There are things that we could all be doing to make life more worthwhile. Sometimes, we spend our time rushing from chore to chore and forget to slow down and think about the important things. The worthwhile stuff. Being busy creeps in and life passes us by in a meaningless haze. As John Lennon famously said “Life is what happens while you are busy makimg other plans”.
Here are reminders to keep us on track, to help us lead meaningful lives and fulfill our potential.
Stop being so hard on yourself
Self compassion is so underrated. Few of us treat ourselves with love and kindness. We are self critical and constantly berate ourselves when we don’t live up to what we think we should be doing. Cut yourself some slack and remember that it’s okay to make mistakes, to fail and to feel inadequate. It happens to all of us. Self criticism or self hatred is counterproductive. Instead, allow yourself time to breathe, time to rest and stop putting so much pressure on yourself. When was the last time you actually congratulated yourself or felt good about yourself? Focus on what you do well and your your wonderful characteristics instead and get into the habit of talking yourself up. You will achieve far more and like yourself more when you talk to yourself as you would a best friend.
Stay away from gossip
Gossip is usually a way of making ourselves feel better but after a while it can catch up with us. I know that I tend not to trust those that gossip about others. It is such a waste of time and energy and it’s a toxic behaviour. Instead, look for the good in others, compliment people and enjoy the success of others. Success is there for all of us, don’t feel threatened by it, see it as inspiration to help you move forward.
Listen more, talk less
You’ll be amazed at how life can seem so different when ou take the time to really listen to other people. I mean really listen, so that you only formulate a response once they have finished what they were saying. We can all be self absorbed at times and this is a great habit to get into.
In a world where there is so much cruelty and sadness, see your kindness as a light in the darkness. When we are kind we feel good about ourselves too so it has a doudle edged effect. We all appreciate kindness and it costs nothing to give it.
It’s so short sighted to judge others at face value without truly being in their position. We can’t know all the facts about why someone did something but we can be far more tolerant if we try to understand why someone behaved a certain way. What led them to it?
Stop judging others
Following on from understanding why – try to be objective in life and remain neutral. It;s easy to judge and many of us do it to make ourselves feel better. We can all be judged for something and we tend to judge our own behaviour differently than we judge others. We make excuses for our own behaviour but not for others.
Be impeccable with your word
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Honesty is a great trait to have and when you watch what you say, you will respect yourself too.
Appreciate the ones you love
Making time for loved ones is something that we can all overlook when life gets so busy. Just remember though that at the end of your life, it will all boil down to friends and family. That will matter most to you so make it count throughout your life, not just at the end.
Remove toxic people
We can’t change toxic people. If they are harsh and make you feel bad about yourself , it may be time to re-assess their place in your life. Unfortunately, toxic people tend to remain that way and you won’t be able to change them. Instead, protect yourself by removing them from your life or limiting your time with them.
Work at being true to yourself
If you like green stripes in your hair, do it. If you want to do something that you know others will judge you for, go ahead regardless. This is your life for you to live. Others have their own choices to make about theirs. The more you are true to yourself the happier and freer you will be.
There is so much to explore, and the more we discover the greater our wisdom and understanding of oursleves and others will be. Learn new things, try new places and meet new people wherever possible.
Don’t hold grudges
Learn to let go. When you hang on to stuff you only make yourself sick. The other person is off doing their thing and not being affected while you sit with the misery. It’s like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to fall ill. Learn to let go. You may not be able to forget but forgiving means you allow yourself to be free from the past.
Treat others as you would like to be treated
If you would like people to be considerate of your needs, treat others with thoughtfulness. I know it can be hard to do this because many people are selfish and keep on taking. If that’s the case then put them into the toxic category and try to spend less time around them. There are no excuses for selfishness.
Find a purpose
We all need meaning in our lives. Positive Psychologists refer to PERKS: Purpose, engagement, relationships and kindess as the four areas we need to focus on to feel happier and I agree. When we have goals and a purpose we have structure and a ‘raison d’etre’. Find something you enjoy doing and go after it. Is it to help people worse off than yourself, is it to teach yourself a new skill? Whatever your personal purpose, it will offer meaning and this is essential for emotional well being.
Live according to your values
What are your values? Honesty, kindness, family, love, to be a good parent, to be true to yourself? Figure out what they are and make sure you apply them to your life. If one of your values is family but you spend all your time in the office, it may be time to try rejig your schedule somewhat. We can all find time for things that mean a lot to us. It offers peace of mind so don’t leave your values out of your life.
Do something new often
Keep facing your fears and leep trying new things. Sure this increases anxiety but it also increases your sense of self efficacy (your ability to manage different siutations and to be competent) and self confidence so the temporary anxiety is well worth it!
Take stock of your situation regularly
Life audits are valuable as they help you to monitor if you are on the right track or not. Opportunities will present themselves, some will be right for us while others will just distract us and take us off onto a side track that ultimately won’t take us where we want to go. Regularly checking in with yourself and your long term and short term goals ensures you stay focused and live life heading towards where you want to be in the future. Cut out the nonsense, time wasting stuff that tends to interfere over time. Be strict with yourself about who you spend your time with and how you spend your time.
Don’t take life too seriously
Finally, nurture that sense of humour. I know I can get ‘swallowed’ by my negative fearful thoughts and feel threatened even though, right at that moment, there is no danger and the feeling of threat comes purely from my thinking. Learn to dismiss thoughts and not take them too seriously, just as you shouldn’t take life too seriously. This is all temporary at the end of the day and life is a lot easier if we learn to lighten up, remind ourselves that “this too shall pass” and go do something fun instead of worrying about something that might never happen.
If you have any tips on how to lead a more fulfilled like, get in touch. I am always happy to share inspiring tips to help others…