Know yourself. For instance, I'm currently in a great writing flow. I don't feel the need to leave my city. I have a set routine every day, and it works very well for me. I feel happy, and I enjoy my life a lot. When I go away for even a weekend, my whole routine can be messed up. And then I need another two weeks to get back to my old' self. <a href=''>However,</a> I don't always have this mindset. <a href=''>Right</a> now, I'm working on this book, opening a new office, and buying a new apartment. <a href=''>I'm</a> focused on a few important things. <a href=''>But</a> other times, I'm more flexible and actually do like to travel, visit friends, business partners, and live a looser lifestyle. <a href=''>That's</a> why I now take more time to make decisions. <a href=''>Instead</a> of following my first thought, I say, "Please give me a day or two to think about it." That's all you need. <a href=''>When</a> you first try to make a pot on a wheel, the clay does not obey your fingers. <a href=''>You</a> end up with a wet, muddy mess. <a href=''>With</a> practice, though, you become adept at handling clay in relation to the spin of the wheel and can create functional and beautiful things. <a href=''>One</a> analogy for the therapy process that you might've heard is that it's like peeling an onion. <a href=''>There</a> are layers upon layers of potential realizations, and each one of them can lead to a new level of awareness. <a href=''>This</a> explanation may sound as if the psychology profession simply wants to keep itself in business. <a href=''>But</a> that's not the case. <br /><br /><a href=''>When</a> you begin a journey of discovery, you're not sure how many layers lie within. <a href=''>It's</a> the same with the matryoshka doll metaphor we discussed earlier--many dolls are enclosed within one doll, and it can be a surprise to learn how many are encased. <a href=''>You're</a> doing that now. <a href=''>You're</a> discovering the fulfillment of creating who you are, how you want to grow, and what needs to be challenged to work through your depression. <a href=''>For</a> all their differences, internalizers and externalizers have this in common: Both of them identify someone or something that they perceive to be responsible for the outcomes in their lives. <a href=''>Whether</a> "it's always me," or "it's never me," both of them have a deep-seated belief that there is a reason and a direct cause for everything that happens. <a href=''>But</a> there is a third category of people who we haven't talked about yet; call them "chance" people. <a href=''>In</a> these people's perceptual set, every result or outcome is due to fate, accident, or just plain luck. <a href=''>For</a> them, the expression "s_____ happens" isn't an amusing bumper sticker; it's a creed, a philosophy of life. <a href=''>Chance</a> people do not believe that they nor anyone else have any input or control over the results of their lives. <a href=''>They've</a> got no idea why things happen the way they do. <a href=''>Accidents</a> happen randomly. <a href=''>We</a> are blessed randomly. <a href=''>A</a> good example of a chance person is a slot-machine gambler in Las Vegas. <a href=''>Other</a> than inserting a coin and pulling the lever, this person has absolutely no control over the outcome, which is entirely dependent upon the machine. <a href=''>People</a> are not always as they seem. <a href=''>Things</a> are not always as they seem. <a href=''>We</a> are often very quick to make judgements about others based on superficial terms and with very little awareness. <a href=''>We</a> can group people together, dismiss and judge others, even those of us who consider ourselves to be generally kind and generous people. <a href=''>When</a> we label or judge people we simplify them, denying them their unique individuality, often even a chance. <br /><br /><a href=''>When</a> we limit our friendships to those of a similar age orkind' as ourselves, we close our hearts to so many possibilities and so much magic along the way. We miss life-changing opportunities for connection, learning, love and friendship. Meaningful bonds nourish us. When we connect meaningfully with each other we blossom, often in ways we could never even imagine or expect. Anais Nin wrote that each friend is a new world to discover, a new self. How magical this idea is to explore. Indeed, the more we open ourselves to joy and to learning, the more joyous and expansive we will feel. Some of us have been hurt and feel our hearts hardened to making new connections. Others are too busy and blind to others with whom we share our worlds. But then - a moment, a word, a touch, a tear, or some other event makes us feel our inner sparkles flickering within. Our hearts are reawakened to our true interconnectedness, and to the tenderness and perfect timing of grace. If you believe you can do something, then that certainty helps to reduce, if not eliminate, overwhelming forms of stress. (Of course, not all stress is bad, and a certain degree of stress can be helpful). The more that unfavorable situations and negative feelings overcome and overwhelm you, the more you need to keep your positive goals in mind. Adversity will pass. Be positive and determined, and your inner strength and creativity will shine through and embolden you. Expectations can create a power like you've never known before. You simply have to believe that you can accomplish the positive outcomes for which you are striving. Remember: adversity makes your goals more meaningful. Hardship provides lessons that strengthen your character, and difficulties are obstacles that can educate you.

Choose worthy goals, and never give up or give in as you pursue them. Once I changed my perspective on life, I started straining my brain every single day. I started reading two hours a day and taking extensive notes of the things I learned. I also started writing articles to share the ideas I learned. In the beginning, I felt like a new world opened up to me. I couldn't get enough of learning more. I bought new books every week and devoured every piece of new knowledge I could get my hands on. At some point, you hit a big wall. That's the mental breakdown. It's also a point at which you want to give up whatever you're trying to achieve: Writing a book, starting a business, changing your career or leading a group of people. When you hit a wall, everything stops. The book all of a sudden seems useless, the business seems to fail, the career you want seems unreachable, and the people have stopped taking you seriously. All is lost. Before we invented language, we communicated and thought in images. But for many centuries, words have been our primary way to communicate. And that's why we also think in words. When I think, I talk to myself. And when I take notes, I also talk to myself. One of the reasons I use the term "moving toward," rather than "moving forward" or even "moving to," is to highlight the idea that risk and change are ongoing processes. You can choose at any time to stop.

Yet each risk will bring with it a renewed sense of freedom and can invite you to consider another change, and another, and another. It's exciting. It can be scary. And it feels very alive. Perfectionism itself can be found in many forms of anxiety, various eating disorders, and body image and self-esteem issues. But there are four psychiatric disorders that share several traits with perfectly hidden depression, other than depression itself. It's important that you don't minimize or discount these other psychiatric issues. Their presence could be essential to recognize and treat. Perfectly hidden depression, as I've stressed several times, isn't a diagnosis--it's a syndrome. Thus, mistakenly labeling these other psychiatric issues as solely "perfectly hidden depression" or underestimating their importance could hinder your growth and stability. People who measure high in the chance factor may believe in God, but not as one who makes things happen on a day-to-day basis. They certainly don't believe that they are part of a larger, purposeful plan. Things just happen and there is nothing we can do about them. Consider, for example, their attitude toward death: In their view, death is a random, wholly unknowable event that will not change schedule, regardless of how much you take care of yourself, how smart your doctors may be, where you live, or any of the hundreds of other things that could possibly affect your health. When your number's up, your card gets punched. There's no point in trying to influence or even change when and how you die. It just happens. Let's look more closely for a moment at this issue of physical health, since it opens up for us a useful way of understanding more about the relevance of locus of control. Simply put, the question is this: Do you attribute the condition of your health to hard work (exercise, eating right), good doctors, or luck? When it comes to our wellbeing, loneliness is one of the most damaging states.