How Learning To Speak My Love Languages Changed Me.

Do you love yourself correctly? I used to question if I loved myself at all. I would feel overwhelmed and lonely and would lack energy. All qualities I wasn’t fond of. I thought this all was a symptom of lack of love for myself.

One of the few things that would make me feel good would be hiking. I would go into the woods by myself and just walk for hours. Afterwards I would have this upswing of energy that would sustain me for a while. Then learned about daily affirmations and I fell in love with them.

In his blog, Maximizing You Potential, Jack Canfield writes,” Daily affirmations are simple, positive statements declaring specific goals in their completed states.”

By repeating 10 or so positive statements about myself daily I was able to change my outlook on life. I felt better. Taking this time alone with myself to repeat these affirmations would remind me what I wanted and how I was going to get there.

Then I read Gary Chapman’s, The Five Love Languages. In the book he describes the five different ways that people tend to show love: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifting Giving, and Physical Touch. I took his online quiz to find mine: #1 Words of Affirmations, #2 Quality Time.

I realized, until then, I was never speaking to myself in the correct language. My love for affirmations explained why I felt great when I started speaking positively to myself. And my love for quality time explains why a hike alone worked wonders for me. So I committed to speak to myself in my two primary love languages.

So I continued to practice daily affirmations. Slowly I committed to giving myself more time off from work and additional time to be with myself. And as I did, I noticed improvements I didn’t expected.

1. Improved Energy and Sleep Cycle.


I was able to get through the day so much easier. Normally I would start to crash in the mid afternoon and not be able to recover. I would get home and stay up until 2am and wake up for work miserably tired. The more I practiced my love languages the more I was able to sleep better at night. This created energy that I use to fuel a series of adventures that I had neglected over the years. My excuse was always, I am too tired. By speaking to myself with affirmations and quality time I was able to remove that excuse from my library and motivate me to go adventuring.

2. Improved Discipline


This energy has allowed me to be more productive. I had energy to start changing the  habits I was never overly fond of. I took the “fact” that I was undisciplined and lacked willpower and flipped it on its head. One habit at a time I started to change the narrative of my own life. I disciplined myself to practice affirmations, then to build in quality time, then to work out, then to eat better, then to adventure weekly. The more I committed to changing for the better, the easier altering each subsequent habit. This productivity and discipline has allowed me to experience progress in many of my goals.

3. Improved Confidence.


Confidence is important. I believe that you are never truly more yourself than when you are confident. My confidence is directly related to my self worth. People who are truly confident have such an unwavering belief in their system. It’s inspiring. By practicing my love languages I began to feel a shift toward this. I smiled more, became naturally more extroverted, and it became even easier to try new adventures. By having faith in who I am, The Resistance has gotten weaker. I smile more, my head is high and my shoulders are back. I am more open with people and myself than ever before.

4. Improved Happiness.


I am happier. I was always relatively happy before, but since I started treating myself correctly the average day is better. The happiness informs my responses to the situations around me. I react more positively which keeps my mind more open to out of the box solutions. I am able to bring life to my life simply because the happiness is internal. It is completely self created and self earned. So I believe it is here to stay.

Few things feel better than being loved. No one wants to suffer on their adventure. Everyone wants to be happy: before, during and after. By practicing my primary love languages on myself I have brought more happiness to my adventures. So I challenge you to find out which love languages you prefer and practice them on yourself. If you need references on how to love yourself in your own language look to these posts:

By practicing my love languages I have started on a new adventure. The adventure to love myself. Which might just be the most important adventure of them all.

So what are your primary love languages? In what ways can you improve the how you love yourself in the future? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below and if you like what you are reading I encourage you to follow me. I’ve decided to switch to a once a week post schedule and next post will be on Monday 5/28. I have decided that I want to be consistent and with my other career, scaling back will allow me to be reliable. So thank you for your time! Go love yourself and find an adventure today!

More soon.

John Latona Jr., The Boy with the Bear.

An Introduction To The Resistance And The Basic Ways To Best It.

Today we talk about the dark side of the force. Whether you call it Fear, The Lizard Brain or The Resistance it has one goal, to keep you from doing anything new. In the past I have discussed all the positive ways I have lived my life adventuring every day. However, today we talk a bit about all the fear and doubts that precede the goals.
For years I grappled with the resistance without even knowing what it was. Anytime I went to try something new I was assaulted by an anxiety that I could not control. Regardless of if I was traveling, going to a job interview, starting a new job, joining a new hobby group, he was there. He was like my shadow, always attached to me, and the closer I got to any light the darker he would get.
Currently, he is still here. He never does truly go away. However, with a lot of practice I have learned how to tame him more frequently. With the help of Steven Pressfield I was able to give a name to the enemy and analyze his form. So I’m going to talk about what The Resistance is and what the most basic thing you need to do to combat it.

What is the Resistance?

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.  Resistance is experienced as fear…” Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.
The Resistance is the fear that you experience when you think about writing your book. The Resistance is the urge to eat the cake when you are cutting sugar. The resistance is the mental exhaustion you feel before you go for a run. The Resistance is invisible, insidious, internal and infallible. He hates change. He wants to keep you on the couch, keep you filing papers, keep you comfortable, yet miserable. He is the voice in your head telling you to ignore the call to action.
He is the under-evolved lizard-brain. It’s primitive programming that still sees conformity as the safest tribal response to social stimuli. It says it is easier to agree than to fight the status quo. It is the complacency that gyms rely on when they oversell memberships knowing 80% of the people who sign up won’t come.
The Resistance is the enemy of any adventure you want to experience, because it fears the unknown. Its primary objective is to keep you exactly where it is comfortable, even if it’s not what’s best for you.

