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Sometimes, life can feel like such a challenge. And there are so many things I wish I had learned sooner, or that someone had told me when I was younger. Here are some tips, truths and modern day bits of wisdom that I have picked up over the years. Some were handed down to me by trusted mentors and teaches, others from well written books. And others learned through trial and error and experiencing day to day life.
I hope you find them useful, that they save you unnecessary headaches and heartaches, but most importantly make your life a little sweeter and a little more fun to live!
You are enough.
Right now, today, just the way you are. Change if you want to. And personal growth is amazing! But you were created by the same life force or divine power that creates galaxies, stars, oceans and flowers, and it created You. All good.
You are born inherently worthy.
You don’t need to earn your worth or place on this planet or to justify your existence by means of external achievements. You’re here. You’re living. Proof enough.
Take it Slow.
Don’t be in such a rush to get everywhere and get it all done, and to do it right now! Life is still going to be happening tomorrow. And life is a process, not an event. (although events generally have balloons and I’m all in favor of that!) It’s long.
Trust Yourself More.
Yes, you can do it! You’re an adult with adult capabilities. And you know more about your own life and life situation than anyone else does. If you don’t know how to deal with something, ask. Get help. Learn. Move on.
Your capabilities are far greater than you know.
Most Things in Life Are an Experiment.
We seldom truly know how things are going to turn out. Knowing exactly what is going to happen next leaves no room for growth, new awarenesses or wonderful surprises! Experiments are cool, but most fail. (3,000 attempts to make a light bulb!) Oh well. The experiments that succeed generally make up for all the ones that didn’t. Assess the risk. Plan accordingly. Keep going.
Plan 7 years ahead.
Yes, ‘be here now’ but purely living in the moment burns out. It’s what leaves people unhappy, unhealthy and financially unstable. If everything has to happen right now, there is little room for true enjoyment and creativity. Good things take time to build. Set goals and realistic time frames, be diligent and enjoy the process.
Say No When You Need to, and Yes When You Want To
This is such a simple thing but causes so many people so much grief. How many times have you said yes when you didn’t want to, yet turned down something you would have loved to do? We get caught up in feelings of obligation or guilt. “No” is better than resentment, and “Yes” is better than regret.
You Can’t Change Anyone… Unless They’re In Diapers.
Really and truly you can’t. And do you want people constantly trying to change you? It doesn’t feel good. It feels disrespectful and unloving. Let other people be, to live their own lives and have their own experiences. Take care of you and living your truth and the right people will naturally come into your life.
Let Go of What Other People Think
Try adopting the phrase “What you think of me is none of my business.” You can’t control it anyway, so who cares. Most of the time people are thinking about themselves much more than they are about you. The same applies in reverse.Everyone has their own lives, emotions and day to day challenges that fight for their attention. Just be you and get on with living your life.
You don’t have to be Picasso or to change the landscape of the world, but create from your heart and your soul. Write, paint, build, knit or take pictures. Leave footprints behind. What would this planet be without everything created by those who came before us.
Let Go of Perfectionism.
Perfectionism is usually insecurity or procrastination. Surgery needs to be perfect. But most other things would benefit from just getting done. If you have to choose, just do it. You can finesse, fine tune and improve later.
Resent No One… Including Yourself.
If you knew how to do better, you would have done better. Let yourself off the hook for past mistakes and just choose differently. That’s it. Equally, don’t resent someone else for a choice you’ve made. Stay if it works for you, move on if it doesn’t. As Byron Katie says, “forgiveness is just another name for freedom”.
Be Okay With Feeling Awkward When its a Means to an End
Awkward and uncomfortable go hand in hand with both personal and professional growth. If you’re going to try something you’ve never done before, a little uncertainty is healthy and means your sane. Plan well. Be flexible. Get help if you need to. If the results are worth it, breathe, keep going, and you’ll come out the other side.
Pay Attention to What People Do… Not What They Say
Maya Angelou once said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Actions speak louder than words – and I didn’t make that one up either. We hang on people’s words when it’s what we want to hear and what we want to believe. Be brave, pay attention and take their actions at face value. It may save you a lot of heartache in the end.
Let Go of Complaining.
Fix it if you can. Deal with it if you have to. Get help or let it go. Complaining sucks the air out of a room and the energy from everyone in it – including you, even when you’re just wandering around grumbling to yourself about how hard or unfair things or people are. Move on and move forward.
