Forget Mr. Grey finally seeing you—you're finally getting to see him. A few days after Beyonce 'grammed the tease watched round the world, the full trailer dropped last Thursday. Yeah, if you ever wondered whether Jamie Dornan was the right choice for the role, those doubts are about to melt away. Emphasis on melt. Enjoy.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
At times we all feel less than successful. We feel like we’re running in place, struggling to make even the slightest bit of progress. And while this is a perfectly normal feeling, you have to ultimately break free from it and see yourself and your life in a more positive light.
The key is to pay attention to the small things. Just because you’re not where you want to be, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, quite the opposite is true. To be truly happy and successful today doesn’t mean you don’t desire more in the future, it means you are sincerely thankful for what you have already accomplished and patient for everything yet to come.
Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in your life at the moment. As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day. Examine your daily successes.
Give the power of your thinking to the positive influences in your life, and they will grow stronger and more influential every day. Remind yourself of what works well and why, and you’ll naturally find ways to make lots of other things work well too. The most efficient way to enjoy more success in life is not to obsess yourself with what hasn’t worked, but instead to extend and expand upon the success you already know.
Here are some much-needed reminders – sixteen good reasons you’re already succeeding in life:
- You are walking your own path, not anyone else’s. – One of the most foundational sources of both success and happiness is simply being comfortable with who you really are. Not trading your reality for a role or your truth for an act. Not giving up your freedom of thought. Not putting on a mask. So never let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you. If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must continue to be different from the world. Don’t be scared to walk alone on your own path, and don’t be scared to like it.
- You are gradually working through your fears. – As you know, running from fear is a race you’ll never win. In fact, what you’re afraid of dealing with is often precisely what will set you free. So keep doing what you’ve been doing – take another step forward today. Don’t let your fear decide your future. Don’t let it shut you down. Instead, let it wake you up! Take chances and indulge in the excitement. Tell yourself that the fear of suffering is far worse than the suffering itself. Convince yourself that everything you want is on the other side of fear. Because it is.
- You have not let failure stop you. – Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading toward success. Oftentimes our greatest insight comes from our failure, not from our accomplishments. It’s a matter of taking each lesson and stepping forward with it. At the end of the day, whether you choose to go with it, flow with it, resist it, change it, or hide from it, life goes on. If what you did today didn’t turn out as you hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity try again, or to do something totally different. What’s important is to realize that you have a choice.
- You learn something new and grow stronger every day. – To find the best path forward we must occasionally stray from it. There are no wrong turns; only paths we didn’t know we were meant to walk. In the end, to be a success you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving. Keep letting your mistakes strengthen you. Life is a series of little journeys. Allow each step to be a teachable moment. And don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy sometimes, doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.
- You have overcome some considerable obstacles. – Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Nothing! There is a benefit and a blessing hidden in the folds of every experience and every outcome. Consider the possibility that the little obstacles in your life’s path are not obstacles at all, but stepping-stones to amazing places.
- You do your best to love what is. – A big part of success and happiness is not getting everything you want, but mindfully wanting what you get. After all, stress is resistance to what is. Continue to accept what comes to you totally and completely, so you can appreciate it, learn from it and then let it go. Sometimes the best possible response is simply allowing yourself to be at peace with what is, rather than wishing for, and bemoaning, what is not. It’s about doing the best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt.
- You try to be as present as possible. – We all have two lives. And the second one starts now, when we realize that we only have one. Really, nothing is worth more than today. Because you can’t change yesterday or accurately predict tomorrow, but you can ruin today – your real life – by worrying about those two illusory eternities. So stay present and focus on what you can create today. Tomorrow will reveal itself exactly as it should, just as yesterday already has.
- You love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of everyone else loving you. – Putting yourself first does not mean being “selfish.” It means being self-aware. It means never forgetting to love yourself, too.
- You don’t judge people. – People are sometimes too quick to judge, but slow to correct themselves. You know this and you graciously do the opposite. It’s impressive, really. Because it’s much easier to judge people than it is to understand them. Understanding takes extra kindness and patience, and this “extra” is worth it. This “extra” makes a big difference in the end.
- You are the reason some people smile. – Do not miss a chance – not one single, tiny opportunity – to tell someone how wonderful they are and how beautiful they are, inside and out.
- You have incredible people in your life. – Your capacity to be both effective and happy is directly related to the quality of people whom most closely surround you every single day. Having just one or two of these people a phone call away is truly a priceless blessing. These relationships are worth celebrating.
