I used to live, for wide stretches of time, with—and in—drama, stress, and chaos. I made my life difficult due to my thoughts and habits.
But then at some point, I started having moments of insight. Epiphanies, you might call them. As a result, I realized that there are ways you and I and most everyone else may be making our lives a bit more rough-and-tumble than need be.
“Just what are those ways?” you ask.
- Worrying about what other people think or say about you. Please, don’t. You haven’t the time to allow the opinions of others to stop you from moving forward in your life.
- Comparing yourself to others. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” said Teddy Roosevelt. Sounds accurate, right?
- Trying to fit in with a crowd. Making your own decisions and trusting yourself is an ideal way to ensure that you don’t get lost in the crowd.
- Squandering time. Time is a most valuable and nonreplenishable resource. Use it wisely.
- Consuming content that doesn’t elevate you in any way. Guess what. Quality content is just as accessible as valueless content.
- Playing small as if you don’t matter. You’re as important as the next guy. We all put on our pants the same way: one leg at a time.
- Avoiding responsibility for your adult life. It never makes sense to blame others for your state of affairs.
- Taking things personally. There’s this book called The Four Agreements. “Don’t take anything personally” is one of the four agreements. Agreeably, this is a nice agreement.
- Making assumptions.Another of the four agreements is “Don’t make assumptions.” Indeed, a great agreement. The issue with making assumptions is that we believe our assumptions are true and accurate.
- Thinking negatively or cynically, or imagining the worst possible scenario. It’s definitely prudent to consider the “what ifs” of life. However, don’t let your imagination get the best of you. Remain realistic about the likelihood of the occurrence of each of those “what ifs.” When you take this approach, there’s less of a chance that you’ll talk yourself out of a situation before even trying it.
- Holding onto anger. Pain and suffering are not badges of honor—particularly when they result from a feeling that you’ve been aggrieved in some way. Forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, requires inner strength. Forgiveness offers you freedom.
- Throwing your life up in the air with a “Let’s just wait and see what happens” attitude. Your life is not a deck of cards. Please don’t throw it up into the air and allow it to land by chance.
Changing patterns takes time, especially when they’ve been around for a while. Take the time to make life smoother, not rougher than it needs to be.