Be aware of the implied and menacing lessons society teaches. To truly thrive in this world you’re going to have to unlearn and disregard some of the ludicrous advice people reflexively pass along to each other.
Here are eight dangerous pieces of advice you may have learned:
1. There is a clear path that everyone should follow.
Your greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at all the wrong things.
Choose a path that fits YOU. Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. Challenge yourself to ask with each and every step, each focus point that consumes your energy: “Does this thing I’m doing right now serve me and those I care about in the next few minutes, few months, and few years?”
Whatever you settle on, just make sure you don’t gain the whole world by losing your soul and purpose in the process. Read The Untethered Soul.
2. Success is a particular outcome or object that can be acquired.
Success is a consistent pattern of behavior more so than it is an isolated event. It is the way you live rather than some object or outcome you acquire. Success is yours when you persistently embody the discipline, integrity, attitude, and other attributes from which it is derived.
It is a mindset within you. If you consider success to be something outside of you, that’s where it will always remain – somewhere else. So in your thoughts, your words, your actions and your expectations, be the living embodiment of success, and whatever you touch will have the potential to be successful too.
3. You need more to be happy.
You are doing just fine. You don’t need any more or any less to be happy.
Life would be so different if you stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your perception with their words and opinions. Happiness is derived from the way you see your own life; it depends on your thoughts, not on what you have or what you do not have, or what other people think about what you have. Read The How of Happiness.
4. Rejection and criticism stifle growth.
No matter how good you are at something there will always be people who criticize your efforts. And while it’s never a comfortable experience, the feelings of criticism and rejection can actually help you access your more creative self. Free from the expectations of maintaining a status-quo that everyone is pleased with, you can push the limits of innovation and self expression.
5. The future is what matters most.
Right now you are alive. This moment is your life. Today is too valuable to waste thinking of another time and place.
Your friends and family are too beautiful to ignore. Take a moment to remember how fortunate you are to be breathing. Take a look around, with your eyes earnestly open to the possibilities before you. Much of what you fear does not exist. Much of what you love is closer than you realize. You are just one brief thought away from understanding the blessing that is your life.
6. Big opportunities only come to a lucky few.
Big opportunities come to those who make the most of little opportunities. Little opportunities are present in each moment and in every situation.
Today is filled with little opportunities. Everywhere you look, there are small ways for you to make a positive difference. In little bits of time that might otherwise be wasted, there is a piece of something larger waiting to be created. String enough of these pieces together, and absolutely anything is within your reach. You just need to decide what it is you want to achieve. Read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.
7. All relationships should be held on to and nurtured.
Most people come into your life temporarily simply to teach you something. They come and they go and they make a difference. And it’s okay that they’re not in your life anymore.
Not all relationships last, but the lessons these relationships bring to you do. If you learn to open your heart and mind, anyone, including the folks who eventually drive you crazy, can teach you something worthwhile.
Sometimes it will feel weird when you realize you spent so much time with someone you are no longer connected to, but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. We all are.
8. The past is indicative of the future.
The mindset of your past being indicative of your future is hogwash.
Do not judge your failed attempts and mistakes as an indication of your future potential, but as part of your growth process. Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it and use the knowledge you’ve gained. Don’t let it haunt you and hold you back.
Quite often, the successful people who act the happiest are the ones who have overcome the most. Sometimes you have to lose something precious in order to gain something priceless. So if you hit rock bottom, just think, you’ve got nothing to lose, everything to gain, and a solid foundation without expectations or obligations from which to rebuild your life.
Photo by: Bo Insogna