How AUTISM Helped Me DEFY the Odds! (PERSONAL)

๐Ÿ˜ฒย I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM!!!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

I use to consider myself a very introverted person, very shy, and very set in my own closed routines. I was more of a thinker than a doer and more a dreamer than a leader. Can you relate to that? If not, can you think of someone in your life who was like that?ย ๐Ÿค”

Being diagnosed with Autism in 7th grade was probably the starting point for me, the point where I confirmed these ideas to myself about who I was: something was ‘wrong’ in my brain.ย ๐Ÿง ย “I have Autism. It explains why I feel the way I feel. It’s just something that’s a part of me; I can’t change it.”ย ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

But even at the time I remember feeling like I didnโ€™t want to be labeled like this. I saw the label before me with all its negativity, a label I needed to object and rebel from.ย ๐Ÿ‘Šย I saw the stigmas of this label becoming my reality, and once I started seeing it reflected in other people’s behaviors towards me it frightened me to the core!ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

I have vivid memories from school where I refused to accept new accommodations because of the new label. I was now being offered additional time on tests, opportunities to leave class to ‘cool down’, and every single time I refused. I was being treated differently. I hadn’t changed, but with my new label I had changed in the eyes of everyone else.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿย Has someone ever said something about you that you knew wasn’t true? Did you ever feel like you just wanted to jump on the defense and say: “That is absolutely NOT TRUE!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

With my new label I was constantly reminded about my new-given identity: what I couldn’t do, what my limitations were, and what struggles I’d have the rest of my life.ย ๐Ÿ”ฎย Very little was I ever reminded about all my current strengths or what I could do. It was mostly the echoes from a set of diagnostic criteria.ย ๐Ÿ“–

In psychology, the term is referred to as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. In sociology, it’s referred to as the Labeling Theory. To put it simply: If a person holds a belief in their mind about someone else’s future expectations, the person will unconsciously help in influencing the other person into fulfilling those expectations.ย ๐Ÿค”

So for example, if a parent holds a child to very low expectations the odds are very likely the child won’t ever go past the ones the parent already set for them. They will only achieve the most minimal, the expectations set by the parent.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

SO FOR A LONG TIME I USE TO LET OTHERS DICTATE HOW I WAS GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE…๐Ÿ˜”

But then at one point I finally decided I was going on my own path. These past few years I’ve learned that everything starts with Me: I must take control of my life, how I choose to see it, and how I’m going to live it.ย ๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ“Œย Dale Carnegie explained it through his principles to Win Friends and Influence People.

๐Ÿ“Œย Stephen Covey said it with his Habit of Being Proactive.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Stoics taught it through their principles of self-control.

๐Ÿ“Œย The Existentialists shared it through the creation of meanings.

๐Ÿ“Œย Individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. excelled it through their example.

It’s the power of helping OURSELVES FIRST before we start trying to help the rest of the world. It’s about taking CONTROL over our emotions rather than letting them and our environment control us. It’s about living our lives for a PURPOSE greater than just ourselves. It’s about a “dream”, a vision of a greater future for all of humanity. Most importantly, it’s about YOU DEFINING YOUR LIFE.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

What I’ve come to realize again and again is that my past does not have to equal the future. I’ve realized I am more capable than what any label or diagnosis will dictate.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

Have you ever taken a personality test and it gave you a result you wholeheartedly believed in? “Congrats, you’re an INFJ!” The problem with these tests is they can tell you who you are NOW. But they don’t tell you who you’ll necessarily be in the FUTURE. We can change as well as mentally evolve. It’s a part of who I may be now, but it’s not the final destination!ย ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ

I’ve realized that I ultimately will define Me, not someone else, not a test, and not a set of diagnostic criteria. Otherwise I keep a fixed identity for the rest of my life…nah!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

So this year I’ve been on a mission to Transcend Labels. I am showing the world what’s possible, to show others how to look beneath the surface, past the labels, past the stereotypes, and to see each other for who we all are.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

I truly believe when we do this we’ll start seeing the humanity within each other, see each other as human beings, and see that we are all more alike than we like to believe. With that not only comes greater understanding for our neighbors but most importantly an unconditional love, because the realization comes: “That person is also Me.”ย โค๏ธ

I see lasting change in the world happening through the individual from the inside-out, not the outside-in. I believe that the better we can be for ourselves, the better we can be for others.ย ๐ŸŒŽ

Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone has an opinion, but there are fewer people out there who ever set the example. Will we be the next examples?!ย ๐Ÿ‘Œ

