Here are some of the things I would’ve liked to tell myself a few decades ago!
Don’t be a pleaser. People pleasing tendencies can create stress and unhappiness. If at any point you’ve already thought about saying “no” to something, there’s probably merit for consideration. Plus, every time you agree to do something you do not believe is right, or want to do, it beats you up mentally and once you get the hang of not automatically saying ‘yes, you’re on your way to learning to say ‘no’ in a skillful and firm manner. You’ll be delighted at how doing this will free up your schedule and energy to do things that you really want to pursue.
Focus on a healthy lifestyle. Over 90 percent of all diseases are related to lifestyle choices, so it may shock you into realizing that stress, exercise, nutrition, and relationships are the pillars of healthy living. Schedule rest and recreation regularly. The older you get, the more you’ll understand why.
Don’t be shy. If you tend to be shy, try your best to overcome it. Take it a step at a time, but work at it. It is a gift to get to know new people, especially those who are different from you in some way, culturally, ethnically, religiously. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be painful for a time, but the benefits are everlasting.
Accept yourself and Celebrate your strengths. “We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths,” according to Ryan Howes, Ph.D, a psychologist in Pasadena, California. Howes suggests: “Make a list of all the hardships you’ve overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.”
Silence your inner critic. Many people equate their inner critic with a voice of reason. They think their inner critic is simply speaking the truth. But if you wouldn’t say it to a loved one, it’s not honesty or sincerity. It’s unwarranted — and harsh — judgment. If you’re working on something and all of a sudden you start questioning yourself, if you feel your energy decreasing, if you’re getting stuck, bored, or tired, recognize the inner critic is speaking to you. Listen, but don’t take his words to heart. See him so that he doesn’t hang out in a distant corner manipulating you from above.
Stop watching so much TV and read more. Life is short, and there are far too many activities that are more important and fulfilling than sitting in front of a television for hours on end. That’s not to suggest you should stop watching TV altogether. Some people watch up to 6 hours of TV each day. When you do the math, it’s rather shocking. Six hours per day adds up to 2190 hours over the course of a year, which equates to 91 days. THREE MONTHS! per year. Sitting in front of a television. Hypnotized. You’re never going to feel productive and empowered sitting in front of the television.
Follow your curiosity and you will find a career you love. Even though you may not have a clear vision for your career, you are probably curious about things which may or may not be obvious to you. It’s important to follow your curiosity and uncover your less obvious interests. The reason it’s important is that those interests tap into your unique motivations that separate you from others. Pursuing them sets you on the path of unlocking who you are and your creativity.
Don’t Make Money Your Main Focus. The constant hunt for more money, eternally chasing the next raise, measuring yourself against the number on your paycheck is no way to run a career, and no way to live a work life. Sacrificing happiness at work for more money is a terrible trade – one that you will end up regretting.
Be grateful. Gratitude really helps us connect to other people. Expressing gratitude has also been proven to generate more optimism. According to research published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the little things and expressing “everyday” gratitude gave a romantic relationship a better shot of surviving. The study also found that daily gratitude interactions increased relationship connection and overall satisfaction for both men and women.
Give back and Volunteer in your community. There’s nothing more fulfilling than realizing how much of an impact a volunteer can make. Just a few hours of help can turn into a lifetime of opportunity, which is one of the greatest benefits of volunteering. Plus, volunteer opportunities often allow people to try new activities or learn new skills