Why Mental Health MATTERS!

๐Ÿ“… MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH! ๐Ÿ“…

For my well-being as a whole, Iโ€™d say Iโ€™m a pretty optimistic person with dashes of realism. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

But for the Intellectual in me, I’m more of a pessimistic optimist. โ‰๏ธ

To clarify: I prepare for the worst, and I hope for the best! ๐Ÿ˜…

As weโ€™ve entered a new decade, I am pleasantly surprised to look out at our society and see how far weโ€™ve come.

๐Ÿ’ง We have water we didn’t have to filter! ๐Ÿ’ง

๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ We drive on streets we didn’t have to pave! ๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ

๐Ÿ“š And we read books we didn’t have to write! ๐Ÿ“š

๐ŸŽถ We listen to music we didn’t have to produce! ๐ŸŽถ

๐Ÿ’Š We use medicines we didnโ€™t have to create! ๐Ÿ’Š

๐Ÿ™ And we have so many things we can be grateful for! ๐Ÿ™

๐Ÿคฌ “DONALD, DON’T BE NAIVE! WHAT ABOUT…?!” ๐Ÿคฌ

Of course! The history of our humanity hasnโ€™t been all sunshine and rainbows, no doubt! ๐ŸŒˆ

Big shifts in our world included mass plagues, wars, and violent revolutions, things most of us have never had to experience in our lives! ๐Ÿ‘

I agree with you; thereโ€™s no point in denying the dark points in history! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป’๐˜ โ€œ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜” ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ. โœ๏ธ

But, in spite of all that, in spite of all the negatives I could tell you about in history, we as humans have nevertheless continued to move forward. Consider this: we have not yet allowed ignorance to completely destroy us and our neighbors to oblivion! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Looking at our current society, from modern agriculture to medicine to artificial intelligence, I see us continuing to make great strides forward in science and technology! ๐Ÿค–

To give you one stunning fact: the average life expectancy in the past century has gone up from age 30 to 70! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

๐Ÿคฌ “DONALD! HELLO?! COVID-19!” ๐Ÿคฌ

Of course! We’re all currently going through a crisis right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. And indeed, there’s a ton of things I can tell you I feel very concerned about during this time. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

I could tell you about my concerns for loved ones who are very susceptible to this virus. I could tell you about my concerns for those who think the virus is a downright hoax. I could especially tell you about my concerns of mental health and the impact our lockdowns have had on it. ๐Ÿ˜จ

…and speaking of which, that’s why I share this post with you today! ๐Ÿ™Œ

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, my hope in sharing this post is we continue expanding our understanding of mental health and focusing on long-term solutions to improve it. โค๏ธ

โค๏ธ ๐‘พ๐‘ฌโ€™๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘บ๐‘ฐ๐‘ต๐‘ฎ ๐‘พ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ป ๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น๐‘บ!!! โค๏ธ

While I personally can acknowledge the progress above and am grateful to be living in this day and age, I’ve noticed many people, even before COVID started, are more pessimistic and cynical than ever! โ‰๏ธ

Factually, we’ve come so far as a civilization. But for many people emotionally, it doesn’t “feel” like it has. ๐Ÿ˜จ

Why is that?! If we live in such affluent times with more resources than ever for us to be happy, why are so many still unhappy?! โ‰๏ธ

If so many of us have more than our basic needs for food, water, and shelter, why have we seen suicide rates rise?! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Yeah! ๐…๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ— ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ–, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐’๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ! (Source: https://bit.ly/3eCcMkJ) ๐Ÿ“ˆ

๐ŸŒบ How, if thereโ€™s so many flowers in our gardens, do we still feel like we’re missing something? ๐ŸŒบ

Are we just so ungrateful that we canโ€™t see whatโ€™s right in front of us? ๐Ÿค”

Are we just not reminded enough about the facts and how great we have it compared to our ancestors? ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Are we just simply more open these days about our emotions, hence the increase in depression and anxiety diagnoses? ๐Ÿ“„