How to fight it?

Start- I find that The Resistance is strongest before you start. Taking the first steps tends to be the hardest part. But once you do each step gets slightly and slightly easier. I recently performed at an open mic. It was the first time I have ever done something like this before and I was resisting, intensely. I was tapping my leg on the ground and breathing deeply. All the while, my heart was pounding. Then I got up there.
You know what? As soon as I started it got easier. I was able to read without a hitch. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the right step. To Start.
Continue- Things are going to get tough. In the middle of the adventure there is going to come a point where the momentum dies and the temptation to drift will happen. This is especially common for people with a lot of ideas. I recently came up with an idea that I love for a podcast. I love podcasts and have been looking for an exciting topic that I can become passionate about.
This is just a distraction trying to prevent me from focusing on the goals I have set. The Resistance can even manifest itself in the image of something positive. The goal here, refocus yourself and continue;.
Finish-  I recently experienced a pull to quit when trying to run 9 miles for the first time. When I ran 8 miles the week before I did not have any problems. But for some reason this one was different. I got halfway and all of a sudden the various shadows came into the back of my mind. All of them trying to get me to stop. I could not focus and the whole time my mind was screaming to give in.
Needless to say I finished. When doubt fills you telling you that you can’t finish. Prove him wrong and do just that. Shipping will make the next time you meet The Resistance that much easier to combat and honestly, the sense of achievement alone is worth it.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The Resistance is the enemy. He feeds into your own fears trying to prevent you from achieving your new goals. You can combat him by Starting, Continuing and Finishing. By practicing these you are on your way to defeating him. There is still so much to talk on the topic of The Resistance and it is probably my favorite topic in all of Personal Development. Next week I will go a little deeper into to how to overcome The Resistance. But until then:
In what ways have your felt The Resistance? Have you defeated him before? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below and if you like what you are reading I encourage you to follow me. I will be posting 2-3 times a weeks and next post will be on  Monday 5/21. So thank you for your time! Go live your Day to Day Adventure.
More soon.
John Latona Jr., The Boy with the Bear.

3 Suggestions to Finding Day to Day Adventure

People do not like to be bored. Yet far too often we spend our free time doing the same things we always do. Recently I spent an entire day by myself. My phone was off, I packed lunch and some snacks and drove out to a reservoir at a nearby park. There I sat by a fountain, constantly getting hit by the spray I just sat there writing. It was great. I felt refreshed and clean by the end of the day.

Finding time like this is difficult. I am a freelancer. Admittedly, I have more flexibility than the average person. However, I am never at a lack for important things to fill my calendar. Work demands, family responsibilities, bills and  errands pepper my calendar always. Despite that, I’m here to suggest three actions you can take today that are highly effective at increasing the time I have available for the things that provide relief from boredom and allow me to fill my life with day-to-day adventures. They are:

1. Ride the Wave of Motivation:

A few weeks back I was discussing with my friend that I wanted to take a topography and map reading course. I am notoriously bad at navigating and I am tired of getting lost on trails. I got home that day and sat on my computer and remembered that conversation. So I found myself on checking their schedule of courses.I signed up on the spot.

Had I not done that the odds of me signing up would have dropped significantly. If you want to try new things you need to ride the wave of motivation as they come. Because the new does not like to come to fruition. Your lizard brain wants to keep you on the couch or at your computer doing nothing out of the ordinary. It wants your to be comfortable.

Use the motivation when it come and act on it and make sure you:

2. Schedule it:

Put it on your calendar. It is proven that you are more likely to do something that is on your calendar. By keeping things open-ended you give the universe thousands of opportunities to get in the way. By scheduling it you have created a commitment to yourself, to a teachers or class, to your wallet (if the event costs), or perhaps to friends or colleagues. You have incentive to follow through.

Scheduling it creates accountability and allows you to say, “Sorry I have a commitment,” if something tries to take that time slot. Of all of the habits I am proud to have fostered, this one is the most effective for my productivity. By scheduling almost everything I have been able to hold myself accountable in a way that I never have before and those grand workout plans and classes that I have always wanted to take actually find their way into my life.

This is all because I have been able to:

3. Prioritize them:

You get home from work. You make dinner and you eat. Then you sit down at the computer or television and watch hours of YouTube videos and baking shows. I recently asked my father why he does not draw anymore. His answer? I don’t have time. Shenanigans. I told him to find time. He scoffed at me asking, “Where am I supposed to find time?”

What I was too afraid to say was, “How about during the 4 hours of TV you watch every night after work?”

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. What do you want to spend your time doing? You can spend four hours watching TV. That is fine, but do not complain that you do not have time to write or draw or run or garden. You do, you just chose to do something else instead. What your prioritize is your own choice. I respect whatever priorities you have selected.

I challenge you to take some of that time you spend on TV or searching the internet and read or write or go for a walk. You may discover that you like the way you feel more when you get your mind and body moving. Or sign up for that course you’ve always been interested in and put it in your calendar. It may provide the inspiration you need to get your life moving toward the adventure you crave.

So do you practice any of these three actions already? Or better yet, do you have one I didn’t mention? Let’s compare.

More soon.

John Latona Jr., The Boy with the Bear