I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM; AN EXPLANATION, BUT NOT THE DESTINATION!ย ย ๐Ÿ’ช

I hope this resonates with many of you. I would appreciate it if you could share this post with others, whoever you believe will also benefit from these words. If there are any additional areas I can add value to your life as well as in the blogging community, please let me know!ย ๐Ÿ™‚

My areas of expertise include:

๐Ÿ‘ย Detail-oriented, Thoroughness

๐Ÿ‘ย Quality-over-quantity Focused

๐Ÿ‘ย Analytical, Systemic Thinking

๐Ÿ‘ย Emotional intelligence (plus 10 years in Customer Service)

๐Ÿ‘ย Social media, Building Engagement

 

With lots of gratitude,

Donald “Ace” Arteagaย โค๏ธ

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What is a Life Worth LIVING? (PERSONAL)

Written April 15, 2019

MEMORIES ARE FOREVER…โค๏ธ

This morning I packed my suitcase as I depart back to Chicago today. It’s been almost 2 weeks I’ve been in the UK, traveling from Scotland all the way to London. To say the least, it’s been a beautiful ride!ย ๐ŸŽข

I placed everything back in my suitcase, everything back to where it was on Day 1 when I first packed them. Everything was all back in its place…yet it also wasn’t.ย ๐Ÿ‘

Why? Because I’m not the same person I was when I got here on Day 1. I’ve shifted. Grown. Evolved in the littlest of details. And I will never be the same person again for as long as I live…๐Ÿ‘ค

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life where your emotions hit you so hard but it was only after the moment had already passed?ย ๐Ÿค”

As I packed my suitcase, the realization hit me I was actually leaving the UK, that 2 weeks had gone by so fast. So this morning I decided to take a moment to sit on my bed and just close my eyes…๐Ÿ‘€

๐ŸŒŸย Take time to remind yourself how far you’ve come.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

I let my thoughts wander throughout the past 2 weeks, and I quickly became overwhelmed with tears. As I wrapped my arms around myself, the tears turned into streams. My mouth slowly gaped open. My head tilted upward to the heavens. And for the moment, my whole heart laid bare.ย ๐Ÿ˜ญ

The places…the people…the moments…the emotions…most of all the experiences. In my mind, they all became compiled into One, sealing into my conscience for the rest of my life. I take this all with me now as I head home, and I’ll take it with me wherever I go.ย โค๏ธ

What is a life worth living?

๐Ÿ‘ย It’s one you’ve created for yourself, one you’ve decided on your own terms.

๐Ÿ‘ย It’s one which lights up your heart wherever you are, wherever you go, one you can say you’re grateful to be living.

๐Ÿ‘ย It’s one where you can peacefully say at the end of every day: “If I died tomorrow, I’ve lived a full life to completely embrace it.”

This is the life I’m choosing to live, one where the heart keeps filling and the tears keep coming. So until we meet again UK, I love you!ย โค๏ธย #EudaimonicLife

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How Traveling SHAPES You! (PERSONAL)

Written 4/5/2019

As I write this, I lay in bed at my Glasgow AirBnb. I’m quite tired, my neck aches a tad, but I’m thinking about the past few days with much gratitude…โค๏ธ

I didn’t tell many of you this…but I’m ready to now. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Last April I had traveled to London to Crew at another one of Tony Robbins’s event. It was my first time being in London, and prior to the event I made time to tour around. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Being there, I felt like I has entered a different time period. The architecture I had only seen in movies was now all around me. I experienced a whirlwind of positive emotions, and I didn’t want to leave! ๐Ÿ˜„

10 days later, as I left for the airport to go back home, I remember starting to break down in tears. There was a voice in my head softly whispering: “I’m not ready to leave. I just got here.” And as I sat in the airport waiting for my flight, I held back even more tears! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But I pledged to myself: “I’m coming back very soon!” I felt determined that what I experienced didn’t have to be temporary. ๐Ÿ‘

Now it’s 1 year later, April once again, and I’m back in the United Kingdom for another Tony Robbins event to Crew. Go figure, another Tony Robbins event right?! ๐Ÿ˜‚

But I’m not in London yet…๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Do any of you remember MySpace? If you’re an old bloke like me (๐Ÿ˜‰), you probably used it too. It was the popular social media platform before Facebook became the cream of the crop. ๐Ÿ‘‘

I originally met my Scottish friend Kris Nimbleyโ€‹ on MySpace over a decade ago! He was one of my earliest online friends, and while we didn’t always keep in touch over the years we did remain connected, from MySpace to Twitter to Windows Live Messenger to Skype all the way to Facebook. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