I think these answers may be part of it, but I also think it’s multifaceted. So if you are looking for a simple answer to these questions, you’ve come to the wrong post! ๐Ÿ˜…

But while I don’t have all the answers, I will propose at least one big contribution I believe our society greatly neglects. ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

To explain, Iโ€™m reminded of the words of Palmer Joss in the 1997 film “Contact”: ๐ŸŽฌ

โ€œ๐‘จ๐’“๐’† ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’Š๐’†๐’“ ๐’‚๐’” ๐’‚ ๐’‰๐’–๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’“๐’‚๐’„๐’†? ๐‘ฐ๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’–๐’๐’…๐’‚๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’‚ ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’“ ๐’‘๐’๐’‚๐’„๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’”๐’„๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’•๐’†๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’๐’๐’๐’ˆ๐’š? ๐Ÿค”

๐‘พ๐’† ๐’”๐’‰๐’๐’‘ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’‰๐’๐’Ž๐’†. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’”๐’–๐’“๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’†๐’ƒ. ๐‘จ๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’‚๐’Ž๐’† ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’†, ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‡๐’†๐’†๐’ ๐’†๐’Ž๐’‘๐’•๐’Š๐’†๐’“, ๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’“, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’–๐’• ๐’๐’‡๐’‡ ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’†๐’‚๐’„๐’‰ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’‚๐’๐’š ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’† ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‰๐’–๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’๐’“๐’š. ๐‘พ๐’†’๐’“๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚ ๐’”๐’š๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’”๐’Š๐’›๐’†๐’… ๐’”๐’๐’„๐’Š๐’†๐’•๐’š ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’• ๐’ƒ๐’Š๐’ˆ ๐’‰๐’–๐’“๐’“๐’š ๐’•๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’†๐’• ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’๐’†๐’™๐’• ๐’•๐’†๐’Ž๐’‘๐’๐’“๐’‚๐’“๐’š ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’”๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’. ๐Ÿ’จ

๐‘ฐ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’Š๐’• ๐’Š๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’„๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’† ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’๐’๐’๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ. ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ? ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’‹๐’๐’ƒ๐’”. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’‡๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’„ ๐’—๐’‚๐’„๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’”. ๐‘ซ๐’†๐’‡๐’Š๐’„๐’Š๐’• ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’•๐’“๐’Š๐’‘๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’š ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’”๐’† ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’†๐’” ๐’Š๐’ ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’๐’Š๐’—๐’†๐’”. ๐‘ฐ๐’” ๐’Š๐’• ๐’‚๐’๐’š ๐’˜๐’๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’๐’๐’”๐’• ๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’…๐’Š๐’“๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’?โ€ ๐Ÿงญ

The words of Palmer Joss also remind me of the words from Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl: โ€œEver more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.โ€ โœ๏ธ

I want you to read Franklโ€™s words again but slower:

โžก๏ธ โ€œ๐—˜๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ.โ€ โฌ…๏ธ

๐ŸŒบ We have many flowers in our garden. But we have little meaning to WHY these flowers matter. Weโ€™re told to appreciate them, but we don’t understand WHY we should. ๐ŸŒบ

โค๏ธ ๐‘พ๐‘ฌโ€™๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘บ๐‘ฐ๐‘ต๐‘ฎ ๐‘พ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ป ๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น๐‘บ!!! โค๏ธ

The problem I see happening is:

Weโ€™re mastering Quantity at the expense of Quality. โš–๏ธ

Weโ€™re mastering the Objective at the expense of the Subjective. โš–๏ธ

And weโ€™re mastering Intelligence at the expense of Emotional Intelligence. โš–๏ธ

Weโ€™re mastering our Outer Worlds at the expense of our Inner Worlds. โš–๏ธ

Weโ€™re mastering what we Want at the expense of what we Need. โš–๏ธ

And weโ€™re feeding our Heads at the expense of our Hearts. โš–๏ธ

Or to use the Hopi word: Koyaanisqatsi, which means โ€œlife out of balanceโ€. โ˜ฏ๏ธ

