Perhaps a little rough around the edges, this is the ‘no frills, no fluff’ advice I would give to my 20-year-old self if I ever got the chance to travel back in time.
Life is significantly easier when you’re honest with yourself and others. This doesn’t mean you should be rude and inconsiderate, but it’s better to be upfront when you have to rather than concealing things and letting them fester.
Stand up for yourself. Some people will do anything for their own personal gain at the expense of others – cut in line, take money/property, bully/belittle, pass guilt, etc. Do not accept this behavior. Most of these people know they’re doing the wrong thing and will back down surprisingly quickly when confronted. In a public setting people tend to keep quiet until one person speaks up, so SPEAK UP. Read In Sheep’s Clothing
Drama is never worth putting up with. If someone over age eighteen can’t be a reasonable, reliable adult on a regular basis, avoid this person.
The biggest disappointments in life are the result of misplaced expectations. Tempering unrealistic expectations of how something ‘should be’ will greatly reduce unnecessary frustration.
If you can make a reasonable living doing what you love, DO WHAT YOU LOVE. You may not get rich, but you’ll get to do what you love, and that’spriceless. Of course, be smart, take the necessary steps, and ease into it. Don’t quit your day job until doing what you love pays the bills. In the same regard, don’t incur large debts getting a law degree or an MBA if you really want to be a graphic designer. Read Quitter
In most corporate professions, there is no greater differentiating factor in income than a college degree. I agree that it shouldn’t always be this way, but that is the unfortunate reality. So if you’re planning to work in a corporate atmosphere – regardless of your profession – get your degree. It’s never too late to start. Just attending school looks good on your resume; and many companies offer tuition assistance, so it doesn’t have to be that expensive.
Understand that at twenty years of age you are at your most energetic and most creative, but your labor is valued very little. All the more reason to #1) stand up for yourself and look for the highest bidder and #2) get that degree.
Buy fewer things. When you feel the need to splurge, buy knowledge and EXPERIENCES instead.
Little things that you want but don’t necessarily need cost money, and they add up. This is why so many people in my age bracket don’t seem to have a cent to their name: that $90 a month iPhone plan (or whatever it costs), that cable TV, that 65 inch LCD TV, a new car every three years, etc. Don’t get carried away. Maintain a simple budget and do some basic accounting each month. Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Set up a safety fund. Yes, I know the savings account interest rates are insanely low right now, but having at least six months of expenses in readily accessible cash can save you a lot of hassle on a rainy day.
Loan money to friends and family judiciously. Nuff said.
Your credit score will come in handy some day. Don’t be careless with it.
Everything in moderation. Don’t be a slave to any substance, especially food.
Avoid fatty, sugary foods. Eat your vegetables. Stick to a healthy balanced diet.
Start exercising yesterday.
Staying in shape is simpler than most people make it. Body fat is dictated by what you eat and your activity. Working out affects two things mainly: fat and muscle. Aerobic exercise burns fat and builds a little muscle. Weight training builds muscle and burns a little fat. In most cases, if you’re overweight you’re eating too much and/or not exercising enough. Period.
Don’t merely exist… LIVE. Experience as much as you can. Do not fall into an endless routine. Do not become overly comfortable with TV and YouTube as your primary sources of entertainment. Go places. Do things. Try new things. Follow your curiosities and passions. Take chances. Carpe diem. No one ever achieved anything great through laziness. Don’t let fear and complacency stop you from a truly rewarding life. Read The 4-Hour Workweek
Always do what you feel in your heart is right.
Love is a choice; it’s not magic. There is no such thing as ‘the one. You are not destined for any relationship other than the one you help create. Spend enough time with another loving person, and biology eventually kicks in. So use your head and find someone you really enjoy spending time with, who you don’t feel pressured to impress – someone who makes you feel loved, relaxed, and comfortable in your own skin.
Invest time and energy in yourself every day. When you invest in yourself, you can never lose, and over time you will change the trajectory of your life. You are simply the product of what you know. The more time and energy you spend acquiring pertinent knowledge, the more control you have over your life.
Learn some basic, modern survivability skills – how to change a tire, jumpstart a car, safely bust a car window if you’re stuck, render first aid, etc.
Help your fellow neighbor. The whole “what goes around comes around” concept is the truth. You may be on top of the world right now – feeling untouchable. You may have all the tools at your disposal to do and say whatever you want. But life is a circle that eventually comes back around. So be polite, be courteous, and at least dream that civilization can be civil. Either way, it starts with you; because a society is the sum of its parts.
You actually die twice in this world. Once when you stop breathing, and a second time several years later when somebody says your name for the last time. So do things that matter; leave a legacy. Time is running out.
