Over the weekend, I spent some time going through my rather long list of Read It Later bookmarks and I happened upon 100 Ways to A Better Life by Dragos Roua of Brilliantly Better. Quite a few were either good reminders or wake up calls for me.
I’ve been allowing one of my co-workers to push my buttons lately and I don’t know what frustrates me more, that there are buttons to be pushed or that I allow it to happen. I absolutely hate wasting my energy on him and his drama; I’m so tired of drama. Last year I decided that I was just going to “be in the moment” and take a lesson from the Beatles to “let it be”. I decided right around this time last year that I wasn’t going to let anyone make me miserable; other people are welcome to their judgements and opinions but in the end, only my opinion matters to me. I can decide to be happy and I can decide what or who affects me.
Here are some of Roua’s ways to a better life that I find inspiring:
1. ACCEPT YOUR MISTAKES
You’re human. We, humans, are making mistakes. Accept what you did wrong and try to do better next time. No need to punish yourself forever. In fact, accepting your mistakes is the only way to make them disappear.
2. ACCEPT YOUR FRIENDS MISTAKES
Maybe you got hurt by somebody. Happens. Just accept it and deal with it. People are making mistakes and if you can accept that for yourself, accept it for your friends too. In the end, all you need from them is their love.
3. BUILD SELF DISCIPLINE
Don’t wait for other people to impose discipline on you. Start early. Create your own discipline. Although it sounds a little bit harsh, self discipline is a facilitator for many things in your life. It’s hard to get but great to have.
4. MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Reach out. Don’t be afraid. Establish new contacts. The worst thing that may happen to you is to be rejected. Well, if that’s the case, move on. The reward of having true, long-lasting friendship is worth all the potential rejection.
5. FIND REASONS TO AGREE
Rather than disagree. We have this mindset of competition which makes constantly arguing over things. Well, stop that. You don’t have to force yourself into agreement, if it’s not the case, just trying to find some reasons will be enough.
6. WAKE UP EARLY
This is not a habit, this is a lifestyle. Don’t just wake up early without a purpose. Be early. Be there before others. Look for opportunities and embrace them. Waking up early means keeping your eye open to every available opportunity.
7. TRAIN YOUR FOCUS
Your focus is in fact your reality. Use it wisely. Train it constantly for it will enhance your reality in ways you never imagined. Keep your focus sharp as a razor blade and be prepared to experience life in fantastic shapes and colors.
8. BE BETTER, NOT PERFECT
Striving too much for perfection will ruin your life. It will wipe out all those little imperfections which are making you… human. Being better, on the other side, is rewarding. Look back at the yesterday you and just say: I’m better!
9. STOP SELF SABOTAGE
You’ll be surprised by how much of a burden you can be to yourself. You are literally self sabotaging. Most of the time, unconsciously. If you have a long history of failure behind, that could mean you’ve become your worst enemy. Stop it.
10. FIND REASONS TO LOVE YOUR LIFE
Maybe life wasn’t fair with you. Yes, I know, I’ve been there: life is never fair. But it’s fantastic. It’s unique, unrepeatable, one of a kind, beautiful, simple, challenging, sweet, hard… Just take a step back and find reasons to love your life.
11. TRY SOMETHING NEW
Maybe you’re sad because you’re bored. Have you ever thought about that? Just reach out and try something completely new. Go for a challenge, learn a new sport, pick a different restaurant or go for a comedy movie (if you’re the drama type). Just try it.
12. AVOID FIGHTING
Fighting is the biggest energy leak of your being. Trying to prove another guy wrong is so against your true nature. You’re here to acknowledge life’s wonders, not to prove anybody’s wrong. They’re not wrong, just have different opinions. And that’s part of life.
13. STOP WASTING YOUR POWER
Are you doing something that you think you shouldn’t be doing right now? Well, that’s wasted power. That’s meaningless stuff promoted to the honor of being a part of your life. How long are you going to approve this? Why wasting power?
14. LEARN TO IGNORE
I think they should be teaching this one in schools. We’re so focused on so many topics and think we have to do so many stuff, that our life is literally clogged with stuff. It’s good to do stuff, but learning to ignore stuff is much better.
15. EXPERIMENT GRATITUDE
When was the last time you said “thank you”? With all your heart? Everybody knows that an attitude of gratitude is the key to success, but almost nobody practices it. Well, start by experience gratitude first, and take it from there.
16. RECYCLE YOUR AGGRESSION
Don’t throw it away, recycle it! Use it for something you really want! Call out those wild forces inside of you and put them to work. Aggression is part of your being, so don’t try to reject it, because it will only grow stronger. Recycle your aggression.
17. RELEASE YOUR GUARDIANS
Don’t touch that! Don’t eat that! Don’t go for that opportunity! Those are the sentences you hear when going for something you really want. Those are your guardians, your mental constructs made to protect you. Release them, you’ll be much better off.
18. CLEAN UP YOUR HOUSE
It’s fun. And it’s good for you. Make a habit out of cleaning up your house with joy and happiness. What’s outside is a mirror of what’s inside. If your house is a mess, probably your internal life is a disaster. Neat that stuff, it’s easy.
19. DISSOLVE NEGATIVE OPINIONS ABOUT YOURSELF
Whatever you think you may do, it’s half of what you can really do. And that’s because you have so many negative opinions about yourself. You can solve them. Just accept the fact that you have them and then start working on them.
20. BUILD DIFFERENT SKILLS
Don’t stop learning. Don’t remain stuck in a single career, it’s boring and limiting. Learn different skills, possibly from completely unrelated fields. You never know when life will ask you to use them. Besides, it’s a lot of fun.
