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).
Another awesome email at the right time…
Thank u guys you’ve been truly inspirational to me. I’m struggling with the panic again… Fear of leaving my zone where I feel safe.
I know this needs to change. There’s always tomorrow…
Today I made it to shop .. Tomorrow into the city !! I unfortunately don’t have the option not to go as need my medication… Its only 10 min walk FM home … I know I’ll come out of it when I 1st found you guys … I was ready for “the out.”
That was a few years ago…
Thanks guys xx
I have no friends and I’m introvert too. If I’m writing this which means I’m totally scared of peoples.
You have been so inspirational. I just started reading your blog and I read an entry every morning to start my day off on a good note. 🙂 . Thanks again!
Thanks again for great encouragement!
I am middle-age, and like many people, kept seeing what I do for a living disappear. I finally found the right degree program and enrolled. Three years later, I am on my last semester of coursework! It truly is never too late. Returning to school has not been easy.
One of the things I have told myself throughout is that the years would pass by regardless of what I did, so I may as well do something that would work for me.
Your course has been so helpful to be these past few weeks, and what a help this blog was to me now! I need these reminders to stay on track.
I do the “coulda/shoulda/woulda” all the time..& it makes me sick and robs me of my life and motherhood.
So many injustices and trying to stand up for my kids but in doing so got trampled on- but trying to see the blessings behind what looks like chaos.
To me it feels unjust & cruel how we were treated for standing up for our kids when they were bullied at school.. Yet the school made US the bullies for demanding the school deal with it..!
What a crazy world we live in..?
But trying to find the confidence & integrity & pride in the effort we put in – sacrificing our own reputations for the sake of our kids happiness.
Affectively – we were humiliated by the school by being banned from school property all because we told the school they had failed in their duty of care in stopping bullying…
It’s a private school – so a law unto themselves – zero empathy and all cover up at all costs..
So now our kids have no formal ed as we look for a decent school that deals with bullying..
This article really helped me in trying to let go of the humiliation and shame in being criminalised & character assassinated with zero evidence – dealing w false accusations & trying to “put it all behind me”.
Feeling like a failure- that I stuffed up our kids primary schooling… Thinking like a drama queen- it really has made me depressed & it’s been 5 months.
I get glimmers of hope that I will heal when I read inspirational words like yours. Can’t relate at all to ANY blogger or coach who hasn’t suffered & recovered- so Thank you for all you do!!
I struggle with all of these. I am in the beginning stages of divorce and find myself constantly angry with what ‘could have been’ and what ‘should have been’. I rage at myself for not being able to fulfill those goals, for being 38 years old and ‘wasting’ 12 years of my life on a goal that I will now never see. It tears me up inside usually when I least expect it. Usually when I start the cycle of think,think,think.
When I read the title I thought to myself thats not for me… and then I realized… it IS me. All of it. Even the addictive personality that has somehow been able to avoid being consumed by drugs and alcohol, and yet addicted to holding on to things that don’t work, afraid to go a new path without a foundation to tether myself (my husband). Thank you so much for sharing this post.
Much love for what you share with the world.
PS. I attended your 2017 conference and just got my tickets for next month’s event in San Diego. I’m looking forward to a another rejuvenating weekend of self-care.
Mustafa Kulle says
Yes. As long as you are living, it’s never too late.
Number 4 is very good for me… my entire family seemed to deny me the right to take up space, that’s exactly how it felt. I have never quite been able to put the feeling properly it into words words. The other day, I came up with “a feeling of having been ostracised”, or of not being allowed to be myself whenever I was at home, but this notion of “taking up space” works very well indeed.
And… I still have an anxiety about it today. I’m always asking myself if I have a right to be here, there or wherever, even if people are happy to see me.
People have also often said I have great ideas for myself (and I do) but I never do them, preferring the safe option most times.
There are also times when I’m just too scared to show myself, who I am, my true colours, then again there are times when there is just no stopping me. I’m on a roll, but there will be a price to pay for that each time.
