On your own terms

If you don’t like the way things are or the way that other people tell you that things should be, you don’t have to accept it.

So often we find ourselves frustrated and feeling hopeless as if there is no other way. But we forget that we have other options available to us. You always have the option to do things on your own terms.

Do things in the way that makes you feel happy, brings you joy or simply just makes you feel good. Other people might not get it, they might even question it but it’s not something that you ever have to justify or explain.

The mindset for starting over

When your life isn’t quite going how you anticipated. You might have the thought to start over. Often this takes a while to actually begin.

Starting over goes from being something scary that you choose to avoid (because you’d rather be unhappy with what you know than risk things being any worse if you try something new) to being something that is worth the risk.

The mindset goes from I’d rather stick with what I know and be miserable than venture out into the unknown to I’d rather venture out into the unknown than stick with what I know and be miserable.

As time passes, the value we place on familiarity in situations when we’re unhappy often decreases. It’s no longer considered worth it to stay in your current circumstances because if you’re unhappy now, the worst case scenario is starting over and still being unhappy. However, often things turn out significantly better.

Enjoy the moment

If you spend too much time focusing on the wrong thing, you’ll miss out on the chance to enjoy the moment.

Of course you never want to push aside or dismiss problems that need to be solved or worries that feel important but they don’t have to always be a priority.

There will always be 101 things you can worry about but you don’t need to always worry.

As much as you make time for that, make time for the stuff that makes you feel good and just enjoy the moment.

Just be happy

You convince yourself that you have to work hard, overcome struggle and become something else in order to ‘make it’. Then once you make it you’ll be happy.

Perhaps it would be considered childish or silly but what if you could just enjoy life, right now.

Is it possible that you can be joyful without overcoming great hurdles or becoming successful in the eyes of the world.

It’s not that you should have no dreams or aspirations in life because those things are great. The issue is that we place our happiness in those things, in money, a big house and luxury items. We put conditions on our happiness.

We aspire to be happy instead of just being happy.

Small wonderful moments

In life there are small wonderful moments that remind you to trust that everything is always working itself out.

These moments occur almost randomly yet they’re in perfect synchronicity.

It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘the overwhelm’. The overwhelm is the stress, anxiety and fear that occurs in life. These occurrences may be big or small but often we hold onto them much tighter than we need to and we let them consume us.

And then suddenly something happens like you notice a beautiful flower, you receive a message from someone you hold dear or something makes you laugh.

It’s always something small but it’s more than enough to totally transform your day.

The things you don’t want to do

Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do. But it’s important to remember, there are levels to this sort of thing.

You might not want to go to work but you have to. Work could be 9-5 or it could be a 12 hour shift, that’s a lot of time spent doing something that you don’t want to do.

You might not want to leave your house to collect a prescription. That’s not likely to take more than 30 minutes so even though you don’t want to do it, it’ll be over soon.

It’s really important to ensure that you’re not spending spending too much of your life doing things that you don’t want to do. Doing so may lead to a life of misery. And so if you find yourself spending large amounts of your day doing things you don’t want to do, maybe you could do something to change that?

What’s the point in having a dream life?

We often end up pushing what we really want to the side in favour of something considered more realistic.

The point in having a dream life is being able to acknowledge and accept that where you are may not be where you want to be, then finding ways to bridge that gap.

It’s not about telling yourself, I’ll be happy when…

It’s not about spending all day fantasizing about the life you want as a form of escapism from your real life where you’re miserable.

It’s not about pining after a life where you’re rich and famous.

Often when we make plans for the future we come up with things like stable job, nice house, a few holidays a year and be comfortable financially.

That’s not a dream, that’s something we say because we’re scared of uncertainty. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that life or that you wouldn’t be happy living it.

But try digging a little deeper, get lost in thought and see what comes up. Slowly, overtime your daydreams will come together to form a dream life and it’ll be full and specific.

Once you have that, the next step is bringing it to life which first requires you to believe it’s possible.

Other peoples opinions

Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because we put others above ourselves.

We choose to consider how our actions might make someone else feel, as if that is our responsibility. It often results in not doing the things that we want to do.

In the moment, it might feel like the right choice but in the long run it often leads to regret or resentment.

It could be staying in a ‘good job’ when you actually want to pursue something that is held in a much lower regard by the people you know, maybe it pays less too. You’re worried that people will tell you you’re making a mistake, of the looks you’ll get at the family dinner when they ask how work is going, you want to please your parents and you don’t want other people to think that you’ve regressed.

So, you stick with your current job that you’re no longer interested in.

Overtime you grown to resent those people around you because even though they’re happy with where you’re at in life, you’re miserable. It feels like it’s their fault. But, deep down you know that your misery comes from you caring about other peoples opinions more than you care about making yourself happy.

The lesson here is to learn to put yourself first. How you feel about your life and the choices you make matters so much more than what other people think.

Does your life align with your values?

Yesterday I wrote about the simple life and after clicking publish I realised that I still had more thoughts to share.

After giving it some thought, I started to question why instead of living the life that we want we decide to pursue other paths. In yesterdays post, I wrote of how it is often the expectations of society however I didn’t consider that actually it can often have a lot to do with being out of alignment with your own values.

If asked the question ‘what do you value in life?’ it’s very unlikely that you would say things like stress, not having free time, feeling overwhelmed, working with people or in an environment where you’re not supported or not having the energy to do things that you enjoy. Yet, those are often traits of the kinds of jobs or lives that we settle into.

There is great value in asking yourself what you value in life and then working towards creating a life that aligns with that.

You don’t need to pay attention to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is telling you that you should do. Maybe that’s not the sort of life that you will enjoy.

It’s worth so much more to reflect and ask yourself the big questions and follow where you think you want to go. If that leads you to where everyone else is great and if it leads you to a different path that is also great.

It’s about you and what you want rather than conforming or meeting the expectations of others.

The simple life

I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.

We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.

But what if you could enjoy life right now.

Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.

But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?