It’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the important things in life. We all forget the simple truths about life. Accepting these truths could help you on the path to happiness.
If you’ve got the January blues after returning to work, get a grip and count your blessings. These simple truths will help you put life into perspective.
You don’t need to be a millionaire to be happy (there’s more than one way of being rich) and you don’t necessarily need to quit your day job to find happiness.
Here’s a handy list of 10 truths about life that will help improve your outlook, stop you fretting about the lille things, and find peace.
1. You, and every person you know will die
OK, so it’s a little morbid and won’t necessarily cheer you up. However, this is life’s deal, and it’s the same deal for all of us. Life is full of meetings and partings. Some lights burn short but bright, others burn longer, but the reality is we all live a short life.
It’s important to acknowledge this truth if you’re letting life pass you by.
Making the most of each day doesn’t necessarily mean throwing in your job and taking up skydiving. Of course we all have to do the mundane stuff too (especially if you have children!). However, putting life into perspective can help you enjoy the little things on a day to day basis. Live in the moment, appreciate everything, and you can then go after the things you really want.
2. You, or anyone else, could die at any moment
It’s good to remember this fact every day, particularly when you’re taking out life’s little niggles on loved ones.
Just remember, when you leave the house after an argument, or irritably snap at your mother, it could be the last time you see them. Would you regret treating them like that if you knew it was the last time you’d ever speak to them?
Each morning, remember that life is precious. Be patient, and be kind, but most of all, live life to the full.
‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ Plato.
3. Time waits for nobody
They say that time is wasted on the young and money is wasted on the old. That tells us that we spend too much time in our youth chasing wealth, whilst not enjoying it in our latter years.
The clock ticks on, and you’ll never get back the time you’ve wasted. Stop saying ‘I wish I had done this, and I wish I had done that’ – make the most of the time you have left. Now.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. This is true for every day (apart from the day you die), so go and grasp life by the nettle and stop wasting precious time.
4. There isn’t a plan you have to follow
Whilst aspirational TV shows and adverts lead us to believe that there is a conventional path we MUST follow in life (have a great career, meet a partner, get married, have children, etc), this simply isn’t true.
Real life is complex – it’s not a TV show. Too many people beat themselves up because they aren’t meeting self-imposed milestones. Or worse, they settle for less to ‘achieve’ perceived convention.
Social media is the modern culprit for making people believe that everyone else is living the dream. It’s an illusion. Everyone has gaps in their lives, unfulfilled needs, problems, personal battles, baggage, crisis. That’s life.
Do what makes YOU happy and remember life is not a series of tick boxes.
5. Live in the moment and let go
Live in the moment and don’t worry about things you can’t control or events in the future. Mark Twain once said, ‘Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.’
Not everything in life is a positive experience. Accept that it’s OK to have ups and downs. None of us can be happy all the time, but no amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future.
One way of living in the moment is just ‘letting go’ (is the song ‘Let it go’ in your head now?).
For example, have you ever experienced road rage and found it affected your mood all day? What a waste energy. Let it go! Be annoyed for ten seconds and let the other person be angry all day.
Life goes a lot smoother once you let go of anger, grudges, and forgive even those who can’t bring themselves to apologies. If you forgive someone, it doesn’t condone their actions but it sets you free from being their victim.
Anger and hate can destroy your joy in life. Negative emotions that come with holding a grudge creates stress in your body. Stress is the silent killer and can have devastating consequences on your health.
6. Being busy does not equal being productive
Just look around. Everyone seems so busy, running around like headless chickens from meeting to meeting, furiously sending emails and texts, stressing and fretting, checking their phones continually. Yet how many people are really producing at a high level?
Activity does not equal success. Hard work is one thing, but if it’s aimless, unproductive and inefficient, it’s a pointless waste of your time and energy.
Everyone gets the same number of hours in the day; use them wisely. Don’t be afraid to rest or take time for reflection. When you are working, focus. It’s better to work smart than work hard.
7. Failure is the best teacher
We live in a world where we’re constrained by the fear of failure. This is stupid. Every great breakthrough, invention, business, partnership, relationship, or individual, has failure behind it. In fact, they don’t just have one failure; they have multiple failures, continually.
The key to success is learning from your failures as well as learning from other people’s mistakes.
Don’t punish yourself for failure. Learn from your mistakes – they will give you strength and experience. As Albert Einstein (supposedly) said, ‘the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.’
And, as Rocky Balboa said ‘It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you get hit, and keep moving forward.It’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning’s done.’
8. Your self-worth must come from within
Don’t let your sense of worth, satisfaction, or pleasure be derived from comparisons with others.
Modern social media enables us to seek approval from friends and associates a little to easily. Whilst it’s only natural to care about what others think about you, their opinions, good or bad, rarely make a difference to your life and certainly won’t make you happy.
Holding yourself to unrealistic standards will create suffering. Lots of us are perfectionists in one way or another – give yourself a break and stop trying to please everyone. Just be yourself.
So stop trying to meet other people’s expectations, or your own stupidly high standards. Being kind, understanding, fun, positive and open is more likely to make you (and those around you) happy.
9. You own your life. Nobody else can own it for you
You can bleat on all day about being a victim of circumstance, but have you ever heard the expression, ‘you made your bed, you lie in it’? If that’s the case, make sure your bed is a good one. Nobody else is going to make your bed for you or change your bed completely.
Surround yourself with friends and acquaintances who inspire you or make you want to be better. Hanging around with anyone who makes you feel stupid, worthless, anxious, or uninspired is draining your soul – cut them adrift.
The life you’re living today was mostly created by you and your choices. You can change your future too, so take ownership and take action to change your circumstances. Don’t be afraid to take risks to achieve your goals and live your dreams.
10. Embrace change
Some psychologists believe that the ability to embrace change is the key to happiness.
We live in a world of continual change. Whilst we perceive that lots of things are getting worse (as has every generation before us), many things such as health, diet and education are improving all the time. Quite often we don’t notice when things change for the better, we dwell on the negatives instead.
Those who embrace change tend to be more successful in their careers. Keep an open mind and capitalise on new opportunities.
Life doesn’t stand still. When things are going well, celebrate and appreciate them, but also recognise that it won’t last forever.
People on their deathbed often say the ‘good times’ passed them by without them knowing it at the time. So, take a moment from continually searching for more, and live in ‘the now’ from time to time. Enjoy the moment before it passes you by, and accept change.
Do you have any good truths about life you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.