LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOURSELF

“Everything I ever do blows up in my face.”

He is slumped forward in his chair, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting with his hands.

“Everyone told me to get a car. ‘It will help’ they said. I didn’t need it, I lost everything I had worked for in eight months.”

“People told me to go to school, they said it would help. Now I’ve wasted four years and I’m in debt.”

I didn’t really know what to say to him. Most lessons we encounter in life are only remembered because they leave scars.

That day, he peeled back the scar tissue and showed me the painful lesson he had learned.

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Don’t life your life according to someone else’s curriculum.

I recently quit my job. The place I work at was infamous for trapping people and keeping them forever.

I had been there seven years, I was making better money than I would elsewhere but it no longer felt right to me.

It was a toxic environment that was chipping away at my mental stability.

I was due for a raise and I figured that the extra money would make it more bearable. That I would be able to stand it if I just made a little more.

But the raise came and went, and I was still coming home feeling drained and depressed.

So I quit.

People warned me that I would not make as much anywhere else.

They poked and prodded me to find out what my plans were so that they could talk about me behind my back.

“He wants to go to Spain and travel for a year, he won’t be able to afford that.”

“This 2HelpfulGuys thing isn’t going to go anywhere. He should have just stayed here and saved.”

Living to appease those around you will never lead to happiness.

Our whole lives we are told what we should do.

People tell you that you should go to school, get a job, find a spouse, mortgage a house, raise a family.

I didn’t want to go down this path and I can feel how uncomfortable it makes people around me.

As soon as I tell people about my dreams, writing books, public speaking, motivating people, starting businesses, they immediately warn me of the inevitable outcomes.

“You only have a 1% chance to make it. What about retirement? Where is the job security?”

Whenever people tell you what you can or can’t do, remember that it is just a reflection of their own limitations.

These people never chased their dreams.

They left them to die somewhere in the past.

In a classroom where the teacher said they couldn’t make it. Or in their living room where there parents told them that they would amount to nothing without a degree and stable job.

I know too many people with degrees they will never use, material objects that bring them no joy and lives that leave them unfulfilled.

All so that people will say “Oh, that’s good for you.” When asked what they have been up to.

I have no idea where my future will take me.

What I do know is that as long as I am following what I believe is my purpose in life, I’ll be happy.

I know people don’t believe in me when I tell them my goals, but I don’t need their approval.

The only approval I need is from the man in the mirror. When I am home alone, contemplating my life, everyone else in the world may as well not exist.

They will come and go like seasons in my life. The only opinion that matters is the one staring back from the glass.
And right now he is thinking “You’re doing the right thing, you’ve got this.”

Make Your Mind A Negative FREE Zone

What a nightmare.

I was face to face with my mortal enemy, and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

I could feel my blood boiling, my heart racing, and my adrenaline pumping. I tried to tell myself to stay calm, but I was shaking with anger.

I was finding myself in this situation more and more often since his family had moved in with my girlfriend’s family. Talk about a universal joke on everyone involved.

My girlfriend at the time had more reason to hate him than I did, I have no idea how she dealt with it.

I always hated that I felt all this anger towards him, but he felt nothing.

No matter how much I held his image in my mind, wishing all manner of evil towards him, he was unaffected.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
-Mark Twain

That is how anger works.

You are the only one who is affected by your anger. No matter how justified it is, you have to deal with consequences of your negative thoughts.

Your frame of mind will decay and you will torment yourself the longer you continue this destructive thinking.

This is the same for all negative thinking or emotions.

If you are envious of someone, you feel the negativity and their lives are unchanged.

Apply this thinking to any pessimistic emotions you have and you will see this is always the result.

You can’t avoid everyone who will drag you down or rile you up.

But no matter how much they get to you, I want you to stop thinking about them and stop talking about them.

Not because they deserve to get off scot free, this isn’t for their benefit, but because you deserve to be happy.

Imagine your mind is your bed room.

Your thoughts are the posters and knickknacks you decorate it with.

Would you ever cover your room in pictures of people you hate? Would you ever allow any object into your room that upsets you?

So why are you letting so much of this garbage into your mind? After all, you are in your mind every moment of every day.

I am firm believer that negativity can only breed more negativity. If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.

Keep your mind clean for your own benefit.

Decorate it with everything that invigorates and uplifts you.

The world outside can drag you down at every turn, don’t drag yourself down on the inside as well.

PS:

I wrote this a couple of days ago and something weird happened last night.
I saw my old “Mortal Enemy” again.

I was going to an event to support a friend who is a DJ and as I walked in I recognized the security guard.
It was him.

You can call it a coincidence, but whatever it was, it was weird. I saw in his eyes that he wanted peace, and so did I.

After all the time and energy I wasted, after all the negativity I allowed into my life, it meant nothing.

Peace in your mind creates peace in your life.
And you deserve a peaceful life.

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Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

I have been writing in a journal before bed at night. I don’t write any deep or emotional thoughts, I just write what I did that day. Plain and simple.

I went back and looked at a couple of my first entries into this journal and I noticed something.

In the first pages of my journal I talk about having difficulty with new habits I am trying to create. How I find it hard waking up early and sometimes I miss the gym.

I had completely forgotten about my progress through this period.

