Learn to be happy here, now, today. If you do not learn how to be happy in the present, no job, no partner, no success, no trip, no money, nothing that you are working for will be as enjoyable as you think. You cannot save up your happiness to be released when you think you deserve it. You either have it now, or you have it never.
If you want to have a better day tomorrow, identify what brings you pleasure.
If you want to have a better year next year, identify what brings you pride.
If you want to have a better life in 10 years, identify what’s keeping you gridlocked in the habits you think bring you pleasure and pride.
1. Identify your root motivations.
If you dislike someone, yet can’t seem to stop hanging out with them, there is a reason. If you want to lose weight, yet feel the need to keep overeating, there is a reason. If you want a relationship badly, but can’t seem to put yourself out there and find someone, there is a reason.
The human psyche is self-preserving. Everything that we are doing we are doing because we think it is benefiting us in some way. If there’s some habit you can’t get past, or some reality that you desperately want to change, you first have to figure out why you are here in the first place. There is some core wound or belief or experience that is scaring you into repeating the behavior.
You are not a victim of your chronic problems, you are in love with your chronic problems because you think they serve you in some way, so you keep re-creating situations in which you can experience them. Figure out what need they are feeding, and learn to fill it another way.
2. Ignore your problems. Focus on their solutions.
“Ignore your problems” sounds at face value like potentially the worst advice in the world (and by the way, at face value, it is) but it’s also the only advice that will actually work in the long-term.
When you are constantly struggling with your problems, thinking about what you want and wish you had, you are repeatedly putting yourself back in the state of “not having.” If you want more money, you are making yourself feel as though you don’t have it. If you want a relationship, you are making yourself feel as though you’re unloved. What creates change is not the ability to dissect problems, but to create solutions and put all of your energy toward them.
Healing is just getting over your fears. Getting over your fears is acting in spite of them.
Change is rebuilding the city, not sitting in the ruins.
3. Stop consuming toxic crap.
You know that saying “you are what you eat?” It’s more like “you are what you consume,” and it goes so far beyond just what you’re putting in your mouth.
Everything you put around you is conditioning you. The people you spend time with, the things you read, the place you work, the habits you sustain, and yes, of course, what you eat and drink. You are molding yourself into the person you will become with each of these actions, every single day.
If your fate is your character, then your habits are your destiny.
Stop eating unhealthy foods and expecting to feel good. Stop sitting around your house scrolling on your phone and expecting to be productive and accomplished. Stop hanging out with negative, draining people and expecting to feel positive and fulfilled. Stop drinking yourself into an oblivion every weekend and wondering why you’re stuck in life. It’s not a mystery. Pretending it is keeps you in denial.
4. Stop waiting until you “feel like it.”
A lot of people will say that they feel like they need to “take some time and heal” before they get back out and start living their lives again. This is true if your intention is to take some time to yourself to reflect.
However, it is also a way that people avoid doing what they want and need to do. Do you know how you “heal” yourself? You start behaving differently. You start thinking differently. That is how you eradicate the life that you no longer want to live – by building a new one. Waiting around until you feel better is literally sitting in your leftover crap and wondering why it’s not getting cleaned up.
Stop waiting until every wound is healed before you get back up and start again. It is the doing that changes you, not idling.
5. Do tactile things.
Making sure you do tactile things isn’t a fun little suggestion for your Saturday afternoon, it’s how you make sure you’re differentiating actually creating a life you want and creating the image of a life you want. If you want a better life in 10 years, make sure you’re not just making one that looks good online. It needs to feel good IRL.
Make enough time each day to do something other than type and scroll. Read a book (a print copy). Go outside. Build or craft something. Cook. Do anything that requires you to experience a range of sensations. It’s not that any one of these things will magically transform you (though, of course, they can). It’s that staying connected to your real life keeps you aware of how things feel, not just how they look.
6. Stop being “busy.”
Busy is lazy. Busy means you don’t know how to manage your time. “Crazy busy” is the most boring and self-important thing you can say to people when they ask how you’re doing.
People either make themselves super busy, or pretend to be super busy, and they do both for the same reason: avoidance. They are either trying to avoid themselves, or avoid other people. Both are weak. Both lead to nothing.
Schedule your hours mindfully. Work better, but less. Leave hours open for people you care about. Leave hours open for yourself. Create a life that overwhelms you with peace, not mindless chatter. There is no merit in being “busy.” It says nothing about your status in life other than that you are worried you don’t have any.
7. Make daily decisions for your long-term goals, not short-term desires.
Most people live within a few hours long mental bandwidth. This is to say, they make choices based on their immediate desires, fears and ideas.
When you choose what you want for lunch, you think: “What am I in the mood for?” not “What will give me energy and make me feel good not only now, but in a few hours, and in a few days, and in a few years?” It is so easy for fleeting feelings to override logic, but we pay for it in the end. We assume we’ll “get healthy one day,” or “start saving one day,” and then one day comes and we realize that all of the little daily habits we have compiled have created the opposite of what we said we wanted.
