Photography task: Something I want
Location: Turku, Finland
Camera setting: Sports
Passion… Yeah, I remember that thing. It’s that awesome feeling when you’re super excited about something, a happening, a relationship, a plan, and that keeps you going even on the worst days.
It’s that thing I’ve been struggling to find for the past couple of years. But I’m working on it!
Since I’m finding it a bit challenging to be passionate about anything at the moment I wanted to list couple points here that we all SHOULD be passionate about. Because no matter how sucky your life might be atm, if you can put some effort into the following 4 points, I guarantee, you will be just fine!
Health & Fitness
This is a no-brainer; when you’re healthy, both body and mind, your well-being should resonate to everything you do in a positive way.
Recently we watched a Netflix documentary The C Word, which tells a story of the current cancer epidemic, which we’re all living in and losing loved ones, and how we might actually all be able to, if not save ourselves, at least prolong and improve our very own lives.
The increase in unhealthy lifestyle has a direct correlation with the increase in cancer diagnosis. Vice versa, paying attention to and improving your lifestyle can actually be the surest way to keep yourself cancer-free (OK, none of us can ever be cancer-free, but you know what I mean).
Even though exercise for me doesn’t feel like such an enticing thing to engage in I am well aware of the lifestyle that might in the long run ensure my good health both mentally and physically. Basically you need to concentrate on 4 things:
Exercise ♥ Nutrition ♥ Avoid toxins ♥ Manage stress
To be honest this doesn’t seem like too much to ask (just drag that butt of yours out for a walk) but when you really think about it we do have to be really vigilant. OK, we’ve got it much better in Europe because toxic substances are banned from food production unlike in America but beauty products are a more complex issue to decipher.
Thou shalt not despair, though! There are applications for checking the bar codes of products to easily figure out which products should be left on the shelf if you value your health.
What about stress management then… Now that is something I struggle greatly with at the moment. The truth is that life today is very stressful. But I’ve noticed that few easy tricks provide at least a momentary relief:
- Play music that puts you in a good mood and have a little dance (that’s exercise done).
- Breathe! Oh yes, just that; sit on the couch (or in the bathroom behind locked doors if you’ve got a family) and breathe deeply for 10-15 minutes concentrating on each breath. I use this method when I have trouble falling asleep.
- Cook or order in something that you really like (pasta works every time!).
- Go for a walk, preferably to a garden or a forest because greenery has been proven to decrease stress. And I can guarantee it really works.
This was a passion of mine when I was still living at home and working at my late teens. I earned really well and there wasn’t much for me to spend that money on so I saved a lot! But those savings were not for investing, oh no. They were collected solely for my world domination travels!
Moving abroad is expensive, though, and as a result money management and budgeting has become a vital part of my life. It’s really boring but having done it for years I know the benefits of budgeting. The tricky part is to estimate the unanticipated costs (such as after-works, a broken smart phone or date night out) and keep them under control.
In Estonia living costs are much higher than salaries, which brings a whole new level of difficulty into keeping my finances in order. So, my budgeting needs to be pretty hard core. I recently got to a stage where I was again able to start saving after 2 years of living the last week of each month on my credit card. I can’t save much but even a little is way ahead of the curve.
But money management doesn’t just mean saving. It’s about a broader picture; investing, arranging your banking smartly and evaluating taxes. As for everything these days there are multiple applications in existence to help you to control your money as well as your health. But the main points to remember are:
- Prioritize your spending and savings according to what matters the most to you.
- Anticipate major costs coming up in the near future (f.ex. a friend’s wedding, a holiday abroad, etc.)
- Avoid impulse purchases.
- Budget for unexpected occurrences (this could be as little as 20€/month).
As we know the ability to learn is fast becoming the biggest and most important asset you can have, especially in the job markets. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast taking over the simpler, repetitive jobs but as fearsome as that may sound, there is no worry. New jobs, the kinds of jobs that a robot simply can’t do, will appear.
First off we should forget all about those 5-year-plans that older generation recruiters like to inquire from applicants, and which teachers make their students ponder on. Fact is we cannot know what the world will look like in just 5 years.
I for one know that the skills that I have, that weren’t of any use to me in the “traditional” job markets before, are now the skills that I could start a business of my own with. Basically, blogging is a great example of an industry that didn’t exist 10 years ago and which now provides a livelihood to thousands of people around the globe.
But because the world is changing so rapidly, and new jobs and industries are popping up like mushrooms in the rain, we need to start getting excited about learning. Continuous learning is the key for keeping yourself on top of things on every front.
And since development of new technologies is so fast that no school on the planet can keep up with it, we need to take our education into our own hands to some extent. And it’s in fact quite easy; internet is full of videos and articles about any subject you want to study. The problem is that very few of us like to learn like that, through self-teaching. I know I don’t.
The most difficult part is to get started. Self-learning isn’t really my thing, I prefer someone showing me what to do and then I follow, repeat, screw up and that’s when I learn. Making a mistake has been the best way for me to get a lesson seriously drilled into my head. Works in both, my personal and professional life.
But when you really want something you will find the time and the will to get started! Just like I did: when I was putting up this website I had to learn a bit of coding. So I did! Not much, but the fact that I did it and proved to myself that I could do it totally makes the self-learning worth all the trouble.
Continuing on the subject of modern technology, keeping up actual social relationships (in person, not via Whatsapp!) is more important than ever. Yes, there are robots already in existence which are almost like human beings which is great, for example, for lonely people. But I don’t need to see a statistic to know that real human interaction is healthier in every sense of the word in the long run.
But why do we need to socialize in person, why isn’t messaging online sufficient enough?
Because we are human beings. This is the vital thing that does and always will separate us from AI: to put it bluntly, we need meaningful relationships to keep our heads in order. These are just few of the things that meaningful social relationships add up to:
- Causes greater happiness and self-esteem
- Decreases risk of anxiety, stress and depression
- Improves communication, cognitive and motor skills
- Establishes the sense of “self”
The last point there is THE point. The “self” is the one thing that will always separate us from robots. So, I think that’s a pretty damn good thing to be passionate about right now, don’t you agree? :)