- You have been selfless in your closest relationships. – Almost every immoral action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but often justify in ourselves. The fact that you have made sacrifices for people you love is remarkable in every way. I know it’s not easy. It’s one of the very hardest parts of loving someone – you have to give things up for them. And sometimes, you even have to give them up, selflessly.
- You have given up doing things for others out of guilt. – Sometimes we give in to our loved one’s requests out of guilt. But we need to stop feeling guilty for not giving the people we care about everything they want. It’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but we foster the attitude of entitlement in our lives and relationships when we are ruled by a guilty conscience. It’s OK to say “no” to friends and family sometimes. You know this, so just keep doing what you know is right, and never let false guilt get the best of you.
- You aren’t overspending to impress or satisfy others. – I think it’s good for our friends and family to hear us say, “I can’t afford that” or “We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life. We don’t have all the money in the world to buy everything we could ever want. If you think about it, I bet you’ve known families before who are working multiple jobs to drive luxury cars and keep their kids in expensive extracurricular activities, when honestly, everyone would be happier and better off with more family and friendship time and less financial stress.
- You respect yourself enough to never let anyone walk all over you. – A simple reminder, but so very important: Never, ever submit your self-worth or moral values to a relationship. True love and friendship can flower only under the sun of mutual respect. Some people may try to trample your garden and walk all over you, but you don’t have to sit there and take it. Period.
- You know you can’t please everyone, and you don’t try. – That’s right. Keep standing strong. Don’t let the negative opinions of others derail you. Ultimately, there are two kinds of people – those who are a drain on your energy and creative force, and those who give you energy and support your growth. Avoid the first kind. May the bridges you burn light your way. Just be happy, be honest and be true to yourself every day. If others don’t like it, let them be. Success in life isn’t about pleasing everyone.
If you can’t check-off every point from this list, no big deal. This list is just a rough guideline. We all need our own time to travel our own distance, our own way. But keep in mind, the principle still applies:
Success is not a skill; it’s a persistent attitude. It’s not a place you arrive at; it’s a process you live through. It’s what you do every day. It’s what you are doing now…
You are succeeding in life. You just have to believe it.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Love is great when spoken, but greatest when shown. Do little things daily to show your loved ones you care.
1. Spend quality time together with no major agenda and no technology.
Put down the smart phone, close the laptop and enjoy each other’s company, face to face, the old fashioned way.
There are few joys in life that equal a good conversation, a genuine laugh, a long walk, a friendly dance, or a big hug shared by two people who care about each other. Sometimes the most ordinary things can be made extraordinary just by doing them with the right people. So choose to be around these people, and choose to make the most of your time together.
Don’t wait to make big plans. Make your time together the plan. Communicate openly on a regular basis. Get together in the flesh as often as possible. Not because it’s convenient to do so, but because you know each other are worth the extra effort.
2. Be fully present when you’re in the presence of others.
One of the best feelings in the world is knowing your presence and absence both mean something to someone. And the only way to let your loved ones know this, is to show them when you’re with them.
In your relationships and interactions with others, nothing you can give is more appreciated than your sincere, focused attention – your full presence. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of the next event is the ultimate compliment. It is indeed the most valued gesture you can make to another human being.
Your friends and family are too beautiful to ignore. So give them the gift of YOU – your time, undivided attention and kindness. That’s better than any other gift, it won’t break or get lost, and will always be remembered.
3. Express your sincere appreciation for loved ones every chance you get.
No matter how sure you are of someone’s appreciation and admiration, it’s always nice to be reminded of it. So if you appreciate someone today, tell them. Just because they are reliable and there when you need them, doesn’t mean you should fail to give thanks and appreciation on a regular basis. To value someone too lightly is to risk missing the depth of their goodness before they’re gone.
Sadly, it is often only when we are tragically reminded of how short life is – that today could easily be our last with someone we love – that we start to appreciate every day we have together as if it were. Let this lesson sink in now. Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell the people you love how much you appreciate them.
4. Work together and help each other grow.
There is no soul mate or best friend out there who will solve all your problems. There is no love at first sight that lasts without work and commitment. But there are, however, people out there worth fighting for. Not because they’re perfect, but because they’re imperfect in all the ways that are right for you. You compliment each other’s flaws in a way that allows your souls to unite and operate more efficiently as one.
You will know when you meet one of these people, when through them you meet the very best in yourself.
5. Focus on inner beauty.
When you get to really know someone, most of their prominent physical characteristics vanish in your mind. You begin to dwell in their energy, recognize their scent, and appreciate their wit. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell.
That’s why you can’t fall in love with physical beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, or want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and your body for a little while, but not your heart in the long-term. Thus, when you really connect with a person’s inner self, most physical imperfections become irrelevant.
