Life is tough. All too often, we have to overcome obstacles in order to survive.
Sometimes we try to deny these challenges because they’re too hard to face.
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 wiser, 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 a while, 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 a while 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 is 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.
Putting yourself first
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them.
The trap is this:
You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values.
Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
If you find it hard to articulate your deeper life values, I suggest downloading the free values exercise by career coach Jeanette Brown.
It takes only a couple of minutes and will reveal a number of powerful insights about your underlying values.
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