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And here's what most of us don't see and understand - it's all just a mirage. It's not real. The people you're watching who appear to have these flawless lives are painting a picture of what they WANT you to see - not what's 100% accurate and true about themselves. Athletes, musicians, celebrities, and CEO's are normal people and they all hire public relations personnel and "image consultants" to help them have and maintain a favorable APPEARANCE to the public eye. You're wasting your time watching others and comparing your life to theirs. You're not missing out on as much as you think you are and you're not as unfortunate as you seem to be. As Grant Cardone says, you should be on the field and not in the stands. People should be reading YOUR books instead of you collecting all of theirs. People should be watching your videos and subscribing to your channel instead of you watching their videos and following them. Use the hours you're spending watching other people on TV and on social media to invest in yourself. To invest in accomplishing the goals and hitting the targets that make you who you want to be. In the winter of 1981, I continued to experience the benefits from psychotherapy and felt better each and every day. Family and friends noticed my improved mood and reenergized outlook on life. When I returned in the spring semester from my medical leave of absence, I picked up where I left off in college before the depression hit--finding my stride again as a passionate student. But despite all these gains, I kept secret the worry that my depressive thoughts and suicidal thinking could return. Have a Conversation: You can try to reflect on these topics with a trusted other. A trusted other can help catch when you fall into the "I suck, life sucks" script and reorient you back to a more hopeful perspective. Does anyone who can do this come to mind? What conversation topics would you like to generate with him or her? Focus on giving.

Think about your partner every single day. Don't think about what your partner has done for you, but what you can do for your partner. An oil change? A hot meal on the table? A compliment? It doesn't have to be big, but it does have to be sincere. When you come from a place where you're giving, you're full of love, gratitude and joy about the person you're with--which is what will exponentially increase the romance, the love, the appreciation and passion in your relationship. It will allow you to turn on your secret auto-magnetism without even realizing it! Being able to decode body language is a powerful relationship tool. It can allow you to bypass potential arguments, shift your energy (so you can come from a place of love, not complaints) and demonstrate compassion to him--sometimes, without saying a thing. When you can read your partner's body language, you can easily tap into what they need from you, and how you can best give it to them. For example, if your partner crosses their arms when upset, then you can adjust your behaviour to fit their needs or desires. If your partner smiles every time they asks you if its ok if they stays out late with their friends tomorrow night for happy hour, then you know it's something they're really excited about-- which can clue you into their feelings. You can then adjust your expectations, and be in a position to understand what they want (something that he will be very appreciate about.) You have more power than you realize to make your partner happy and bring forth a whole level of attraction to the forefront--so why not tap into your partner's body language, in order to enhance the passion, love and happiness you two feel when together? Pay attention to their body language, and focus on their happiness. When you do, they'll be eager to return the favour. Have you ever noticed how affectionate couples become after a night of really passionate sex? Sex is responsible for activating oxytocin, otherwise known as the `cuddle hormone'--and while men may have the reputation for having sex on the brain more than females, the act of sex is equally important for both sexes. Think of sex as the ultimate physical expression of your love, devotion and connection to your partner. You may think, "I already know that," but what you may not know is how fundamentally important it is to know how to give your partner what they want, in the way that they want and need it.