So as I planned my flight back to London a few months ago, I messaged Kris and told him: I coming over to visit him for the first time ever! ๐Ÿ˜€

To say my visit in his hometown of Kilmarnock these past few days was enjoyable would be an understatement! ๐Ÿ‘

Not only did I meet Kris in person for the first time, I got to meet his lovely family, visit the local landmarks, and he even brought me to the little town of Dunure to see their famous Castle right on the coastline! It was absolutely gorgeous! ๐Ÿ˜

One thing you learn as you travel is how little you know about the world. You are reminded there is so much to see! You can read as much as you want from a travel brochure, pack as much stuff in advance to be prepared, but once you’re actually there your plans are forced to shift and evolve. โ†”๏ธ

What you initially plan and expect doesn’t go precisely the way you expect…and this unpredictably makes it very refreshing! You can let go of everything you “think” will happen and simply enjoy the ride! โค๏ธ

This afternoon Kris and I parted ways at the train station as I spend the second half of my Scotland trip here in Glasgow. Thank you again Kris for your amazing hospitality! So far Scotland’s name as being “One of the Friendliest Countries” really rings true! My visit to Kilmarnock will definitely not be my last! ๐Ÿ‘

To my readers: If you have friends you haven’t talked to in a while, I encourage you to reach out to them, see how they’re doing. We all grow, we all evolve, and you may find out you have more in common with your old friends than ever before! ๐Ÿ˜

For anyone Crewing in London next week, I’ll be seeing you soon! But first, some more beauty here for me in Scotland…! ๐Ÿ˜„โค๏ธ #EudaimonicLife

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How a Roller Coaster is Your LIFE!

What if every problem was a gift? ๐ŸŽ

Think about it:

๐ŸŒŸ Problems stem from the person who says there is a problem. ๐ŸŒŸ

But what is a problem to one person may in fact not be to another:

๐Ÿ“Œ You feel too cold in a room, but another person says the room temperature is just fine.

๐Ÿ“Œ You’re driving and worried about being somewhere late, but your friend assures you will be there plenty early.

๐Ÿ“Œ A person is blasting music you hate, but the other person says you just need to just loosen up.

Ask yourself:

๐Ÿ‘ What does this problem say about me? How am I feeling? What is the story I’m telling myself that is making this problem?

๐Ÿ‘ What are the potential solutions to this problem? How would solving this problem fast make me feel?

๐Ÿ‘ Is this problem really worth lingering over? Is it really worth sacrificing my internal happiness for this problem?

We ALL deal with problems. They’re not exclusive to a select few. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Most problems are not even that important! ๐Ÿ‘

We’ll create problems that aren’t there. We’ll magnify problems and make them bigger than they need to be. We’ll make them seem more life-or-death in our minds than they actually are

๐ŸŒŸ Focus far less on the problem and far more on the solutions. ๐ŸŒŸ

I’m not saying having a problem is “bad”. I’m saying let’s change our relationship with problems. Problems will always happen, but it’s how we work work with them, these hindrances, that will make all the difference. ๐Ÿ˜Š #TranscendLabels

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How We Should HANDLE Problems!

What if every problem was a gift? ๐ŸŽ

Think about it:

๐ŸŒŸ Problems stem from the person who says there is a problem. ๐ŸŒŸ

But what is a problem to one person may in fact not be to another:

๐Ÿ“Œ You feel too cold in a room, but another person says the room temperature is just fine.

๐Ÿ“Œ You’re driving and worried about being somewhere late, but your friend assures you will be there plenty early.

๐Ÿ“Œ A person is blasting music you hate, but the other person says you just need to just loosen up.

Ask yourself:

๐Ÿ‘ What does this problem say about me? How am I feeling? What is the story I’m telling myself that is making this problem?

๐Ÿ‘ What are the potential solutions to this problem? How would solving this problem fast make me feel?

๐Ÿ‘ Is this problem really worth lingering over? Is it really worth sacrificing my internal happiness for this problem?

We ALL deal with problems. They’re not exclusive to a select few. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

Most problems are not even that important! ๐Ÿ‘

We’ll create problems that aren’t there. We’ll magnify problems and make them bigger than they need to be. We’ll make them seem more life-or-death in our minds than they actually are

๐ŸŒŸ Focus far less on the problem and far more on the solutions. ๐ŸŒŸ

I’m not saying having a problem is “bad”. I’m saying let’s change our relationship with problems. Problems will always happen, but it’s how we work work with them, these hindrances, that will make all the difference. ๐Ÿ˜Š #TranscendLabels

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