We have a feature on Queendom that allows visitors to ask our volunteer counselor a question, and in return receive some brief but free, practical advice. We receive hundreds of questions per week, so he doesn’t get to answer all of them, but he tries to respond to as many people as possible.
What is so fascinating is that no matter where a person is writing from, most of the questions generally revolve around the same basic themes; everywhere from Iran to the Philippines, the UK to India, Australia to Canada, the questions are always the same:
- What can I do about my depression?
- Why am I so unhappy with my life?
- How do I fix this problem in my relationship?
- I am so lonely. How do I find someone to love?
It doesn’t matter whether a person is from a war-torn country, an economically struggling country, or any country that is going through difficult times – the questions are always about love, depression, stress, and the ultimate desire: To be happy.
In the decade that I’ve been studying and researching human behavior, I’ve had the privilege of learning many things:
- Regardless of cultural background, education, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, we all very much alike.
- The concept of what is “normal” behavior is very much a gray area, and not so much black and white. If I plotted the world’s population on a continuum from abnormal to normal, 99.9% of people would fall somewhere in the middle.
- Whether you’re a CEO or a cashier, man or a woman, gay or heterosexual, independently wealthy or making minimum wage, we all want success – but what we want more than that is to connect to others, to be accepted, and to be loved.
- All relationships go through difficult times.
- Everyone questions their purpose in life.
- The human spirit is indomitable. Whether a person has experienced physical, sexual, emotional or drug abuse, a difficult childhood, bullying, death of a loved one, being cheated on, or mental health issues, there’s always an innate desire not to give up. Within all of us is the capacity to overcome even the most difficult challenges.
- Too often, we hand over our power to others; the power to control our destiny, our emotions, and our happiness. Read this very carefully: The only person who can make you feel angry, sad, guilty, shameful, incapable or unworthy is you. The only person who can make you happy is you. The only person who has the right to tell you what to think, feel or do is you.
- We are much harder on ourselves than we are on others.
- Most of us lack self-love – and I don’t mean self-interest, self-absorption, or selfishness. I mean a genuine appreciation of oneself, and a recognition of one’s worth. If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you” without feeling uncomfortable, silly, or like a fraud, you don’t truly love yourself.
- Behavior isn’t random. Every action we take has a motive, whether conscious or not. And that motive always comes down to the same fundamental desire: To be loved and accepted.
- We spend a great deal of time and energy thinking about the past and worrying about the future.
Our moment of power is now. The past is done with and the future is yet to be determined. When you keep your mind and energy locked on regrets from the past or on fear of what may come, you are left feeling powerless. All that matters is the now – this is where all your power is. You have control over THIS moment right now, which means that you have the power to decide whether you will spend it worrying and fretting or spend it actually living.