We forget that “someday” is today, and the future is created right now.
8. Choose goals with your mortality in mind.
If you don’t know what to choose or what to do, zoom out of your current situation and imagine looking back at your life after you’re dead. Hell, imagine looking at your life even just 10 years from now. What would you wish you had done today? Would you be happy that you wasted so many hours shopping for clothes, watching TV, wondering what you should do with your life? Will you be happy that your greatest accomplishment was your appearance, or being someone who intimidates others?
Or will you wish that you had let go and done something meaningful – something you felt called to? Will you be happy that you wrote music, that you spent time outdoors, that you told the people you love that you love them, that you had long, lingering meals with them, and supported them, and shared, and looked at your demons and dissolved them by choosing otherwise?
9. Stop wasting your time evaluating the lives of people you dislike or disagree with.
Okay, we get it. You don’t understand why so-and-so did what they did. You disagree with their behavior. You would have done better. You did do better. You won’t show them empathy. You dislike them as a whole.
You are also subject to naive realism, which is that reality is self-evident to you based on your own perspective and experience. You don’t see the full picture because you can’t. You don’t know that had you been in someone else’s exact situation you wouldn’t have behaved similarly. In fact, your disdain toward them seems to imply that you feel afraid that you could, and maybe would have.
But all you have done here is illustrate the depth of your ego. All you have done here is make judgements about people’s lives that do not serve you or move you forward, they just make you a hater. And people do this all of the time. Gossip is a sustaining social life force a lot of the time.
Focus more on studying the lives of people you admire and want to emulate – lives that humble you – rather than lives that inflate your worst traits and make you want to position yourself to play god and tell someone (who isn’t that person) what’s right from wrong.
10. Wake up and ask yourself every day: “What can I do today that will change my life forever?”
Every single day, you have the potential to change your life forever.
Every day is an opportunity, a portal, to do something that will have an irrevocable impact on your life.
So many of us waste that on doing something that pacifies fear.
Ask yourself this every day, and then start making a list of what you could possibly do in the coming hours that would change everything, always. The answers will surprise you.
By : Brianna Weist
We live in an age of competition and comparison so this is going to require some serious brain training, but honestly, you need to stop putting that poison inside your brain and your spirit by comparing yourself to others. This toxic rhetoric of how we all need to be massively successful by a certain age, married by a certain age, owned property by a certain age, had children by a certain age is a lie.
The truth is, we are all on completely separate journeys. Some of us will be successful at 21, some of us will be successful at 41. We all find our partners at different times and are ready for children at separate times. Forcing people to believe that everything needs to be done by the time you’re 30 leaves a very narrow space to really follow your dreams and learn everything you can along the journey.
Life is about more than work and marriage and success. It’s about being a good person. It is about appreciating every person that enters and exits your life whilst you have them. It is about living a wholesome life tailored to you. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them. It’s about falling in love with the wrong people so when the right ones come along you know how to appreciate them. It’s about making YOURSELF ready for the challenges YOU will face.
And you won’t do any of that if you’re worrying about how you haven’t done what your friends are doing right now or your parents were able to do at your age.
So seriously, stop comparing yourself to other people. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Your individual journey and the things you learn and the things you will be ready for in your own time are so very different from anyone else’s.
And it’s not just your journey. Your destinations are entirely different, and entirely independently beautiful.
By : Nikita Gill
Discomfort is what happens when we are on the precipice of change. It usually takes a bit of discomfort to break through to a new understanding, to release a limiting belief, to motivate ourselves to create real change. Discomfort is a signal, one that is often very helpful. Here are a few (less than desirable) feelings that may indicate you’re on the right path after all:
1. Something really good happens and you realize you aren’t happier.
Everything that you’ve been working toward, everything that you’ve been holding out for to give you that elusive happiness, everything you have been certain your life is missing… now it’s here. And you’re still anxious. You’re still depressed. But you’ve realized something: feeling better was never a matter of having anything new on the outside. Now, your work begins to figure out what you need to do on the inside.
2. You become emotionally overreactive, for (what seems like) no reason at all.
It’s as though your feelings are surging, and you begin projecting them and creating problems out of thin air. But you aren’t actually becoming more emotional, you’re just finally recognizing the feelings that you have been suppressing for all this time. If you’re honest with yourself, you can see how you’ve always felt this way, but you’ve been blaming it on something else.
3. You start having physical symptoms of “energy purging.”
For some people, this is a desire to eat better, sleep more, or sweat more. For others, it can manifest as shaking, crying, a gagging feeling or reflex (with or without actual nausea).
