The Problem With Inspirational Quotes.

When I am browsing (aka. procrastinating and generally wasting my life) on the internet, I frequently come across inspirational quotes on various social media platforms.

I’m sure lots of people find these quotes empowering.

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However, I tend to find them a bit overwhelming.

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Although I think that self-belief is a positive thing in many ways, I sometimes find that relying on myself to be the sole engineer of my own success can cause me to put a lot of pressure on myself.

I sometimes feel underqualified to deal with the task of leading my own life as if whoever is responsible for bestowing the gift of life forgot to include the instruction manual when they gave one to me.

I often try to be more proactive and make plans in an attempt to map out my future in a structured way.

Making plans makes me feel momentarily powerful as if I am the sort of person who can effectively navigate life and exert control over the things that happen to me.

However, what normally happens is that I end up sitting with the plan in front of me with absolutely no idea how to implement it – which is a bit like trying to use a map with faulty navigation equipment.

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I tend to make most of my life plans in January.

Like most people, every January, I decide that I am immediately going to reconstruct myself as a new healthier, happier, more productive human being.

For a brief period of time, I genuinely believe that I possess the ability to do this.

However, it soon becomes apparent that this is not the case.

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It turns out that making a change in your life requires more than temporary resolve.

It involves taking your initial motivation and transforming it into habit – it is a commitment to continue performing behaviours that may initially feel unnatural and are sometimes the complete opposite of those that you have exhibited your entire life until they become integrated into your daily routine.

It is easy to make a strong statement on January 1st, experience a setback a few weeks later and immediately assume that your entire self-improvement endeavour is doomed.

So this year, I am resolving to not to put too much pressure on myself, accept that setbacks are part of the process and to remember all that I can really do is try my best to navigate life whilst attempting to be the most functional, together version of myself that I can be.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I Am a Very Small Fish in a Big, Massive, Confusing Ocean.

When I was in school, I used to feel quite important.

My social circle was quite small and I was confident that I was going to achieve all of my goals and everything was going to go swimmingly.

I was essentially was a big fish in a small pond.

However, as I have moved up through the educational system, I have gradually come to realise that this is not the case.

It turns out that I am a teeny tiny fish in a significantly larger body of water.

img_0016If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

I Think I Might Be Scared Of My Comfort Zone.

I have a love-hate relationship with my comfort zone.

On one hand, I like my comfort zone because it makes me feel as if I am in control.

When I am inside my comfort zone, I feel confident, stable and grounded.

On the other hand, if I stay inside my comfort zone for an extended period of time, I start to feel guilty.

I get anxious that I’m not progressing or developing in any way, that I’m letting myself down and that my life isn’t going anywhere.

At this point, I start to resent my comfort zone.

I worry that my tendency to stay within my comfort zone is causing me to miss out on important life experiences and preventing me from fulfilling my potential.

My comfort zone transforms into my FOMO zone.

Eventually, the anxiety of staying inside my comfort zone becomes so huge that it overwhelms my fear of straying outside of it.

At this point, I make a concerted effort seek out activities that scare me in an attempt to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

I like to imagine that I’m an astronaut taking one small step into the unknown depths of space when, in reality, I’m probably just taking a phone call from an unknown caller ID.

astronaut_LI (3)astronaut_LI (3)If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I Should Not, Under Any Circumstances, Be Allowed More Than Two Alcoholic Beverages…

I like to think of myself as a sensible, graceful, sophisticated human being and like all sensible, graceful, sophisticated people, I know my limits when it comes to drinking alcohol.

I don’t tend to go out drinking a lot so my tolerance for alcohol is relatively low – on average, I only have to consume two drinks before I start to feel the effects.

Once I have had two drinks, I usually recognise that I have reached my limit and my rational mind prevents me from ingesting any more alcohol in an attempt to preserve my dignity.

However, sometimes, I get cocky.

Sometimes, despite prior evidence to the contrary, I become convinced that my body can cope with a further two units of alcohol.

Sometimes, I have a third drink.

This is the first in a series of stupid decisions.

For me, the process of getting drunk starts with denial.

Whilst I am making my way through my third drink, my brain comes up with a series of excuses to convince both myself and the people around me that I am still the dignified person that I consider myself to be.

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Eventually, however, the realisation that I am, in fact, drunk hits me with the force of a life-altering epiphany.

At this point, the fact that I’m drunk becomes the single most important piece of information in existence and I experience an unstoppable urge to share it with everyone in the immediate vicinity.