I see no better time than this day and age we live in for more and more people to be experiencing an existential crisis, a serious contemplation on whether oneโ€™s life has any purpose or meaning. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I can tell you from personal experience, having an existential crisis is VERY unpleasant! And sadly, I know some individuals who didn’t make it out of them alive. ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ

In a world filled with paradoxes and contradictions, a world weโ€™re told has absolute truth yet contradicting ideas keep filling us with doubt, a world which at times seems pretty absurd, what is a person supposed to believe anymore?! ๐Ÿคฏ

Think about it: If everything you were once told to believe and embrace about life was irredeemably challenged, and the ideals you once stood for were now reduced to a pile of rubble, what is the next rational step for a person to take? ๐Ÿ™‰

It’s why I can’t blame someone who has had these life experiences and has become so cynical because of it. As George Carlin put it: “๐˜š๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜บ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต.” ๐ŸŽญ

But let me assure you: ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐œ๐ฒ๐ง๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ง๐ข๐ก๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฆ. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž’๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž. โค๏ธ

โค๏ธ ๐‘พ๐‘ฌโ€™๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘บ๐‘ฐ๐‘ต๐‘ฎ ๐‘พ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ป ๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น๐‘บ!!! โค๏ธ

I believe Johann Hari said it best when he said our society is great at doing many things, like the things I mentioned above with science and technology. ๐Ÿ‘

๐—•๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐—ฝ๐˜€๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜€. ๐Ÿ˜จ

We all need to feel like we belong in this world, the need to feel like our lives have purpose and meaning, the need to feel like we are seen and appreciated by others, the need to feel like we have a compelling future to look forward to. You could even call these “the needs of the soulโ€. โค๏ธ

And yet, how many people right now are actually getting these needs met? ๐Ÿ’”

How many people are instead just being told to โ€œbe happyโ€ or being told to just remember “how great our country isโ€? ๐Ÿ’”

๐ŸŒบ ๐—œ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜€. ๐ŸŒบ

And when you understand the problem in this way, it seems more than reasonable to me that we can’t just keep telling ourselves the story that Depression and Anxiety are only caused by a lack of brain chemicals. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Perhaps our emotions have been messengers trying to tell us something important. ๐Ÿ“ฌ

Perhaps our emotions have been signaling to us the way we’re living is making us ill. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Perhaps we’re living in an environment which magnifies, reinforces, and exacerbates our psychological problems. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

To clarify, I’m NOT claiming any conspiracies here. I’m also NOT saying any of this is being done intentionally. What I am saying is that this may be the long-term result of a society which continues to turn off the alarm bells when the alarm bells keep going off for legitimate reasons. โŒ›

Weโ€™ve been so focused on external factors to โ€œfixโ€ these alarm bells, whether it was through drugs, alcohol, food, or needless distractions that we’re in the collective habit of inadvertently killing the messenger! ๐Ÿ’Š

โค๏ธ ๐‘พ๐‘ฌโ€™๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘บ๐‘ฐ๐‘ต๐‘ฎ ๐‘พ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ป ๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น๐‘บ!!! โค๏ธ

Iโ€™ve talked in the past about being very passionate about advocating what I call “the psychological development of the individual”.

โฌ†๏ธ ๐—ง๐—›๐—œ๐—ฆ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐˜†! โฌ†๏ธ

THIS is the reason Iโ€™m so passionate about it. It’s why Iโ€™ve surrounded myself in the field of Personal Development. It’s why Iโ€™m such a fan of philosophy. It’s why Iโ€™m such a supporter of Tony Robbinsโ€™s work. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

๐—œ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐˜€๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—œ’๐—บ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ. ๐Ÿ˜”

Compared to where we were a few decades ago, weโ€™re now living in a much more complex world. Weโ€™re no longer going to be able to solve these complex problems with the same simplistic thinking which created them. ๐Ÿ‘

So what Iโ€™m advocating for is developing our Emotional Intelligence, developing our Cognitive skills, and encouraging the Psychological Development of the Individual. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