4. Your relationships become more challenging than they are comforting.
Our relationships to others are our best opportunity to see ourselves clearly. (What we dislike in others is what we can’t see in ourselves; what we love in others is what we love in ourselves.) If your relationships are becoming strained, it’s because you’re being shown that you’re either with the wrong people, or you’re in the middle of a profound – but difficult – growing opportunity.
5. Your desires shift from success and money to freedom or health.
You start to seriously question what your motives in life have been, and what you really want for the future. You begin to understand the conventional wisdom of “money not mattering,” and the most important things in life being health, or family.
6. You feel stifled by irrational fears.
You are, at once, recognizing the power of your mind, and what happens when you don’t tame it. You’re stuck because some part of you is afraid that these irrational ideas are real. They aren’t, but this is often what happens when you begin to wake up to your inner power before knowing how to use it completely.
7. You’ve just met your soulmate, or feel like you’re about to.
People always underestimate the mental and emotional shift that happens when you meet your “other half.” Even if you have an amazing relationship (and you’re not caught in the twin flame shit show) you will usually be challenged, and find yourself changing in many important and positive ways… even if, at first, it feels uncomfortable.
8. You feel “lost.”
Feeling “lost” just means you are no longer living by the old ideas you had for what would be “right” for your life. You’re more in the moment, and your mind has to get used to no longer trying to chart out every next move. If you know what’s next on your path, it means you’re looking at somebody else’s.
9. You have to start treating yourself like a child again.
You’re realizing that you need to parent yourself, to ensure you get enough rest and healthy food and what not. When you revert to taking care of yourself like your ideal parent would, you’re finally learning what self-care and love really means.
10. Vivid memories you had forgotten about are surfacing from your subconscious.
All of a sudden, you can remember random moments from elementary school, or your childhood bedroom. It also seems like random embarrassing moments keep popping up in your memory. This is what happens when you begin to clear your energy – you’re releasing years of stored experiences that are weighing on you and affecting you even to this day. Your body never forgets.
11. You have an inexplicable interest in philosophy, spirituality or poetry.
All of a sudden, people who are always talking about their emotional ascensions or finding the god within or doing yoga or drinking juice seem fractionally less insane, and more, well, logical. You begin to question institutions that try to tell you what to believe, and start to see the importance in thinking for yourself.
12. You’re going through a “dark night of the soul.”
A “dark night of the soul” is an ancient concept that refers to the collapse of meaning and hope that usually occurs before a big transformation in someone’s life.
13. You begin to recognize your limitations.
A side effect of becoming more self-aware is seeing what you’re not naturally good at, identifying your daily needs, and seeing where you’ve been spreading yourself too thin.
14. You start to question everything.
You start to wonder whether or not you’re in the right relationship, the right career, the right city. You start to ask yourself why you behave the way you do, or why you’ve chosen what you have in your life so far. This doesn’t mean that every part of your life needs to be unraveled. All it means is that you’re taking a personal inventory of what works and what doesn’t.
15. Rather than feeling like you want to completely start your life over, you realize that you want to transform your perspective of the life you already have.
You’ve tried uprooting everything and isolating yourself and leaving your job abruptly one day, and you’ve always arrived right back where you are now. You’ve begun to realize that it isn’t always about changing your life, but changing how you think.
16. You’re reading this article.
Somewhere inside you, you know that this is precisely what you’re going through, and you’re looking to affirm that fact.
By : Brianna Weist
If your life is shitty, it’s probably not because you have problems, but because you’re in love with your problems, and don’t realize it.
When you meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while to spend an hour talking over coffee, what do you talk about? Do you hang out with people who give you advice, or people who feed into your complaining? Are you happy for successful people or are you jealous of them? Are you more aware of what you don’t want in your life than what you do?
If you feel like you can’t overcome a “problem” in your life, it might be because you don’t want to.
You love your problems because you think they do something for you: you’re defending them and keeping them firmly intact in your psyche because you’re afraid of letting them go. There is no other reason anyone would hold onto something that keeps hurting them so much.
This is usually a defense or coping mechanism of some sort. A lot of people cling to their anxiety because they think that if they are already broken nothing can break them.
Think about it this way: if you’re the “funny single girl” whose punch line is always about how you’re in a relationship with wine, you’re receiving affirmation for it, and it’s going to make you much less inclined to actually try to find the right relationship. There’s a lot to lose if overcoming a problem means sacrificing a part of the identity you’ve built, and sometimes, it doesn’t outweigh what you think you’ll gain.
If you’re upset because you’re single, actually put yourself out there. Try being set up on a blind date or download a dating app (perhaps not ideal, but it’s a start). If you don’t make enough money, pick up a side gig, or start grooming your résumé and applying to new positions. If you’re always over-spending, make a budget on excel, download Mint and start holding yourself accountable. If you dislike how your body looks, either embrace it or start eating better and actually try. If you’re always anxious or depressed, go to a doctor or therapist, and see what combination of nutrition, medicine and therapy you would need to start improving your quality of life.
