When you quit doing the wrong things, you make more room for the things that make you happy.
So starting today…
1. Quit procrastinating on your goals.
Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it. Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most. Get a hold of yourself and have discipline. Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier. What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow. And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.
The secret to getting ahead is simply getting started. Starting, all by itself, is usually sufficient to build enough momentum to keep the ball rolling. So forget about the finish line and just concentrate on taking your first step. Say to yourself, “I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step.” All those small steps will add up and you’ll actually get to see changes fairly quickly. Read Getting Things Done.
2. Quit blaming others and making excuses.
Stop blaming others for what you have or don’t have, or for what you feel or don’t feel. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility and perpetuate the problem. Stop giving your power away and start taking responsibility for your life. Blaming is just another sorry excuse, and making excuses is the first step towards failure; you and only you are responsible for your life choices and decisions.
3. Quit trying to avoid change.
If nothing ever changed there would be no sunrise the next morning. Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us. Learning to accept this is vital to our happiness and general success. Because only when we change, do we grow, and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.
And don’t forget, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So embrace it, and realize that change happens for a reason. It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
4. Quit trying to control the uncontrollable.
If you try to control everything, and then worry about the things you can’t control, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and misery.
Some forces are out of your control, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. The best thing you can do is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can – like your attitude.
5. Quit talking down to yourself.
Nothing will bring you down quicker than berating yourself. The mind is a superb instrument if used right, but when used incorrectly, it becomes very destructive. Be aware of your mental self-talk. We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.
As Henry Ford once stated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” One of the major causes of why we fail is due to self-doubt and negative self-talk. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones, over time you will change the trajectory of your life.
6. Quit criticizing others.
The negativity you bleed out toward others will gradually cripple your own happiness. When you truly feel comfortable with your own imperfections, you won’t feel threatened or offended by the imperfections you see in other people.
So stop worrying about the flaws you see in everyone else, and focus on yourself. Let the constant growth and improvement in your own life keep you so busy that you have no time left to criticize others.
7. Quit running from your problems and fears.
Trust me, if everyone threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would grab yours back. Tackle your problems and fears swiftly, don’t run away from them. The best solution is to face them head on no matter how powerful they may seem.
Fears, in particularly, stop you from taking chances and making decisions. They keep you confined to just the small space where you feel completely comfortable. But your life’s story is simply the culmination of many small, unique experiences, many of which require you to stretch your comfort zone. Letting your fears and worries control you is not ‘living,’ it’s merely existing.
Bottom line: Either you own your problems and fears, or they will ultimately own you.
8. Quit living in another time and place.
Some people spend their entire lives trying to live in another time and place. They lament about what has been, what they could have done, or what might become. However, the past is gone, and the future doesn’t exist. No matter how much time we spend thinking and lamenting about either, it doesn’t change anything.
One of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that our brightest future hinges on our ability to pay attention to what we’re doing right now, today.
We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment requires active, open, intentional awareness on the present. Don’t fantasize about being on vacation while at work, and don’t worry about the work piling up on your desk when you’re on vacation. Live for now. Notice the beauty unfolding around you.
9. Quit trying to be someone you’re not.
One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love you, and you’ll love yourself more too.
10. Quit being ungrateful.
Not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realize they do, perfectly. So thank the things that didn’t work out, because they just made room for the things that will. And thank the ones who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t.
No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.