On being sustainable

There’s this sustainability movement going on. I wouldn’t say I am 100% on board but learning and reading more about it has opened my eyes and has made me more conscious of the things I bring into and take out of my life. I’m not a pro but here are some tips I am practicing to save the world in my own little way.

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Three Quotes

I was nominated by Lourie months ago to do the three quotes, three days challenge. In typical Kat fashion, it took me a long time before doing this tags. And in typical Kat fashion again, I won’t be following the rules. I’ll only be sharing three quotes in a single post and won’t be tagging anybody. That means anyone can do the tag! Yes, that includes you! 😉

Inspiring Reads About Minimalism

It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote about my quest to become a minimalist. Lately, I’ve been having thoughts about how it has affected me in a number of ways. It has gotten to a point where not only does it affect the way I look at things but it has also changed the way I see things, people, priorities, and relationships. It has affected me tremendously that the way I look and react to things around me has changed massively.

An example would be back then, at the office, when someone would get promoted, I would nitpick this person’s work ethic and performance. I would judge this person and compare myself and give myself (and other people) a long list on why this person doesn’t deserve the promotion. Nowadays, I don’t care about other people’s promotion and I just focus on myself. I focus on my work ethic and performance. I’ve stopped comparing. We all have different careers anyway.

You might think that that is not an example of growth that could be charged to minimalism. However, in my experience, practicing minimalism has taught me to do just that. We all grow differently and it’s thanks to minimalism that I’ve become a better person. That’s why I’m sharing with you some of the reads that have impacted my life in more ways than one in hopes that you’d read it and you’d have an epiphany just like me.

Learning to Let Go by The Minimalists

A perfect read for people who want to let go of things but is having a hard time doing so.

Ultimately, we must learn to let go. To do so, acceptance is the key. We needn’t settle, but we all have a reality we must accept. As much as we might want to, we’ll never be able to hold on to a sunset. Likewise, we can’t retain every thing and still lead meaningful lives. Life is fulfilling only when we allow ourselves to let go, when we allow ourselves to be in the moment, when we allow ourselves to feel the moment. After all, this moment is life’s only true reality.

Letting Go of Control by The Minimalists

This is one of my favorite reads. An inspiring post about how letting go can give you back control. A perfect read for those who are control freaks and perfectionists, like me.

The simple fact is that we are not in control. Not of everything, at least. Instead, we control our odds, and if we place ourselves in the most ideal situations often enough, then, odds are, things will sway our way more often than not. Everything else requires a little leap of faith.

Perhaps letting go of control is the best way to regain total control.

How Minimalism Taught Me to Live Fearlessly

Another favorite. This is perfect for those who are struggling to find out who they really are and would like some inspiration before taking that leap of faith.

It dawned on me that the reason I felt heavy is because I wasn’t applying minimalism to my life. My house was organized and breezy, but my mind was weighed down by my everyday activities—spending hours per day furthering myself along a career path that I wasn’t passionate about.

Turns out, minimalism showed me that the only thing scarier than starting over is staying in a place where you don’t belong.

How Habits are Formed by Zen Habits

This post right here has helped me create new habits during the time that I wanted to lose weight. It has taught me how to create habits even if you are doing something you don’t like to do.

Habits are formed when actions are tied to a trigger by consistent repetition so that when the trigger happens, you have an automatic urge to do the action.

Our lives are filled with these trigger-habit combos, often without our being aware of them. If you drive home from work every weekday following the same route, you probably often drive by rote, making turns without thinking about it, because of constant repetition.

A Life of Peacefulness by Zen Habits

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life? If your answer is yes, read this. It will teach you how to find peace even if chaos is all around you.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get away from difficulty or pain. If you’re in true danger or abuse, get out. But most of the time, it might be a path of growth to not exit. To stay, to face the stress and chaos with a sense of bravery. And then to find peace in the middle of the chaos.

You can create a life of peacefulness in the middle of this overwhelming, stressful, busy, chaotic world. If you don’t run, but instead find the fearlessness to be with it fully.

