How precious is your life to you? This is a question that you have probably never tried to answer unless you have experienced a near death encounter. It should not take a car accident or a fall down the stairs or a natural disaster for you to realize that your life means a lot. Sure, it may not be perfect. It may not even be good. It does not have to be all rainbows and sunshine. That is not how life works. There will be injustice, there will be pain and there will be a lot of sorrow. But you need to live through all of that because you are strong enough to do it and because there are certain priceless moments in life that will make you overlook the struggles and the hardships.
Acknowledging the fact that your life is precious is the first step to making it more beautiful. But there are plenty of other things that you need to do as well to give life a bit more meaning. In fact, instead of trying to do things that are beyond your reach, you should at first concentrate on eliminating some toxic habits that you have incorporated into your life over the years. These are the very same practices that are preventing you from reaching your goals and making your life more fulfilling. They are your stumbling blocks to happiness.
You may think that you are not doing anything wrong in your life, but that’s about to change when you go through the following list. It will give you a lot more perspective on where you have erred in life and why you have made those mistakes. Identifying the key errors and rectifying them is your roadmap to ultimate success. Success does not have to be interpreted in monetary terms. As long as you are content with who you are and what you do you are a successful being on the face of this planet. And there aren’t many people who can claim to have this brand of success.
1) Unnecessary Comparisons
Successful people don’t compare themselves with everybody else. The only comparisons they draw are between them and their competitors. Your friend isn’t your competitor. Your sibling isn’t your competitor. Even your co-worker isn’t a legitimate opposition. These are just people in your life, and their success should make you happy. Competitors are people who want to get somewhere before you do. For example, if you are working as an accountant at a corporate office, then your competitor is the unemployed accountant who is praying and hoping that you lose your job. Remember, there is always someone who is willing to put in more work for less money. This is why you need to step up your game from time to time to justify your position at work and in life. Competitions like these are what you need to focus on. There is no point comparing your income with that of your peers. Someone else’s good fortune shouldn’t make you unhappy.
2) Ghosts of the Past
Every human being has made mistakes. There is no such thing as the perfect human. Some people make fewer mistakes than others and the reason why they are able to do that is because they don’t waste their time thinking about their failures. Sure, it is important for everyone to learn from their mistakes. But that shouldn’t give you the right to romanticize your errors and think about them day and night. Your failures are in the past, and it is unwise to remain confined in the memories of the days gone by. Just because you have made wrong decisions in the past does not mean that history will repeat itself. Think of failure as feedback. Once you receive it, start contemplating your next move.
3) Unfulfilled Resolutions
There is a lot more to life than simply earning a pay check and living comfortably. Human beings are motivated by challenges. If there’s no major challenge in your life, then you are probably spending your days in utter boredom. The problem with creating your own challenges is that it is unlikely that you will follow through with them. People set goals in life, but they hardly ever reach them. Much of that has to do with the lack of belief they have in themselves. For example, you may wake up early one morning and decide that you are going to do the same for the rest of your life simply because it makes you feel better. Things go along just fine till you come across a day when you wake up really late. At that moment, most people in your position would think that it is useless to keep trying and that the charade is over. As a result, the goal remains unfulfilled. Instead of giving up, you need to tell yourself that your goal is important and that you will do whatever you can to reach it even if it requires you to fail repeatedly. Make your goals matter. If you start something, make sure you finish it.
4) Short Sightedness
YOLO, living in the moment and partying hard is all fine as long as you have a real vision in life. Do you have a plan for the future? Do you see yourself happy after five years? Do you think that you have done everything needed to avoid upcoming disasters? If you don’t have good answers to any of these questions, then you probably suffer from a case of short-sightedness. Short sighted people only focus on daily, weekly and monthly goals. They don’t think about how success can be sustained for years at a stretch. For example, it is common for people who earn a lot at a young age to spend big. They forget that it is not how much you earn, but how much you save that matters at the end of the day. You don’t have to save like a person on retirement. Start small and slowly increase your savings as your earnings rise. Think of each saving as an investment for the future.
5) Putting Yourself Down
There are a lot of negative people in the world who will gladly do the job of putting you down when you are going through tough times. You don’t have to do their job for them. If your partner broke up with you because they found someone better looking, then don’t call yourself ugly. You may not be good looking according to the social standards of beauty, but reminding yourself that you aren’t what society wants you to be isn’t going to be of any help. Shortcomings will always be a part of you. As mentioned before, there is no such thing as the perfect human. If you are short on the looks department, then try to make it up with something that is equally attractive or more attractive than wonderful physical features. No matter how clichéd it sounds, real beauty lies in one’s personality. And you don’t need us or anyone else to tell you that you are beautiful.
6) Saying Yes to Everything
You have certain limits. You can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone. There is nothing wrong with having a limited capacity as a human being. The problem arises when people start testing your limits. If you are the kind of person who is not aware of his or her limits, then it would be very easy for someone to exploit you or take undue advantage of your kindness. Helping a co-worker after work hours, loaning money to a friend and giving some a ride home are all noble acts. But there is an extent to which you can offer your help. Just because you have helped a person once does not mean that you are obliged to aid them for the rest of your life. There will come times in your life when it would become necessary for you to simply say no. Saying no is often a lot harder than saying yes. But making tough decisions is what helps you develop into a better, wiser and stronger human being.
7) Social Isolation
Have you ever felt like you are the only human being in the world and everyone else are just programmed machines who are making your life more difficult? It is okay if you have such thoughts. Everybody does. Loneliness can’t be avoided. Even when you are surrounded by friends and family, you can feel lonely and sour. It is human nature to do so. But this problem cannot be allowed to grow to the point where it turns into social isolation. You are within your right to think that you are different. But you are certainly not the only person in the world with real problems and unbearable struggles. No matter how hard it may be for you to believe it, there are other people like you too. Just join a support group for depressed individuals and you would understand exactly why you are not alone. Social isolations drives people insane and forces them to abandon those who they truly love and care about.
8) Embracing Mediocrity
There is a growing social trend in the world that dictates people to embrace mediocrity. You can see folks openly posting status updates about how they are proud to be mediocre and normal. Being normal is great. Being mediocre is fine. But aiming to be mediocre is a real problem. Do you not want to feel special and be special? Do you not want people to remember you as more than someone’s parent or child or sibling or partner? Have you given up on your dreams of becoming the hero you always wanted to be as a child? Whether you are mediocre or not is for others to decide. In the meantime, you should do your best to be unique and extraordinary because that’s what you deserve to be.