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For a couple of hours, the feeling of being drunk eclipses everything, including a sense of shame or social dignity.

This means that I am much more confident and much less socially inhibited than I am in everyday life.

Normally, I am quite a shy person who can be slightly apprehensive when meeting new people.

For me, making friends usually involves finding a person with whom I have a lot in common and then building up connection and trust over an extended period of time.

MAKING FRIENDS

2_LI (2)34_LIWhen I am drunk, I am happy to make friends with pretty much anyone as long as they are equally as drunk as me.

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Unfortunately, at some point in the night, I start to sober up.

The confidence and bravado that alcohol had bestowed upon me suddenly dissipates and is replaced by an intense vulnerability.

This part of the night tends to be quite an emotional time for me.

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Having an emotional breakdown tends to leave me feeling quite drained and, once I have attempted to fill the emotional void with various types of fried food, any remotely flat surface becomes a viable place to sleep.

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

20 Cartoons About Life As A Twenty-Something.

  1. Ever since I became a grown-up, I’ve felt like a small child trapped inside an adult’s body.

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2.  I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going.

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3.  I often feel like a very small fish in a very big pond.

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4.  I constantly feel out of my comfort zone.

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5.  Being independent and having to solve my own problems can be hard.

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6.  Especially because I’m always blowing things out of proportion.

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7.  I’m absolutely terrified of committing to anything.

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8.  Especially diets and exercise regimes.

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9.  But I still get irrationally upset when people don’t want to commit to me.

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10.  Trying to date anyone feels like playing a highly strategic tactical game.

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11.  Sometimes, I think that I’m probably going to be single forever.

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12.  Even though I’m stunningly beautiful…

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13.  All of the time…

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14.  As an adult, you are expected start a career and apply for jobs.

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15.  Sometimes, the sheer number of stages in the job application process make me feel like I’m competing in a much less exciting version of the Triwizard Tournament.

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16.  I’m not very good at interviews.

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17.  I often panic and say the first thing that comes into my head.

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18.  Or just have a full-blown existential crisis.

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19.  I don’t have a massive amount of money so I’m having to get creative with my spending.

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20.  But who needs money as long as your living  your life to the fullest!

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I’m Trying to Get My Life in Gear But I Keep Releasing the Clutch Too Quickly and Stalling.

I turn 23 in a couple of weeks and, although I physically resemble an adult, I often feel much younger on the inside.

As a result, I am always looking around for things to confirm my status as an official grown-up in the hope that I will eventually be able to convince my inner self that I actually I am one.

In his iconic song ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, Bob Dylan asks the question ‘How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?’

Whilst I do not know the exact answer to Bob’s question and have no ambitions of becoming a man, I imagine that the whole process of becoming an adult would be a lot quicker if you just drove there instead.

So, last year, I decided to learn how to drive.

Driving lessons are quite expensive so I decided to try and accelerate the learning process by asking my mum to help me practice in between them.

I thought that my mum would be a good candidate for the job because she had previously taught me to ride a bike as a child.

However, for some reason, she seemed reluctant to resume her role as instructor.

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(N.B. – My mum did make me wear a helmet, I just forgot to draw it. I thought I’d mention that just in case any of you were concerned for my safety – although I think my decision to ride down a steep hill with complete faith in my legs’ ability to act as an effective breaking system proves that no amount of protective gear would have prevented me from being a danger to myself…)

My mum is a very cautious driver with a high regard for motoring safety.

14 (3)_LI141As a result, the prospect of giving me complete control of a moving vehicle made her incredibly anxious.

In an attempt to ease her nerves, I decided to demonstrate my ability to control the car by driving at 10 mph around a suburban cul-de-sac.

However, by the way my mum was reacting, I may as well have been trying to set a world speed record on the salt flats of Utah.

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When I first started driving with my mum, I was initially quite calm.

I had taken nine driving lessons with a qualified instructor and was confident in my ability to control the car.

I didn’t think there was anything to worry about.

However, my mum’s anxiety was so high in relation to mine that it began to diffuse along a concentration gradient until the panic was evenly spread between us and we were both infused with the same sense of impending doom.

11_LI12_LI13910In order to diffuse some of the tension, I decided to put some calming music on but its effect was limited by the sounds of my mum having a panic attack over the soundtrack at regular intervals.

