Do you feel that you’re living your best life? Can you say, ‘I feel passionate about what I do!’ and ‘I wake up every morning excited about what lies ahead.’ Are you at peace with your choices? Are you at peace with yourself?
If you’ve said yes, congratulations—you’re one of the rare few. Most of us struggle with insecurity, regret and self-doubt. Or we feel lost, stuck, plagued by this nagging sense that ‘There must be something more.’
The good news is that there is something more, and we can get it. In fact, we can have it right now, or at least kick the beliefs that are holding us back.
1. Love your body.
It’s not a perfect body, and it deteriorate with age. But like it or not, it is yours. You may spend thousands of dollars trying to turn it into something else, but you will only really be happy when you stop struggling and become comfortable in your own skin (even when it’s sagging).
Stand in front of a mirror and thank your body for everything it has done for you. Think of all the people it has hugged, the sunsets it has seen, the delicious meals it has tasted. In return, promise to listen to it: to sleep when it is tired, and eat when it is hungry. Promise not to abuse it with toxic substances. It is the only body you have.
2. Embrace experience.
Life is one big classroom, and every experience—good or bad—reveals something about the world, other people, and yourself. You can choose to be awake and aware, and learn everything you can while you’re here. Or you can ‘sleep’ through class, running away from anything that challenges what you already know.
3. See life as a process.
The only way to know life is to live life. There is no formula, no cheat sheet, that will give you the answers (and as Rilke said, how can you understand the answers if you have not lived the questions?). So don’t be upset at yourself if you ‘make mistakes.’ Don’t waste a second on regret or disappointment. You live, and you learn. You get out of your comfort zone, and you grow.
4. Don’t let fear rule your life.
You can never run away from a problem—you will just encounter it in another form. In fact, you will attract situations that force you, again and again, to face your fears and re-examine your choices. That’s actually a good thing. Life always gives you a second, third, fourth chance to do better. So if you notice a negative pattern in your life, don’t ask ‘Why is this always happening to me?’ Ask, ‘What am I always doing so that this happens to me?’ Or even better, ‘What should I be doing so this doesn’t happen again?’
5. Don’t be afraid of pain.
We’re pretty good at making all sorts of defense mechanisms to avoid learning. We blame other people, we justify our actions, or we pretend the problem doesn’t exist. But here’s the deal–the Universe will do everything it can to make you listen. And if little nudges won’t work, a big whack on the head will. Look at all the major crises in your life, and you’ll see that you were forced to deal with an old pattern. So deal with it. Don’t be afraid. You’re bigger than your problems. You’re stronger than you act. And you’re smarter than you think.
6. Just do it.
You may know something, recognize a truth, and say, ‘This completely makes sense.’ But that’s not enough. The test is whether or not you change—and how that insight transforms the way you treat other people and treat yourself.
7. ‘There’ is no better than ‘here.’
Complete this sentence: ‘If I could only have ______ I would be happier.’ It’s the core of practically everything that makes us miserable: envy, regret, resentment, disappointment. It’s also our favorite excuse for not taking charge of our lives. ‘I’ll do _______ if I had _______.’ Or, ‘I wouldn’t be ________ if I had ________.’
There is no perfect situation. There is only the here and now. So stop looking at external situations and start looking at yourself for the answers. Everything you need is within you.
8. Take charge of your fate.
Don’t blame your parents, God, or the Republicans for your life. You always have a choice—even if it’s deciding how to interpret a situation, or how much you’ll be affected by it. And no we don’t care about what happened in your past. What matters is what you’re going to do for your future.
9. You become what you think.
Have you heard of the term, ‘self-fulfilling prophecy?’ If you think you’re a failure, you will fail. If you say that everybody hurts you, you will either attract abusive people or interpret everyone’s actions to be hurtful (even if they weren’t).