Before I revisited these journal entries I was going through a phase where I felt like I wasn’t making any headway in life. I felt like I was on a treadmill going nowhere.

I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me, thinking that I wasn’t doing enough.

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By taking a journey through my thoughts from months ago, I realized that I had improved in nearly every area of my life.

Comparing myself today against myself a short time ago was like night and day.
It gave me confidence.

Don’t compare yourself to other people.

When you look at someone else your instinct is to pick out every one of their good qualities that you lack, and weigh them against yourself.

The problem is that the things that make you amazing, probably aren’t the same for that person. You might be jealous of their girlfriend, but do they have friends and family as amazing as yours?

The things that make you unique can’t always be measured and compared against another person properly.

Outlines vs. Details.

Another major problem with comparing yourself to other people is that you only see an outline of that person.

When you look at yourself, you know every single painstaking detail backwards and forwards. You know every blemish on your body, every negative personality trait.

Looking at people as they walk past, you might assume that their life is great but you don’t know what they go home to. You don’t know what goes on inside their head.

You are building the image of the people around you up so much higher than yourself, when in reality they have struggles and hardships just the same as you.

Like it or not, you are who you are.

The only thing you can do is be better than the person you were yesterday. If you can do that then you should be proud of yourself.

Comparing yourself to other people will distract you from your own journey.

Horses wear blinders during races so that they can stay focused on the carrot without being distracted by the other horses.

Put up your blinders and go after your own carrot with all your might.

Three questions that will save you countless hours

We can see them standing together inside the kitchen. “It still hurts my stomach.” he said.

Well, he said something to that affect anyway. We were both drunk. He didn’t like seeing them together and was hoping for an empathetic response.

“It’s none of your business anymore, don’t let it affect you.”

Sorry. That’s the best I’ve got.

There will always be certain realities or aspects of your life that you aren’t happy about. It’s even worse when you spend so much of your time brooding and there is nothing you can do to change it.

Sometimes it isn’t important, sometimes it has little relevance to your life moving forward but you get stuck on it.

We have to be ruthless with our thoughts or they will take hold of us.

Don’t let thoughts that can’t help you, control you.

In the past I have spent an atrocious amount of time brooding over things I can’t change.

I started asking myself three questions whenever presented with something uncomfortable, so that I can either do something about it, or get rid of it.

Is this relevant?

Is this something that is actually relevant to your life and your future?

When asking yourself this question you may realize that most of your problems aren’t. Most of the time my answer is “I guess not, but it upsets me.”

Once you have labeled this situation as irrelevant you might find it easier to put it out of your mind. Just keep reminding yourself that in the end, it has no real relevance.

Is it important?

Sometimes the things that make us uncomfortable are relevant to our life. What do you do then?

Ask yourself, is it really that important? In the grand scheme of things is this something big, or small?

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. If it’s not important, push it out the door.

Those two are easy, now it’s time for the hard question.

Your situation might be relevant and it might be very important, but if you can’t do anything about it you will have to painfully remove it from your head.

Is it actionable?

The worst feelings come from this question. That feeling in my friends stomach, it was because it was relevant to him and it was important to him.

But he couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

There was nothing he could do to turn the current situation into the one that he wanted. I truly did feel for him.

If you can’t do anything about a situation, you will eventually have to come to peace with that. You might as well try to speed up that process as much as you can so you can get back to enjoying life.

If you ask yourself these questions and the predicament you are in doesn’t meet all three criteria, it’s probably best to accept it and move on. You’ll thank yourself later.

2pac_tupac_shakur_move_on

 

Appreciation and Gratitude

I have big news.

I am going to be moving out soon. Most likely on the first of august. It’s a big step in my life that I am very excited about.

Whenever big changes are happening in our lives we tend to reflect on what we are leaving behind. I’ve realized that I have a greater appreciation for things while looking back than I did in the actual moment.

I have a love/hate relationship with my cats, but now that I am moving I know that I will miss them. I don’t always appreciate my family, but now that I know I won’t be seeing them as often, I consciously put in more effort. It makes me wonder why I didn’t have this attitude the whole time.

It seems we appreciate everything more in retrospect.

The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them. -Gilbert K. Chesterton

I want to give my family and the people around me the appreciation they deserve. I came up with an exercise to keep things in perspective and encourage myself to show my gratitude to those who deserve it.

Imagine you are retired.

Your memories seem so distant, you’ve let go of any grudges and you reminisce every once in a while in a nostalgic state. Even the small moments, laughing with a co-worker forty years ago, are cherished gems that have so much emotion attached you could shed a tear just thinking about them.

You laugh to yourself when you realize that so many of the things you were so preoccupied with, weren’t really that important.

You wish you could reach out to certain people, you wish you could tell them how much they meant to you.

Are there people in your life you aren’t appreciating enough?

Visualizing myself being older and looking back helps to keep the important things in perspective.

The more I think about it the more I realize that the memories I will cherish the most are the times I exchange gratitude and appreciation with the people around me. I don’t want to look back and feel like I didn’t give my whole heart to the people around me.

If you feel the same, tell the people in your life that you appreciate them.

people_will_forget-131296 That’s all you have to say to give someone a memory that will last a life time. Just say “I appreciate you.”