints of ice cream everyday. Trust me, it all catches up later. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen who were naturally super skinny in their youth and you look at them years later–aged and heavy. One has to wonder, what the heck happened? I know what happened, the person relied too heavily (quite literally–pardon the pun) on their good genes and put their dieting habits to the wayside. It happens and people let themselves go but anyone can consciously make the effort to eat a healthier diet. It is also never too late to get back on a healthy track or to start but the sooner you invest in yourself and the more consistent over time, the better!

Exercise Everyday – I know realistically, not everyone is capable of exercising every day but I advise setting the goal to at least try to add some activity in your day each day. A light day can mean just going for a walk after dinner or lifting a few weights in your living room. When people hear exercise, they tend to shy away from it as they think this means long hours at the gym. Although I believe exercise should be somewhat challenging to optimize your results, you can still find physical activities that are fun and keep you physically fit in the process that do not even require a gym membership. I look at exercise as an everyday ritual and compare it to brushing and flossing your teeth. If you can make time to take care of your teeth daily, then why would you even consider not taking care of your body everyday? I know people will respond, “Oh taking care of my teeth only takes a few minutes whereas with exercise, I have to commit at least 30 minutes for it to count and I don’t have the time for that.” My response to that is, if you truly care about your health and overall well being, then there are zero excuses! You can plan ahead by assigning time out of your day to add some exercise–a minimum of 3-5 days at the very least. If one actually took the time to work out the body EACH AND EVERY DAY (skinny, fat, healthy weight–my point is, it doesn’t matter), then one can still look extremely young and fit at any age. Someone with a healthy weight and nicely shaped body is not only the epitome of excellent health but are signs of youth and vitality. Needless to say, the benefits of exercise are endless!

How to Know If An Extrovert Likes You (It’s Not What You Think)

I was thinking the other day, how often times extroverts can be misinterpreted simply due to their natural friendliness and outgoing nature. They can walk into a room with ease and approach just about anyone–which is one of their many gifts. However, as a result, I think people make false assumptions that if a person is extra chatty and personable, then this person must like you. If the person is an extrovert, keep in mind that they act this way towards just about everyone because they are most energized from their social interactions. They thrive on being at social gatherings, meeting new people, and having extended conversations. Since this is their natural personality, one should not assume that their social engagement and focused attention towards someone is a form of flirtation or as a way to show a heightened interest–they are probably just being friendly (not flirty). As an extrovert myself, I never want people to mistake my social warmth as anything more than that. This is just who I am at the core and I believe other extroverts can relate that they genuinely like to connect with all types of people.

So one might wonder, “Well if extroverts are pretty much nice to everyone who they encounter, then how are you supposed to know when an extrovert actually likes you in particular?” That is a great question and I agree, it can be extra tricky to decipher their intentions when they can talk to anyone. One has to realize, that people tend to act differently around those who they desire. Usually it is not even a conscious choice, it is subconscious. Personally, if I encounter someone I like, I am actually at a loss for words. I might not have too much to say at the moment of the encounter or just become a little more withdrawn. So in other words, my personality will shift to the opposite of who I truly am and in this case, I become a little more shy. Even though normally I am very talkative, I tend to become more quiet. Again, I am not doing this intentionally, this is just my natural reaction. That is not to say I will stay mute, I will probably warm up to the other person but it might take me a little more extra time than usual.

As I pointed out above, no matter if a person is an extrovert or not, an observation to really look for is if the person’s behavior is true to who they are or if it is different. Chances are, if it is different then there is a higher chance there is some level of interest. The reason being that often times attraction and love are not rational as they stem heavily from your emotions as opposed to your head. When people say that “love is blind,” it is because it is often an irrational choice. Another example of this is, why do you think people play hard to get? It doesn’t make any sense on a rational level–why would you ignore someone who you like? In addition, people tend to also throw all their rules out the window when they like someone or in this case, react rather differently than their normal self when presented with someone who is of interest. Again, rationality and love don’t always go hand in hand. It is for this reason that you should pay closer attention when you notice a pattern is broken or there is a change in behavior. These factors can easily be overlooked but are important to look for when you are trying to figure out if someone likes you or not. The signs are often there but beneath the surface in which you just need to dig a little deeper in order to find them.