We’ve assumed for too long these skills would simply develop naturally with little effort. But again, look at where many people are now. ๐Ÿ˜”

Itโ€™s important I emphasize: โ›” Iโ€™m NOT saying to start neglecting or throwing out what science and technology has to offer! Not at all! โ›”

Iโ€™m not saying we need to choose one OR the other; ๐—œโ€™๐—บ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—ก๐—— ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. โ˜ฏ๏ธ

As science and technology moves forward with greater complexity, I want to ensure we as individuals move forward too, with a more complex understanding of “knowing thyself”. ๐Ÿ˜Š

But what will this require?

๐ŸŒŸ We need to appoint and elect more leaders of integrity, of emotional intelligence, who build trust in leading through their example; that’s how we decrease cynicism.

๐ŸŒŸ We need to create meaning where there’s meaninglessness to be found in peopleโ€™s lives; that’s how we decrease nihilism.

๐ŸŒŸ We need to teach people HOW to think and not WHAT to think; thatโ€™s how we develop cognitive and critical thinking skills.

๐ŸŒŸ We need to develop self awareness, to challenge our black-and-white thinking, and learn how to communicate civilly with those we disagree with; that’s how we develop empathy.

๐ŸŒŸ We need to learn to compromise, to promote societal order, to re-establish moral standards and mutually agreed upon truths; thatโ€™s how we decrease anomie.

And I won’t be so naive as to think implementing these ideas will be easy, that they will be some quick fixes, that people will be so easily convinced they are necessary endeavors. โœ…

I know that me just saying this here doesnโ€™t mean people are going to take any action to do these things. But at the very least, I hope I planted some seeds in people’s minds to think about. โœ…

These initiatives will require many more people to step forward and be a part of the change. This is not meant to be like some political statement; it’s just something Iโ€™ve been passionate about sharing for a while. I now have the words finally written out! ๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿšจ Because I don’t want to keep seeing people needlessly suffer! ๐Ÿšจ

โค๏ธ ๐‘พ๐‘ฌโ€™๐‘น๐‘ฌ ๐‘ด๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘บ๐‘ฐ๐‘ต๐‘ฎ ๐‘พ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ป ๐‘ด๐‘จ๐‘ป๐‘ป๐‘ฌ๐‘น๐‘บ!!! โค๏ธ

These ideas I share with you now are NOT EVEN MY IDEAS! They are not original! These ideas have been around a very long time! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

The problem is weโ€™ve either forgotten how important these ideas are or we were simply never introduced to them in the first place. And if you have never before, consider yourself introduced now! ๐Ÿ˜…

You wonโ€™t learn these ideas browsing social media posts, I can guarantee you that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒโ€™๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป’๐˜ ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€. ๐ŸŽฎ

I can assure you: there’s a profound sense of humility which comes when you realize how little you know, how far we can all expand our understandings of the world, if we all make the conscious choice to. โค๏ธ

Iโ€™ll leave you with wisdom from the philosopher Bertrand Russell. When asked what advice he’d give to future generations, he said this in 1959: ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

๐Ÿ’ฌ โ€œ๐‘ณ๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’Š๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’”๐’†; ๐’‰๐’‚๐’•๐’“๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’‰. ๐‘ฐ๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’๐’…, ๐’˜๐’‰๐’Š๐’„๐’‰ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’๐’”๐’†๐’๐’š ๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’„๐’๐’๐’๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’†๐’…, ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’๐’๐’†๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐’†๐’‚๐’„๐’‰ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’‘๐’–๐’• ๐’–๐’‘ ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’‚๐’„๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’‘๐’๐’† ๐’”๐’‚๐’š ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’˜๐’† ๐’…๐’๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’๐’Š๐’Œ๐’†. ๐‘พ๐’† ๐’„๐’‚๐’ ๐’๐’๐’๐’š ๐’๐’Š๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’˜๐’‚๐’š.

