This year has literally flown by, don’t you agree? Do you take time to sit and look back at what you achieved and think about what you expect for the new year? Or are you on a steam train going full speed to anywhere?
I started off this year on a mountain hike with my hubby and good friends, saying that it is going to be a good year, but I never really knew what will make it a good year. On that day I did not have a precise goal and vision for this year, but I was ready to change my life for the better. I was ready to make some big decisions. Life does not always go according to your plans, but sometimes it turns out better than you thought it would. I have learned a lot this year. Here is my list of six ideas/thoughts/lessons (whichever way you wish to call it) that I think can have the biggest impact on your life.
1. Beliefs are the ultimate drivers in your life
We all grow up to believe certain things about life, about ourselves, about society, about our existence etc. We do not have control over what we are taught to believe as children. You can think of these beliefs as bricks laid down in your mind by your parents, teachers, preachers, friends, family, religion, society, media etc. Your beliefs lead to you thoughts, your thoughts lead to your feelings, your feelings lead to your actions, your actions lead to either chaos or order. You can take it even further and say that beliefs can be based on only facts, on only faith or on both. The important lesson to learn here is that if you are not happy with where you are in life you can challenge your beliefs and change it to what is true to you. Many times a lack of self-confidence can be traced back to certain beliefs you grew up with. Believing in yourself is one of the most important things to live a reasonably good quality life. Challenging your beliefs can be a hard process as you start chipping away at each brick, one by one. At some point you might not be able to make sense of anything, but this is where you have to keep going and not quit. Keep going and you will experience personal growth and remember, this process never ends. This is a life-long process.
2. Everything in life is a decision
Everything you experience in life comes down to decisions you make every day. You have to decide if you want to learn, if you want to be helped, if you want to grow, if you want to be a better person, if you want to achieve something, if you want to work hard to reach your goals etc. Will you decide to change the way you react to other people’s opinions; will you decide not to accept everything you hear or read or watch as truth; will you decide to investigate; will you decide to change your perspective; will you decide to challenge yourself; will you decide to be open to new ideas, will you decide to have a healthier lifestyle, wil you decide to take responsibility for your own life? Making a decision is the first step towards achieving anything. Better to make a wrong decision than to never make any decisions! Rather learn from making wrong decisions than from being thrown around by everyone else’s decisions that make you unhappy anyway. Just decide.
3. Nothing in life comes easy
You cannot master anything in 7 days, you cannot ‘get over’ a loss in a few weeks, you cannot build a brand in one day, there are no short cuts to success. You have to work hard if you want to achieve something. You have to put in the work every day for months and years to master something. Dealing with loss takes a long time! Give yourself the time to heal. You have to do whatever you can each day to make progress, however small each step might seem. Keep moving forward. It is much more rewarding when you achieve something and you know you worked hard at it and you put the time and energy into it to make it work. Everything in life takes time. Don’t get frustrated if you feel you are not making progress. Keep going, push through. Success is just beyond the point where you want to quit. You are stronger than you think, but you can only find out how strong when you get out of your comfort zone & face your fears and challenges.
4. Laziness is as serious as a drug addiction
You can’t deal with it unless you can admit it. Don’t be fooled by people who say they don’t need a routine or discipline because they are creative. That is just an excuse for lazy people. Don’t spend too much time watching TV if you are serious about reaching goals. Getting up in the morning with no plan or no routine is like getting on a train with no destination. If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your day, you won’t achieve anything. You will spend your whole day reacting to whatever happens to you. If this goes on for too long you end up being trapped in the fight-or-flight reaction mode. This is very bad for your health and this is what drives most people to experience a nervous breakdown. Doing some planning and creating a healthy system is important for your physical and mental health. Start with small habitual changes. You will soon realise that you can do so much more in a day and the more you get done the more you are motivated to do more. Doing mundane tasks like cleaning is a great way to give your mind a break and to get your thoughts together. Many problems can be solved while washing dishes! Getting some order in your life actually creates more stress-free time to be creative. This is not a once-off thing. It’s a daily thing. A routine, a system, a lifestyle.
5. Goals and motivation are road signs as we travel on our life’s journey
Daily, short term and long term goals are like road signs keeping us on the right track. They are the cheering crowds on the side of the road saying ‘keep going, only a few more kilometers to your next stop’. Life is like a never-ending rollercoaster with endless ups and downs. It can spin you and turn you upside down. Without milestones (goals) it is so much easier to get lost on the wrong track. Goals are never final destinations. There are always new goals. Goals help us to have good habits, a productive systems and a healthy lifestyle. It gives you the motivation to actually make an effort. Without this motivation, why would you ever want to get out of your comfort zone & make an effort?
6. Nothing in life is perfect
To believe that everything must always be perfect can drain all your energy and it will make you feel like you are never accomplishing anything because nothing is ever good enough. This is especially important to keep in mind when you are just starting out in a new career or when you are learning a new skill or language. You can only get better by doing the work everyday, even if it really sucks at the beginning. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Everybody starts somewhere. Don’t compare yourself to others. Keep track of your own progress and growth. This is also important to remember when things happen that are out of your control. For example, say you were working on a creative project & you did everything you possibly could to ensure it runs smooth on the final day. When the big day comes, something happens that is completely out of your control and you end up having to improvise and everything does not go as planned. You might have regrets afterwards, but you have to accept that nothing is ever perfect. To be able to improvise the best you can and be flexible to deal with the unexpected, you must plan and prepare for everything that you can control. But don’t be fooled in thinking you can control everything. Life happens and you can either be bitter about it or make the best of it.
If you are still reading, well done and thank you for sticking around! I hope this was useful and worth passing on to someone. Feel free to add anything you think should also go on this list in the comments below.
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