Solutions do exist, if you stop justifying why they don’t, or why they won’t work for you: “The universe is so well balanced that the mere fact that you have a problem also serves as a sign that there is a solution.”
Nobody’s saying it’s going to be easy. Nobody’s saying that it’s not going to hurt. They’re just saying that it’s possible when you stop justifying and defending why you “can’t,” rather than focusing on what small, incremental steps you can start taking now.
Problems have a sneaky way of convincing you to defend them. Sometimes it’s because you begin to think that they are a part of you, or that you need to be expressive about how much pain you’re in because otherwise, people just won’t “get it.” What you don’t realize is that you are the only person who can validate your pain, and you are the only person who can let it go.
Once you do, you will realize that your problems are not who you are, they are what’s standing in the way of becoming who you are.
It’s easier to be more in love with coping mechanisms than solutions. It’s instant gratification. But at what cost? Ask yourself: Why do I love this? What do I think this does for me? Once you identify the need it is meeting, you can find another way to meet it.
“If you are waiting for someone to fix you, save you, or even help you, you’re wasting your time. Only you have the power to change your life.”
By : Brianna Weist
This is the third argument you’ve had with someone and once again, your glaring, ugly, terrible flaws come to the forefront. You’re working on your term paper and you cannot help but notice how much you are not focussing on your work and how the paper is not nearly as good as your classmates. You are trying your best to be a good child to your parents and somehow you can only see how you are not coming through at times you feel they need you the most.
Somehow, your flaws no matter how hard you fight them, always seem to win. Somehow, no matter what you do, you always end up suffering because of them.
The sad truth is, as a human, by and large, you will be made of flaws. It’s the thing that makes you different. And I know you think that having so many flaws means that you are less or inadequate in the world, but the truth is, you are not. You are a broken but beautiful thing. We all are in some way or the other, no matter our facade, or our smiles or our happy faces, we are all dealing with an extremely difficult situation on the inside. It’s why mental health has become so important these days, because we live in a world that forces perfection on beings that will never ever be perfect. So here it is, my dear, here is how you will accept yourself.
You will accept yourself by allowing yourself to breathe in the moments you feel like you are falling apart. You will accept yourself by not beating yourself up when you do something wrong, instead look to what you can do to fix it. You will accept yourself by feeding yourself self love when rejection has struck you the hardest. You will accept yourself most of all on the nights when you feel like you are drowning, and drag yourself out once again, save yourself from sinking once again. You will accept yourself on the days you do not want to get out of bed but do anyway.
There will be moments in your life where you are perfectly happy with who you are as a human being. We all have them. This is why it is important to imprint those memories and recreate and repeat them as much as possible. On the days when the world is most overwhelming, when your flaws feel extreme, when you feel your existence is pointless, this is when you accept yourself most of all. Accept who you are. A thing of both joy and beauty. Accept yourself for the smiles you bring to the people you love because believe me, you have made them smile more often than you know. Accept yourself for the person who makes you the last thought they think of before they sleep. You have affected others more positively than you can ever fathom. You have touched more lives than you know. And that far outweighs any flaw you have, any flaw you will ever know.
By : Nikita Gill
Forget the heartbreak, focus on the wisdom you gained from it. The strength it gave you. The people it made you appreciate. The truth it uncovered. Focus on your heart and how it’s still brave, how it’s still willing to love and give even after it’s been broken. Focus on your hope and your willingness to try again no matter how many times you’ve failed.
Forget the failure, focus on the new opportunities it unfolded. The new doors that opened, the new talents you had to discover to find another way to live, the new mentality you had to adopt to survive. How you learned to believe in yourself again, how you learned to stand tall in front of those who belittled you and how you found where you truly belong or where you think you belong because of your mistakes or your failures. Often, the wrong decisions lead us to the right ones.
Forget the rejection, focus on the redirection. The better plans God had for you, the supportive people God brought into your life. The faith you now have in the universe that helps you let go of things that are not meant for you, the faith that helps you move on from the past and the faith that helps you let things be instead of forcing them to happen or trying to control everything in your life.
Forget the losses, focus on the substantial things you won. Maybe you found yourself, maybe you found your calling, maybe you realized you’re a lot more powerful than you think. Maybe you stopped being so obsessed with winning and started focusing on the journey. Maybe losing things taught you that nothing really lasts in life. Everything is temporary, including pain. Pain is temporary too.
But sometimes the beauty of life is only palpable after experiencing pain. Sometimes it takes pain to make us appreciate life, appreciate the good things we have and appreciate ourselves.
Pain is inevitable, we can never run away from it for too long but we can always take what it taught us and leave the hurt behind. We can take the lessons and forget the losses.
By : Rania Naim