Book Stores Vs. Amazon

There is no doubt that Amazon is a powerhouse, bringing an end to many businesses.

Is there any other industry that has been as affected as book stores?

Today, I was in Waterstones and I bought 3 books.

  1. Them by Jon Ronson
  2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  3. The man who couldn’t stop by David Adam.

I love being able to walk around a book store, even if my social anxiety is kicking in and I feel self-conscious when viewing the self-help aisle (‘Will people think I’m a loser?’).

Each book cost me the following (as per the above order):

  1. £9.99
  2. £8.99
  3. £8.99 (Total of £27.97)

Considering the work that goes into a book, you could quickly spend £28 on something less useful. However, I did check Amazon after and realised the prices were as follows:

  1. £4.99
  2. £6.29
  3. £7.48 (Total of £18.76)

Based on these 3 books alone, I could have saved £9.21 by shopping online. That’s pretty shocking, huh? If I had have bought them on the Kindle, I would have saved even more but I adore a real book, usually for the cover and the feeling of paper between my hands. Mmmmmm, paper. I do have over 500 books on my Kindle, mind you, so it certainly saves some physical space (though that one-click thingy eats my wallet like a fat kid with cake).

Over the years, a lot of book stores in Norwich (where I live) have closed down. But why would anyone choose to pay extra? Is it taking the piss to go to a book store and jot down all the books you are interested by and then purchase them from Amazon? Is it ethical to support huge corporations that don’t pay their taxes?

Waterstones must fucking hate Amazon.

I suppose it’s good to know how much you will save online. If it’s more than a couple of quid per book, maybe it’s best to buy in bulk from Amazon. That way you get much more for your buck.

It’s also helpful to see reviews while browsing. Before picking up ‘The man who couldn’t stop’, I had picked up a book on Serial Killers … it sounded quite interesting. However, when in Costa afterwards, I saw most people reviewed the book 1-star, saying the author spent far too much time boasting about his talents and other works, so I took it back.

For someone trying to save money and be more minimalist, I don’t go and spunk all my money on heaps of clothes and whatever else, so I guess spending a bit more money on books to support local stores isn’t a problem. For fellow book worms, imagine a World with no book stores … That would suck.

Thanks for reading.

~ Stefan

 

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Turn NEGATIVE Energy Into POSITIVE Action! (With Video)

Hello again.

Coming at you with another video today, in which I discuss negative emotions (such as Anger and Frustration) and suggest ways of making them positive.

As always, thank you for your participation in this Blog and my YouTube channel.

Have a great day,

~ Stefan

The Bullet Journal

Hi Readers,

I just wanted to write briefly, to advise of a new video I have uploaded. If you are like me and can easily forget upcoming plans – or need a bit of structure in order to feel organised – you will benefit greatly from the idea of ‘The Bullet Journal’.

Basically, it is a quick reference diary where you can find plans at a glance. You can use the diary for songwriting, poetry, drawing – ANYTHING.

Watch the video for some ideas.

~ Stefan

Feeling Angry.

Anger is one of the worst emotions out there … Or is it?

There is a powerful energy in Anger. When I have felt deeply angry – when I have put up with too much for too long and have kept everything inside – the anger screams as it is finally released.

In those moments, I could lift the Big Show… Maybe not, because he’s 500 pounds, but Pure Anger is fucking explosive. It’s like a Volcano going off.

And I have a problem with Anger.

Because I’m a nice guy, and that isn’t really a value in this dog-eat-dog World. I try to be nice to people, but some people just don’t deserve it and some people are just assholes. It is exhausting to keep acting easy-going and nice when things piss you off and leave you emotionally drained. The amount of times I fake-laugh when I’m miserable inside… That shit has to stop. It takes so much energy to keep up an act like that.

It’s no secret that the World is a mad place. Working most of our lives IS stressful and trying to follow your dreams IS difficult, especially when there are Millions of people competing for the same things.