๐‘ฉ๐’–๐’• ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’๐’Š๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’๐’• ๐’…๐’Š๐’† ๐’•๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“, ๐’˜๐’† ๐’Ž๐’–๐’”๐’• ๐’๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’„๐’‰๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‚ ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’๐’๐’†๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’†, ๐’˜๐’‰๐’Š๐’„๐’‰ ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’”๐’๐’๐’–๐’•๐’†๐’๐’š ๐’—๐’Š๐’•๐’‚๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’–๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‰๐’–๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’๐’Š๐’‡๐’† ๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’‘๐’๐’‚๐’๐’†๐’•.โ€ ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you found this helpful! โค๏ธ

Why It’s 100% OKAY!

I wish I had heard these words back when I suffered with depression.ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

Yes, for nearly a decade I suffered with depression. It’s why I’m so passionate about mental health today!ย ๐Ÿ‘Š

It’s because I’ve been there that I want to show others there’s ways out of it.

And the 1st thing I’d say to someone who is depressed is these words…

โค๏ธย IT’S OKAY…TO NOT BE OKAY.ย โค๏ธ

“But Donald, don’t enable people to keep being depressed! We want to get them OUT of depression, not stay in it! Don’t be stupid!”ย ๐Ÿคช

Ah, but I agree with you here! I don’t want people to be in negative emotional states any longer than they need to be! We’re on the same page here!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

Where we differ is in the solution!ย โ†”๏ธ

I won’t allow them to shame their emotions. If there’s anything I’ve learned in overcoming depression, it wasn’t by trying to push and force my emotions out of my mind. In fact, I see this method causing much more harm than good.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Hear me out! As a regular meditator, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned with this practice is that our emotions, like our thoughts, are like the weather; they are temporary.ย ๐Ÿ’จ

But the more we resist them when they do appear (our thoughts, our emotions) and we demonize them, the longer they tend to remain.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

If I told you right now NOT think of a pink elephant, what just came into your mind? And if I kept telling you to stop thinking about the pink elephant, what thought remains?ย ๐Ÿ˜

๐ŸŒŸย Your constant focus on what you don’t want is why it’s still here. It has the OPPOSITE effect from what you intend.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

๐Ÿ“Œย Accept WHATEVER you’re feeling. Place no positive or negative label on your present emotions.

๐Ÿ“Œย See if there’s any message your emotions are trying to give you. For depression: the message may be you’re focusing too much on negative thoughts. For anxiety: the message may be you’re doing too many things at once.

๐Ÿ“Œย Once your emotions have no further use, start taking actions in behavior to shift your feelings. It’s different from demonizing and suppressing your feelings. Your behavior will influence the change. Remember: FEELINGS FOLLOW BEHAVIOR!

Hope this helps!ย โค๏ธ

The HOLE (Short Story)

๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธย THE HOLEย ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ

There once was a man who fell into a dirt hole in the ground.ย ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ

He didn’t know how it happened or why it happened. All he knew was he was now in a hole. Freaking out, the man attempted to scramble back up to the hole’s surface.ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

He grasped at the sides of the dirt hole around him, frantically trying to grab anything he could to pull him upwards.ย โœŠ

His heart pounding, his hands continued to slide in the dirt. His pulling at the walls not only wasn’t working, it only served to enlarge the hole he was already in!ย ๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ

Eventually the cold hard truth started to set in with the man. He may not ever be able to get out of this hole.ย ๐Ÿ˜จ

Starting to feel helpless, the man eventually released his hands from the dirt walls and let out a sigh of resignation. He surrendered.ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

๐Ÿ’ญย “There’s no way out…I’m stuck here…and that’s the truth.”ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

As hard as it was for him to accept it, he soon embraced the idea this hole was definitively going to his new home…ย ๐Ÿ 

A period of time passed. The man started to find ways to occupy his mind. He played Tic-Tac-Toe in the dirt. He made drawings with his finger on the walls of the hole. He even started to take a liking to eating the dirt as a means of food!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐Ÿ’ญย “You know what? This place is not as bad as I thought? It’s quiet, it’s calm. As weird as it sounds…I’m really starting to like it here!”ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

