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Thoughts For A Better Life

Updated on January 7, 2016

Do I Have What It Takes?

Without realising it, we are almost always asking ourselves the question: ‘Do I have what it takes?’ And we tend to act based upon the answer to that question at any given time. This is usually subconscious. You might be contemplating finishing your Degree, but you tell yourself that you are too old for that now. Or you may be day dreaming about taking off on a journey around the world - but then you find yourself making a few excuses before dismissing the idea (even though you’d really love to do it!). So what's really going on here? When you choose to put off things for fear of failing you are saying ‘No, I don’t have what it takes.’

It’s not a crime to tell yourself that you don’t have what it takes. I don't have what it takes to hold my breath underwater for ridiculous periods of time to achieve world records. And I know that. And I'm fine with it. But perhaps you do have what it takes and you are just buying into the excuses that you create to avoid taking action. No one really wants to go through life without ever reaching their full potential. And these are the times in life when our fate is decided. In the little daily decisions, and the things that you tell yourself that just aren't true, and that hold you back.

Have You Ever Had To Make A Tough Decision To Move On?

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4 Indicators That It's Time To Move On

It doesn’t make a lot of difference whether it is a job, a relationship, the place you live or even a social group you are in. There are some common indicators that tell you it is time to pack up and move on:

1. Fear - If you find yourself dreading going to work, seeing certain people, or going home to where you live, try to figure out if this is just a temporary discomfort. If it isn't, this could indicate the that may be it’s time to move forward

2. Avoidance - Are you taking extra sick days off work, making excuses not to go out with friends, or taking opportunities to not go home? This could be another sign that things aren't working for you.

3. Irritability - Do you find yourself constantly snapping at people or brooding over things? Internal discontent with your situation is probably manifesting itself in your bad mood.

4. Depression - Especially if you have been at the job, or in the relationship for a long time you may begin to experience more serious symptoms including sleeplessness, lack of motivation and perhaps even thoughts of suicide. Failure to take yourself out of the situation when it first became uncomfortable can leave you subconsciously looking for some means of escape.

Before all these areas of discomfort escalate, it is important to act constructively on the behaviors and feelings you are experiencing . Be gentle and accepting of yourself. Then develop and implement your exit strategy as soon as you possibly can. Choose to put energy into things that fulfill you, rather than into things that bring you down.

Look Beneath The Surface

There is a lamentable degree of superficiality that is pervading all aspects of society. From the clothes we wear, to the advertisements we see and the products we consume. There’s definitely a place for fashion and luxury, but it becomes dangerous when we become convinced that the superficial is in fact real. The fashions we don may be attractive, but they don’t indicate the worth of a person. The media may entertain us, but it isn’t the best guide to how we should shape our own lives. When we become convinced enough by those things that are merely there to provide diversion, we start to base our standards on them. This is a mistake.

In no way should we dispense with the things that make life fun and exciting, but neither should we shape ourselves around them. You may be enticed by wealth, physical beauty, a virtual reality world or find yourself settling for something's appearance rather than it's actual substance. Whatever the vice, we are selling ourselves short if we buy into superficiality. This is not a matter of morals, but more of constancy.

Creating standards in your life around things that change so easily and are so easily acquired - or lost - only sets us up for pain as individuals, as well as a society. More correctly we should give value to things that are more steadfast: truth, logic, compassion - and save the television shows for what they were really meant for - just a bit of fun.

How Often Do You Allow What Other People Think To Influence Your Decisions?

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Does It Matter To You How People Perceive You?

This is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves when it comes to reaching our potential in life. Understandably, most people wouldn’t like to think that others perceive them negatively, but it may affect us more than we realise. Have you ever hesitated to leave a crowded auditorium because you don’t want everyone to stare at you? Do you not pick up money you find on the street because people are watching?

Even if we are comfortable being ourselves in the small ways, sometimes we don’t realise that we are holding back from the bigger things in our lives because of how others view us . We frequently have a multitude of reasons as to why we shouldn’t go ahead with our plans. But these often conceal true fears we have. One of which is people’s perception of us. Whether telling your colleagues at work you plan to strike out on your own, or revealing your sexual orientation to your family, we often subconsciously hold off doing those things that really identify us and are important to us, because we are afraid of dealing with other peoples perceptions of us.

It’s worth thinking about some of the things in your life that you may have wanted to do, but have not done. Or things that you are currently holding back from doing. Are you hesitating for more than just practical reasons? People’s perceptions of you may be more important to you than you realise. The first step in moving forward is realising this.

How Can You Purposefully Get Closer To Your Happiness?

It is nearly impossible to be completely satisfied with every aspect of our lives. There are so many areas to keep in check and so many things that fly at us unexpectedly. However, we often don’t give ourselves enough chance to be contented. The foremost reason for this seems to be that we don’t evaluate our situation enough. For most of us our lives are a daily exercise in meeting goals and responsibilities or merely trying to stay afloat financially. And it is these concerns that consume us. Not only daily, but often for months or even years.

Part of the key here is to make sure you check in with yourself regularly to be sure you are on the right track. You need to have clear idea of what you are working towards. We often have clear career and financial goals but don’t often define our emotional, physical or spiritual needs quite so carefully. We unknowingly let areas of our life lag while we focus on other things.

Set aside time to think through the areas of your life you have identified as being important to you. Set goals and actions for yourself that you can consistently take to enrich these areas of your life. Then review this process regularly - especially when you feel some discontent. This will help you constantly reassess what is important to you and ensure that you are regularly taking actions that bring you closer to your desired outcomes. The sense of purpose alone that you feel from this process will go a long way towards your overall happiness.

The Secret To Success Is A Mindset

Growing up I was taught this saying: ‘The secret to success was to reduce one’s needs to an absolute minimum.’ Since then I have vacillated between believing this and considering it a limiting mentality. But now with a more balanced outlook I see it as just one of many important guides to how we should view life. We spend a lot of our lives seeking success. For a lot of people this is made up of trying to get paid more and more for the work they do so as to be able to acquire more things. The better car, bigger house, the more luxurious holiday escape, the more prestigious schools for the kids - it goes on. On the flip side we see people who won’t spend a dollar - even in the pursuit of making a dollar. They hoard what little they have and never even buy themselves the things that they need - they are that ‘frugal’.

Both behaviours involve people thinking a lot about money. Either because they are always spending it and never can make enough, or because they have money but are so scared of losing it they won’t use it. I believe the solution is a mix of both. Maximise your earning potentials while minimising your needs - but within reason. You don’t have to reduce your needs to an absolute minimum in order to succeed. It could be pretty bleak if we all did. But we can definitely be smarter about this.

Changing your expectations will have the effect of releasing you from what is essentially a self-imposed burden. Do you need all those things? Or do you need fewer items that are more versatile? Must you always make more money to find true success? Or should you spend your time figuring out how to create earnings that allow you to have a work-life balance? Reassessing what we require from ourselves and for our lives is key.


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    • Rota profile image

      Rota 2 years ago

      Hey Deborah, thank you for your comment. I'm glad that you found some value in this article. I do believe that if we would dedicate ourselves to self-awareness we would be much closer to a better life.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Interesting article. These are good tips for living a better life. I think we bring misery upon ourselves, and if we could learn to let go of expectation, and our need to control the outcomes of situations, we would be much happier.