When Love Becomes a Game – Game OVER

Many aspects of life become a game but I don’t believe your love life should ever become one. Mind you, with pursuing love or any type of relationship, there are going to be challenges along the way and no relationship is ever perfect. Even when things seem “perfect,” especially during the early stages of a relationship or during the honeymoon phase as they call it, do not fall into the illusion that everything will remain that way at all times. However, at the very least, things should be very easy in the beginning, especially when two people mutually want to be with each other and explore where their love can go.

Keep in mind, that the early stages of dating someone are always very telling. When I hear someone tell me about the complications, the mixed signals, the emotional letdowns, drama, etc. at the very beginning, my immediate thought is: Don’t just walk but run away from these situations as they should be avoided in its entirety. Why do you want to start a relationship or even invest your time in someone who is playing games with your heart? I do not care how attractive they are. I do not care how much you have in common. I do not care how much money they have. I do not care how much you like them. I do not care how much you think that they like you in return–because guess what, if the person liked you, why would they cause tension, agony, frustration, and grief? The focus would be on TOGETHERNESS and making that effort to not only BE WITH YOU but also to MAKE YOU HAPPY. Why would a person who genuinely likes you go days without contact? If they liked you, they would never want to go even a single day out of touch. Also be careful when you notice a person message you constantly but yet they never make the time to actually see you in-person, spend any quality time, or they make plans but constantly are canceling. (FYI, I call that a glorified pen pal or perhaps a waste of time–you can be the judge).

It is crucial to pay close attention as to when love becomes a game and to pick up on the red flags before the jump to prevent developing any sort of attachment to this person. It is a game you never want to play and one in which you need to withdraw from as soon as you are aware that this is all it is.

Besides the beginning, it is possible that love can turn into a game later during the course of the relationship and the same rule applies here, once you notice this–you are up and OUT. Remember: Game over. An example of this is when a person is incredibly devoted and locked into the relationship but over time, you notice communication becomes less frequent or the person is showing signs they are ghosting you. Do everyone a favor and just end it if that begins to happen. Why settle on someone who appears to be less interested or who is slacking on providing you with the love you deserve? Even if the other person is not intentionally trying to play games with your emotions, it does not matter what the INTENT is, what matters is the OUTCOME. If the outcome is not in your favor, you just have to make it a point to remove yourself as soon as possible. Although it might take time, please know that you will get over them as soon as you make the firm decision to move forward with your life and let the person go. Be patient with the process and true love (not some “love game” nonsense) will actually come knocking on your door when you are ready for it. Trust me, love is on the way so make sure you create the space in your life for it to arrive when the time is right. 😉 ❤

Why Michael Jordan Says “Never Say Never”

People often hear the expression, “Never say never.” This can be interpreted in different ways but essentially you should not limit yourself and say you cannot do something or achieve anything that you truly want. More specifically, Michael Jordan took it a step further by saying in his Hall of Fame induction address:

“Never say never. Because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” — Michael Jordan

Think about it, the biggest setbacks originate from your own mind. Perhaps other people have the power to create doubts in your head but that does NOT mean you have to listen to them. There is no need to waste your energy on people who try to put you down. It is for this reason, you need to be aware of your inner most thoughts by proactively developing a mindset that is strong and unstoppable along with blocking any negativity from evolving in the first place. It is natural to experience fears from time to time but as Michael Jordan states, they are often just an illusion.

At the end of the day, your reality starts with YOU. Anything is possible and becomes a high possibility if you actually believe in your full potential. Learn to actually “never say never” and achieve what you can, even if that means you have to start small or from absolutely nothing. I will also leave you with another great Michael Jordan quote that I also recently discovered: You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” This is incredibly accurate and correlates with what I like to preach within my blog the importance of setting the bar high in all areas of your life. Even if there are some failures along the way or you do not reach your target at all times, it is still better than settling for less than what you are capable of.

Life’s Greatest Gifts to Give to Your Children – My Top 3

When it comes to raising children, ultimately parents want to be able to give their children the best upbringing and experience. There is no such thing as perfect parenting but we can all strive to be good care givers and role models. When I think about what is most important, although I can probably come up with a much longer list, I wanted to truly think about what my top three gifts would be and this is what I think matters most.

Good Memories – I truly believe experiencing quality and meaningful memories will always be more valuable than material objects. Children are very impressionable and creating memories for them that are positive is beneficial for their overall development. When I look back at my own childhood, I am thankful my parents made an effort to provide me experiences to travel and always threw me fun birthday parties that I still remember today.

