post written by: Marc Chernoff
7 Habits that Are Making You Miserable
Tired of dealing with the same type of misery over and over and over again?
If so, it’s time to purge some bad habits. It’s time to learn from your mistakes rather than be conquered by them, and let your errors be of commission rather than omission.
It’s time to stop…
1. Sticking exclusively with what you already know.
When you stop learning you stop living a meaningful life.
It’s okay to entertain new ideas without fully accepting them; it helps you grow. Life’s richness does not come from always residing within familiar and comfortable territory. It’s when you venture out, away from the familiar, that you grow stronger and more capable.
You must hold tightly to your core values while at the same time opening your heart and mind to new ideas, feelings, and experiences. Your own perspective will grow stronger when you look at things from different perspectives. Find ways to provide a healthy challenge to your current understanding of life, and you will discover and experience far more of life’s magic throughout your lifetime.
2. Neglecting the balance of activity and rest.
Downtime is imperative. In all walks of life, the highest human performance occurs when there is equilibrium between focused activity and rest and renewal. This is due to the fact that the human body is designed to labor in short pulses, and requires renewal at regular intervals not just physically, but mentally as well. In other words, most successful endeavors look something like this: activity, rest, activity, rest, etc. And this is as true for long-term goals, as it is for short-term tasks.
It’s simply a matter of creating balance in your life – balance between activity and rest, balance between work and family, balance between getting things done and leaving them undone, etc. Without balance, everything falls out of whack. For instance, when you let your work life (or social life, family life, etc.) consume you, and 100% of your energy is focused in that area 100% of the time, every other area of your life falls apart.
Bottom line: While drive and focus are important, if you’re going to get things done right, and be truly successful, you need to balance the various dimensions of your life, including the basic foundation of activity and rest. (Read The 4-Hour Workweek.)
3. Following the path of least resistance.
It takes strength to do what must be done when the work is laborious. It takes strength to persist in the face of adversity when it would be easier to simply give up. It takes strength to be polite to someone who isn’t polite to you. It takes strength to speak the truth when a lie would save you from trouble. It takes strength to sacrifice short term pleasure for long term gain. It takes strength to resist temptations and distractions.
It takes strength to do all these things. And all the while, these are the very things that make you even stronger.
Live by the truth, do what you know is right, put forth the necessary effort, and keep pushing forward. Exercise your strength every day, and you’ll always be stronger and more capable than you were the day before.
4. Putting up with the same exact daily displeasures.
Don’t live with the disappointment; live beyond it. You cannot stop what has already happened, but you can let it make you stronger and more determined. The journey to spiritual maturity requires that you review the events in your life to find the wisdom and purpose they contain.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and old hurts you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere, the voice inside your head cries out – “ENOUGH!” This moment is the turning point that leads to success and happiness.
So today, close the door on your past, open the door to your future, take a deep breath, take a step forward, and start a new chapter in your life. (Read The Untethered Soul.)
5. Obsessing over the pain.
Pain is a part of life. It’s what makes us human. It shapes us the same as love and laughter. You don’t have to forget what happened in the past, but you cannot let it destroy you. Conquer the pain; don’t let it conquer you.
They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. But sometimes it’s hard to move. So during those times, cover yourself with kindness, meditate on your hope, and go easy on yourself – at least until you see the first glimmer of strength return. Then rise to your feet with confidence, knowing that you’ll gain strength with each step forward you force yourself to make.
One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, you can get through your current troubles, one way or another.
6. Ignoring your passions.
The same way your body responds to food, your heart, mind and spirit need nourishment too. You are able to get that nourishment when you indulge in your passions. Because when you truly lose yourself in something you love, you will eventually find yourself there too.
Thus, a truly fulfilling life is lived by letting your passions drive your dreams, and then losing yourself in the process of making them come true.
So never let the reality of what is, get in the way of what is possible. Never give up on the things that move you. A focused human being driven by passion is always more powerful than the reality of the moment. (Read The $100 Startup.)
7. Waiting for a miracle.
Inspiration exists, but it must be met by dedicated action.
Often the difference between a successful person and a person who struggles to make progress is not one’s superior abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take calculated risks, and to act.
In other words, unproductive people sit and wait for the magic beans to arrive; the rest of us just get up and get to work.
Photo by: J.T. Noriega