We all want to improve our lives. Whether it’s our relationships, our work, or our health, life can almost feel like a never-ending process of improvement.
Yet, most of the time, it isn’t about earning more money or meeting the perfect guy or girl, it’s about changing our perception of the world.
As Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
In order to feel more hopeful and positive about life, I’ve gone through 10 simple steps you can take to change yourself and your perspective on the world.
1) Start spending time with the right people
Sick of narcissists? Tired of people who aren’t really looking out for you? Then let them go! The only people you should be spending time with are those who truly love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve yourself. Not only will these people make you feel more alive, but you’ll be able to be yourself around them.
2) Start facing your problems, rather than resisting
How do you respond to negative emotions like anxiety and depression? If you’re like most people, it probably involves some form of resistance.
Yet in the long run, this usually makes those emotions worse. Instead try to face these issues head on. Learn to become friends with your negative emotions. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you’ll be able to live fully and openly, embracing all the ups and downs that inevitably come with life.
3) Start being honest with yourself
Sit by yourself quietly and ask yourself if who you are right now is who you truly want to be. If there’s one relationship that’s most important in life, it’s with yourself.
If you aren’t living authentically with your values and who you are, then you can’t be truly happy. Take a step back and search for your soul, for the truth. Once you do, you’ll begin to understand what you really want in life and how you’ll get there.
4) Start making happiness a priority
You do matter and if you don’t start looking out for yourself, then you’re only sabotaging yourself. It is possible to look after your own needs and care for those around you. And the truth is, once your needs are met, you’ll be better able to help others anyway.
5) Start noticing and living in the present moment
Even though our complex human brains are capable of thinking about the future and the past, it’s still only our imagination. The only thing that exists is right now.
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By consciously focusing on the present moment, you can rewire your brain to think less about the past and more about the future. To do this, one of the best techniques to get yourself into the present is to focus on your senses and what they’re feeling, such as your breathe.
6) Start valuing mistakes and the lesson you learn from them
We’re all conditioned to avoid mistakes because we think they’re failure. But the truth is that progress can’t happen without mistakes. Mistakes are the most potent way to learn. Embrace every mistake and realize that you’re moving forward every single time.
7) Show compassion to yourself
How often do you self-criticize? If you’re like me, then far too often. But all this does is make you feel worse and you lose self-confidence. Ask yourself this question: If you have a friend who spoke to you the same way you speak to yourself, how long would that relationship last? If you don’t love who you are, then no one else will.
8) Be grateul for what you have right now
The problem so many of us have is that we think we’ll be happy once we reach a certain level of income or we obtain a certain level of material comfort. Not only are these things not really meaningful, but you’ll be in a never ending process of desiring and attaching yourself to certain outcomes.
There’s a reason Buddha said that the root of all suffering is attachment. Turn the tables on this mindset and start being grateful for what you have. Every morning, take a quiet moment and be appreciative for all that you currently have.
9) Start creating your own happiness
If you waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re playing a dangerous game. Unless we feel comfortable with ourselves and who we are, we can’t experience truth inner peace. As the great Buddha said: “We ourselves must walk the path.” Start taking responsibility for your life and focus on what makes YOU happy. Be on the look out for opportunities and you will eventually find it.
10) Start believing in yourself
You’ll be surprised at the amazing things that can happen when you start believing in yourserlf. Your confidence sky rockets, oppurtunities come out of nowhere and you actually pursue your dreams and ideas. And why wouldn’t you pursue your ideas and dreams? Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-win
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.
Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.