Previously from the category On Life
Early in adult life, I’ve come to terms with a few simple truths. All of which have made a difference each and every day for me and my hope is that they will you, too.
The point of this post isn’t to gloat about experience, behaviors, or disciplines. Believe me when I say that I’m light years away from being comfortable in my own skin.
The point of these truths is to help you or someone you know when you’re struggling to keep up with this chaotic world.
Life is hard, but having a good mantra in the face of resistance can help so much more than you may realize. They are never things that ring out in our minds until a problem is staring us in the face.
So keep these in mind next time you feel a bit lost. It may help more than you think.
1) It Starts With Being Honest With Yourself
I don’t care how honest people think you are, your religion, the spouse you love, or the child you’re cradling. You will lie to each and every single one of them at least once in your life. Don’t deny it, own up to it and move past it.
The only person that you should never lie to is yourself.
If you’re losing battles and still pretending you’re okay and that nothing needs to change, you’ve already lost.
Understand something else, too: coming to terms with any given truth is not the same as accepting it. The darkest of truths are not there to scare you, even though they will do that and more if you let them.
Think of them as challenges to accept, because the sooner you accept them, the sooner you can overcome them.
The sooner you remember that honesty with yourself is necessary, the sooner you can move forward and start digging a bit deeper.
2) Do What You Love; Love What You Do
Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days of your life are when you’re born and when you find out why.”
Life is a chaotic roller coaster of pure bliss and inevitable turmoil. Keeping that in mind, if you don’t already know what you want to spend the rest of your years on this earth doing, then stop whatever it is you are doing and pay attention.
Start making a list of all the things you wanted to be as a kid.
After this, think about where you’re at right now, then move onto where you believe you deserve to be.
Remember, you’re being honest with yourself. You know what you deserve, and you know what you really want out of this life. You only get one, and dying in the pursuit of trying to find your passion is better than dying a regretful shell.
3) If You Want It, You’ll Drop the Attitude
When you find what you’re passionate about, it’s like having a blank marble stone dropped in front of you. Some decide to start sculpting while others will just stare in awe at the fact that they have the marble block.
Don’t be the person that just stares.
When you find what you’re passionate about, pursue it. Stop making the excuses that hold everyone else back.
You are not them.
Have some respect and actually own up to the things that are holding you back from doing what you care about. You know what you should be doing, so sculpt your stone into what you want it to be, and end the laziness.
Whining will get you nowhere, but action will.
4) Planning Ahead Will Save Your Ass
Let’s compare this to a diet.
When you first start, nine times out of ten you’ll end up cheating it. I’m here to tell you that it’s not because of your weak willpower.
It’s because of poor planning.
When you strive to be successful, doing something as simple as prepping the coffee maker for the morning so all you have to do is push a button can make a difference.
Such small but necessary convenience can be taken advantage every day, and the more you do it, the better prepared you are for those moments when all you can muster is to push that button.
Your morning cup of joe is just the beginning.
5) The Opinions of Others Are Optional, Not Absolute
You’re going to encounter lots of opinions during your life
Whether you’re sculpting yourself or staying where you are, it will be a constant onslaught of opinions from others. Get used to this because it doesn’t stop.
BUT, Getting used to the opinions of others does not mean you have to accept them.
If you want to get ahead in this world, you have to stop caring about what other people think of you. In last week’s post about Constructive & Destructive Criticism, I wrote about telling the difference between the two and sorting them accordingly.
Put this into a practice immediately for the best results.
6) If They Care, They’ll Understand When You Leave
This is a touchier subject, and I’ll admit that it will not be easy for a lot of people to do. Keep in mind that you’ve made it this far for a reason.
You have shown perseverance.
Sadly, however, you will have people that will still hold you back.
These are the people that have moved past the point of simply giving their opinion. They start chipping away at the mindset that you’ve worked so hard to develop.
So what do you do?
You have to let them go and move on.
This doesn’t mean you’re abandoning them. They can make the change, too, but until that day comes, you need to keep your nose to the grindstone and keep in mind the old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together.’
If you want to get ahead in this world, sometimes it’s necessary to look for a new nest.
7) Take Care of Yourself Before Saving Everyone Else
Being a resourceful person means you need to practice temperance.
Lending money, time, services, etc. is admirable, but be sure of some things before giving it all away:
1) Be sure you’re your quality of life won’t be diminished. If you want to help millions and lending $20 breaks the bank for you, don’t lend it or you’ll be dead sooner than your time.
2) Be certain that the person you’re helping isn’t asking in vain. You are not everyone’s ATM, life coach, therapist, or whatever you keep trying to be for them, so stop pretending to be and speak up when you’re bothered with it.
8) Plan for 100 Years & Live Like You Only Have One
This has been a personal mantra of mine for a while now. I’m not sure of its origin past my encounter, but it holds its value with me to this day and always will.
When I was working my first real job as a young adult, I had to resort to riding a bicycle most nights because I didn’t have a reliable vehicle. I’m no shy creature to exercise, but the job itself was one hell of a workout.
The marathon-length round trip only added insult to injury as the days rolled on. Needless to say, it was a tough time, but after being offered a ride home one day, I asked my co-worker’s general advice on life because I was just frustrated with it all.
“You gotta live like your dying, man. Plan for a hundred years and live like you’re not gonna see tomorrow.”
I altered the saying slightly, but I’ll always remember this as one of the few good moments early on and always be grateful for it.
9) Stay Humble To Stay Sharp
If you start getting anywhere in this life, you’re going to start seeing your world shift, but in a good way.
We’re going up, not down, mind you.
Just never forget who you are or where you started, because everyone has their own rock bottom. Never forget what that felt like when your idea for a better life was a whisper in your mind.
It doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of your accomplishments and enjoy your success, but never forget that you were once the underdog.
There’s always someone working harder, staying up later, and grinding while you celebrate. Always aim past your goal, and never give up the underdog mentality.
10) Have A Clear Vision of What You Want, Always
This should be closer to the beginning, but being able to visualize what you want out of this life in a clear and absolute way will help drive your journey, even in the darkest of times.
Remember that better life you’ve wanted; the place you felt you deserve to be?
Keep that in mind. Every fine detail of that dream in your head is yours and yours alone. No one else can pursue that dream because they weren’t built for that dream.
Remember that vision and do not stop pursuing it; because pursuing your dream will make the purest bliss. Even if surrounded by the worst turmoil.