At first glance over the many stories you hear all over the world about young people overdosing on drugs, it’s easy to scratch your head and wonder how these youngsters can be so stupid to take hard drugs and risk their lives. I am personally amazed at the recklessness many teenagers and young adults exhibit when it comes to “partying” or simply hanging out with their friends. These youngsters who fall into drug abuse all have one thing in common; they make the wrong choice when they are faced with someone offering them drugs.
Yesterday, my twenty-one year old nephew was found dead in his car in front of some nearby apartments by his father who had been looking for him all night after he didn’t come home. What did he die of?
A heroin overdose.
What? I’m having trouble coming to grips with what I just heard.
We’re talking about an only child who had everything; the love and family structure, the parental bonding, excellent morals and values. This kid never wanted for anything! He was not a spoiled brat, either. He was an affectionate, loving, and warm kid who excelled in his studies. He did everything that was asked and expected of him and was very humble and appreciative. This young man was the center of his parent’s world.
How Did It Happen?
I’m glad you asked.
There were warning signs. Just a few months earlier, this youngster had attended court-ordered rehab for heroin addiction after being arrested for heroin possession. It had been happening under his parent’s noses. He would stay at a friend’s house and say he was coming home the following day. The parents were okay with that, not knowing about his late-night heroin addiction. After all, he wasn’t a kid anymore and if he at least called to tell them where he was, it was acceptable. On a handful of occasions over the past year, the parents simply thought he had too much to drink when he was dropped off at 2 in the morning by a friend at their house. They mistakenly addressed his problem as drinking and sought help for alcohol abuse before they found out about the heroin problem after the arrest. Of course, they suspected he was doing something other than just drinking but he always vehemently denied it. Until he got arrested.
Keep this in mind; we are not talking about neglectful parents here. We are talking about two responsible parents who made this child the center of their universe until the day he died. These are model parents who don’t have a drug history and rarely even drink alcohol.
After looking deeper into the story, a familiar story surfaced. This young man began partying and trying to fit in socially during his late teens and when he turned eighteen, it was as if he were free from all of his adolescent responsibilities. It was his moment to shine, to make all decisions for himself, and to use his own judgment while learning from his mistakes. After all, he was going to be a college freshman, ready to face the world on his own so he could find himself through his own life experiences. It was a new beginning; so long childhood, welcome real world!
However, his teenage habits followed him like an unforgiving shadow. He was having trouble adjusting socially. He was retreating to his room and making his adjustments right there; through a syringe.
He had started taking heroin a year and a half earlier when he was at a party with strangers in his sophomore year at college. His best friend, also a heroin addict, got him to take the plunge. It was easy for him to try something new. He liked to escape reality and he liked his friends. They made him feel like he was part of “the clan”. The trouble was that most of his friends either smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine,or took their parent’s medications without their knowledge. To all of them, it was the “cool” thing to do. He thought, “Hey, everyone at this age experiments with drugs and alcohol, don’t they? This is normal.” He chose heroin.
Funny thing is; most of his friends were scared of heroin. They had heard how easy it was to get addicted and die of a heroin overdose. Why didn’t he feel this way? He could have easily gone on the Internet to see the disproportionate number of people who die from heroin versus virtually any other drug out there. Maybe that would have prevented him from getting in so deep.
Beware – For Yourself and Your Children’s Sake
If anything, I hope this true-life story wakes you up when it comes to the dangers of how easy it is to become addicted to drugs, specifically heroin and cocaine. Don’t ever think for one second this can’t happen to you or a loved one. The words, “I’ll try it just once,” can be the beginning of the end.
You can be the best parent in the world and still have a kid who becomes addicted to some type of drug to the point where their life is usually and instantly ruined forever. However, you can definitely put yourself in the best possible position to help your child avoid falling into the drug trap. You can do this by talking openly about it, by being a good role model, and by reminding them of peer pressure and how one person can ruin their lives if they let it happen.
The biggest key on how to prevent your child from taking drugs is to prepare them for “the moment of truth”.
“What is that?” you may ask.
The moment of truth happens to almost every single child on this planet. It’s the moment when your child is offered any type of drug by another person and how prepared they are to say “no” when it happens.
How prepared is your child?
If you have been wondering if it’s possible to learn how to get better at singing by doing it yourself, you may be surprised to know it’s entirely possible with the right tool.
