Here’s a list of nine principles I’ve learned the hard way that every inspired person, regardless of their specific aspirations, should know and follow on a daily basis.
- Life’s biggest limitations are the ones you make in your mind. Life’s biggest causes of unhappiness are the false beliefs you refuse to let go of. You are capable of far more than you are presently thinking, imagining, doing or being. But you will ultimately become what you habitually contemplate; so clear your mind and let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
- You must deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was. Think positive. Life is good. Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting pure gold. Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to always happen, but accepting that whatever happens is the best for the moment. So keep smiling and keep following your heart. Someday, life will get tired of upsetting you. Read Happiness Is a Serious Problem.
- What others do is out of your control. Realize that you can’t always count on others to respect your feelings, even if you respect theirs. Being a good person doesn’t guarantee that others will be good people too. You only have control over yourself – over how you choose to be as an individual. And as for others, you can only accept them, or walk away.
- You were not meant to sit at the edge of your comfort zone. Not trying for fear of falling. Not loving for fear of losing love. Not speaking your truth for fear of what others will think. Not looking at yourself in the mirror for fear of what you might see. Try, and then try again with all your might. Your courage will unfold as your resolve takes hold. And with each effort you make you will earn a little more confidence which you can use to acquire what no one else can give you: Your self-respect, and the life you were meant to live.
- You are not like anyone else. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are. In a world of comparison and conformity, take a stand. Make your own statement. Honor your own truth. Risk speaking your own thoughts and sharing your own ideas. Express your fears, tears, doubts, and insecurities – let others experience the real you. Have the courage to be yourself and realize that you’re perfect just the way you are. Read The Art of Non-Conformity.
- True love is one-way traffic. It’s a pure flow of giving and expecting nothing in return. Anything else is a contract. Notice how whenever you allow love to flow you are always clear, calm and strong. It is only when the thought arises, “What have they given me in return?” that there is confusion and resentment. Ego transacts, love transforms. Life is too short for all these meticulous contracts and transactions. Remain clear, remain bright, and remain strong. Love without expectation.
- You cannot live your life at the mercy of chance. You cannot stumble along with a map marked only with the places you fear, or the places you know you don’t want to revisit. You cannot remain trapped, endlessly, in a state where you are unable to ask for directions, even though you’re terribly lost, because you don’t know your destination. You have to stand up, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “It isn’t good enough for me to know only what I DON’T want in life. I need to decide what I DO want.”
- Being genuine is more important than being right. You may say or do all the right things, but if it doesn’t come from the heart, it means nothing. You may not always know the right things to say or do, but if your intent is genuine, then it means the world. When you work from a foundation of truth, you are free to make as many choices, free to make as many mistakes, free to take as much time as necessary to get it right. Read As a Man Thinketh.
- Your future depends on what you do right now. Challenge yourself to be who you know you are capable of being. Challenge yourself to follow through – to live what you preach, to walk your talk. Don’t worry about how slowly you feel you’re heading toward your goals, or how many roadblocks you find, or how many detours you’re forced to take. As long as you keep doing your thing, you’re still cruising far ahead of everyone who’s too scared to even try.
Photo by: Giampaolo Macorig