When it comes to it, life is all about the choices we make. Every single good and bad thing in our lives can be directly attributed to a choice we’ve made at some point. I don’t claim to know the secrets to life’s intricacies but I am certain I have this one figured out. Are you upset by your stature in life? Well it’s time to make a decision to change it. Maybe you aren’t happy with where you live or some other aspect of your life. That means it’s time to make a change and a change requires choices. Just keep in mind your current position in life is due to choices you made in the past.
But It’s Not My Fault
And sure… there are extenuating circumstances that have an effect on our lives. Our families can be completely dysfunctional, we might not have the skills we need, or money can always pose a problem. But the funny thing about extenuating circumstances is usually we can choose to take action that renders those circumstances irrelevant. For example, I come from a very poor, very underprivileged family situation. My father was abusive (both physically and mentally) and wanted me to work rather than study. He never cared about anything that mattered to me. Basically every odd was stacked against me. On top of that, I grew up in an area where people made it pretty clear that a little Mexican boy wouldn’t accomplish much. But despite those circumstances, I decided to go to college and grad school to make my life better. Now I feel pretty happy with the progress I’ve made but it was certainly no walk in the park. Our ability to push forward and reach our goals is influenced by outside forces to a certain extent. But when it comes down to it, the vast majority of responsibility lays with us.
But I’m Afraid
The real issue most of us face when it comes to making necessary changes to better our lives is we are afraid of the challenge. Unfortunately, the old saying; nothing worth doing is easy is true. Making changes is never easy because we, as human beings, find it much easier to stick to our schedules, our habits, and our routines. But if sticking to the same old habits and routines could help us accomplish our goals then no one would feel upset about their place in life. When it comes down to it, change means sort of looking at things through a systems-level approach. If you want to accomplish goals, move to a new place, or whatever it might be then you have to look at the bigger picture and realize the challenges ahead. Not only do you need to recognize the things you’ll need to overcome, you’ll need to face those issues and not give up once you’re there. President Teddy Roosevelt once said:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Going out on your own can feel a bit dangerous and that’s because shooting for your goals usually involves pretty big risks. What if you fail? What if you lose certain friends because your priorities no longer line up? What if, what if, what if…
I’ve been there. I’ve failed. I’ve lost friends and so much more. You need to change your mindset and realize there will always be a million What-Ifs. You could do nothing and there will be a new set of possibilities. You could go down a path and discover something else and yes, you could fail. But you will never know unless you start by putting one foot in front of the other and get moving. Don’t let these nagging thoughts hold you back. Instead when you start feeling anxious, try to force other positive thoughts into your mind. Everything will work out one way or the other. Usually, when we look back, those huge existential crises don’t seem like such a big deal.
So Now What?
Look, I know life can be confusing and sometimes it’s just downright difficult. It’s easy to give up. But don’t give up! And please don’t compare your life to others because it’s not healthy. I use to do that and never felt even remotely satisfied. But I know about taking risks and hoping for a payout. In fact, this blog is one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. But here I am pushing something I created towards success. I made that choice and you can make choices to create the life you want to live.
- Choose to be optimistic because optimism can see you through the darkest times.
- Rid yourself of ugly, bad habits because these just serve as obstacles to accomplishing your goals.
- Allocate your time wisely because we only have so much of it. Why waste it?
- Ignore the negative voices in your life as difficult as it can be sometimes because they will drag you down.
- Don’t let anyone else dictate your life’s direction.
- Remember, you are ultimately in control of yourself.
- Be open to positive experiences and change.
- Think healthy…find the bright side of every situation. There is always a bright side.
- Success is subjective. Always strive to feel successful regardless of how others define it.
It takes time and effort but the key to living a healthy and happy life is to reeducate ourselves when it comes to what is and is not the appropriate way to live. Forget most the things you were taught about success, the American dream, and personal development. None of that matters. It’s necessary to change the narrative to suit our lives. In fact, it’s time to start creating your own narrative. March to your own drum because I believe that’s when we all feel truly happy and successful.
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