Despite not knowing how or why he found himself in the hole in the first place, it didn’t matter anymore. He now felt comfortable there.ย ๐Ÿ›Œ

๐Ÿ’ญย “It is what it is. I can’t do anything about it.”ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

But it was only as soon as he had started to find peace living in the hole did one day he hear footsteps at the surface.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

At the surface, a passerby peered into the hole and saw the man. Looking confused, the passerby shouted down to the man.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย “YOU’RE IN A HOLE! GET OUT OF THE HOLE!”ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

The man, who was sitting down in a fetal position, slowly looked up at the passerby. All he could think to do was to scoff at the man who was only stating the obvious.

“YOU THINK I HAVEN’T TRIED?!” He shouted back to the passerby, slightly irritated.ย ๐Ÿ˜ 

The passerby again looked confused. He shouted down again.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย “LISTEN TO ME: YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE HOLE!”ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

But the man was not having any of it! He was started to feel really angry at this passerby. With a swish of his hand at the passerby, he scoffed.ย ๐Ÿ˜ 

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธย “NO SERIOUSLY!” the passerby shouted once more. “I CAN TELL YOU HOW TO GET OUT!”ย ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

At this point the man had had enough! Really angry, he shouted up to the passerby: “LEAVE ME ALONE!”ย ๐Ÿ˜ก

The passerby’s face had turned from confusion to match the man’s angry face.

๐Ÿคฌย “FINE! ROT IN THERE ALL YOU WANT! BUT YOU’RE CHOOSING TO BE IN THAT HOLE!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

And the passerby stormed off.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

The man was shocked at the passerby’s words. “CHOOSING?!” He sprang to his feet and screamed towards the heavens.

๐Ÿคฌย “YOU DON’T KNOW ME!

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IT’S LIKE BEING ME!

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING DOWN HERE ALL THE TIME!

HOW DARE YOU SAY I ‘CHOOSE’ TO BE HERE!

I CAN’T GET OUT OF THIS GODDAMN HOLE, AND THAT’S A GODDAMN FACT!

DON’T YOU DARE SAY I ‘CAN’!”ย ๐Ÿคฌ

And there was a moment of silence. Not a sound came from the surface. The man’s body, stiff as a nail, started to tremble. He had been holding his breath the whole time. He finally let out another sigh of resignation, and he collapsed to the ground in tears.ย ๐Ÿ˜ญ

The feelings of helplessness had returned. He instantly started to feel remorse for the things he had just said.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

๐Ÿ’ญย “Because of me, the passerby is gone now! It’s all my fault!”ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

While a part of him was just getting comfortable accepting his predicament, a small part of him still had a desire to get out of the hole. And the passerby had sparked the emotions in him.ย ๐Ÿ’ฅ

But unfortunately, his anger had camouflaged his cry for help.ย ๐Ÿ˜ข

As he continued to cry, he started to hear footsteps again. Quickly wiping away his tears out of shame, he saw the passerby had returned.ย ๐Ÿ‘ค

The passerby squatted down to his knees and the tone in his voice had drastically shifted. In a much softer tone:

๐Ÿ’ฌย “Who told you you couldn’t get out of this hole?”ย ๐Ÿ’ฌ

The man didn’t know how to respond. He was honestly confused, because as a matter of fact no one had told him this.ย ๐Ÿค”

He had told this to himself.ย ๐Ÿ‘ค

The passerby grabbed the edge of the hole and tossed his body feet-first into it.ย ๐Ÿ’จ

The man was shocked! It was a tight fit, but both he and the passerby managed to share enough space at the bottom of the hole to fit.

