For many years, I was my own worst enemy. I surrounded myself with toxic people, adopted unhealthy habits, and behaved like none of this had any consequences. Boy was I wrong. I have made some changes in my life, and my behavior and the results were astounding. I now want to share these changes with you, in the hope that it will help you too.
1. Don’t associate with the wrong people
People who make you feel like you’re not worth their time, who treat you like you’re beneath them, or who never back you up when you need them to are not people you should spend time with. True friends will make time for you and stick with you through thick and thin.
2. Stop avoiding your problems
It may be the easy thing to do in the short term, but in the long run, you’ll just face them again and again. It’s better to tackle hardship head-on. You probably won’t solve your problems instantly, but the process is what counts – learn from your mistakes, adapt and grow. Eventually, it’ll make you a better, stronger person.
3. Don’t lie to yourself
Honesty is the best policy, and being honest with yourself is the most important part of this policy. When you lie to yourself, you know that you’re lying, so it’s pointless and will make you feel like a disingenuous person. Don’t do it.
4. Don’t ignore your own needs
You may want to be there for all of your friends, all the time, or you may think that your children’s needs come before your happiness. They don’t. If you suppress your needs, you’ll become tired, because fighting a need is tiresome, and you’ll end up unhappy at best and severely depressed at worst. Take some “me time” - indulge in a hobby or passion. It’s worth it.
5. Be yourself
Trying to be someone you’re not is hard work, and ultimately, you’ll always be afraid others will find out. The most gratifying relationships are with people who appreciate you for who you are, not who you want others to think you are.
6. Let go of the past
It cannot be changed, so learn from it and get on with it.
7. You can make mistakes
“To err is human, to forgive is divine” – we all make mistakes, and no one is perfect. The only way to make no mistakes is to do nothing, and people who are afraid of mistakes are often paralyzed by that fear. The more things you avoid out of fear, the more regrets you’ll end up having.
8. Let bygones be bygones
Staying up late at night, thinking of all of the things you did wrong, all of the conversations that could have gone differently if you’d have said (or hadn't said) that one thing? You’re wasting your time and energy. Past mistakes are done and gone - you can learn from them, make amends, and move on. The knowledge learned from the mistakes you made in the past are helping to shape your future. They will end up making you a better person.
9. Money can’t buy you happiness
That new TV, shiny car, those diamond earrings – they may make you happy for a few minutes, a few days or even a couple of years, but true happiness comes from within. Follow your passions and enjoy life – that will make you truly happy.
10. Happiness is in you, not in other people
Other people are looking for happiness just like you, they may like to join you for the ride, but the only person responsible for your happiness - is you.
11. A rolling stone gathers no moss
Problems and fears can paralyze you and get you stuck. You may need to stop over-thinking and try a different approach, but always take decisive action once you do. Sure, you’ll make mistakes, but at least you won’t be stuck anymore.
12. Don’t get into a relationship just because you’re lonely
A relationship requires two people who are both ready and willing to be in a relationship. Loneliness may be a terrible feeling, but being with the wrong person ends up feeling even worse. You’ll find the right person as long as you’re true to yourself.
13. Don’t wait until you’re “ready”
Life will always find ways to surprise you. Opportunities arise when you least expect them. You may never be ready, but don’t let it stop you. When an opportunity comes knocking – take it. When you need to do something – do it. Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone.
14. Old relationships shouldn’t affect new relationships
Even if your last relationship (or relationships) ended in heartbreak, don’t let it prevent you from entering a new one. A new person may help you mend that broken heart and bring out the best in you.
15. Life is not a competition
Stop comparing yourself to other people. There will always be someone better looking, smarter, richer, or more talented. Nobody is perfect, including you. Your success is your own - between you and yourself.
16. Self-pity and complaints will get you nowhere
Wallowing in your own misery and constantly complaining doesn’t solve your problems, and also tends to push people away. Consider every time something bad happened, and find the good that came out of it. You’ll realize that hardship is just a matter of perspective.
17. Grudges are bad for your health
Holding on to anger and hate will push people away, and end up hurting you and your loved ones. To forgive doesn’t mean ignoring what was done to you, but rather to acknowledge it and refuse to let it dampen your happiness. Also, remember to forgive yourself as well.
18. Don’t let others make you stoop to their level
“Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.”
19. Stop wasting time on justifying yourself
Your friends don’t require explanations, and enemies won’t care. As long as you know in your heart that you are right, stop apologizing.
20. If something doesn’t work, try a different approach
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
21. Small moments count
We tend to remember only the big moments, but the majority of life occurs in small doses. A shooting star, a moment of joy, the last rays of a sunset – these are the fillings of life’s cake, and it’s the best part.
22. Perfection is impossible
No one and nothing is perfect, and perfectionists are often the most frustrated people in the world.
23. Don’t separate optimism from realism
Sometimes things fall apart, and that’s okay. Sometimes you feel weak, and that’s also okay. You can’t pretend that everything is fine when it clearly isn’t, so don’t avoid the truth – embrace it.
24. The easiest choice is not always the best one
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and the easy way out often leaves you feeling empty. Dare. Take risks. A truly extraordinary life is never an easy one.
25. Take responsibility for your actions
The only person you can control in this world is you. Other people can’t make your dreams come true for you, nor can they take the blame for your mistakes. Don’t give other people power over you.
26. Don’t make yourself sick with worry
Worrying doesn’t solve problems, but it definitely can create new ones. If you find yourself worrying about something, ask yourself if it will really impact you in the future – if it doesn’t, it’s not worth worrying about.
27. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want
A positive approach helps in two ways – it aids with your happiness and helps you solve problems faster than a negative one.
28. Remember to be grateful
When you wake up each morning, be thankful that you’re alive, appreciate each day and be grateful for what you’ve got. In other parts of the world, people may not be so lucky.