Tough Love – Many parents try to become friends with their children without serving as a strong authority figure and setting healthy boundaries. It is for this reason why I want to point out the importance of giving tough love. It does not sound like a very positive gift but ultimately you are setting up your children to succeed, increasing their self value, and building their character. Children might be resentful towards you but know that you are really doing them a huge favor in the long run.

Emotional Support – In order for kids to trust you and feel comfortable coming to you for guidance, I firmly believe that emotional support is a necessity. By emotional support, I mean actually taking the time to build a spiritual connection with your children while also supporting them every step of the way throughout their lives. Especially during the teenage years which can bring upon many challenges, parents need to really put in the extra effort to provide emotional support to ensure that their children are making good life decisions and know that their parents are there for them when they need them most.

Every parent has their own unique parenting style and not all children are created equal. What approach works on one child might not work as effectively on another. However, when it comes to life’s greatest gifts to give to your children, I do strongly believe all children can greatly benefit from these three gifts: Good memories, tough love, and emotional support.

My Thoughts on Casual Relationships – Can They Work?

People often question what the rules are when it comes to casual relationships and if they are worth pursuing. When I refer to a casual relationship, I am NOT referring to a one night stand but more specifically, a relationship that is not serious with any true commitment attached to it but at the same time, it is an on going relationship. This might include quality time spent and/or intimacy as well. Every situation is different and can vary. I honestly have nothing wrong with casual relationships as sometimes it is the right choice for someone who might not be looking to get married or perhaps for someone who just got out of a relationship and are not really looking to get too emotionally invested within their next relationship. So who am I to judge? It is a personal choice and sometimes more beneficial to be in a casual relationship than a serious one because it tends to be low stress and less maintenance. I do believe it can work but only under a few conditions:

Zero Attachment to the Outcome – Unfortunately, people get caught up in casual relationships with the hope that it can lead to a serious relationship and feelings to develop over time. You cannot go into a casual relationship with any hope for something more than what it currently is. Sometimes the outcome can change over time but the majority of the time, it does not and that is the reason why it is labeled casual to begin with. So if you are going to choose to have a casual relationship, accept it for what it is–it is CASUAL which means you should not hold onto any false hope that it can lead to a deeper connection, love, or anything all too meaningful to the other person.

No Romantic Feelings – It is never wise to go into a casual relationship if you have some sort of feelings towards the other person, especially if they made it clear to you that they do not feel the same way. Reason being that you are emotionally investing in someone with not much of a return other than having their time and company. It goes both ways and if you know the other person has feelings for you, you should not pursue the casual relationship as they will probably be resentful towards you as time goes on and it is not right to mislead someone who likes you more than you like them. It is much better to let a person go completely than to selfishly stay with someone for the sake of it, convenience, and/or to pass time when you know this person wants more than you can give.

100% Mutual Between Two PeopleThe only way it can truly work out is if both people want the same thing which in this case means a relationship that isn’t all too serious. If two people genuinely want that, then it is a win/win situation and can be successful.

The biggest problem with casual relationships is that many people tend to go into them having some expectation that it can lead to more or there are already feelings of attachment. The only way it can work is if two people are okay with not putting too much emphasis on building anything substantial from it. Bottom line: Take casual at face value and enjoy it as an easy going relationship without trying to establish a secure future. If this is not what you are looking for, then do not even bother getting yourself involved and hold out for a relationship that provides more value and meaning. There is no need to settle for anything less than what you truly want. Be crystal clear in what you want from the Universe and be comfortable with saying no to people who are not willing to give you what you want because you are only clearing the path for the right person to come into your life to give you everything (and much more 😉 ).

Why Self Love is Always More Valuable Than Social Validation

We live in a world today that is often measured by the amount of “likes” and followers we receive on social media platforms. It is hard to always know the motive behind why people post what they do but I would like to genuinely believe there are people who like to post things on their social media to stay connected, share interesting aspects of their lives, promote good causes, relate to others, and/or create a positive digital space for others to be a part of. However, there is no denying that many people post things to receive validation from others to feel better about themselves. I want to start off by saying, there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving validation and obtaining positive feedback from others. I believe that people should be putting more good energy into the world so if that means loving a photo or posting a nice comment, I am all for that. However, I am NOT for people heavily relying on social validation to determine their self worth, feel accepted by others, and/or as their main source of self confidence.