6. Tell the truth.
Too many prefer gentle lies to hard truths. But make no mistake, in the end it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. Relationships based on lies always die young.
Lying is a cumulative process too. So be careful. What starts as a small, seemingly innocent lie (possibly even with the intention of not hurting anyone) quickly spirals into an mounting false reality where the biggest factor preventing you from sharing the truth is the unwanted reputation of being known as a liar. We lie to one another, but even more so we lie to ourselves most often to protect our “oh so fragile” ego. We may even be inclined to lie to ourselves while reading this, not wanting to admit how often we have eluded the truth.
7. Apologize when you know you should.
Take personal responsibility for your wrong doings. If you know your actions or words have hurt someone you care about, immediately admit your faults and face the reality of your actions. An apology is the super glue of lasting relationships.
And make sure your apology is sincere too. Say it and mean it. Don’t bother apologizing if you’re just going to continue doing the things you said sorry for. Never ruin an apology with an excuse. Excuses are NOT apologies.
8. Work out your relationship issues with each other, not with others.
This may seem obvious, but these days it’s worth mentioning: NEVER post negatively about a loved one on social media. Fourteen-year-old school kids post negatively about their boyfriends, girlfriends and friends on social media. It’s a catty way to get attention and vent, when the emotionally healthy response is to talk your grievances over with them directly when the time is right.
Don’t fall into the trap of getting others on your side, because healthy relationships only have one side.
Furthermore, relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside. So don’t let outsiders run your relationships for you. If you’re having a relationship issue with someone, work it out with THEM and no one else.
9. Be a force for positivity and encouragement.
Elevate your inner game. A negative attitude is way below your horizon.
Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes. It makes a big difference in your life and the lives around you when you stay positive. So be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking and carry on with smile. Always turn a negative situation into a positive lesson and move forward.
Encourage the best possible results with your thoughts and words. And teach this philosophy to those around you too.
10. Over-deliver on your promises.
Be committed. Commitment means staying devoted and keeping your promises, long after the time and mood you made the promises in has left you. Doing so is vital to your relationships and long-term success in every imaginable walk of life.
So don’t just say it, show it. Don’t just promise it, prove it. Better yet, over-deliver on all your promises. Supply far more than what’s required. As Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Whenever you can, go out of your way and do something nice and unexpected for the people in your life, especially those who are in no position to repay you anytime soon.
11. Be loyal.
Stand by those you care about in their darkest moments, not because you want to stand in the dark, but because you don’t want them to either. Brave the shadows alongside them until they’re able to find the light. On the flipside, stand by these same people on their sunniest days, not because you want to scorch your skin, but because you’re not afraid to let them shine bright.
In other words, be loyal. Remaining faithful in your relationships is never an option, but a priority. Loyalty means the world to the people who love you. When someone believes in you enough to lift you up, try not to let them down. You can’t promise to be there for someone for the rest of their life, but you can sincerely be there for them for the rest of yours.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Are you sitting down? Breathing easily? Because friends, more HARRY POTTER! J.K. Rowling must have been feeling generous or inspired by the World Cup (I mean, those hot guys certainly inspire something...) because she gifted fans with an update on Dumbledore's Army in the form of a new short story on Pottermore, written as a gossip column from Rita Skeeter for the Daily Prophet.
It takes place at the Quidditch World Cup, where apparently Harry, Ron, and Hermione have all joined together to watch with kids in tow. As is Rita's way, the story is very gossipy—the best line: "Does Hermione Granger prove that a witch really can have it all? (No—look at her hair.)"—but it still provides an insight into the gang years after the epilogue of the final novel.
You'll have to sign in to your Pottermore account to read the full article—or head to Today.com, which has the exclusive.
Photos: Getty Images
When you're exercising at the gym, you know there are certain rules of thumb to follow—like, wipe down your machine when you're done. I mean, that's just common sense! But in this world of social media—doesn't almost everyone have her phone somewhere on her person while working out?—there are some digital rules you should keep in mind too, according to Randi Zuckerberg, founder-CEO of Zuckerberg Media and author of Dot Complicated.
* Limit your picture taking. You should be proud of all those milestones you hit at the gym—absolutely! But Zuckerberg says that you should also try to keep the pic-taking to a minimum—specifically focusing on major successes, such as lifting a specific weight. Taking pic after pic (or, ugh, selfie after selfie) is distracting to everyone else.
* If you're going to do a selfie, make it a selfie. It invades other people's privacy when you're posing prettily and they're sweating in the background of your Facebook pictures or Instagrams. Nope!
