When we’re aware of what brings us down, we can let it go and watch ourselves rise up.
The energy outside affects the energy inside. People who complain all the time, people who blame you for their problems, people who bring you down, people who laugh at your dreams, people absorbed in their own worlds, people who always take and never give, these are all toxic people, if they do it consistently. People who do not add any love or joy to your life aren’t worth keeping. It isn’t selfish to cut them out, take a break, or limit the time you see them.
Other people’s opinions
We’re haunted by other people’s words, opinions and thoughts. Maybe we want to please someone. Maybe we think someone knows better. Maybe we feel we don’t have a choice. But if we’re never listening to our own heart, we’ll never feel truly satisfied, content or excited about life. We’ll add water to the seeds of regret, bitterness and misery. Do what makes you happy; even if it doesn’t always work out, at least you’re following your own path.
Self-limiting and self-doubt
Many of us struggle with low self-confidence. In fact, we could probably argue that it’s nowadays a part of life, at one stage or another. We’re afraid of failure. We punish ourselves for mistakes. We think we’re not good enough or bright enough or beautiful enough. But it’s all in our head. You are good enough. You have to find that belief, that faith, that courage buried inside and see how much your outlook changes.
Trying to fit in
Finding someone to talk about is an ancient pastime; we often gossip to fit in, to connect with a group of people and exclude someone else. On the flip side, we’re afraid to be that person who is excluded. We compare ourselves to others, always trying to erase the things that make us different. We focus on what’s ‘wrong’ with ourselves and what we don’t have. Trying to fit in breeds self-doubt and self-loathing, which leads to negativity. Instead try embracing and loving yourself and doing the same for others.
(Image: created myself)
Number One: Do what you love
Find your passion. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s yours. You won’t ever give your all if you follow someone else’s dreams and wishes. Have courage to know what will fulfil you and go after it. Share your passion with others, and inspire others to find and share theirs too.
Number Two: Be kind to all you meet
Every person we cross, from stranger to loved one, is left with a mark. Make one that lasts for the right reasons. Even a smile or a thank you can turn someone’s day around. If not, make amends, say sorry to those you’ve wronged. Forgive those who wrong you. Be the bigger person, be the better person.
Number Three: Do what is right
Many times, what is right is not what is easy. But take the road less travelled anyway. Find solutions to problems that have been ignored. Stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves. Stick by your own morals. Practice what you preach. Keep your promises. What goes around comes around. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
Sometimes we fall into the habit of thinking we have to find happiness, find success, find fortune. Sometimes we think they will land in our laps and sometimes we think they only come to the chosen few. But actually, we make happiness, make success, make fortune. It isn’t about luck and it isn’t about how much privilege we were born into, even if it seems like these would help. We have the most important tools already: determination and hustle, positivity and perspective, strength and faith, lessons from mistakes in the past, wisdom from observing life around us. We might need to nurture them and strengthen them. But they are there. They’re all there waiting for you to use them. Anyone can be happy, success, fortunate. Including you.
Starting is both exhilarating and terrifying. There’s a voice in our head asking ‘How great will it be if I take on this journey? How great will it be if I succeed?’ But it’s often drowned out by a louder voice, questioning ‘What if I fail? What if I stumble? What if I give up and can’t do it anymore?’ Little do we know that mistakes, failures, setbacks, they’ll catch us whatever we do – wouldn’t the biggest mistake be not trying at all? Nowhere in its definition does starting have an expiration date. It’s not only available in the New Year, at the beginning of the month or on a Monday. We can start whenever we want, we can start again as many times as we need, and we can change our path along the way. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down, as long as we pick ourselves back up again. Don’t let that loud terrified voice drown out the exhilarated one. Today is the day to take that step towards something great.
Time is both a friend and a foe, a luxury and a curse. It has a way of healing us and stealing from us. It gives us the opportunity to reflect, move on and grow. But it’s always ticking away. It becomes easy to regret; there’s no way of escaping time, no way of being able to do everything. All we can do is our best, do what we love and love what we do. Seems simple, but many of us make it complicated. We shouldn’t be afraid to mess up or change our minds. We shouldn’t keep wondering about the what ifs and should have beens. We shouldn’t be listening to what others think we should do or tell us to do. Time is a valuable currency, and we all have some. Use it in the way you want to. Make time your friend.
The highs and the lows. The light and the darkness. The blessings and the lessons. The climbing and the falling. The setbacks and the comebacks. The open plains and the dead ends. Experience it all. You’ll be stronger because of it. You’ll be happier because of it. You’ll be alive because of it.
Although it’s tempting to tuck our negatives into a box underneath the bed, sometimes, in life, we have to venture into the darkroom. And that’s not because we should hold onto the past as a way to punish ourselves, torment ourselves, or hold ourselves back. But because our negatives have so much more to offer us than the negatives. We can confront the past. Move on. Learn a lesson. Switch perspectives. Instigate changes. Grant forgiveness. Enhance strength. And build a healthier, more positive life. Don’t be afraid of your negatives. Don’t get hung up on them either. Grow from your negatives. And turn them into positives.
It’s never too late. To say sorry. To be honest. To try again. To change your mind. To learn a lesson. To turn around. To alter your perceptions.To be who you might have been. To be who you want to be. We can always start now, no matter how old we are, how tied down we are, or how scared we are. We’ll never know unless we try. It’s never too late. Give it a go.
We might not be able to understand much about what Minions are saying, but what they show us speaks louder than words. I recently went to see Minions in the cinema, and I picked out three lessons we can learn from them:
- Always look out for each other – Whether we’re just offering a bit of comfort, courage or company, or whether we’re valiantly saving someone from getting blown to pieces, we should always take care of each other. It could make all the difference to that person, whether we realise or not.
- Be brave – It’s easy to get comfortable where we are because that’s what we know and that’s where we know we’ll be safe. But that doesn’t mean we’ll always be fulfilled and happy in that safe place. Don’t be afraid of stepping into the unknown and taking opportunities to experience more of life.
- Never give up – Life won’t hand us everything we want. But that doesn’t mean we can’t ever have it. Even if things feel like they’re not working out, sometimes we just need to take our time. We’ll get there in the end if we stay persistent. And it will be worth it.
Have you seen Minions? What would you add to the list?
It’s true that we won’t ever be able to move onto the next chapter if we keep re-reading the last one. But we cannot cut the past out of our life, and we shouldn’t have to. Coming to terms with our past can take time. But here are a few times when looking back isn’t all that bad:
- Reflecting on lessons learnt – All the tough times we’ve endured and all the mistakes we’ve made teach us something, and through that, we’ve become more knowledgeable and strong. The lessons of the past are invaluable to how we lead the present and the future. Hold them close.
- Reflecting on turning points – Our life could be plotted as a string of milestones and turning points. Sometimes we need to look back to see how far we’ve come as impetus to keep going. Sometimes we need to look back to see how something we cried over was actually a blessing. Sometimes we need to look back at how much we’ve achieved. Be proud.
- Reflecting on good memories – Although we’re programmed to remember those moments of pain, embarrassment and fear, there are some many more beautiful and joyous moments that we should cherish. Don’t forget them or the people who you created those memories with. Smile because it happened.