Try to picture us older folks as the twenty-somethings we used to be. Talk to us. We’re still pretty cool, we’ve just learned a thing or two over the years – things you will likely find interesting.
“Where are you now?
As I’m swimming through the stereo
I’m writing you a symphony of sound
Where are you now?
As I rearrange the songs again
This mix could burn a hole in anyone
But it was you I was thinking of”—Jack’s Mannequin
“The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles—preferably of his own making—in order to triumph. A hero without a flaw is of no interest to an audience or to the universe, which, after all, is based on conflict and opposition, the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object”—Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
KNOWING HOW FAR YOU’VE COME: 8 TIPS TO CELEBRATE YOUR GROWTH
Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Joanna Z. Weston
“Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.” ~Unknown
It is laughably easy to forget to stop and take stock of how far we have come in our lives. Our world focuses so much on what we lack—be it money, beauty, prestige, or romantic success—that it is far too common for us to get trapped in the loop of needing to have, be, or do “more” before thinking that we might be good enough. I, for one, do it all the time.
A year and a half ago I was unemployed with no idea what to do next. I’d spent my life until that point ignoring the conviction that there was something I was meant to do. Since I didn’t know what that calling might be, I played it safe by getting a library degree.
I was pretty good at library work, but I was never passionate about it, which made me an unremarkable candidate for the few remaining library positions after the economy crashed.
All of this left me sitting at home, miserable. Unemployment, combined with a particularly nasty winter, led to a terrible flare up of my lifelong nemesis, depression. To say that I was despondent that winter would be a gross understatement!
Of course, I can now see that this was a blessing. That terrible winter pushed me to realize that something had to change, and fast. I was finished playing it safe, and ready to figure out my dream!
Since then, I’ve identified my true calling (to become a life coach), sought training, and now I stand on the cusp of living my ideal life. But is that how I see the situation most days? Of course not.
More days than not, I find myself focusing on how far I still have to go. I see the programs I haven’t implemented yet and the website that isn’t quite perfect, rather than taking the time to marvel over the fact that I have so many ideas and a website at all.
And you know what? Failing to acknowledge how far I’ve come robs me of a lot of joy and a lot of pride. I may not have everything figured out in my new business, but I’ve come a long way from where I was a year ago.
I would be willing to bet that you’ve made huge progress in the last year, as well, but are too focused on what remains to be done to see it. I invite you to start giving yourself credit for a lot of hard work and achievement.
Some tips to help you see how far you’ve come:
1.Sit down and breathe.
It’s hard to hear the truth when a thousand voices and worries are circling through your mind. Taking just five minutes to sit down and let the voices become quiet can make a huge difference.
2.Ask yourself, “Where was I this time last year? Five years ago? Ten?
I can guarantee that you will be surprised by your answers. Change comes slowly, so it can be hard to see it, but it’s always happening, whether we see it or not.
3.Review your notes.
If you keep a journal or blog, reread some of your old entries. You’ll find written evidence (in your own hand!) of just how far you’ve come when you see what was upsetting you back then.
4.Make a list of your accomplishments from the last year or the last five years.
I don’t care how small or insignificant it seems, write them down! Then look at that list and reflect on just how much you’ve done.
5.Ask a friend or loved one.
We can be our own worst critics, so sometimes those close to us have a clearer view of how much we’ve grown than we have of ourselves. If it feels awkward to ask someone to tell you nice things about yourself, offer to return the favor.
6. Track the personal, not just the professional.
Remember that not all progress is related to your career. How have your relationships, your spirituality, or your self-knowledge improved?
We all want to reach the top of the mountain and feel that we have achieved something. We want to be finished, but that’s never going to happen; our lives are a constant work in progress, which is the way it ought to be. Trust me, you’d be bored if you weren’t constantly changing and growing.
Whatever you are working towards, and however far you still have to go, I encourage you to take the time to truly bask in everything you have achieved thus far.
It doesn’t matter if you are moving fast or slow, only that you keep moving! And the best way to ensure that you continue to do that is to cherish each step along the way.
TINY WISDOM: THE RELATIONSHIPS WE WISH WOULD IMPROVE
by Lori Deschene
“When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better.” ~Unknown
There are certain relationships that we don’t want to end; we just want them to improve.
Sometimes it might seem like that will only happen if someone else starts acting differently—with more kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, compassion, understanding, or consideration.
Years ago, a therapist told me we can’t ever change other people; we can only change how we respond to them.
At the time, I found this incredibly frustrating because I didn’t know what I could do differently. I only knew I wanted to be treated better because I was tired of feeling bad.
