Real Life, Real Living
Today, Blake Layman, Jose Quiroz, Anthony Sharp, and Levi Sparks, four teenagers from Elkhart, IN, are sitting in the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, the result of an impulsive decision to rob some empty houses and get some “quick money” that went horribly wrong. Not sitting in the jail with them is Danzele Johnson, who died after a homeowner shot him.
Let’s say you start out as a struggling young person in search of a better life. You apply yourself in school and cram your schedule full of extracurricular activities so your resume will appear picture perfect. Between volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly and that flawless grade point average, you are able to set yourself apart from your peers. You always behave with decorum and take on any extra work you can to save for your education. You apply for every scrap of financial aid available and manage to cobble together enough scholarships and grants to get yourself through four years at a state college or university. You do everything the so-called “right” way, within your limited means.
Since I can remember, I have been fascinated with all things Old World. That interest extends not just to pre-Columbian Europe, but to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans – when everything was magic and superstition, when the world and its boundaries were as unfathomable as the seas.
In this 2-part series, we’ll dig deeper into the reasons for being the individuals we are, explore why we aren’t always ourselves and identify some practical steps that we can take to start living more authentically. We’ll get some help from philosopher Martin Heidegger’s book, Being and Time, as he offers useful insights that can help us think through how to be the best version of ourselves.
As mentioned at the end of Part 1, there’s no precise formula or roadmap to authenticity. There are no easy steps, either. However, there are some things we can keep in mind to help us stay on the right path – our own paths.
With mass information and networking at your fingertips, it’s easy to tune out of the real world and become absorbed in liking, sharing, commenting and tweeting online. But did you know that social media can be bad for your social life?
We all have negative thoughts– for some of us, they cause tremendous anxiety or depression, while for others, they simply get us into trouble now and then. But we can limit their effects on our lives.
I’m working to correct my thinking so I can live a better life, and in this article series, I’ll provide you with information that will empower you to do the same.
In Part 1 of this series, you learned about 10 common cognitive distortions that skew our perspectives on ourselves, others and situations we find ourselves in. In order to develop a healthy self-concept, build strong relationships and make good choices, you can take the following steps to combat the impact these distortions have on your life.