A lot hinges on our relationships and interactions with people around us: our energy, motivation, direction, choices, perspectives. That’s why it’s important we build solid, positive, fruitful and invigorating relationships around us. And cut our ties to those who take away from our life:
- The overlookers – we shouldn’t ever be made to feel worthless by those close to us. We shouldn’t ever be consistently ignored, excluded and belittled. We shouldn’t be constantly taken for granted. Although our self-worth should foremost come from within ourselves, relationships with others should nonetheless make us feel valued and appreciated.
- The nay-sayers – those around us shouldn’t distract us from where we want to go, with doubts, negativity, or self-importance. Our loved ones should encourage and push us forward, no matter how much they do not understand or agree with our choices. No matter how much they wish they could do the same too. Those close to us should want us to thrive.
- The game-changers – people who try to mould us into someone else or who won’t accept us for who we are will eventually be suffocating. And we shouldn’t have to change our very core principles and qualities for other people. We all have flaws and we should be able to embrace them, not escape them. We should be around people who love us for who we are.
Sometimes, we have to be honest, direct and disciplined, to kick ourselves into gear. Sometimes, we have to hustle. Because no one can hand us our dreams, our time, or our successes. Because no one can tell us who we are, how to think or what to do. Because no one can feed us passion, persistence or positivity. That all brews within. It’s up to us. We’re all beautiful and capable, and very much so. And it’s up to us to unleash that. Don’t let yourself fall behind. Don’t let yourself miss a window of opportunity. Don’t leave yourself with second best. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
Our time is so precious. Although we make mistakes, there are ways we waste our time that we could be more conscious of:
- We do not persist – Nothing worth having will come easily, because there’s a lot trying to trip us up: procrastination, fears, anxieties. But we all have purpose. We all have dreams. And we should pursue them, no matter what. Don’t waste the opportunity to live the life you want to.
- We try to mould ourselves – Instead of embracing all parts of ourselves, we try to hide parts away, place ourselves into categories, and fit into what others want or like. But if that means we have to deny who we are, can we really ever be happy? Don’t waste time trying to be someone you’re not or living someone else’s life.
- We are afraid of change – There isn’t anything more certain than change. And change can be scary. But change means adapting, evolving, growing. It’s what keeps life interesting and what keeps us moving forward. Nobody wants to be stuck in the same place forever. Don’t be afraid of change. Invite it into your life.
What else do you think we waste our time on?
Times can be tough. Everyone experiences them in one form or another, and not only once. Even if we think others might have it easier, we’re all going through our own battles. It’s not our circumstances that make the difference, it’s who we are on the inside that counts. It’s about believing in yourself. It’s about unleashing that inner fire and burning those negative thoughts. It’s about believing in happier times. It’s about fighting for what you deserve and what you want out of life. It’s about becoming stronger and better. Circumstances might shape who we are, but we decide who that is. You decide what you’re made of.
One minute, life is pure sunshine. Next minute, life is a heavy downpour. And even if the sun does come out again, it can be hard to dry off. Life is tough. But that’s what makes life worth living. That’s what gives life meaning. That’s what reveals who we really are. And even though life is hard, it still is beautiful. Even in a downpour. Pick up an umbrella and keep going. Life is tough, but so are you.
Expression is a powerful tool that we all possess and we shouldn’t be afraid to use it. Our expression defines who we are. We should feel comfortable expressing our sadness or anxiety as well as our achievements and happiness. We should be brave enough to express what we believe in and stand by it. We should never forget to express our gratitude and happiness for others. Expression shouldn’t be a weapon muddled with hatred or jealousy. We shouldn’t be using our words to bring others down or place people in a negative light. We shouldn’t be expressing ourselves in a way that invalidates or manipulates others. Our expression illustrates who we are. So find expression in your toolkit and use it with good intentions. We’re trying to fix the world, not break it.
We all feel shame at one time or another. We’re moulded to tread the fine line between right and wrong carefully. In many ways, shame illustrates our humanity; it encourages us to admit our wrongdoings, to apologise and to try and make amends. Shame should more of a stepping stone than a heavy boulder. But there are many things we should never have to apologise for, even if society deems it unacceptable. We shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of how much money we have, where we live or what we do for a living. We shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of our friends or family. We shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of the past or how we feel. We shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of who we are, no matter how many quirky, flawed parts dwell inside us. This kind of shame should be a rock we toss in the water. Don’t let shame tear you apart. Let it go and just be you.
Many of us believe that ‘more’ equals ‘better’. To have more money is to be happier. To work more hours is to be more successful. To be more confident or beautiful is to be liked more by others. Sometimes, more is better, through striving to grow and improve ourselves and our lives. But less can be more too. What we have now and who we are now is also enough, if not better. We don’t always need more to be more. If we get caught up in always wanting more, we might miss everything we already have. Sometimes we need less to have more. It’s a conundrum worth thinking about.
Our selves are made up of a spectrum of intricacies: not just our past, not just where we come from, and not just who we associate with. We are not just one thing. We are not defined by other people’s labels. And we do not have to impose labels on ourselves. We are ever-changing. We learn about ourselves with each situation we encounter and each decision we make. We manoeuvre, adapt and grow, sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes naturally. Let’s be open to the evolution of our selves. Let’s grasp all our dreams tightly. Let’s march into the future bravely. Let’s not apologise for who we are or for wanting to change our minds. Be who you want to be at this point in time, and act upon it.
(Image: Created myself using Picmonkey; Picture: silvercitytourism.com)