First, you should understand that some people are born with a certain gift in their pipes and are able to amaze an audience while some are just….well…o.k. when they attempt to sing. Haven’t you noticed how difficult it is to find a truly amazing singer when you go out to clubs, pubs, or restaurants while average singers who can carry a tune are virtually everywhere?
Everyone on this planet was not blessed with a singing voice but just about anyone can vastly improve their voice if they practice at it the right way. In other words, you shouldn’t expect to sound as good as Marvin Gaye or Mariah Carey if you don’t have a voice that good but you can probably sing well enough to pursue your passion of singing professionally if you put forth the effort.
You can get a better singing voice on your own by simply searching the Internet for free vocal lessons. There are many excellent articles to read and sound examples to listen to so you can quickly get on the right track. However, these bits of information can only get you so far!
While the absolute best way to learn how to sing is through a private teacher, it’s easy to fall into the trap of paying for an instructor who is not really qualified or one who is not effective for you. Great vocal instructors are hard to find but they are out there so if you go this route, make sure you conduct a lot of your own research and don’t be afraid to ask around or get some references and/or success stories from your targeted voice coach.
The next best thing and the most convenient and effective method of learning how to sing is to use a proven online course such as the two most popular4 ones; “Superior Singing Method and “Singorama”.
With these methods, you can easily and quite possible improve your singing voice drastically while working at your own pace in a step by step manner. These programs are great if you don’t know how to sing at all and want to learn how, or if you want to develop a broader range and make your vocals stronger, clearer, and to have more control. There are so many positives when it comes to these methods but at the same time, it takes dedication and consistency to get results with them.
So, is it possible to get better at singing even if you can’t sing? Absolutely, but everyone’s talent is different. You may be a person who will never be able to carry a tune at all. Or you may be someone who can drastically improve your chops with a little practice. Or you may be that one specially talented and rare singer who just needs a little practice and some understanding of how to care for and practice with your voice. Regardless of your situation, it’s worth taking a look at these digital vocal teaching products if you are not ready to plunk down a lot of money for private lessons.
Heartaches are a part of everyone’s lives. We all lose loved ones at some point in our lives, we all get frustrated with certain issues, and we all have our fears. Through it all, we know we have to face the world, make the best of it, and continue our lives in a forward direction no matter what! Living a fulfilling life takes a little work on our part. It doesn’t just come naturally.
At the same time, it is easy to get sidetracked in our journey to becoming happy again as we continually face stressors and other factors in our lives that can easily zap our efforts if we let them. If you find yourself in a place where you know your “happiness” factor can use improvement, here are a few points to keep in mind that can help you smile from ear to ear, permanently:
- Know that you completely control your own happiness. Regardless of anything negative that has happened to you in your lifetime, you are the only one who can decide whether or not you want to be happy. Life throws us a curve, all the time. Our job is to make continual adjustments until we can hit that ball out of the park and circle the bases with a big smile on our face. If you can equate finding happiness to hitting a home run in life, your competitive spirit will carry you through, even in your darkest moments. This leads us to the next entry (#2).
- Never feel sorry for yourself. It’s perfectly normal to go through the “why did this happen to me?” stage but you need to quickly force that attitude right out of your head. There’s a time for us to cry, so if that’s what you need to do at a certain point or moment in your life, then let it out. At the same time, you should be thinking in the back of your mind, “I will get through this and I will prevail.” If you have a winning attitude, there is nothing that can prevent you from finding happiness.
- Stay close to your family and friends. The worst thing you can do when things haven’t gone your way or when you face a difficult moment in your life is to alienate the people who love you the most. You may need time to be alone but there is nothing you will ever face in this life that calls for completely staying away from and avoiding everyone for more than a few months. People who do this are usually in the “feeling sorry for myself” stage” and can’t break free from their self-pity. They make excuses to not continue their normal lives when in fact, that is exactly what they need to do! It’s perfectly okay to grieve, but it is not okay to become a recluse for the next three years and come back out of the blue after those three years expecting everybody to welcome you with open arms. Stay in the loop and let your family and friends comfort you. They are the shortcut to helping you find your happiness once again. It’s always the best way!
- Believe there is nothing you can’t overcome. There is a positive solution for everything in life; you just need to find what that is for your particular situation. The easiest way to learn how to become happy again is to not focus on whatever problem you have. Instead, focus on the solution and you will always get ahead and find the way to happiness in your life.
One final note: Anyone can learn the basics of how to become happy again but if you have the slightest idea that you may be depressed or know someone who you believe is suffering from depression, do your best to make certain you seek professional help. Depression is oftentimes something you cannot physically control and it requires medical intervention to help the person overcome their condition.
