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This month I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve thought about changing my Monthly Insights articles so that I can share more things you may be interested in. So from now on I’ll also share a bit more about the books I’m reading, movies I loved, recent articles and so on. Let me know what you think of the new format!
Insight #1: If you can’t imagine why other people are unhappy with their lives, this means you’re really lucky!
There are some people who cannot understand why other people are not in love with their lives and grateful for all they have. While I believe that we sometimes fail to appreciate the good things we have, I also think that some people cannot be happy with what they have because….they don’t have much. Some people struggle so much and face so many problems that we cannot even imagine what their lives must be like.
And if you think that everybody who is not grateful or happy are people who have an attitude or mindset problem, you may be wrong. If you think that everyone has a great life and they can all be grateful, I think this says nothing about those people. It does say that you are so lucky to have such an amazing life that you can’t even imagine what it must be like for the less fortunate people. So remember to be grateful, but also a bit more understanding when it comes to others!
Insight #2: We learn more from failure than from success.
I have been blogging for 2 and a half years, trying to become a successful blogger. I’m a blogger now – just not a successful one. So I’ve taken some time to reflect on all the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned. You can read more about them here!
The main takeway for you should be this: you will learn more from people’s failure than from their success stories. Do you know why? Well, it’s because people’s success stories are often just a part of their journey. They probably made many mistakes and struggled a lot before they made it. And they probably achieved success because of all their failures that showed them what not to do and what to do.
While reading someone’s’ success story, it’s also easy to believe that you are reading their full story. But you’re not. A person’s success story is not a straight line as it often seems. It’s usually a journey full of ups and downs that they may not mention. They may have made it because they have many talents, skills and abilities that helped them – and I bet they aren’t even aware of some of them. When you are an unconscious competent, you may not be aware of some of your strengths, even if you owe your success to them.
So my advice would be to stop reading the stories of the people who have made it. Learn from the people who are aiming for the same thing as you are and are failing miserably at it. They’ve already discovered what you shouldn’t do or how you shouldn’t do something. They usually also find out some things that work, but they may need to improve more to achieve their goals.
If you want to learn from the mistakes I’ve made while blogging for more than 2 years, read the article I’ve written about this. It will save you a lot of time!
Insight #3: If someone is trying to control you, self-sabotage is a way to keep your identity.
I have found this idea in an article and it stuck with me. I wanted to share it with you because some of you will relate to this. The idea is that sometimes the people who love us are trying to control us. For example, our parents want to make us into “the perfect child” so they sometimes want to make decisions for us or push us in “the right direction” and expect us to behave. Of course, they only want what’s best for us (in most cases), but they don’t realize that they are also destroying our identity in the process.
So if someone is trying to control you and they ask you to live in a certain way, you may rebel by sabotaging yourself. After all, if they want you to do well and you end up a loser, you’ve won! You have won because you did not let them turn you into their project. You’ve won because you sabotaged their plans.
The only problem is that when you sabotage yourself, you’re also one of the people who lose. Actually, you lose the most because you are unconsciously holding yourself back. You’re not letting yourself do your best and seeing what you are capable of.
But sadly that’s what it happens for many of us. It has happened to me too and it took me many years to see all the harm I was doing to myself, just to feel like I am my own person. Unfortunately, many good people do this without even realizing how much harm they are causing. And we resort to coping mechanisms that work in the short term, but do a lot of damage later on.
If this sounds like something you may have experienced, read more about this and try to develop behaviours that serve you and help you love yourself and live a good life. It’s definitely not easy, but you need to stop sabotaging yourself and realize what amazing things you are capable of!
What to read
This is a book about meaning – why it matters and how to build meaning in your life. Smith identified 4 pillars of meaning: belonging, purpose, storytelling and transcendence. We can build all of these pillars and increase meaning and happiness in our lives.
According to the author, meaning is also important because it helps us persevere – especially when we struggle or are faced with adversity.
This book includes stories of people who found meaning even in difficult life situations. It also references scientific studies to show what builds meaning.
Read this book if you want to understand how to add more meaning (and happiness) to your life.
I finished reading this book a few days ago. If you want to learn more about it, I’ll be sharing a full review soon. The Power of Meaning is a good book who can help you better understand how meaning works and why it matters. The book could be improved and it could include more practical advice, but it’s still worth reading.
