Life is a journey. Life is a teacher. Life is a blend of experiences and moments. If life was always easy, always perfect, always predictable, it would be boring. And it would be letting us down. Keep learning, keep falling, keep growing. Life cannot be magical without making us thrive, survive, and feel alive.
It’s easy to punish ourselves for the things we’ve done in the past. But the truth is, since then, we’ve changed – we’re not that person of the past anymore. And more importantly, we can change. Stop beating yourself up for something you did when you were a different person. Start focusing on where you’re going and how you’re going about it. Don’t let the sadness of the past rob the happiness of now. Always forgive, but never forget, learn from your mistakes, but never regret.
The grass is always greener on the other side. But if you get to the other side, that doesn’t mean your grass will be greener. Because it’s an illusion. People’s lives may seem better to us, but that’s because we’re on the outside looking in. Everyone has problems or weaknesses or hardships, just like we do. We need to focus on our own life and work on our own life, instead of comparing it to others. If we’re too busy look at next door’s grass, then ours is only going to suffer. Appreciate what is right at your feet. If everyone looks after their grass, think what a beautiful world it will be.
If you were to give yourself advice, how different would it be to the advice you’d give a friend in a similar situation? We often tend to be harsher on ourselves, less forgiving and sympathetic, with higher expectations and levels of criticism. We don’t always give ourselves advice, but give ourselves lectures. But we deserve some compassion, love and understanding from ourselves. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. And that’s ok. If we learn and grow, there’s no unwritten rule saying we should punish ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
If we plant a handful of seeds into the ground, we cannot predict how tall and strong they’ll grow. Some might grow more than others. But if we nurture them with love and care, we may find different results. More will grow than not. It’s the same with us. We might be planted in this world in particular conditions. But that doesn’t define who we are or how successful we are. We define that. If we’re willing to put the time in, if we’re willing to take care of ourselves, and most importantly, if we’re willing to believe in ourselves, we’ll exceed what we might have once been deemed capable of. We’re more than our circumstances. We’re our passion, our persistence and our positivity. If we stick it out in the darkness, we’ll quickly find the light.
What is opportunity? Does it sit behind every corner or does it come knocking on the door? Both. Opportunity comes to those who see it. There’s opportunity in every job, in every relationship, in every problem. Sure, there are dead-end jobs and dead-end relationships and never-ending problems. But that doesn’t mean we have to be dead-end people. We can make the best of every situation. We can give our best to every situation. And in those situations, we improve, we grow and we thrive. When we see opportunity in the dead-end situation, we do not see a dead-end at all.
It’s easy to say we would have done something differently. It’s also easy to wallow in a mistake. The hard part isn’t battling with the guilt, humiliation or frustration, it’s rather accepting your mistakes, learning from them and moving on. Sounds simple but we don’t do it often enough. Sometimes you’ve got to forgive yourself. Sometimes you’ve got to push past the pessimism. Because taking the easier road or the harder one distinguishes the fighters from the cowards, the believers from the doubters. It’s hard to fight for yourself and to believe in yourself. But who knows what you can achieve if you do. A mistake recharges the fighter and the believer. Mistakes happen to everyone, but it’s up to you what happens next.
When we think about happiness, we automatically place it on the opposite side of the spectrum to sadness. But if we think about sadness, it does not only tear away our happiness but also builds it. Like the seed sprouting out of the soil or the dawn breaking over the horizon, true happiness can only be realised when sadness or its various other forms have had a hold on us. Sadness moulds us. It teaches us about ourselves. It strengthens us. We’d never truly understand happiness, gratitude, or resilience without sadness. Don’t fight it, because nobody can ever be free of it. Instead, thrive in it.