Last year, I became incredibly motivated to live the life that I wanted to live—not the one that was the most convenient yet created the most misery. At my first professional job after college, I quickly learned that my purpose on this earth was not to sit in a cubicle all day performing a job that I loathed. I felt stuck and just knew that there had to be more to life– and that’s not to say it was a horrible job; it just wasn’t for ME. I also felt ungrateful. How could I complain about a “good” job when there were many people who were struggling to find one? Needless to say, the past two years have been full of a ton of introspection regarding my career, personal life, and emotional well being. If you can relate, these are five ways to change your life in 2015:
1. Create your own happiness. It’s so easy to allow yourself to wallow in sadness and disappointment when stressful situations occur, but you have to remember that happiness is not something that randomly comes to find you. By now, you probably think that the statement “the mind is a powerful thing” is overused and a bit cliche; however, it’s the truth. Think about what makes you happy. Is it taking care of your health by exercising? Having a “me” day? Praying or meditating? Dancing as if no one is watching? Helping someone in need? When you discover the little things in life that make you happy, hold on to them tight, and use them to overcome your difficult moments.
2. Produce positive vibes. In other words, karma is a beyotch, and you can’t talk or act maliciously without repercussions. Have you ever experienced a situation where you just had to give someone a piece of your unfiltered mind? How does that usually end? When you’re involved in a tense situation, don’t immediately respond with your initial thoughts. Take a few seconds to think about what you can say to defuse the situation, rather than ignite it. This process prevents you from reacting in a way that you will later regret. Be aware of your words and actions because they will come back to you in one way or another.
3. Stop abusing your time. Time doesn’t care how ________ you are. Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times you tell yourself you’re going to do something (even though you really have no intention of doing it), time keeps on ticking? When you take advantage of the time that you have every day, weird things start to happen. You realize that anything that you want in life is yours as long as you put in the time and work (such a radical concept!). You feel empowered to initiate changes in areas of your life that, at one time, made you feel helpless. You learn that there are enough hours in a day, when you use them wisely. With distractions all around us, it can be hard to stay focused on what really matters. However, the good news is that there are plenty of resources (e.g., planners, apps, self-help books) that can keep you motivated and help you manage your time well. I’ll talk about motivation and time management more in an upcoming post.
4. Don’t take things personally. Have you ever wondered why someone treated you a certain way or why someone criticized you so harshly? At times, we think about other people’s actions toward us so much that we start to question our own value. What we tend to forget is that there are too many factors that play into why someone treats us a certain way, and I can guarantee you that most of the time, it has nothing to do with our character or value. We allow our own insecurities to manifest into a pity party, and then we wonder why we feel worthless. Remember– “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
5. Don’t wait for other people to validate your value. The last time you were praised for something, how did it make you feel? Valuable and appreciated, right? However, if the only time you feel great about an accomplishment is when someone else acknowledges it, then there is a problem. As you might have already realized, most of the great things that you do every day go unnoticed, but that does not make you any less valuable as an essential contributor to your job, family, or society. Learn to be OK with the fact that the only person who has to acknowledge how capable and amazing you are is you. Be confident with your talent + the unique person that you are, produce stellar work, and you will never yearn for anyone else’s validation.
Now, it’s your turn.
What is your top lesson for 2015?
Tell me in a comment below.