This book focuses on The Hook Model – a process that makes apps and other products/services habit-forming and even addictive. Eyal explains a four-step process that app designers can use to make users hooked on their product.
Reading this book helped me better understand how and why many apps are so popular now. Think about facebook, Instagram, pinterest, Kindle and so on. Once you read this book, you’ll see why so many people use them so much – up to the point where we can’t live without them.
Read this book if you want to build your own product and make it easier for people to use it. Or read it if you want to understand why apps are getting you addicted and what you can do to take back control over your life.
I’ve read this book in the past and I loved it! I’m rereading it now because I want to learn more about technology and the impact it’s having on our lives.
What I loved
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I think movies in particular are becoming increasingly darker and more decadent. Just think about the success of movies/TV shows like Black Mirror, House of Cards and Game of Thrones. These all portray so many deviant behaviours and gruesome scenes that I’m honestly worried about our societies. What does it say about us that these are some of the most popular shows? What values do we see on our screens and why are so comfortable to watch movies that show a terrible world we wouldn’t want to live in?
This is one of the reasons why I love Captain Marvel! I think it was a good movie that gave me a bit more hope. What I loved the most about this movie is that it’s much more than a cool superhero movie from Marvel. It’s a movement. This movie included many strong female characters and was produced by a mostly-female team. To me, this is great news that restores my faith in humanity.
I believe that stories can influence the public perspective and belief systems. And this is why I think that all types of content – movies, TV series and shows, music video, Instagram posts should tell good stories that promote good values. Captain Marvel focuses on showing that women can be strong and independent and promotes equality between sexes. And we truly need that in our world. Yes, progress has been made in the recent past, but we still have a long way to go since women are still discriminated against in many situations and places all around the world.
So I loved this movie because it was also a social and political movement. Like Black Panther in 2018, Captain Marvel reminded us that we can aim higher and help women and other minorities show how strong they are.
I don’t know how I missed this 2013 movie! I accidentally found out about it and I enjoyed it so much! It’s a movie that is original, interesting and surprising. It follows the stories of 3 characters and shows how their lives are affected by success, love, failure and other challenges. And it includes some really great songs in it! I’ve been listening to a few songs from the movie everyday since I’ve watched it and they are stuck in my head.
The movie is definitely not the cliché rom-com of boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. The stories in the movie have a bit more depth and are more developed, I think. And the evolution of the character’s lives and relationships may surprise you.
I recommend this movie for an afternoon when you want to relax and watch a good movie.
Instagram Post of the Month
I use Instagram very often to share book recommendations, insights and questions. And I’ve decided to start sharing the most popular post of the month here, so you can see it too. I was honestly surprised to see how many people liked this post, especially since it’s mainly about my failures. But maybe this is a good thing. You can see my post below. And if you don’t already do this, follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I share there too!
Here are the articles I’ve shared this month:
As the title suggests, The Willpower Instinct is a book about willpower or self-control. In it, Kelly McGonigal talks about the factors that increase or decrease our ability to control our behaviour.
I’ve been vegan for about a year. I know that veganism is very trendy now, but many people still don’t understand what it is and why people do it. So I’ll share my story, my reasons and what I think about it.
A few weeks ago, Radu and I visited The Bears’ Cave. It’s a natural cave that seems out of this world. I really loved it and I wanted to share some pictures and information about it with you too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll put it on your bucket list in case you visit Romania one day!
I spent two years following my dream of becoming a successful blogger. It got me nowhere. But I have learned many lessons about blogging and I’m going to share them with you!
Message of the Month
I just want to remind you that if you are struggling to achieve your goals, this does not mean you should give up. Making mistakes is normal. Feeling like you are a total failure sometimes is normal. Thinking about giving up because you are overwhelmed is normal. All these things mean that you tried to do things in a certain way and it didn’t work as expected.
Don’t let failures keep you from working on a goal you truly care about. If you are aiming for the right thing that is in accordance with your values, your skills and your life philosophy, then don’t give up.
Keep trying new things and see what works. Learn from the people who have already done what you’re trying to accomplish. When you feel like giving up, take a break and do something fun. And when you’re feeling better, just get back on track.
I think we are all capable of doing great things, but it takes a lot of time and effort to figure out what we are great at and how to carve our own path. Remind yourself what you want to achieve and why and keep working on your goal!
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