I get incredibly frustrated on a weekly basis. It is hard when you visualise the life you want (and deserve) but are so far from that picture.

I get very annoyed when I see some of the dicks making it Big on YouTube. For example, someone like KSI (with 15 Million Subscribers) just annoys me. Yet, he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t have to prostitute his soul for money. He can do whatever the fuck he wants. And while I am not very fond on the guy (and many others on YouTube), I massively envy that freedom. Imagine waking up and not having to drag yourself somewhere you hate… What a fucking nice idea that is.

Going back to the topic of Anger though – it is a tool to be utilized. Sure, it’s probably a reminder that your life is a mess and you may not know how to change things. It is there for a reason. But while it is there, use it wisely.

I was listening to a podcast earlier, and this guy was saying that using Anger to be a miserable dick, who shouts at people and creates hostility, is like wanking into a tissue and throwing it in the bin.

Not the nicest of visuals, but he had a point. Anger = Power. You can use it to destroy, or you can use it of a force of positivity. I guess it’s the difference between Hitler and Gandhi. And maybe you don’t want to be either of them. But if you are repeatedly getting angry (or rageful), you need to do something – DO ANYTHING.

If a job is causing the anger, and it has happened before for you, maybe you’re in the completely wrong job for your personality.

If it’s being caused by a certain person, maybe they aren’t good for you.

If it’s a bit of everything, your life needs a serious make-over.

I got about 3 or 4 hours’ sleep last night. Today was a really shitty day. This week was a really shitty week. My general adulthood has been shitty, too. So it’s time to do something about it. Anger comes from a feeling of no control, so reclaim a hold of your life. You can choose a lot. And maybe all the options come with some big negatives. But choose the one that makes sense the most. Does doing nothing make fucking sense to you?

If you don’t have the answers, find someone who does. If you don’t know where to turn next, just do anything but stay still.

That anger can be a good thing if used well.

From another perspective, we are animals. Anger would be useful for our survival. I often want to punch people when I’m angry, but luckily I have more foresight than that. Getting into a fight is never the solution. But hey, it’s a natural reaction to those stress hormones. Sitting in an office, under high pressure, is going to create a hectic mindset. It is an abnormal situation. Combined with a lack of sleep and other subsequent problems (like arguing with a spouse because something else is making you into a total shit) and of course you’re going to want to let some of that shit out.

I’m still trying to find a way to deal with my own anger issues. Maybe this post will make you feel less alone. The take-away from this is to be inquisitive towards your emotions. Why are they there? What is their purpose? What are they reflecting about your life?

If you do not express yourself, which seems to be what our backwards society suggests (i.e. Don’t be sad), then it’ll come out one way or another. If you are arguing with the few people you actually care about, it’s time to get angry towards the fuckers who are bringing you down.

Peace out – Go do some cool shit.

How To Save More Money!

I have touched on Minimalism in the past, but it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life – a lesson worth learning.

Based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, my personality type – INFJ – is one of the least likely to be financially successful. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw yourself into a category and believe you are destined to only achieve so much, it’s probably quite accurate.

Those of us who make creativity a priority are unlikely to strive for much in the Corporate World of business and making money from our passions is not always easy, or possible, despite what all those self-help guru’s suggest. Many of us work just because. Many HSPs really struggle to hold down a job, always searching for the perfect fit.

I have certainly found working to be quite strenuous and uninspiring thus far in my life. Minimalism is excellent in this regard, because it helps you to take a step back and to question whether you really need something, and whether it will really add any value to your life.

Let’s face it – If you struggle to make money, and don’t enjoy doing what has to be done to make that money, then money is especially valuable to you and should only be spent on things that create joy and excitement.