But what do we do when we respond more calmly, or try to see things differently, but we still find ourselves getting hurt?
Sometimes we don’t want to completely close a door, with a family member, for example; we just don’t know how to keep it open without opening ourselves up to pain.
I’ve learned that changing our response to people means changing how we engage with them.
It can mean seeing someone less frequently, or avoiding certain topics, or knowing when to change the subject.
It might mean refusing to feel guilty or defensive, taking things less personally, or modeling the type of behavior we’d like to see in them.
It might also mean accepting that not all relationships need to be close and intimate.
As much as we might want someone to fill a certain role in our lives, they have to want to do it. And if they aren’t, it’s our job to recognize that so we don’t continually cause ourselves stress by trying to smash a square peg into a round hole.
Little in this world is more painful than wanting to be close with someone but knowing it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s harder when we think it could be so simple if that person could just realize how much we care and try, even if a little, to reciprocate it like we deserve.
But we generally don’t change when other people force us to do it; we change when we realize what we might lose if we don’t, and recognize that the discomfort of doing things differently is better than the pain of that loss.
We can’t make someone else make an effort. But we can make smart decisions for our own well-being. This may inspire someone else to change; it might not. Either way, we’ve honored the most important relationship in our lives: the one we have with ourselves.
Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
Start facing your problems head on.– It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
Start being honest with yourself about everything.– Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled
Start making your own happiness a priority.– Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly.– Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individualinside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
Start noticing and living in the present.– Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you.– Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
Start being more polite to yourself.– If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.
Start enjoying the things you already have.– The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
Start creating your own happiness.– If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness
Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance.– In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
Start believing that you’re ready for the next step.– You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
Start entering new relationships for the right reasons.– Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
Start giving new people you meet a chance.– It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
Start competing against an earlier version of yourself.– Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.
Start cheering for other people’s victories.– Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations.– When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
Start forgiving yourself and others.– We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
Start helping those around you.– Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.
Start listening to your own inner voice.– If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.
Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks.– Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
Start noticing the beauty of small moments.– Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing thesesmall pleasureson a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.
Start accepting things when they are less than perfect.– Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.
Start working toward your goals every single day.– Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Start being more open about how you feel.– If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
Start taking full accountability for your own life.– Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
Start actively nurturing your most important relationships.– Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.
Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled
Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness
Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done
Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
A Lost Girl is: A woman in her 20s, 30s (and beyond) who’s more than a bit unsure about what she’s doing with her life, the direction that she’s headed and how to make changes for the better. Despite having a steady paycheck, a social life, regular dates, four walls and a roof over her head, she’s got the pressing feeling that she’s overlooking what’s really important, and what she ultimately needs to be happy.
No matter where we all ended up, we always had the power to steer the course of our lives in a new direction. To take all the lessons we’d learned on the road about who we really were, or hope to become, and what we wanted the most, and try to carve out a new and improved path for ourselves. Maybe it wouldn’t work out the first or even tenth time, but we’d keep forging ahead until we got it right.
Until then, all we could do was take a chance… and jump.
I finished watching all three seasons of departures today. It’s TV shows like these ones that really inspire me to go out and see everything.
But it’s a bittersweet feeling… saying goodbye to Scott, Justin and Andre travel, knowing that their three years of travel are done, yet feeling so hungry to see the world, and to learn whatever I can from experiencing new things.
Because in the end, there’s always an end to things. Even if there’s always people around to remember everything to happened, you kind of have to let go, and say goodbye.
Maybe one day, things will come back, and the cycle will continue.
“The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.”—Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat Pray Love
“Through the events in our lives, good and bad, we learn who we are and what makes us tick. It’s not about creating happily ever after—it’s about taking it one step at a time and accepting that we’ll go through times when we won’t feel happy.”—C. De Lima
“Humans need rests, relaxation, and recreation. We need time to think about things, to clear the mind, and to have fun. But to a person overburdened with claims on her time, fun seems only a distant remembered state of mind.”—Zen Habits
“We got books, buffets, and radio waves, wedding brides and roller coaster rides, clean sheets and good movie seats, bakery air and rain hair, Bubble Wrap and illegal naps.
Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see. And that moment is right now. And that moment is counting down. And that moment is always, always fleeting.
You will never be as young as you are right now.”—Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome
“The hours that we spent in between
They didn’t mean what we wanted them to mean
We were tired and scared and having dreams of showing up unprepared
Now the little bird is perched on that giant tree
Singing songs so sweet and beautifully
Now as the sun it sets
I wonder if there will be anything I’ll regret
So let’s take the long way home
Every moment I spend with you
Let’s make it slow, so slow
We’ll mark the moments as they go”—Catherine MacLellan