The questions in my head during the bad times are always: Am I allowed to do this? Am I going to far? Am I showing myself up? Am I exposing myself? Am I in danger?
And I do a post-mortem after the event: Did I have a right to do that? Did I go too far? Did I show myself up? Did I expose myself? Was I in danger?
That is indeed a mental block I have, but today, thanks to this post, I have probably found the cause. I was made to feel bad about myself merely for being myself and taking up space. I must have made great efforts not to do either. Those efforts probably became second nature and now run themselves like clockwork!
Now is the best time of my life. That’s all I need to remember.
Katie Muno says
Please make these printable!
Wow. I have been subscribing to “Hack Life” for years now. But today’s “9 Things” resonated so deeply with me that I am almost in tears. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I began 2020 saying “this is finally the year for me to make the changes I need to make (after many years of procrastination). Not only a new year, but a new decade”. I felt like finally it would happen. Needless to say, we are three weeks into 2020 and guess what, I am still procrastinating and haven’t changed anything. Some days it is just too hard. But just about every point you made I personally can identify with.
I am going to try reading it every morning first thing and hoping that it will help to motivate me. And also to help me to feel better about myself and not beat myself up so much about not being where I should be in my life. And I do believe that things happen for a reason, and when they are supposed to happen. Thank you again.
Bonnie Staughton says
Loved this. Most of this resounds with me one way or the other. Especially the “overthinking” part. I spend way too much of my time constantly thinking about things that have happened to me in the past–as though I can find a way to “fix” them. No, I can’t. I have to let them go and get on with my life. I’ll be re-reading this over and over until I “get it”.
Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts and watching videos from several qualified people on “happiness” and I have to say that since I have found the both of you, I’ve leaned the most about how I can change my life for the better. I really thank you for that.
Polly Light says
No 4 – when someone rejects you, 99 per cent of the time it isn’t actually about you, it’s about them and their insecurities …etc
Simply said thank you for the love you guys for loving us enough to share your insights things overcame with the world. Now if I can just grasp it . I get all hyped up was to try something new today something needed . I didn’t go didn’t do it I let what someone think of me stop me . Its true as long as there is breath in your body ..which I don’t have long there is an urgency to say I overcome I may never arrive but I took steps out of fear anxiety ..because like another reader I have no truelly accepted I had cancer .. And the drastic changes it made in me emotionally physically spiritually. I want me back a better version of me if but for a moment . but yet I overcome so much was able to see my strengths in this a lot came out of it . Now I just want be the best I can be in God’s eyes because we not here to please people but be vessels for his use leave a legacy make a mark …so in Him is my hope and through your words I heAr him to remind me! Thank you
Marc Kemper says
The last ten years of my life have been very tough to say the least. After 11 years of marriage I went through a divorce and eventually a child custody battle, was terminated from a truck driving job after jack-knifing on black ice (I don’t recommend that to anyone), and suffered through the unexpected death of my father. But the the last four years has given me hope that I can take many bad situations and work through them, surviving on the other side. I started to pull myself out of the slide by going back to school in 2016 to finish my Bachelors degree. As of December 2019, I was able to walk across the stage and receive my Masters degree. It was just the type of moment I needed to open doors for my future, and to put all the pain behind me for good. It’s never too late to finish what you started, and you are never too old to learn. Marc and Angel’s weekly emails have been there for me and have motivated me to make positive changes in my life. Don’t ever give up!
This is what I need at the right time because I almost give up on the strong woman I am but this article really call me back its like someone sit me down and talk senses to my head God will continue to enrich u guys in knowledge.
Looking forward to Think Better Live Better 2020. Just got one of the last tickets! Yay!
And I love the 4th point here. I really needed to read that and internalize it in today. Thank you.
Thanks so much for this write up. I really needed it lost my grandma yesterday and my dad on the 6th of this month. It hasn’t been an easy one for me. This helped alot
Thank you for your emails and thoughts.
