For Jane, thank you for keeping me in your thoughts..
Striving to become my best self is something I’m constantly working on. Should I waste my energy getting mad at the person that just cut me of? Should I just forgive and let go? Is this really worth my energy and time? What is the appropriate reaction for this situation? What productive thing can I do with my time? These are things that go through my mind all the time.
I’m going to share with you something I’ve learned through experiences and what I do to help me excel in life and become better than who I was yesterday.
Love yourself. It took a huge painful event in my life for me to learn this. If I wouldn’t have gone through that, I would have never learned the importance of loving myself before loving anyone else. Loving yourself is being alone and enjoying it, it’s being confident, independent, happy, secure. Don’t ever place your happiness in someone else. People come and go. Place your happiness in yourself. Focus on you and get to know who you are. Grow into the person you are meant to be.
Forgive but never forget. This is such a basic and over-said saying but I agree with this 100%. In life, I have had many opportunities where I’ve been wronged and I’ve had to forgive. You should always forgive no matter what situation. And yes I know that is a very broad statement but I stand by it. Forgive always no matter what. Forgiving is never for the benefit of them, it’s only for your benefit. When you don’t forgive, you create hate and resentment and bitterness in your heart and life. Don’t ever hold on to hurt, forgive and let it go. What I will say is, sadly, we live in a world where we have to learn from our experiences because THEY CAN happen again. Therefore, never forget.
Focus on your path, stay in your lane. You cannot compare yourself to others. We were all put on this earth with our own unique gifts and purposes. You are unique and your own. Love who you are and what you can become. Take a long look at your gifts and what your passion is and focus on that. There is no need to compare yourself to anyone. You are beautiful and enough.
Always have a thankful attitude. If you couldn’t get that promotion but still have a job, be thankful. If you couldn’t travel but spent it at home, be thankful. When you think you don’t have anything to wear, be thankful you have clothes. There is always a reason to be thankful. Stop complaining and be thankful.
Don’t expect anything from anyone. We are all humans and we all fail. Don’t expect your spouse to be thoughtful, don’t expect your parents to understand. Don’t expect your friends to include you. Don’t expect anyone to owe you anything. Once you let this idea of expecting from people, you will experience such peace. Just focus on what you can do for others and how you can help and do what comes from your heart. But don’t expect for anything in return ever.
Look at the good in everything. You’ve lost your job, it can be the beginning of something great, stay positive. You can’t pay the bills, stay positive something will come. I know these are extremes and it sounds so unrealistic to stay positive in these situations., but at least try. Think to yourself everything is going to be okay and keep a positive attitude.
Be punctual. When you say you’ll arrive at a certain time. Arrive at that time. There is nothing more inconsiderate than stealing time from others for your lack of responsibility. Time is precious for everyone and everyone has somewhere to be and things to do. Let’s be a little more courteous.
Smile damnit! Smiling is contagious and can brighten up your day AND a strangers. Smiling affects your mood and tells your mind and body that you’re happy. Go ahead and smile for one minute (you may feel awkward) but try it and see what it does.
Set goals. Sometimes in life, we may experience a lack of purpose and feel a bit lost. I encourage you, make a list of goals you want to accomplish and then little goals (steps) you need to accomplish to get to your main goal. It’ll give you a sense of purpose and keep you motivated and busy.
Be kind. It’s okay to be blunt. I myself am blunt. But we need to learn how to deliver news or what’s on our minds in a kind way. There is no need for offending or making others feel bad. Be kind in everything you do.
Don’t be stubborn. You can lose people you love by being stubborn. You need to learn how to admit when you are wrong and have made a mistake. Learn from your mistakes, apologize. Stubbornness hurts you and the people you love.
Step out of your comfort zone.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
If you want your life to change or experience new things. You have to be open to all the opportunities you stumble across. I know it can be scary and different, maybe even awkward. Maybe you say to yourself, “not right now, I’m not ready.” But you have to take that chance and live in the moment. If all fails then hey, at least you stepped out of your comfort zone. And maybe by stepping out of your comfort zone, you discover new friendships, talents, careers or passion.
