You have unlimited power over your mind – not outside events.
Realize this, and you will find strength.
These small changes in your daily routine will make a major difference in your life by helping you grow stronger and more capable in the long-run:
1. Make yourself somewhat uncomfortable.
You may feel comfortable bobbing around in the little lake that you’re used to, but if you don’t stretch your comfort zone and venture out into the adjoining waterways, you’ll never discover the beauty and immensity of the ocean – you will never even know it exists. Holding on to what’s comfortable may be the very reason you often feel like something is missing in your life.
Remember, just because you venture out into the world doesn’t mean you can’t return home whenever you want to. It’s okay to come back to where you started, but it’s not okay to never leave.
2. Work on substantial goals.
The worst thing you can do is set personal goals that are far lower than you are able to achieve. Settling for mediocrity when you know you are capable of doing better is reprehensible. Too many people don’t realize this until it’s too late. They think failure is the worst possible outcome of a goal. But the truth is, when a goal is set properly failure still brings you closer to success by teaching you lessons about what doesn’t work. Failure lets you move on, while mediocrity holds you back from reaching your full potential.
Life is short. If you catch yourself continuously succeeding but still feeling incomplete, it’s time to reevaluate your goals. It’s time to stop diminishing your soul by being run-of-the-mill with mediocre intentions when you have the opportunity to stretch yourself to your full potential. Pursue something so significant that even if you fail, you are better off for having tried. Read The Front Nine.
3. Nurture your self-worth.
The worst loneliness – the kind you can’t escape – is when you are uncomfortable with yourself. If you feel lonely when you’re alone, it’s time to start loving yourself more. As the Buddha so profoundly said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
If you are not at peace with yourself, you will not be at peace in the company of others. They may distract you for awhile, but the truth will eventually reveal itself. Almost everything you do and think is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. You simply can’t outperform the limits you set. If you expect less of yourself, you will never rise to your full potential. You cannot withdraw any more from your potential than you think you’re worth.
4. Tell yourself the right story.
You tell yourself a story inside your head every day. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’re always reciting it. This story makes up a big part of who you are – you build much of your life from it.
You will either use this story to your advantage, or it will use you. This is why you have to tell yourself the right story. If you tell the right one, it will make you more alive, more human, more courageous, more passionate, and more loving. If you tell the wrong one, the exact opposite occurs. Obviously, you owe it to yourself to get the story right. Read 1,000 Little Things.
5. Chat with people who see things differently.
As Frank Zappa once said, “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” It’s okay to disagree with the ideas and opinions expressed by others, but that doesn’t give you the right to discredit their character simply because you don’t like what they’re saying. Learn to appreciate new and interesting perspectives when you encounter them, even if it means opening your mind beyond what you currently find comfortable.
Before it is too late, pay attention to those around you and find someone who, in your opinion, believes or understands certain things very strongly and very differently from your own perspectives, and just have a friendly, honest conversation with them. It will be a healthy, eye-opening experience for both of you.
6. Avoid those who hold you back.
As Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” It’s about making choices and taking actions that speak to your soul.
Don’t live a life of emotional poverty in which your happiness depends on the permission of another. Give yourself permission to follow the path that makes you happy. Realize that some people in your life will refuse to walk beside you as you embark on this journey; they simply won’t approve no matter what you say, and that’s okay.
Sometimes when you commit yourself to creating your own happiness, it clashes with the perceptions of others. Sometimes when you gain something great, you have to let go of something else. And sometimes this ‘something else’ is a relationship that only wants you to do what they want you to do. Read Emotional Vampires.
7. Cope effectively.
Every human being on Earth is part of a tragedy at some point. No one is immune. You never really know what’s coming – a small ripple in the water or a tidal wave. All you can really do is cope effectively so that when the big one comes, you can surf over it instead of drowning in its monstrosity.
The key is to remain positive, because honestly, if you can’t laugh a little when things don’t go exactly as planned, then you’re either dead or wishing you were… lose-lose. The bottom line is that, on some level or another, every event in your life is either good for you or it is bringing about what you need to deal with in order to create goodness in your future.
Life’s changes and evolutions are win-win. Life is self-correcting.
8. BE where you are while you’re there.
It’s the process of following your path that’s important, not the speed at which you progress down it. Happiness is found during the journey, not at the destination. Slow down so you can appreciate the forest for each of its trees. You have a better chance of truly seeing where you are when you stop spending every waking moment trying to get somewhere else.
You have the power to make your moments more enjoyable simply by realizing that where you are is as good as where you want to be. It’s not a matter of settling for less than you are capable of, or staying right where you are indefinitely. It’s about taking the time to celebrate the goodness surrounding you and how far you’ve come, rather than focusing exclusively of what’s still left to be done. Read The Power of Less.
Photo by: Hartwig HKD