๐Ÿ’ฌย “So, now we’re in this hole together,” the passerby continued in his soft tone “and if you want to get out I’ll SHOW you how.”ย ๐Ÿ’ฌ

The man looked down. He felt ashamed. Again, his mind was conflicted between the place he had just started to make home and his desire to escape.ย โ†”๏ธ

The man replied faintly: “You said I was ‘choosing’ to be down here.”ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

The passerby leaned back against the dirt wall and let out a deep sigh. “I was frustrated. For some reason, I just assumed you knew there were ways of getting out of here. But I see now you actually don’t, and I’m sorry.”ย ๐Ÿ‘

The man let out a deep sigh of his own as the passerby leaned in towards him.

๐Ÿ’ฌย “Listen, I’ve fallen in MANY holes before, some even deeper than this one! And if there’s one thing I continue to remember with every single hole, it’s that there’s always ways out of them.

I’m not going to TELL you how like I said before. Because since we’re both down in this hole now, I get to SHOW you how!”ย ๐Ÿ’ฌย And the passerby started to smile.

The man tilted his head up at the passerby and managed to crack a smile. He couldn’t understand why, but suddenly he felt more open to the passerby’s assistance than he did moments before. Perhaps it was also due to the fact the passerby was now in the same hole as him.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ’ญย He understands I’m not crazy.ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

And thus the passerby started to teach the man the tools to getting out of the hole.ย ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ

At first, the tools the passerby taught to the man sounded like nothing more than common sense! At many points, the man couldn’t help but start to laugh at his dumbfoundedness!

๐Ÿ’ญย That’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of that before?!ย ๐Ÿ’ญ

He soon realized that contrary to popular belief, common sense isn’t common! And his solution for getting out of the hole in the first place was not very practical.ย ๐Ÿ’ฏ

But with these tools no longer labeled as “common sense” but as “essentials” in his mind, the man did find his way out of the hole and back onto the surface!ย ๐Ÿ˜„

As he took his first steps on the surface, he was suddenly reminded of the amazing life he lived before falling into the hole. He had been in the hole for so long, with nothing to remind him of his past life, he had forgotten how great it felt to embrace life.ย โ˜€๏ธ

The man turned to the passerby. “I cannot thank you enough,” he said on the verge of tears.ย โค๏ธ

The passerby smiled. “I appreciate it, but remember: I gave you the tools. You were the one who decided to use them.”ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The man smiled. And the passerby leaned in for one final word.

“And there’s still many more people in holes that need to be helped!”ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

#MentalHealthAwareness

Why You Should EMBRACE Personal Growth!

Why do I embrace personal growth? More importantly, why should you even consider it?ย ๐Ÿค”

It may surprise you, but I won’t say you “have” to do anything. I’m just one guy on social media sharing what’s been serving me well and what I see serves others to also know.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

This is a path I’ve chosen for myself. It’s one I personally believe if others took it would also greatly enrich their lives.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

But again, I’m not here to make you do anything. I’m not here to speak in absolutes like I have every answer. Sure, I may speak like that at times in my posts, but I want to remind you that you can always take and leave my posts as you’d like.ย ๐Ÿ‘

๐ŸŒŸย If you want to work on yourself, do it for You. Not for me or anyone else.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

So why do I work on myself? Sounds a bit selfish, doesn’t it? Why do I make the daily effort to become a better person?ย ๐Ÿค”

Let me put it this way: it’s less about Me and more about We.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ

When I work on myself, it will reflect in my future behaviors and actions towards others. When I allow myself to become a better person, I in turn will allow others to become better people. It’s like a ripple effect.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ

Think of it like this: the personal growth I don’t do for myself now, the internal demons I don’t address now, will be passed on in the future for others to deal with. I don’t want others to have to.ย ๐Ÿ‘Ž

๐ŸŒŸย Personal growth is not about becoming flawless, but about always seeking to become your best self.ย ๐ŸŒŸ

Overall I believe the better I am for myself, the better I will be for others. And if we all as a society made a commitment like that to ourselves, imagine how different our society would be today!ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Personal growth is a lifelong journey. Many will never begin that journey. But you can be one of the few that do. And if you won’t do it for yourself, think of the people you will impact just by doing it.ย โค๏ธ

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