We all find happiness in extraordinary and special ways. But whatever our own route to happiness consists of, pivotal to happiness is the concept of living and not just existing. We need to live in the moment and appreciate what we have in front of us, instead of passing time, and always wanting the next best thing. And it isn’t just about living in the moment, it is about taking it even further, and living to the moment’s fullest potential. That doesn’t mean we have to constantly be challenging ourselves, taking risks and having new experiences, but simply making the most of every day, doing what we enjoy in the circumstances we are given and with the means we have available. Let’s try to live a little more. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
There never will be a right time. Yes, there will always be a time when we will be smarter, more experienced, and perhaps less busy, than we are now. But there will also be a time when we are older, more invested and committed, with opportunities that come and go too quickly. The more we waste our time, the less we have of it, and the less we have of all the prospects it brings. Time is unforgiving and waits for no one. The closest place we have to the ‘right’ time is now. Now is the time to start. Now is the time to conquer. Now is the time to work. Now is the time to mend. Now is the time to let go. Now is the time to express how you feel. Now is made up of infinite possibilities, so let’s use them.
(Image: created myself via picmonkey.com; Photo: tumblr)
Similarly to our bodies, our minds have boundaries, only it is a little more difficult to regulate what we allow our mind to absorb than our bodies. We feed our bodies with certain sustenance, either that which energises us or slows us down, fills us or stuffs us. Our mind is the same; it also needs to be fed with the correct energy to remain positive and clear. And this can be really challenging, because we are highly sensitive to our experiences and environments – that is part of what makes us human.
But it is important to realise and believe that we are still in control of our emotions and mindsets, no matter how uncontrollable the external circumstances are, and we do have choice to feel in different ways. Negative emotions should never be repressed or shamed, but in overwhelming proportions, they can be detrimental. We can make simple decisions to either treat something in a certain way or not allow something to affect us negatively. Consciously make those decisions. An entire sea can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it inside you.
(Image: created myself using picmonkey.com; Painting: flickriver.com)
In honour of Mother’s Day here in the UK, I wanted to share three things my mother has taught me, which I hope we can all embody throughout all of life’s offerings:
- Consider others – there are always times when we should put ourselves first, but there are also times when another person’s situation is much more important than our own. We should be considerate of other people, be generous with our time, and not only put ourselves in other people’s shoes, but also sacrifice our own needs to help someone in a more difficult or pressing time.
- Perseverance – we’re often afraid, afraid of what other people think or the future or of making mistakes or letting go or pursuing unknown paths. We often give up too easily, because we lack confidence and belief in our abilities. But we should always be passionate, we should experiment and learn, and we should always live in accordance to our own goals, no matter how much hard work and time we need to get there.
- Most things are rectifiable – true, there are some things that are uncontrollable and there are some really tough situations. But there are always a number of paths we can take to get to the same place. There are so many moments that feel like a catastrophe at the time, which we look back on later in life and are grateful for. Make the most of everything available to you, which might be more than we think. Life will always work out in the end.
What is success to you? Perhaps it is the acquisition and possession of something, money, a title, a legacy. Maybe it is stability and comfort, having a want for nothing, or at least enough to be content and satisfied. Perhaps it is achievement and accomplishment, reaching a milestone or receiving an award. Maybe it is adventure and spontaneity, experimenting and learning. Perhaps it is all about confidence, inner peace and happiness. Maybe it is appreciating the little things, but not getting too worked up about them either. Perhaps it is failure, mistakes and embarrassments, and growing stronger because of them. Maybe it is survival, simply waking up each morning and trying our best, no matter what the day throws at us. Perhaps, it is all about balance and abundance. Maybe, as Maya Angelou suggests, success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.
What is success to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Real motivation begins when we plainly, resolutely and sometimes brutally weigh up our priorities, desires and perspectives. Motivation is about weighing up how badly we want our goal with how badly we’ll work for it. Motivation is about weighing up how much we will believe in ourselves despite how much others will doubt us. Motivation is about weighing up how many times we are willing to get up after failure knocks us down. Motivation is about weighing up how many tough days we’ll go through for those cherished moments. It isn’t enough to dream without any action, if we want to see success. We need to ask ourselves: How bad do we want it? Everything will fall exactly where we guide it.
Big things, little things, we worry about them all. But here’s at least four things we shouldn’t worry about and why:
- Being different – there are always those times in our lives when we want to change ourselves in order to fit in. But you will come to see that our differences make us invaluable, unparalleled and strong. If we were all the same, there would be no variety in any aspects of our lives and progress would be pretty slim.
- Life’s path – when we’re so wrapped up in comparing our lives with other people’s, it’s easy to get anxious about the different stages we need to be at by a specific time in our lives; a common example is when to find a partner or when to get married. We start to worry when life isn’t happening in the ‘right way’. But everything happens in its own time. Everything will work out, regardless of where we end up. Our life will be beautiful because it will be like no other.
- Pleasing everyone – it’s an impossible feat to be able please everyone, because everyone has different opinions and different ideas. And those are a great way to figure out the world. But ultimately, we need to pursue our own desires, dreams and goals, no matter what anybody says or wants, because after all, we’ll be the ones living it.
- The wrong – we all make mistakes and we all have moments we wish we could re-live and do differently. But what is done is done, and contrary to our fears, failure is perhaps the best building block to real, satisfying success. So let’s use it.
Try not to focus too heavily on the bad, because worry retracts your attention away from all the amazing parts of your life! Try to let go of the it and make the most of your life!