You can easily sabotage any efforts to be productive and effective when you continually put off things you can do today for tomorrow. Oftentimes, we procrastinate without even realizing it because we instantly create reasons in our heads to avoid certain tasks. If we can learn to recognize these moments in our lives and do something about it, we can win the battle against procrastination forever!
Here are some common ways and reasons we put things off for tomorrow:
1. We figure we can get the job done when it counts under pressure. Got that deadline at work? “No problem,” you think. Last time you had the same challenge with the same client, you came through so you have no doubt you can do it again. Halfway through its completion the following week, you find out this job was harder than the last one and you realize you will not meet the deadline! How are you going to explain this one to your boss and client?
2. We second-guess ourselves. You ask yourself, “Is this how it’s done. Oh well, I can call so and so tomorrow or the following day for advice and then I’ll start it.” You may also question your ability to finish something which prevents you from moving forward and accomplishing a task.
3. We lack the ability to prioritize our tasks. How in the world is meeting a deadline for a client more important than getting your routine checkup when you know you already have heart problems?
Here’s some sound advice on how to not procrastinate and get it done:
1. Make a “to-do” list and emphasize prioritizing your tasks. Then, set a deadline for every task you need to finish. You can use a daily planner or a weekly sheet of paper you can keep next to or on your nightstand.
2. Don’t be afraid to break down each task into smaller steps. For example, if you need to clean your house because your parents are coming over for dinner on a Saturday, don’t wait till Friday to start cleaning your pigsty! Instead, start by cleaning one room a day for 15 minutes or so from Monday through Friday and your house or apartment will be sparkling without any stress or worries.
3. Focus on the satisfaction and joy of completing something. Do you remember how good it felt to get the job done early last time and how much time you had left over to do other things? Didn’t it feel great to do the job right with plenty of time to spare last time? Focus on the fruits of your labor, knowing how wonderful it feels to accomplish something on your task list.
4. Reward yourself. You can give yourself a treat for accomplishing your weekly goals on time. Think of something like a night out at the movies or a dinner for two at Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse. How about a night on the won with your friends? If you have some icing on the cake to look forward to, your enthusiasm will be that much greater to get it done right now!
5. Get rid of the temptation to put things off and establish good habits. If you can convince yourself that today you will do this and tomorrow you will do the other task, you can start a “follow-through habit” that will carry you through if you begin to complete your tasks consistently.
Procrastination has less to do with laziness and more to do with your thought process being a little out of order! Get your mind on track and control procrastination.
It may be one of the most difficult things you can ever do when it comes to facing your fears. There is no way to dance around them; you simply have to confront them and fight to regain total control. Of course, that’s easier said than done but if you have a plan, you may be able to overcome any fear easier than you thought.
The easiest way to conquer any fear is to take them one at a time before proceeding to the next one.
Here are 5 steps to conquering your fears without feeling afraid:
- Identify your worst fear. Either make a mental note of what it is exactly that you are afraid of or write it down. Be specific. If you are afraid of riding in an elevator, you might write something such as how you are afraid of getting stuck and how you are terrified of having the cables snap, causing you to plummet several floors to the ground. Once you have a clear picture of your fear. it’s time to go on to step 2.
- Research all the facts you can about the realistic dangers. Back up your findings with statistics if possible. For example, if you are afraid of flying, find out how much more likely you are to die in a car crash as opposed to riding an airplane. This information will put everything into context for you and it may immediately begin to help you experience some sort of relief.
- Relax as much as possible and try to clear your mind. Deep breathing techniques work wonders for this. Either sit in a comfortable chair or lie in bed and breathe in for 5 seconds using your diaphragm and exhale for 8-10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times.
- Begin rationalizing and being realistic. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and follow that by answering your question, realistically. For example, getting back to the fear of flying, you might answer by saying, “Flying is so much safer than riding in a car and statistically, the worst thing that will happen to me is a loss of cabin pressure which can be taken care of by following procedures and instructions.
- Tell yourself you can change and beat any of your fears. By practicing a simple affirmation technique and telling yourself you can overcome anything, you will eventually do it. Be positive and don’t be afraid to take a step backwards before going forward once again if you have to. Never give up. You can do anything your set your mind to do!
The most important part of learning how to overcome any fear is to never give up and stay consistent in taking the steps to beat those fears. Think “eye of the tiger” and always have a winning spirit!
How do you overcome fear? Do you have any of your own special techniques that get results. Please let us know.