Right now, don’t judge or berate yourself for how long your journey is taking. We all need our own time to travel our own distance. And every step is necessary.
Consider this post your reminder…
Marc and I have spent the past 12 years coaching people of all ages and demographics, from all over the world. This experience has taught us, above all, that everyone journeys in their own way. Some people start their careers right out of college in their early twenties, only to find themselves burnt out and starting over when they reach their early thirties. Others start working minimum wage jobs right out of high school and work their way up the corporate ladder, retiring happily in their mid-sixties. Some people fall in love and get married in their mid-twenties, but wind up divorced a few years later. Others marry in their early forties and spend four decades with their soul mate. Some couples are ridiculed for becoming teen parents, but end up living to meet their children’s children. Other couples get pregnant in their mid-forties and are ridiculed for putting their unborn children at risk.
Again, everyone’s journey is different. And everyone is doing life right, in their own way.
So, just remind yourself right now: there are no absolutes in life.
And there certainly are no fixed timelines.
YOU are NOT too late to make the best of things!
You’re exactly where you need to be right now.
Which means . . .
1. It’s not too late to start doing the hard things you need to do to be happier.
All great achievements require time and hard work. Good things don’t come easy. And consistent practice is the only way you can endure the gray periods.
When we want things to be easy, and expect them to be, we are inevitably disappointed. Our disappointment then motivates us to give up too soon. And the thing with giving up too soon is you never know. You never know whether you could have put in the effort and done something incredible with your life. I’ve personally pushed myself pretty hard over the years, because I was sick of the same old problems. What about you?
Find the courage to do the hard things in life. The things no one else is doing. The things that frighten you. The things others can’t do for you. The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward. Because those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living—between knowing the path and walking the path… between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.
Yes, find the courage!
And remember, courage doesn’t always roar out loud. Sometimes courage is simply the quiet voice at the very end of the evening, whispering, “I will try again tomorrow.”
2. It’s not too late to be a beginner.
We are products of what we know, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. When you stop learning you stop living a meaningful life. 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 become clearer when you look at things from different angles. 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 in the days ahead.
Bottom line: As long as you are breathing, you are only just beginning.
3. It’s not too late to stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
Let go of the foolish need to compare, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.
If you compete with others, you will become bitter. If you compete with a previous version of yourself, you will become better. It’s as simple as that. You are not in competition with anybody except yourself—plan to outdo your past, not other people.
And keep in mind that when you’re not competing against others, you can instead work with them on a common goal. You can use your combined insights and talents to achieve what none of you can alone. Incredible personal growth and learning occurs through relationships when the competitive spirit is replaced with a collaborative one.
4. It’s not too late to give yourself a loving stamp of approval.
I don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough in my own eyes.
Repeat that to yourself and let it sink in.
Other people can’t validate you. In fact, when someone rejects or abandons or judges you, 99% of the time it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalize any of it.
Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you—it’s something inherent. You are alive, and therefore you matter. You’re allowed to think things and feel things. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is worthy. And you’re allowed to create some healthy distance from anyone who insists on making you feel otherwise.
5. It’s not too late to stop taking little daily annoyances personally.
Another driver cut you off in traffic. Your friend never texted you back. Your coworker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a daily basis. But what caused you to be offended? You took things personally and dramatically. You made it all about YOU by assigning negative intent to these otherwise arbitrary actions. And you let your temper roar.
Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t pretend like everyone’s daily actions are about YOU. They aren’t. People’s actions are about THEM. So let it GO!
How would your life be different if you walked away from drama, gossip and nonconstructive assumptions?
Let today be the day you find out.
6. It’s not too late to make yourself a daily priority.
Life gets a lot easier when you are your own best friend. So don’t forget about YOU out there, and don’t be too hard on yourself either. There are plenty of others that will do both of these things for you.
Remember, there’s absolutely nothing selfish about self-care. If you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of anyone else. Because we can’t give what we don’t have. Treat yourself right and you’ll be life-giving to others.
7. It’s not too late to feel the warmth and joy of lifting others up.
Once your own self-care is in order, there is no exercise better for your heart and mind than reaching down and lifting people up.
Truly, generosity isn’t just to help others, it’s also to liberate you. It’s what keeps the things you own from owning you. Which is why you cannot live abundantly until you have done something nice for someone who can never repay you. Meditate on this and live graciously today.
8. It’s not too late to stop thinking and thinking, and OVER-thinking EVERYTHING.
Sometimes your mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. Your sore throat is life threatening. Your lost driver’s license fell into the hands of a miscreant looking to steal your identity. Negativity like this only breeds more negativity. It’s a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from the shore and, if you don’t swim away, it will pull you under.
Stop over-thinking every dilemma. Answers come to a relaxed mind. Space allows things to fall into place. A calm attitude yields the best results.
When your fears and anxieties have you looking too deeply into things, it creates problems—it doesn’t fix them. If you think and you think and you think, you’ll think yourself right out of happiness a dozen times, and never once into it.
9. It’s not too late to sincerely embrace the life you’re presently living.
Before you can truly LIVE today, a part of you has to die first. You have to let go and bury what could have been, how you should have responded and what you wish you would have done differently. You have to accept that you can’t change a past experience, opinions of others at that moment in time, or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally accept this truth, then you will finally understand the true meaning of forgiving yourself and others. From this point you will finally be present and free.
Remember, you’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too. Give yourself credit for your resilience, and step forward again today with grace.
If you’re struggling with any of these points, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and live a life free of addiction. This is precisely why Marc and I wrote the NEW edition of 1,000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. It’s filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that. And believe it or not, Marc and I review a lot of our own material on a regular basis too, just to center our minds on these positive principles.
The bottom line is that it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction. It’s never too late to break free and become the person you are capable of being!
Please leave a comment below and let us know:
Which reminder above resonated the most?
Anything else to share?
We would love to hear from YOU. 🙂
Also, we recently released our NEW podcast, THINK BETTER, LIVE BETTER (yes, it shares the title of our annual live event). You can listen to the first 17 episodes on your favorite podcast player right now (M&A on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts).
Finally, our next annual Think Better, Live Better conference is taking place February 8-9, 2020 in San Diego. We just released 3 more discounted early bird tickets that are still available right now (while they last).