Up until recently, I couldn’t call myself ‘happy’. I was content with life and sure, I had moments of happiness but I wasn’t the girl who was just happy. At the end of the day, there was something missing and I would always go to bed worried, broken, stressed out and uncertain. I was uncertain about the following day, my own thoughts and my own ability.
I was content and grateful but happy?
Not even close.
So, is it strange for me to be writing a post about happiness and how to achieve it? Considering there has not been a day I’ve gone to bed unhappy in the last few weeks, I believe not. In fact, I’ve come to learn and appreciate a few life lessons and I figured I might as well share them.
After all, no matter where life takes me, I will always write. Even if I’m the only one reading.
That’s lesson #1: Live for yourself. Seems pretty obvious right? We spend so much of our life living for others (parents, siblings, teachers, college applications, job interviews, and so on) that we forget the most important element. There will always be people in our lives who will disagree, judge and patronize our choices. There will always be somebody who will belittle your efforts and dreams. There will always be somebody who will attempt to knock you down. So stop living for others. At the end of the day, you are the one who goes to bed thinking about your day, your life and how you feel about it all. Stop living for others and start living for yourself.
Lesson #2? Stop comparing yourself to other people. You will never have full access to somebody else’s life, thoughts and feelings. No matter what they may show to the world, there is always something under the surface that makes the equation complete. Since you can’t control how they live and only control what your life is, focus on your deep end. Comparing yourself on the surface will only damage you in the long run. Your time is more valuable than that and you know it.
Lesson #3: Stop sweating the small stuff. Life happens. Stupid things will happen all the time. Choose your battles wisely and spend your energy on the issues that will affect you in the long run. The person who cut you off in traffic? Leave them in that moment and move on. Don’t waste your energy on negativity.
Lesson #4: Leave negativity at the door. Honestly, you don’t have time for negative people in your life. They will only drag you down. You aren’t perfect and you may still have moments of insecurity. Why bog down your days also dealing with their insecurities? Cut them out and move on. Your life is moving along fast. When you look back on it, remember the ones who mattered, not the insignificant specks.
Lesson #5: Quality, not quantity: See lesson #4. Also applies to jobs, material things and the events you choose to attend.
Lesson #6: Take a leap of faith. How else will you break through the barrier and reach the next level in your life? Use every opportunity to your advantage but…
Lesson #7: Know your limits. Yes, you need to take risks, but that doesn’t mean you stretch yourself too thin. Acknowledge your limits and stick to them. Quality over quantity. Make every second count without forgetting the moments in a blur of overwhelming chaos.
Lesson #8: Don’t close a door without kicking it open all the way first. You don’t know what’s lurking in the corner. It just might be the greatest experience of your life. You don’t have to step through the door all the way but just a peek behind it won’t be enough either.
Lesson #9: Let yourself be proud of your accomplishments. This is what you’re here for and it is important to recognize your own strengths and accomplishments. If you don’t own them and show them to the world, who will?
Lesson #10: Always be true to yourself. No matter what the world is screaming in your ear. They don’t know. You do.