* Don't stop your workout to text or tweet. If you're on the machine but pause or slow down just to respond to a tweet or text a friend, it's super-annoying—especially for the people who may be tip-tapping their toes, waiting for you to finish, so they can move on with their own exercise sessions.
What are your phone-at-the-gym pet peeves?
Thursday, July 3, 2014
There are specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world that we all have to master before we can awaken to a simpler, happier, more fulfilling life – a life worth loving. And that’s precisely what this post is all about.
No matter what part of life’s path you’re currently traveling on, the list below will always be applicable. These are simple, positive habits that thousands of people who have learned to love their lives, now live by. Here’s what they do differently..
- They flow with life, not against it. – When everything in life seems to be going wrong, mostly it’s meant to go wrong so that you may outgrow the things you need to outgrow. Keep this in mind. Life may wreck your plans when your plans are about to wreck you. For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. You don’t have to accept it; it’s just easier if you do. When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little. Sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath and appreciate what is.
- They let go of self-defeating thoughts. – Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret and frustration. Let go of the need for approval too. You don’t need any of it. The world is as we are inside. What we think, we see, and we ultimately become. So choose your thoughts wisely. Think how you want to live.
- They prove themselves to themselves, not others. – If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone else, you’ve already forgotten your value. Don’t do this to yourself.
- They believe in the possibilities ahead. – You are a victim of the beliefs you live by. And a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind. So believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that there are many roads to what’s right. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth your while.
- They find the positive in every situation. – The most underrated trait of all successful people I’ve ever met: Positivity. Your attitude directly determines how well you live your life.
- They appreciate what they have. – Every now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness, look around, and simply be happy for what you already have in your life.
- They nurture their own inner peace. – In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Take a few deep breaths, a relaxing walk, or a moment to meditate. When you find peace within, you who can live at peace in any situation.
- They find the courage to be real. – It takes courage to grow up, grow wiser, and turn out to be who you really are. Find the courage to own your story. To speak your truth. To ask for what you need. To set boundaries. And to reach out for love and support when you need it.
- They maintain high personal standards based on strong values. – Goals are important but they are temporary. Values on the other hand are forever. Raise your standards by taking a values-driven, not just a goal-focused, approach to life.
- They walk the talk and always set a great example. – Be the change you want to see. Give what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.
- They help themselves by helping others. – We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will… an idea or gesture that helps others live better. Strong people stand up for themselves; stronger people stand up for others too. Remember this next time you feel like flexing your muscles.
- They use self-reflection as a tool to keep things in perspective.– Never forget where you’ve been, lose sight of where you’re going, or take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.
- They make their important relationships a daily priority. – An incredible thing happens when you pay close attention. It’s by participating more in your relationships that you breathe life into them.
- They accept that not all relationships are meant to last. – This is a harsh truth. And what we do with our pain is nearly everything. To punish people for not loving us is a heartbreaking, broken sort of justice. It just doesn’t work out for anyone. So let the wrong ones go, willingly. Ultimately, you will meet two kinds of people in life: those who build you up and those who tear you down. In the end, though, you will thank them both. Because the wrong relationships eventually lead to the right ones.
- They leave the past behind. – Don’t let the past steal your present. Your past has not defined, deterred, or defeated you. It has only strengthened who you are today. Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
- They make every day count. – What you do daily matters more than what you do every once in awhile. Your life will not improve unless you start making daily improvements. It’s not about being the smartest, it’s about making the smartest decision. It’s not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.
- They do the work. – The near-term cost of discipline is always less than the long-term cost of lack of discipline. At some point you have to stop wishing for it and start working for it.
- They focus on effectiveness, not busyness. – The great paradox of our time is that many of us are busy and bored at the same time. Busyness and effectiveness are two different things.
- They get uncomfortable. – You can’t learn, grow and succeed until you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The best wins in life often come only after you dare to lose.
- They break-up their routines to seek new insight. – You will often see what is wrong when you are doing it right. But you will rarely see what is right when you are comfortably in the routine of doing it wrong. If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today. Mix it up! Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
- They take action in spite of their fears. – Dreading is often far worse than just doing the thing. Dread rehearses a scenario over and over without progress and success ever showing up. So just do it already! Stand strong. Do what you fear, and fear disappears. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions speak louder than your words.
- They use change as an opportunity to grow. – Life is change, but growth is optional. Choose wisely. To be a success in life you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving. Let your mistakes, and life’s twists and turns, strengthen you. Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
- They always give themselves another chance. – Sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you. You just have to give yourself another chance to get there.
Do the best you can to smile. Be so busy loving your life and the people in it that you have no time left for hate, regret or unnecessary stress. In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey.
You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds – struggles and all. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.