Rather than focus on who’s liking what on social media or the amount of little hearts that are received on a post, everyone should take the time to really dig deep and examine what creates one’s own sense of inner happiness and how to generate self love. At the end of the day, you will always have YOU–and that’s what counts most. You do not need to rely on the validation of others when you love yourself. There is no need to obsess over what others are thinking about you all the time because who cares what they think? The focus should be on building yourself up on your very own and not seeking people to constantly validate you in order to feel good, important, or of value. Do not let social media or anyone determine your self worth. Do not fall into a habit of short changing yourself as you need to focus on elevating yourself with self love above anything else. You have to remember–you are your biggest asset. (When you love yourself, that’s a given)!

You Don’t Need to Be An Athlete to Have The Body of One

Depending on the sport, often athletes are not only admired for their abilities but also for being in great physical shape. In order to be skilled and play at their very best, it is required to spend many hours practicing their sport but also plenty of hours of physical training. This would explain why the majority of athletes have an attractive and often highly desired physique. Despite all this, keep in mind that you do NOT need to be an athlete to be in the best shape of your life. Anyone can put the time to physically train their bodies and implement the proper diet to maximize their results. People often complain that genetically they are too thin or too heavy to begin with so it is impossible to get in the shape that they want. On top of this, many people are just straight up unmotivated paired with a lack of willpower to commit the time and work needed to get the results. The good news is, these are all excuses and far from the reality. The bad news (for some) is that as I mentioned, hard work and discipline will be required to get in exceptional shape.

So where do you start? You cannot “kind of want” to be healthy and have a nice body. Your mind first determines the outcome by having the burning desire to achieve something. If your mind is set and firm that this is the goal, then from there, all you need to do is take action. By action, it does not need to be extreme but can be small daily actions that gradually increase over time. If you are completely new to adding fitness into your lifestyle in general, then I definitely recommend starting slow rather than adding too much which could burn you out to the point where you want to quit right away.

In this specific scenario, I cannot push enough the importance of tracking your progress with whatever system that works best for you. This can be done either digitally on your phone (or digital device of choice) or handwritten in a notebook. Tracking always holds you more accountable and keeps the mind focused on the target. Once you have your tracker, you are going to track down your action which includes recording the exercises you perform each day and I recommend keeping track of what you eat on a daily basis as well. Personally, I do both.

In terms of what types of exercise, always strive towards the activities you naturally enjoy. In addition, teach yourself new exercises by hiring a professional or looking up fitness resources online. As I recently mentioned, I actually have learned so much in the past few months just by watching short clips on Instagram by fitness professionals and enthusiasts. At the end of the day, you need to want to make the change and then actually take the action needed to make it happen. You will be amazed that as soon as you really put your mind to it, the rest of the work that is involved will actually happen quite naturally because of your mental focus. So what are you waiting for? 😉

“Show Me Your Friends and I’ll Tell You Who You Are” – Why Good Character Is Important

A Greek friend had once shared with me the expression, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” On the surface, it can come across as judgmental and not really of complete accuracy. It can be interpreted that your friends are exactly like you; however, I think that is taking it way too literally. When I think about my closest friends, sure–we share some commonalities but none of them are “exactly like me.” What the takeaway is that the friends who you choose to be a part of your support system are a reflection of who you are and often represent your core values. Typically, the people you gravitate towards have the qualities, interests, goals, beliefs, and other important attributes that you appreciate most.

I think that the underlying meaning of this expression is that the friends who you choose not only display their character but also reveal your true character. Think about it, if you associate with other like minded people who are ambitious, goal oriented, and successful–chances are that you also possess these qualities. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you choose friends who lack direction in life, have substance abuse issues, and other overall negative qualities, then people will tend to associate that you are the same way.

It is for this reason that I cannot emphasize enough the importance of good CHARACTER when choosing your friends. Aside from their personal qualities to describe their character, their character also describes how they treat you and others which also should be taken into consideration. Does this person support you and accept you for who you are? Do you trust this person? Is this person reliable if you needed a favor? How does this person treat their own family? These are just a handful of questions to ask yourself when you examine character. Unlike family, when it comes to friends, we have the power to choose who we want to associate with so always select wisely–friends who possess good character along with those who add a positive impact on your life. Lastly, always choose people who choose youthey equally love, support, and are there for you when you need them most. 🙂