Without wanting to repeat myself like a broken record, I used to spend most of my income on material items. I built up a large collection of DVDs, Blu-rays, Books & Video Games. I have come to learn (the hard way) that you cannot buy happiness. Happiness really is a feeling generated within. You may have noticed that on some days, playing a video game or watching a TV show make you feel really content and peaceful. You aren’t worrying about achieving loads of goals, and you don’t want to be anywhere else. These feelings may be rare, but they go to show us that things are not the answer.

In fact, things often just get in the way of our happiness and leave us feeling like we never have time to do anything important. If you have lots of subscriptions, like Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, WWE Network, Xbox Live – whatever, and you are also are a member of a gym … maybe it’s time to step back and ask yourself, ‘Do I need all of these outgoings? Am I getting value out of my spendings?’

So many people join a gym with enthusiasm and desire, going 4-5 times a week. Then life gets hectic and they struggle to make an appearance even once a week.

The richest people in the World can still feel very insecure and unhappy. While it’s nice to get away from a job you detest, extra money and extra stuff is unlikely to make you any happier … It’s like with food. When you have eaten and are no longer hungry, it loses it’s appeal. If you were a Millionaire, you would probably get very bored and only then would you realise a brand new car is not the answer …

I made a short YouTube video talking about this in more depth, so if you want some inspiration for saving your money (and using it more wisely), be sure to check that out here:

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read this Blog.

I will see you in the next one.

~ Stefan.

Treating Agoraphobia

Welcome back to the Blog!

Another common disorder, which is essentially just Anxiety expressing itself in another form, is Agoraphobia.

I have definitely suffered from this, and continue to. I am determined to reclaim my life and normality. In relation to this blog, I do believe that HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) are far more likely to struggle with different forms of anxiety.

Having done some research on Agoraphobia, I understand that the best treatment is exposure therapy combined with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). With this disorder, people fear the Outside World and often panic in unfamiliar surroundings, or in situations where anticipation can build (like standing around in a queue at the Supermarket). While it may appear to be situation-based, these fears are linked to the perception of the sufferer.

Someone may consider that 10+ miles away from home is uncomfortable, or else will perceive that big cities are the cause of their problems.

Of course, in reality, there is nothing to fear. The situations are not the real cause.

While there may be some genuine – yet small – risks in leaving our homes, we cannot possible live the rest of our lives governed by this phobia. Of course, there is a slight chance you could die while driving to work. Maybe someone is going to decide to steal from you. Hell, if you watch the news for long enough, it can make you paranoid that the chances are even likely that someone will try to kill you – for no apparent reason.

The biggest issue with Agoraphobia is overthinking and procrastinating. Once someone has developed the fear, they will continue to dread leaving their home (or ‘safe-zone’). The chances of overcoming this problem while feeding the anxiety (i.e. by listening to it and avoiding situations) are close to zero.

Of course, there is always hope with these mental distortions. Once you become aware that your mind is creating these false fears, you can choose not to listen to the negative thoughts. The biggest fear is in not being able to escape a situation. But, once again, there is nothing to escape from. You are the problem.

I say this from a place of understanding and empathy – not judgement.

This is a big challenge for me, although I know some people struggle far more intensely than myself. What I can tell you, from experience, is that it will get worse if you don’t take action. If you continue to avoid situations that make you uncomfortable, your life will hardly be worth existing for. Life is outside, not in our houses (which are really just a few walls placed together). You really need to accept that this fear is an internal issue, created by thoughts and feelings.

Come with me, and dare to venture into the unknown. Know that the fear you experience is not grounded in reality. Other people, who are in the same environments, are able to carry on as usual. I strongly believe that we can recover, and our brains (more specifically, our amygdala’s) will adapt once we stop feeding ourselves lies about how terrifying everything is.

I made a video talking about my struggles with Agoraphobia, so be sure to check that out below. I make videos about mental health, healthy living and Veganism. I also throw in the occasional music video. If you’d like to see more, be sure to subscribe.

For now, I wish you well in your recovery from this very lonely and isolated experience.

We can do this.

~ Stefan.