In the end, it was a bit like an episode James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke except, instead of a celebrity singing their iconic hits, there was just my mum periodically shouting ‘easy on the clutch’ and ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ over the Relax and Unwind playlist on Spotify.

Driving can be a stressful experience all round.

In everyday life, the majority of people tend to be quite considerate and respectful towards other people.

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However, when driving, our tolerance for others drastically decreases.

Any sense of social convention rapidly disintegrates, something which is magnified by the fact that the car itself provides a physical barrier behind which the driver is able to conceal their identity.

This allows drivers to feel comfortable expressing what would otherwise be a socially inappropriate level of rage with the same sense of anonymity as an internet troll.

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Many people try to make the experience of driving less stressful by investing in a Sat Nav to help them navigate.

Like most technology, a Sat Nav is the best thing ever until it stops working properly, at which point it immediately becomes the worst thing in existence.

Normally, a Sat Nav will give you precise directions to help you get to your destination in the fastest time possible.

However, occasionally the GPS system will malfunction and it will start instructing you to complete manoeuvres that the physical set up of the road renders impossible.

When this happens, it is easy to become frustrated.

In contrast, the Sat Nav’s voice remains completely calm and serene, blissfully ignorant of your own increasing levels of irritation.

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. I often have profound thoughts on important, life-affirming subjects such as dogs, social awkwardness and scary animals that freak me out.

For more drawings, you can also follow me on Instagram.

How To Stop Procrastinating and Start Getting Things Done: An Unofficial Guide That REALLY DOES WORK!

Modern life can be quite complicated and, like most people, I often have a lot of things that I need to get done on a daily basis.

Sometimes, however, I find it hard to motivate myself to get things done in a productive and efficient manner.

Even completing simple everyday tasks can be a struggle.

Instead of addressing a task properly, I often come up with temporary solutions that allow me to extend the amount of time that I can remain in denial about the task’s existence.

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However, what initially began as a small manageable task eventually transforms into a monumental obstacle and the pressure of directly engaging with it can be overwhelming.

hRecently, I have been asking around for advice on how to be more consistently productive.

One of my friends told me that I should try reading a self-help book which suggested that they cared about my wellbeing but considered the challenge of transforming me into a functioning human being so huge and intimidating that they were reluctant to become directly involved.

i_LINevertheless, a few days later, I went to a bookshop and sought out the self-help section.

The first book that caught my eye looked like this.

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I hadn’t been feeling particularly worried when I had first entered the bookshop but looking at the book immediately made me worried about whether I was the sort of person who should be worried about whether I was living or not.

I picked up the book, turned it over and read the blurb.

11_LI In the back of my mind, I knew that the blurb was referring to common issues that many people experience on a regular basis.

However, because it was doing so within the guise of individuality, I felt that it was speaking directly to me.

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In addition, the prospect of overcoming anxiety, low self-esteem and lack of motivation appealed to me.

It was as if I was a protagonist from a book or movie on a mission to overcome great evil…

4Except I was fighting against the most underwhelming antagonist in existence – my own epic laziness.

44_LI (2)I reasoned that spending £8.99 on a book that felt it necessary to boldly assert the fact that it ‘really does work’ was a totally logical idea.

I thought that maybe one day I could help other people to help themselves by writing my own self-help book about how somebody else’s self-help book had helped me to help myself.

‘Stop Worrying and Start Living’ presented several strategies to help me stop procrastinating and start getting things done.

Reading about how I was going to get things done in the future made me feel very productive.

As a result, I was less bothered by the fact that I had things that I needed to get done.

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By the time I had finished the book, I was felt thoroughly prepared to start living my life to the fullest.

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However, it was getting quite late.

7_li.jpgSo I decided that it was probably best to seize the day another day.

 

 

I guess what we can learn from this is that a significant part of self-improvement is learning the art of self-control.

It is important to limit the amount of time that we spend doing instantly gratifying activities and invest the more satisfying, longer-term benefits of sustained hard work.

On that note, if you enjoyed this post, here are some more posts that may provide you with fleeting sense of satisfaction:

Interview Advice – Just Be Yourself… As Long You’re Being A More Organised, Eloquent, Functioning Version Of Yourself That Is Better Than Your Actual Self In Pretty Much Every Single Way…

How To Deal With Everyday Problems – An Unofficial Guide.

Mice and Other More Legitimately Scary Animals That I Am Afraid Of.

For more drawings, you can also follow me on Instagram.