Sometimes life seems like a huge struggle…
For almost 5 years I struggled to find inner peace and was lost in a whirlwind of anxiety and overthinking.
Because no matter what I tried I simply didn’t know enough about what true happiness means.
I was constantly fighting negative emotions which only made them worse. I couldn’t find peace because I couldn’t accept reality.
I really begun to think that perhaps I’d never be able to find peace and happiness.
I thought that I’d never be able to reach my full potential and grow up to be the man my parents had always wished I’d be.
That thought was soul destroying.
I was constantly exhausted, stressed, anxious and depressed.
But here’s the great thing…
After reading some Buddhist texts I finally realized the cause of my problems.
And through hard work I managed to implement their advice to make my life more fulfilling, productive and happy.
You see, according to Buddhism, the main source of suffering is attachments.
And once I realized that, I did a huge analysis of everything I was attached to and got completely rid of it.
Most of it was mental. Some of it was physical. But getting rid of ALL of it was liberating.
I’ve listed them below. I hope you can get as much out of them as I know I have.
1. Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.
This one takes huge mental effort, but it’s important to realize that the present moment is the only thing that exists.
Whenever I noticed myself dwelling on the past, I anchored my mind to something that was happening right now, such as my breathing.
Whenever I was looking to the future in an anxious way, I did the same thing. Eventually it became more natural to fully live in the present.
2. Trying to live up to people’s expectations.
It’s important to have your own standards to hold yourself by. For example, I always strive to try my best, help others when I can and hold my word.
But besides that, I can’t do anything else. And worrying about what other people think of you won’t help anything.
3. Comparing yourself to others.
Again, this really doesn’t serve any purpose. If you’re trying your best and sticking to your own values, then there’s nothing else you can do.
And anyway, how could you possibly compare? We’re all unique with incredibly different circumstances.
4. Constantly complaining.
Let’s be honest, nobody likes a complainer. So don’t be one!
But once you make this a goal, you will begin to notice that you do complain. So my strategy to stop myself was to give a dollar to anyone I was complaining to.
Nothing stops a habit like losing money!
5. Being overly self-critical.
Just like above, if you’re trying your best and sticking to your values then you don’t need to criticize yourself. All it does is reduce your self-confidence. Be proud of who you are and how far you’ve come.
6. Trying to be perfect.
This is a huge one that I’m sure many of you can relate to. Perfection can be a big cause of depression and anxiety. But no one will ever be perfect. And trying to be perfect will mean that you you’ll be afraid of trying anything new.
Remember, flaws are what make us human!
7. Holding grudges.
No one is responsible for my life but me. And why would you want to hold that negative energy inside you, anyway?
8. Trying to avoid mistakes.
Mistakes are scary, especially when you’re trying to be perfect. But mistakes and failures are actually a beautiful thing. They allow you to learn and grow. Remove mistakes and failures from your vocabulary and replace them with lessons.
9. Setting huge, massive goals.
Big goals won’t happen overnight, which is why I find setting big goals rather useless.
Instead focus on small day-to-day goals. Achieve them and eventually you’ll go somewhere you won’t have ever envisioned.
10. Making mountains out of molehills.
The more you take in stride, the less anxiety you will have. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
11. Desiring lifestyle upgrades.
I don’t know where you’re at, but my standard of living is fairly good. I’m not rich, but I’m not poor and can afford everything my family and I need. Desiring anything above that is useless. You’ll never be able to appreciate what you have right now if you’re always desiring.
12. Always being serious.
I believe that there really isn’t any reason we’re existing. We just are. And I don’t believe there is an afterlife. So if you only get life once, there’s really only one option: enjoy it and help others enjoy it, too.
13. Avoiding discomfort.
This was a tough one, but important. I decided to have a ridiculously cold shower every day to really implement this. I also physically destroyed myself every time I went for a run. At the time it wasn’t fun but now I look back and I think it really built my mental strength.
14. Holding onto relationships that bring you down.
We become attached to relationships, but if it’s not benefiting your life, then you need to cut them out. It’s simple, really.
15. Trying to do everything alone.
Humans are social species and you will need help if you want to achieve your goals.
16. Doubting yourself.
This was a huge one for me. And I’m sure for most people reading this. I just decided to stop it and back myself in every situation. Doubting yourself doesn’t offer any value in anything you’ll do.
17. Trying to control everything.
You can’t control everything. Look at your body right now. Your heart beats by itself. Your glands secretes essences by themselves. You don’t have voluntary control over these things. So you just have to trust that they’ll work as they’re supposed to. It’s the same with many others things in life. Do your best and then trust that everything will work out…
18. The need to be busy all the time.
Being in a rush isn’t cool. In fact, it just lowers your quality of work. I no longer feel guilty about doing nothing. It rechargers my batteries and when I get back to work, I’ll be much more refreshed and productive.
19. Judging others.
We’re all different with incredibly different life circumstances. It’s not fair to judge.
20. I stopped competing with others.
I want to achieve my goals. I want you to achieve your goals, too. I’m only competing with myself.
21. Chasing happiness
Happiness can’t be found. Forget about chasing it and focus on appreciating the present moment.