Assess. Correct. Move Forward.
A very smart man gave me this advice years. It stuck. And it’s been immensely valuable. Life will continually present you with problems and challenges; it’s just part of living. Whether in business or your personal life, you are going to keep running up against obstacles, fires to put out and things that need to be fixed – sometimes even your own mistakes. Assess the situation. Correct what you need to. Keep going. Do yourself a favor and try not to make it more complicated than that.
At the end of your life, what would you regret not doing? What chances will you regret not taking? You’re not a kid anymore so don’t let the monster under the bed run your life. In all likelihood the consequences to most of your actions are far less dire than you might think. And whatever they are, trust yourself to handle them.
Create Community & Spend Real Time With Them
Many of us don’t live close to family or childhood friends anymore, but you can create community around you. People are important. Community, companionship and camaraderie will support you through the struggles in life… or at the very least give you someone to have a drink with and blow off steam!
Exercise Exercise Exercise
I know you’ve heard this before, but your body really does get the final say – if it quits, so do you! Take care of it, keep it moving, limber and strong. A healthy strong body is a great foundation for a healthy strong life.
Eat Fresh Whole Foods
Our bodies are made of live cells, so when you can, eat live cells and give it great building blocks to work with. Another way to look at this, “If it grows, eat it. If it doesn’t, don’t” Try going for a few days or a week and eat nothing with a label. I’ve tried it, and although I’m pretty god at it, it’s still super tough to do! Your body will thank you for it in the end.
No one is at their best when they are exhausted. Communication breaks down, thinking breaks down and enjoyment doesn’t even feel like a memory. Rest. Rejuvenate. Revitalize yourself. Your body will pull the emergency brake if it needs to!
Savor the moments. Like a delicious meal, the moments and times, phases, and friendships should be savored like the mouthwatering morsels they are. Soon enough they’ll become memories and you’ll want something to reflect back upon.
Trust Your Intuition / Gut.
The worst mistakes I have made in my life have been when I’ve gone against my intuition. “Gut feeling” is something even Warren Buffet talks about. Trust it. Know one knows you better than you do and when you get that “funny feeling” to do something or not, pay attention. There is a wisdom within us that reason does not know.
There. Don’t you feel better already? We instinctively hold our breath in times of shock or trauma, and with the constant stressors of modern day life breath-holding is very common. Stop, plant both feet flat on the ground, fill up your lungs, drop your shoulders and just breathe. It immediately loosens muscles, relieves stress and drops the stress hormone levels.
Write in a Journal
Get it out on paper, whatever is locked up in your head and your heart. It will help you to express yourself more freely, know and understand yourself better and sometimes just unload. It’s interesting to look back over the years and see where you were at the time and how much has changed.
Find the Right Place For You.
You will thrive when you are in the right place! Whether it’s the right city, town, country or community. Apple trees don’t grow on the beach – it’s all about the right conditions and environment. Find what’s right for you. Trust your intuition on this one, internally … you know.
This oddly, is one thing that many people forget when striving for success, pushing forward and particularly during times of struggle in life. Plan fun activities regularly. I have one friend who keeps a HUGE brandy sniffer on his desk with a dozen or so fun activities, for both him and his family, written on slips of paper. When life feels like too much of a pressure cooker he pulls one out and takes the time to go do it.
Don’t Say “I love you” Unless You Mean It
It’s just unkind. Don’t be reckless with anyone’s heart, and don’t put up with them being reckless with yours.
When You Give, Let It Go.
A true gift comes from the heart. Let it go without expectations of how the other person should react or what they should do with it or with or for you. Expectation is like holding on to the gift for your own benefit. Giving happens before it leaves our hands.
Give to Someone Who Can Never Repay You.
Life has a way of giving back, but giving to someone who can’t do anything for you takes you out of yourself. For a moment, your life is about more than just the little space you inhabit on this planet. It connects you to the whole and opens your heart.
Keep An Open Heart.
We’ve all been hurt, but shutting down does nothing to punish the other person but continually wounds you. You deserve better. You deserve to feel love. Always being prepared for battle is the surest way to bring it on. Walk with greater wisdom and discernment, but with an open heart. You’re smarter now and can take care of yourself better. Trust that.
I hope these help you in some small way. Would love to read your comments below.