I agree with “If you compete with others, you will become bitter.” But not the next sentence, ” If you compete with a previous version of yourself, you will become better.” Sometimes life happens and you restart with different abilities. Then trying to compete with a previous version of yourself is just self-defeating and you can become bitter too because you are restarting from a different place.
yes, i started treating myself to more sleep. game changer.
Swati Khedekar says
Amazing to read this email early in the morning at 5 am when I woke ip to my bothering thoughts.
It was a relief and a great comfort to read through this email which allows one to reflect on one’s thoughts and enables them to gather themself and put together again to ride on.
I appreciate your efforts and thank both of you Marc and Angel for such amazing piece of work.
Keep the work on.We need these soothing words and your posivity to rely on in times of need and difficulties.
Love reading your stuff.
Hight spirits to you too,
Thank you. Several of the points hit home. Also reading your 1000 Little Things book as a morning self-reflection exercise. Excellent stuff all around.
Marc and Angel,
I usually don’t leave comments to any blog that I read, But after reading yours for the last several Months, I realized that it was time to Thank the Both of you, I know you all have been through a lot, and taking the time to give us readers a Spiritlyft, and letting us know what you have been through and how you all came through to help others, is true strength and love, So Thank You both for helping me realize me and Thank you both for being Great people, It has helped me through some tough times,
Latiefa Sulemane says
ThankQ..You guys never cease to amaze us! I’m forever with my notepad when I’m on your blog!!!! If you not learning you’re dying! Everything just hit home hard..
Thank you guys ! I have been reading yalls stuff for years & I really wish I could afford to come to one of your live events , I am quite sure they are life changing ! Just please never give up on us , for your work is alive in us all that read it ! Even with all the dishonest people & the people trying to steal from us & the people trying to deceive us , your words are alive in us & keep us going. From one of the good guys , trying to make a difference ! Namaste’
Please I have this lady whom I love so much but there’s something bothering me which I don’t understand. Every time she is taking to someone on the phone I feel jealous and angry and I want you to help me to be able to feel secure in the relationship. Thank you
Wella Z says
This is exactly what I needed. I always try to compare myself with others, whether it’s career, business, or relationship. I even compare myself to my partner’s exes… which I know is crazy. Thank u I needed to read this..
WOW WOW WOW, excellence at its best once again! Thank you for this..just what I needed to hear, especially number 1 through 4… (this one person who judges me allll the time). By reading what you said, that this person has issues of their own…and weird I knew this from the very beginning, but just thought I was wrong.
Adam H says
Number 7, it is easier to be nice than an *** hole. Smile at someone who may look a little down as it may be a small ray of light to them knowing that someone cares, use your manners and be courteous to others.
Ramesh Kulkarni says
I totally agree with the point #3. Infact even if we are not bothered about comparing, our friend’s, parents does it for us. This acts as a seed to witness a tree in future, in terms of comparisons. I often say to myself, ‘don’t worry about others’.But my mind so strong and adamant, It just think about others activities, their comment’s , their way of achieving things etc. Sometimes we believe that we are just observing others , but it would eventually ends up in comparison.Frequently We here that we all are unique, but deep inside we always want to surpass others, to feel the joy. However the point of focus should be on how we can observe to learn and implement good qualities of others without falling in a trap of comparison.
One more point you mentioned about replacing “competitive spirit with collaborative one, its important and the best point!! As you rightly mentioned this kind of thought and practice would yield healthy fruits.
I am happy to say that this blog is resonating with my thoughts.
Thanks a lot for sharing this.
Sarah Hackler says
This website has been a life changer for me. I’ve come to this site 3-4 times a week and poured over the articles. Thank you for the daily inspiration! Soon after I got motivation from here I found this awesome software to further my goals goalsetreach. I hope all readers like me will continue to be the best versions of themselves everyday!
Kim Land says
I guess I’m guilty of number 5. The problem with getting annoyed by little daily things is that every problem consists of little things 🙂
Not taking things too personally can be challenging, but it makes life easier. Meditation has helped me with that. It made me a calmer and more relaxed person.
Anyway, keep up the good work!