Don’t settle. Don’t settle with someone just because you don’t want to be alone. Don’t settle for a job you don’t love. Don’t settle ever. If you want something different, if you want to move to a different country, lose weight, have yellow hair DO IT. Don’t settle with what you have if you are not happy. Don’t ever settle out of fear of ending up alone and with nothing. Go out and get what you want. Live the life you want. You deserve to wake up happy every day loving your life. This doesn’t come easy, and it takes balls to get the life you want. But it’s so worth it.
People’s opinions of you don’t mean sh**. Plain and simple, who cares what people think of you. What matters is your happiness. At the end of the day, you know what makes you happy and your happiness is far more important than anyone’s opinion.
Don’t judge. This is something that really gets to me. Why judge? Why make fun of someone? Are you insecure about yourself? Are you bored? You think you know better? There is no reason to judge anybody on this earth. We all make mistakes, we all have bad hair days, we all cut people off on the road, we all have bitchy/dickhead attitudes, we all have bad days. Next time you catch yourself judging someone, ask yourself, is there any way you can help that person? How about using your energy to be helpful and not judgmental. Or plain and simple, next time you catch yourself judging, just stop.
Stay motivated. Staying motivated is tricky to maintain. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of what our goals are. What I do, is I make a vision board. This really helps me stay motivated. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and keep them somewhere you will always see. Want to eat healthily, make a list of healthy foods and place them on your fridge. Place pictures of healthy foods on your fridge. Do what works for you. I start every morning with a clear head and understanding of what my dream job is; how I want to run my nonprofit business and to love Ginger-Bella (my golden retriever). How I want to be financially free. Staying motivated is work but you have to do it. Do something today, create something, read something, listen to something that will keep you motivated.
Be real. Don’t act differently depending on who’s around you. Don’t hide who you are. Always be yourself. Don’t ever try to be someone you aren’t for any reason. Be authentic, be different, be unique.
Give to the right people at the right time with the right attitude. This is something I’ve learned recently. In this world, we need to be giving and helping humans. But there are people that take advantage and that don’t help themselves. Therefore, be careful who you help. You may be pouring you’re money, time, and energy into people that don’t know how to deal with their own problems. Therefore the best thing you can do for them is by leaving them alone and if they fail, they will learn how to get up by themselves instead of always relying on others. By leaving them alone, you’re actually helping them more than by having them always relying on you. How do you help a gambler? Do you give them more money or stop giving them money? Give to the right people at the right time with the right attitude. And when you do help someone, help with a good and willing attitude, not with a dismissive and negative attitude.
Be mindful. Be aware of your mood and surroundings. When you wake up, take a deep breath and think about how you feel. Focus on everything sensory, the bed sheets, the light coming through your window, your head on the pillow, your fingers and toes. Start your day like this instead of just rolling out of bed and reap the benefits. While you’re driving, cycling, or walking, and if you can, look at the sky, the trees, the birds. Take a deep breath and use this moment to be thankful. Become aware of what you eat. Enjoy every bite and savor every mouth full instead of just swallowing down your food. Become good at listening, tune in instead of tuning out. There is so much that goes into being mindful. I would recommend for you to research on what it actually means to be mindful and make it a habit until it becomes who you are.
Stop being so hard on yourself. This is one of the things I struggle with the most. I am extremely hard on myself and always blame myself if something goes wrong. I always think that maybe I could have done something to have prevented it. If I have some spare time, I always use it to be productive. When I sit on the couch and watch tv for more than five minutes I start getting anxious and thinking that maybe I should get up and do something productive with my time. I have a hard time relaxing if there are things that need to be done. I start feeling guilty if an hour passes by and I was sitting on the couch relaxing. This is when I say to myself that I have to stop being so hard on myself. I deserve a break and to be able to relax without feeling guilty of it. We all do.
Be better. Bottom line, be better. We all know what we can improve about ourselves. Do what you need to do to become a better version of yourself. Whether it’s to be more kind, supportive, understanding, mindful, appreciative, you know what you struggle with. Just be better.
If you took time out of your day to read this, I just want to thank you for doing so. The reason for this post was to share with you some of my practices that help me be a better person. When I see something in myself that I don’t like, I change it. I want to be a good influence on my community, continue to help people strive to be better every day, and to teach people it’s okay to make/learn from their mistakes.
By Brian Nadon