These 10 brutal lessons about life will help you get your shit together

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Life is no picnic. All too often, we have to overcome obstacles in order to survive.

Sometimes we try to deny these obstacles because they’re too difficult to bare.

But as hard as they are to confront, it’s necessary if we want to live a truly fulfilling and free life.

Whenever I need to confront the difficult aspects of life, I look to this quote by Alex Karras:

“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more manhood (or womanhood) to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.” – Alex Karras

So if you want to grow stronger and more wise, check out these 10 lessons about life that we all need to accept.

1) In order to be comfortable, we need to accept the uncomfortable.

No one likes being in uncomfortable situations.  We’d all rather run in the opposite direction and never think of it again.  

But take a minute and ask yourself, “What would happen if I ran towards the discomfort instead of away from it?”  

By allowing yourself to embrace that unpleasant feeling and accept it, you’ll find yourself feeling relieved.

You are no longer fighting against yourself and your feelings, you’re embracing them.  Once you do this you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.

2) The first step to change is awareness.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the bad feelings you may be feeling at the time.  Your mind is working overtime and you have a million thoughts running through your head.  Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed.

Take a moment once in awhile, especially when you’re in a difficult situation, to check in with yourself and recognize how you’re feeling.  Then tell yourself that everything is okay and just like all moments, this one will also pass.

3) Anything we repress comes back to bite us 10 times harder.

Showing your emotions can be difficult to do, especially in front of people we want to impress or love.  We would all love to appear strong and put together at all moments in time, but that isn’t how human nature works.  

We are vulnerable creatures with very real and intense emotions.  When you’re feeling down or in a tough spot, don’t try to hide it and handle it yourself.  Allow yourself to share those feelings with someone and remember that it’s okay to ask for help.

4) Overthinking is a huge cause of unhappiness.

Overthinking a situation does nothing but make it worse.  It can be exhausting staying up and thinking over every little detail of a hard situation.  It’s okay to give yourself a break!  Distract yourself once in awhile and let your mind relax.  Go ahead and hit the reset button on your mind.

5) A battle we’ll never win is when we fight with ourselves.

Your mind and your thoughts will always be with you.  They are always there and present no matter what you do or say.  When you push yourself beyond your limits, you’re putting pressure on your mind to work in overdrive.  

But eventually you’ll run out of steam and then what?  

You’ll be faced with the fact that once in awhile it’s okay to rest.  Don’t think about the things you should be doing or all that needs to get done.  Put yourself first and just let yourself live in the present.

6) Everyone will die.

This may sound callous and harsh but it is true. Life can only be life if there is something to compare it to. We are living organisms that have a certain time to live. Many people pretend it is not true and are not appreciative of the time they have with others.

By acknowledging that we will all die, we can take a big picture perspective and avoid small fights and pride and in turn have better relationships.

7) You give your own life meaning.

It is a traditional Buddhist perspective that our own thoughts and actions create the world that we live in. In this thinking, it is clear that the things you do and think create your reality. You give meaning to the things you do.

Because of this, you don’t need to compare yourself to others or focus on what it means for others to be successful. You give your own actions meaning.

8) Life isn’t that serious, so have fun.

Life is like a game, you do things for experience, you can level up after you play certain levels or achieve certain things, and it always ends.

By worrying and trying to stay within limitations that were given to you, not made by you, you’re not really living. Make your own rules, don’t be afraid to try something new, and enjoy yourself!

9) Everything will come to an end.

Nothing lasts forever. Not relationships, not skin plumpness, not relationships, and not careers. It’s the fact that things are temporary that gives life meaning and real appreciation.

Since we know that all things will end, we know that it’s important to enjoy the little things before they end. When things become boring or commonplace it’s the best time to look with a new perspective or take a different route. The world is full of magic if you can just open your mind to it.

10) Make a change or don’t complain.

We all have complaints about things, from the way our coffee was prepared to the way the president runs the country. However, if you can’t find a way to make something better, don’t complain about it. Upon further reflection you may find that your way isn’t really that much better.

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