Everyone has a different sexual style. Yours may be more passionate than your partners, or you might like a more experimental angle than your partner does. Try thinking about their sexual needs. Do they go crazy when you tease a little bit before letting them touch you? Do they enjoy the build-up, or being taken ravenously right away? When you focus on how sex makes them feel, then you can give them a pleasure they've never experienced before. Take your time. Tease, play and seduce your partner by hitting their erogenous zones (those pleasurable, extra sensitive spots on their body), working your angle from head to toe. Reflect Following Another Positive Experience: You could wait until you are already having an experience of LP or HP. Once LP or HP is activated, it will be easier to orient to more hopeful and appreciative topics. Consider taking time for this reflection after a good day at work, after a workout, or while listening to music that uplifts you. Identify any strategic times when you might schedule this in for yourself. Look at How You Approach Gratitude: It took me a long time to realize I was attempting to cultivate gratitude in an unhelpful way. I would focus on all the great things that I had in my life, yes, but I would conflate that with all that I could lose or what could go wrong. I was doing a very anxious version of gratitude: "I'm grateful that I can see, I can hear, I can use my legs, I have my mental faculties, my husband is alive, my parents aren't sick," and so on. The other side of that was anxiety over the images of loss that came to mind: what it would be like if I were blind, lost my ability to hear, were in a car accident and couldn't walk or think straight, or lost my husband or parents. Then one day I was driving for several hours, listening to old CD mixes that brought back memories of adolescence and college. I started naturally reflecting on how happy the eighth-grade me would feel if she knew that I'd end up where I am today, enjoying my job and married to someone who makes me crack up and feel cared for. That's when it hit me that I had been doing gratitude wrong! Consider your own memories as you cultivate gratitude.

What parts of your life would an earlier version of yourself be excited to see? You can tap into that mindset by looking at old photos, rereading letters and cards, or creating a music playlist that takes you back. We are social creatures who, by and large, want to belong in society. This is a basic human drive because, evolutionarily speaking, being part of a community helps to keep us alive. We want our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to be validated by others. We benefit from the experience of human touch, including holding hands. And we are prone to feeling overwhelmed with feelings of shame or guilt when we believe we have transgressed and might be at risk of being ex-communicated from our close ties. In other words, this is the evolutionary foundation of "OMG! Is he mad at me?" So as you consider ways to build social bonds, keep in mind that not just any old social interaction will do. You want interactions that support your well-being. It didn't help that some of my life experiences, at that time, pressed on these worries. As an undergraduate student, one of my English courses required us to read The Bell Jar and a collection of poems by Sylvia Plath.1 The long-suffering melancholy and the tactile feel of her words equally soothed and seared me. However, when I learned of Plath's suicide at age thirty, I felt such sorrow. It was as if the tragedy of her life seeped deep within me, and added to my already staggering sadness. In another class, a photography course, we covered the work of photographer Diane Arbus.2 Up until then, I didn't know who Arbus was, nor did I know about the noto-riety she garnered for her art. I was drawn to the starkness of her photos, which were penetrating, alluringly dark, and yet simple in content. I never captured anything as moving or complex in my own photos and remained in awe of her talent. As the class progressed, I learned more about her life. My memory still stores the moment my professor told the story of her suicide. I can summon the vision of what I was wearing that day, where I was in class at that moment, and how the vapors of the photo-developing chemicals knotted in my throat as a wave of panic surged.

Learning about her suicide left me unsettled. So much so, that I never went back to the studio and eventually dropped the photography class. After those curriculum upsets, I became more vigilant about what courses I took in college. My depressive tendencies left me fragile, so whenever I could, I chose classes that had an upbeat tone. Though I became more directive in what experiences shaped my life, I couldn't control everything. In 1983, at the age of twenty-one, my childhood friend Lauri committed suicide by jumping from a church balcony. A very dear friend who was wild and adventurous, Lauri spent many months living with me and my family in the early 1980s as she sorted out a tension-filled relationship with her mother. During her stay, I didn't notice any depressive symptoms or suicidal intentions. Nor did my family. But they were there. We just didn't know how to see them. Her death devastated me and set me back significantly in my recuperation. My recovery took one more hit when I was told that another childhood friend, Heidi, died by suicide. She and I were friends from elementary school and shared seats as clarinet players through elementary, junior high, and high school. She was a smart, quiet girl, who often got me in trouble for making me laugh out loud during band practice. I have this one outstanding memory of playing at her house as a young girl, listening to a forty-five record of the 1970 song "Spirit in the Sky" over and over and over again. We must've pushed the auto return button on the record player a dozen times that day. It was one of the coolest songs out at that time--and we couldn't get enough of the guitar riff. Now, whenever I hear that song, I think of her. I can't help but register the foreboding lyrics--and the disparity of how carefree we sang them aloud back then.