Life can be a beautiful journey, a crazy ride, and a big adventure.
But it can also be a living nightmare, a constant struggle, and a hard teacher.
It’s all up to you.
In each moment, you choose which side of it to embrace, and that affects your mind, body and soul, your present and your future, the person you become, as well as other people in your life. Here are some of the choices you need to make in order to see this world for the wonderful place it is, full of opportunities, kindness, and love.
1. Let Go of the Past
You won’t be able to continue your life and enjoy your days if you’re stuck in past memories and constantly reliving what happened a long time ago.
Free yourself from the burden of the past by letting go. We often hold on the death’s of loved ones, mistakes made in relationships, things we said when we were angry, or decisions we made that led us in the wrong direction.
However, each of those things can offer a lesson for how to move foward. Now that you know what not to do, let the lessons lead you toward something better.
Meditation is a great way to overcome harmful reliving of the past. Try sneaking in a few minutes of meditation each day to stop the reminiscing in its tracks.
2. Don’t Take Things Too Personally
We tend to overthink every little detail of our days. We think life is unfair when something bad happens. We keep asking ”why” when someone leaves us. We fail and give up.
But most of these things shouldn’t be taken personally. People leave, they argue or are mean because they have their own problems, they are misunderstood, or they just don’t need you anymore. It’s not your fault.
You make mistakes and fail, yes. And the beauty of it is that you get to try again, more experienced and confident this time. That’s how leaders are created. No one succeeds from scratch.
You may meet bad people, end up in awkward situations, have things taken from you, or lose something important to you. Learn to look at challenges with a sense of humor and a lightness of heart that will allow you to overcome them and move on more quickly.
3. Choose Less Over More
In today’s world, it’s easy to overdo it, to buy too much, eat too much, spend too much on that new phone they just released, or work too much.
Get rid of some of the things cluttering your house, speak less so that you can listen more, eat less or healthier, and dress more simply.
Eliminate the people in your life that only burden you with negativity, because you don’t need them. Shorten your to-do list by focusing on the essential things you have to do and ditch everything else that only keeps you busy.
By cutting back on areas where you feel you can, you can create space for your hobbies, passions, and the important people in your life. Ultimately, you’ll find that you don’t miss most of that extra stuff.
4. Appreciate What You Have
Grateful people live great lives.
They are thankful each day for what they have and are so much happier because they focus on the people they love, the opportunities that are everywhere around them, the things they enjoy doing, the time they have, the place they live in, and the friends that surround them.
Being grateful doesn’t mean being happy all the time. It simply means that you can recognize that things will get better during hard times and that you will come out on the other side. It means you can see the good when other’s can’t and that your positive outlook permeates most of life’s challenges.
If you’re not great at gratitude, don’t worry! There are simple ways to get started. The easiest is to start a gratitude journal. Start by writing just three things each day that you were grateful for. These could include people you talked to, a positive experience you had, or a gift you received.
5. Stop Worrying About the Future
By constantly thinking about what might happen, you miss out on the present moment, which is where life is happening.
We worry about tomorrow, fearing something bad might happen. We try to predict it, we prepare for everything, and we try to plan our days. However, most things in life just happen, and the only thing we can do is enjoy it to the fullest and make the best of it.
Life is full of surprises, and that’s a good thing. By expecting the worst to happen, you complicate life and make it hard. So let go of all those worries and the need to control and predict everything.
The so-called Type “A’s” out there will find this more difficult. If you fall into this category, you’re likely a control freak or a perfectionist who doesn’t handle change or surprises well. Stopping those worrying thoughts may be a challenge, but they can be done.
Work first on some relaxation techniques, including practicing your favorite sport, yoga, or meditation. These will get your mind pulled back into the present, and after some practice, it will become second nature.
6. Realize That You Are Enough
You don’t really need anyone to make you feel good and to start living, so stop waiting for them. That’s just another excuse that keeps you from dealing with things.
There may be a void inside you, but another person won’t fill it. You need to fix your relationship with yourself first — to start loving, appreciating and accepting yourself for the person you are.
Many people let their lack of a romantic relationship stop them from doing things, from going out with friends to taking that big vacation they’ve been planning. Ultimately, many of these things can be done alone once you build up your self-esteem and courage and accept that being alone and being you is a great gift.
7. Watch for New Opportunities
You can truly live a life full of excitement if you choose to live outside your comfort zone every once in a while.
Take risks, try new things, do what scares you and challenge yourself as much as you can. That’s how you grow and improve, and that’s how you feel free and full of life.
To get started, try saying yes to one new thing each week. If your friend invites you to go try out that new restaurant downtown, say yes. If you’re sister wants to go to a karaoke bar, get up there and sing. If you see a sign for a free dance class, go ahead and give it a go. What do you have to lose?
8. Choose Kindness
Be kind to everyone you meet. No matter how they treat you, you can always be polite, smile, and offer help.
It’s true that we often contribute someone’s bad mood to a flaw in their personality, but most of the time they are simply having a bad day. Maybe they just had their heart broken, lost a loved one, got fired, or just got a bad medical diagnosis. What they need more than anything is a kind word or a smile, and you can easily give it to them.
Once you start offering kindness, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it is returned to you. Not only will you improve someone else’s day, but you’ll find that you feel better in return.
Make it a goal to say one kind thing to someone each day. This could include sending a nice text to your mom, complimenting a friend’s outfit, or telling a joke to the cashier to make him laugh. Whatever it is, just keep it kind.