The Fear of Missing Out by Brian Gardner 

This is a perfect read for those who are always on the go and who always wants to be in the in-crowd. Hello, everyone?

FOMO urges us to underestimate our accomplishments.

Some of the most beautiful things in life are simple things: quiet moments at home with your family. An impromptu lunch out with a friend. An unplanned or unexpected conversation with a stranger in the grocery store. A handmade gift from your son or daughter.

The fear of missing out causes us to miss these things completely, if only because it has us focused on bigger and “better” things on the horizon. If we aren’t able to see the good things already present in our lives, at the end of the day, we run the risk of feeling like our efforts don’t matter.

The Danger of Convenience by David Cain

This is just a great reminder of how technology isn’t always for the better.

New inventions never simply add ease to what we’re already doing. They provide ease in one area, usually a very specific one, at the cost of slowly starving any personal skills—often broadly-applicable ones—that the old way used to keep sharp.

The easier the tasks we’re sparing ourselves, the higher we’re holding convenience over self-reliance, and the more helpless we become without our tech. Using a chainsaw to replace hours of axe work is probably a sensible tradeoff, but using voice-activated software to spare us from moving our arms is probably not.

A Little Guide for More Comfort and Joy

This is another favorite. It is a great reminder about how happiness isn’t always found in material things. Sometimes it is already right in front of us but we are too busy trying to find it that we miss it. Stop wanting more and appreciate what you already have!

We don’t have to turn our lives upside down for more comfort and joy. We can find it sitting quietly, listening to our favorite holiday songs, waking up early to enjoy the stillness of morning, or taking a walk.

The comfort and joy you seek is waiting and all you need to do is pay attention to it.

Too busy to read? I love listening to the Optimal Living Daily podcast to inspire me to continue living an optimal life. You can listen to it on Spotify which makes things 100% easier for everyone.

There you go. Here are my top reads that have inspired me over the years. I really do hope that you’d get to read at least one of the posts and tell me all about it. I am a serious advocate for minimalism. It has taught me numerous things that have changed me for the better. I hope you take some time and invest in yourself by reading some of these posts!

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Unsplash

On Influencers and Blogging

I previously had this long draft post about influencers. The whole point of the blog post was there are some who just live their lives, influencing others, even if they aren’t really influencing others for the better. There they are just influencing people, the youth to be specific, about curating perfect lives and throwing everything we’ve ever known out the window. That was my blog post, a half rant on the influencer situation on the internet and how it is affecting our society.

I was about to publish it when my favorite blogger Tricia Gosingtian wrote a personal piece on quitting blogging for work on her blog. I had a lightbulb moment. The influencers are not the problem, it’s the system. 

I’d say 80-90% of bloggers start out with only one thing in mind – to document and share their lives. They want to join a community where you can say and share whatever you want. However, there is a booming business and profession of influencing other people nowadays. There is no real qualification, only that you look good and have a decent following. This is the problem.

I think that companies and brands look at the numbers and how the person looks without looking any deeper. They get stuck looking at the superficial and put front and center people who look the part but can’t play it. In the end, it’s a numbers game for these brands and with influencers left and right who make it look all too easy, no wonder people are trying to do the same (myself included).

Which brings me to the whole point of this post.

We can’t stop the trend when it comes to influencers nowadays but we can control and be wiser about the people who influence us and the people around us. We have to be more critical of who they are and look beyond what they offer besides their looks and aesthetic feeds. We can’t stop the system. We can’t stop these influencers and brands from posting their perfectly curated posts and shots but what we can do is to be wiser about it. We can demand better ads. We can demand better influencers. We can look at far more than what meets the eyes.

We can’t control what goes up on the internet but we can control how we let it affects us. The next time you see that influencer who looks cute with her sponsored everything, think twice about letting her influence the way you dress and where you buy it. Think about your principles. Do you believe in consumerism? Do you really need to go shopping? Is she making you feel jealous? Do you want to be like her? What is she really selling and should you buy it?

We have to remember to think for ourselves. The world nowadays is filled with too much information. It is up to us to learn how to filter through the noise and find what really counts (this post included).

Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash