Mindfulness is a word you may have heard a lot, but it’s far more than just a buzzword.
It’s a mentality and way of relating to the world that brings you inner peace and outer success in your relationships and work.
I myself talk about my journey in mindfulness and elevating my life in my new book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism.
I know what worked for me and the rules that I follow in order to tap into my full potential and experience success in my love life and career.
Here are the top rules that mindful people live by in order to have more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
1) Eat, breathe and sleep well
For anyone who expected this list to be really esoteric, I’m sorry to disappoint you!
The truth is that a lot of mindfulness is really simple.
Eating well, exercising, breathing deeply and getting enough high-quality sleep are crucial rules mindful people live by to elevate their life.
These rules won’t always be possible to follow, but having in mind to respect your body and mind is a great place to start.
We’re only human, and we need nourishment, rest and oxygen!
This brings me to the next point…
2) Live in the present
One of the key rules mindful people live by to elevate their life is to live in the present.
This is often misunderstood so I want to be more specific about what this means.
It means that you live in the present and focus on the task at hand. There will be times when your mind and emotions drift to the past, to the future or to something else entirely.
That’s fine: don’t force it! That will defeat the whole purpose. And don’t hate yourself for fleeing the present, we all do it!
Just come back to the present as much as possible, gently and with grace.
Just focus on steering your ship through this moment you’re in. Bring yourself back to the present always.
Forget about it as a grand philosophy or goal. Think of it more as a practical thing: you’re here right now, focus on that.
When you drift, fine! But come back and make the present moment your focus…
3) Take emotions with a grain of salt
We live in a society that basically engages in self-worship.
We are told that what we feel is sacred and forms the basis of our life decisions, identity and philosophy.
Sorry, but that’s just not true, at least not for me.
What I feel often changes. Difficult and pleasing emotions may come and go.
Sometimes I realize I’m just feeling really irritated and hopeless about the future because I’m hungry! Other times I realize hearing a song I really love has made my whole day amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s great. Love your emotions and roll with them. But don’t let them control you.
One of the most important rules mindful people live by to elevate their life is to take their emotions with a grain of salt.
Don’t get too invested in temporary emotions about a person, place or subject. This especially includes positive emotions as well.
So you think you’re in love or feeling so comfy with someone? Awesome. But give it some time. Resist fully believing the story your mind is telling you about what your emotions mean.
I love how Elisha Goldstein puts it when she writes that “when the comfortable emotions are present we also hold those lightly as we know that are not permanent either, but have this same nature of coming and going.
4) Be friends with change
This rule has been tough for me, because I like stability and something to depend on.
But one of the top rules mindful people live by to elevate their life is to embrace change.
The reason? We have no choice! Change is the only constant and the only thing we can truly count on in life.
Things will always change, for better or for worse.
Becoming friends with change also means becoming friends with your own resistance to change and desire for things to change.
That’s OK. It’s not “bad.” It’s all part of the experience. Being mindful means reserving judgment. Be friends with change, including your own resistance to change. It’s all part of the process.
5) Let go of perfectionism
If you want to follow the rules mindful people live by to elevate their life, it’s necessary to let go of perfectionism.
This is especially important for letting go of the conditional future mindset.
It goes something like “if I get this…” “once I’m this…” “when I achieve this…” then “I will be ready to do this…” or “want to do this…” or “be evolved enough to start getting into this…”
The right time to start your spiritual journey is now.
The 15th century Indian poet Kabir Das has a great line about this:
“Wherever you are, that’s the entry point.”
Stop waiting for the right time or the perfect moment to start being mindful or living the life of your dreams.
The moment is now.
6) Dig down into the mud
The classic symbol of Buddhism is a lotus flower.
I’m not a Buddhist and I’m not religious in any way, but I used the core principles and teachings of ancient Buddhist masters to achieve fulfillment and success in life.
Part of the beginning key was realizing how deep the lotus flower is (literally).
You see, lotus flowers tend to grow best in ponds and snake their roots down to murky, muddy waters.
Enlightenment and growth comes out of struggle and confusion. The “mud” of your life and pain is what you put your roots in. It’s the present sh*t that you can grow up from and use as your base.
This is actually a really deep teaching and one that many of the most successful people talk about:
Rock bottom isn’t the end of your journey, it’s the beginning.
I get much more deeply into this in my book.
7) Let the bad times roll
Life is going to have some “bad times.”
The loss of a lover, a loved one, a job or your own identity.
The loss of certainty in what you believe, what you want and what’s grounding and keeping you going.
What’s even the point of life?
That stark and simple question has a way of popping back up even years after you think you’ve found some of the answers or quieted your anxiety over it.
Don’t worry about the fact that you’re worrying about it. Let the bad times roll. Let the worries roll. Everyone goes through it, you’re in the same boat as me.
We’re all getting stronger, accepting our vulnerability and moving on mile by mile.
8) Take external validation with equanimity
I have former friends who’ve been praised into becoming selfish, shortsighted people.
Don’t let outside validation turn you into somebody you’re not.
We all crave acceptance and belonging, it’s part of being human.
But be very skeptical about how much you let outside praise or hate turn you into somebody else.
Being mindful doesn’t only mean being mindful of yourself, it also means being mindful of the actions and words of others.
So people love you or hate you. OK, but are you sure it’s really about you and not them?
9) Don’t hate the player, hate the game
We’re taught that anger and hate are “low vibration.”
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen “positive vibes only” on people’s social media and as some version of their life philosophy.
OK, cool, but can we just hear hate and anger out a bit, though?
Maybe they have something to teach us and some kind of energy we can use for the growth and learning.
Hint: they do.
My main advice here, however, is to avoid getting personal. When people let you down or betray you, or you find something about what surrounds you disappointing or disgusting remember: don’t hate the player, hate the game.
10) ‘If you can dream—and not make dreams your master’
Dreaming is a part of life. Recognizing the problems in your life and how to address them is a key part of maturing and moving forward with the time you have.
However it’s key that dreams don’t become your master.
Many people get as lost in their dreams as they do in their fears.
The trap looks a lot prettier, but once you’re stuck in it it can leave you feeling just as helpless.
Always take your dreams with a grain of salt. It’s good to have goals, but never believe any external dream will finally be the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Be mindful of the following…
Mindfulness isn’t always easy to maintain on a regular basis, but as you unlock the secrets of ancient wisdom it becomes easier and easier.
And you also reap the benefits…
Be mindful that the key of mindfulness is perception and non-judgment. Allowing your life to exist as it is will be the key step in letting you truly change it.
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