Stop punishing yourself. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we act impulsively. Sometimes we let people down. Sometimes we pick the wrong branch to climb up. And sometimes we can’t fix our mistakes, so we punish ourselves for lack of a better solution. Whilst punishing ourselves illuminates our sorrow and repentance, it will ultimately hold us back. We waste time dwelling on the past. We become afraid of making mistakes, afraid to learn and therefore afraid of living. We begin to lose our sense of worth and confidence. Stop punishing yourself. Forgive yourself. You’re still good enough.
When we’re faced with a decision, one of the questions pressing in our minds is whether we’re going to make the right choice. A lot of the time, it’s not obvious. But let’s not let that stop us. There are many routes to an abundant, prosperous and happy life – because life is what we make of it. If we end up going one way or another, we will be happy and successful. Life is open to us and holds so many beautiful possibilities that we can capture. We shouldn’t get caught up in the what ifs. And if we happen to make a bad choice, we can still move forward. Don’t let anything hold you back. Life is an open plan waiting for you to embark on.
Not all who wander are lost. But even wandering has purpose. Where are you headed? Because the direction we choose to head in will lead us to the place we end up in. What does that place look like? It’s hard to know which direction is the right one. And we naturally change our minds all the time. But it’s important to realise that we do not need to follow the rules, the expectations, the norm or the easy. We need to follow our heart, no matter how thorny, overwhelming, difficult or lonely it may seem. Because even if it turns out to be all those things, even if the destination is nothing like we imagined, and even if we change our mind, at least we sacrifice that yearning inside. Our heart will always lead us to where we’re meant to be.
Our unpolished self is easily exposed when we are put under pressure. It might be the pressure of a family member, a whole culture, ourselves, a problem, that turns us into our worst or best selves. As a result, we might encounter high levels of stress, a shut-down mentality, a rebellious nature, or straight-out conformity. Equally, we might feel compelled to stand up for our principles, or driven to excel, exceed, and perform. But these reactions aren’t hereditary; they are choices. If we do not like they way we feel or react to pressures of any kind, then we have the power to change, if we consciously decide to and act on it. Take deep breaths. Concentrate on your own thoughts, not other people’s. Believe in yourself. Let the pressure guide you to greatness.
(Image: Created myself using Picmonkey; Picture: galleryhip.com)
Every day holds the potential to be better than the last, but it all comes down to us. Here are three choices we make each morning that are central to making every day the best it can be:
- Every morning, we have two choices: to continue to sleep with our dreams or wake up and chase them (unknown) – it can be easy to leave our dreams and goals to sit in the dust untouched when we are so consumed by our daily life. But no matter how busy we are, we can set aside an hour or two to do something that really satisfies our passions.
- Every morning when we wake up, we are confronted with a choice: another day just like the last or a clean slate to start all over (Mark Sanborn) – sometimes we get stuck in ruts and trapped in spirals. But we can paint every day in any way we want, whether it is to do something we are afraid of or something we haven’t had time for, or whether it is to view something with a different perspective or to start something new. Seize the day!
- Every morning, we can choose whether we greet the day with positivity or negativity – our lives will never be perfect or seamless, but our lives can be amazing overall, and that can simply come from our mindset each day; we can wake up with dread, discontent and dullness, or we can wake up with gratitude, enthusiasm and confidence. It may seem pointless or ridiculous, but it will make all the difference to how we reflect on our days as they pass by and in hindsight.
Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one – Grandmother Willow from Disney’s Pocahontas
(Image: created myself via picmonkey.com)
Life is all about the choices we make, the yeses and the nos. Sometimes they are spontaneous and other times they are calculated. Here are a few of my thoughts about when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’:
- Say Yes to new opportunities, even the ones that scare us, the ones that sneak upon us, and the ones that ask for risk. Always do that which makes us happy and that which nurtures us. We will never travel the same road twice.
- But say No to situations that make us uncomfortable, vulnerable, unhappy or overstep our boundaries as well as situations that we put ourselves in for the sake of fitting in, for pleasing somebody else or for what we feel we should be doing.
- Say Yes to loving others and helping people as much as possible, whether they be strangers or the people we love on a daily basis, especially those who are worthy of our time and love. Give people chances and see the good in others.
- But say No to the people who take advantage of our kindness, who always ask but never give back and who never appreciate us. Stay civil and be kind, but do not waste your effort on them; channel it to somebody else.
- Say Yes to the advice you give to others: that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, that you are smart and talented enough, that you are beautiful just the way you are, and that the hurt and pain will not last forever. And everything in between.
- But say No to the unproductive advice others give you, to the hateful criticism that people impose on us, and the restrictions others try to place on us. We are all in control of our own lives and nobody else’s, so let’s not relinquish it.
When do you say yes and no and when would you like to say yes and no? Leave in the comments below!