5 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE SIMPLE AGAIN
When we were young life was easier, right? I know sometimes it seems that way. But the truth is life still is easy. It always will be. The only difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the more we complicate things for ourselves.
You see, when we were young we saw the world through simple, hopeful eyes. We knew what we wanted and we had no biases or concealed agendas. We liked people who smiled. We avoided people who frowned. We ate when we were hungry, drank when we were thirsty, and slept when we were tired.
As we grew older our minds became gradually disillusioned by negative external influences. At some point we began to hesitate and question our instincts. When a new obstacle or growing pain arose, we stumbled and fell down. This happened several times. Eventually we decided we didn’t want to fall again, but rather than solving the problem that caused us to fall, we avoided it altogether.
As a result, we ate comfort food and drank alcohol to numb our wounds and fill our voids. We worked late nights on purpose to avoid unresolved conflicts at home. We started holding grudges, playing mind games, and subtly deceiving others and ourselves to get ahead. And when it didn’t work out, we lived above our means, bought things we didn’t need, and ate and drank some more just to make ourselves feel better again.
Over the course of time, we made our lives more and more difficult, and we started losing touch with who we really are and what we really need.
So let’s get back to the basics, shall we? Let’s make things simple again. Here are five ways to do just that:
1. Change your focus. – The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. The mind is indeed your battleground. It’s the place where the greatest conflict resides. It’s where half of the things you thought were going to happen, never did happen. But if you allow these thoughts to dwell in your mind, they will succeed in robbing you of peace, joy, and ultimately your life. You will think yourself into a nervous breakdown, into depression, and into defeat. You are what you think. You can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking. A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. Breathe onto the bathroom mirror, just to see how amazing your breath looks. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one. (covered in the “Hapiness & Positive Living” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)
2. Take it one day at a time. – No matter what’s happening, anyone can efficiently fight the battles of just one day. It’s only when you add the battles of those two abysmal eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly complicated.
3. Let go of people’s judgments. – Today, I challenge you to make this your lifelong, daily motto: “I respectfully do not care.” Say it to anyone who passes judgment on something you strongly believe in or something that makes you who you are. People will inevitable judge you at some point anyway, and that’s OK. You affected their life; don’t let them affect yours.
4. Tame perfectionism. – Stop over-thinking and over-analyzing everything. Do your best and surrender the rest. Let go. So many creations and inventions never come to fruition because we spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing. And then, once we begin “doing,” we never think what we’re doing is good enough. Like overwhelm, perfection is an illusion. (covered in the “Goals & Growth” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)
5. Get over feeling like everything is so important. – It isn’t. Stop overworking yourself. Don’t exaggerate the importance of things. Learn to say no to others so you can say yes to yourself. Learn to go with your own flow. Refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means catching up on sleep, making time for fun and laughter, eating healthy enough to maintain peak energy levels, and otherwise making time for recovery from the pressures of life.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track.