21. FOLLOW A COINCIDENCE
Well, there aren’t any coincidences, I lied. Everything has a purpose. If you witness something which may seem like a coincidence, then you’re very lucky, you just got a sign. Follow it with trust, it will lead you well.
22. PLAY A GAME
Any game. Just play. Like a child. Allow yourself to do something just for fun, without any goals, pressures or deadlines. Will make you understand that everything is a game. Sometimes a little bit harder, but still a game..
23. FORGIVE SOMEBODY OUT OF THE BLUE
Don’t hold that grudge for that past insult. Grudges are heavy and tend to make the take off for a new life a little bit difficult. The longer you hold that grudge, the more difficult the take off will be. Forgiveness will lift you off.
24. STOP SOLVING THE WRONG PROBLEMS
You are not here to witness the bad things in your life. Nor the performance in itself. You are here to enjoy a journey. To become aware, To grow. So, stop solving the wrong problem and focus on what really matters.
25. MAKE PEACE WITH AN OLD ENEMY
That’s more than forgiveness, that’s the actual process of reversing a situation. Make peace with somebody. Turn it into your friend. I’m not saying this is easy, I know it first hand. But I also know it works. Enemies count down, friends count up.
26. BREAK UP WITH A PERSON YOU DON’T REALLY LIKE
Maybe you’re friend with somebody just by habit, chemistry being dead for a long time now. Just break it up. Tell him. Ok, let’s unfriend us, this will not work. It will bring up something you thought you lost it long ago: courage.
27. STOP BEING JUDGMENTAL
With others AND with you. Excessive criticism will kill your enthusiasm. And if you think this post is something you shouldn’t read in the first place, then, my friend, you really are judgmental. Lighten up. Accept life as it is.
28. SMILE AT LEAST 10 TIMES A DAY
And I mean it, start to count that. Smiling is a sign of honesty and power. Everybody can cry over a disaster but only the most powerful can take bitterness with a smile. Exercise that power. And then try to go for 20 times a day.
29. SAY SOMETHING NICE TO YOU
Ok, but if nobody is telling you nice things, why not start this yourself? Do it in whatever form you think it’s appropriate: send yourself emails, write in your calendar or leave yourself nice postits on the desk. With something nice just for you.
30. DON’T ARGUE, WIN OR LOSE
This goes hand in hand with avoiding the fight, but it’s a little bit different. If you get caught in an argument, just accept that you can have only two outcomes from it: win or lose. Settle with one and just move on.
31. GO SOCIAL
Mingle, interact, go out. Get used to meet new people. Make this a habit and you’ll soon get used to do new things too. The goal is not to be the best networker in the world, but to be connected to as many energy sources as you can get.
32. STOP COMPLAINING
Complaining is like an open invitation for troubles. The more you complain about something, the more of that something you invite into your life. Cut it out. You don’t get any comfort out of complaining, only troubles.
33. REJECT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
It’s so simple, yet so underrated. Society wants us to complain even when we don’t really like stuff. Like forcing us to smile when we don’t find it funny. Allow yourself to walk away from something you don’t like. Just do it!
34. LISTEN TO YOUR CRITICS
This one might be difficult in the beginning but once you get used to it it’s fantastic. You may find out a lot of stuff about yourself that you didn’t know about. You think you are one kind of person, but others may disagree.
35. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Never. Your world is shaped by your reaction to things, not by the things themselves. Don’t get upset, don’t think that somebody knows you enough to make right assumptions about you. Acknowledge and move on.
This time is not about smiling. It’s about laughing. Don’t you ever miss another opportunity to laugh. Especially at yourself. The longer your laughing sessions, the shorter your misery ones. Looks like a nice deal, isn’t it?
37. GO WITH PASSION
Don’t let your rational mind stand in the way of your passion. If you found – or at least felt, even occasionally – something that thrills you, you’re there. You don’t need a confirmation on this from anybody. Go with your passion.
38. TRUST YOUR EMOTIONS
Don’t underestimate your emotions. Or overestimate them. Your emotions are your feed-back system and for that they are very important. Trying to ignore your emotions is like depriving yourself from lights in a car running in the middle of the night.
39. LIVE IT LIKE A HOLIDAY
Ever observed how nice you feel during your holiday? How light, joyful and authentic? Everything is just wonderful. Well, you are on a continuous holiday here. It starts with your birth and end with your death. Live it like a holiday.
40. STOP REACTING TO STUFF
And start acting on stuff. Initiate things. Start projects. Predict situations and be there before the hurricane hits. Reacting to stuff is a victim paradigm. Stop being a victim and start acting. Create your life instead of being the creation of others.
41. LIVE TODAY
Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Go for what you can do today and leave yesterday behind for good. It’s not here anymore. And tomorrow doesn’t even exist yet, so why bother. All you have is today. Don’t waste it.
42. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
If there’s something unusual that happens to you, go for it. The unexpected is a signal of an opportunity. It will not always be nice, this unexpected, but whenever it’s around, magical things are happening. Wait for it. Praise for it.
Like being in joy. Like giving permission to yourself to extract joy from any situation you’re in. Even if it’s bad. Or especially if it’s bad. Joy is everywhere, you just have to let it manifest through you. Don’t resist joy. Don’t reject it.
44. MAKE YOUR OWN RULES
And stick with them. Go for what works for you, not the others. Go for what you want, not the others. Including me. Make your own system and be proud of it. You may upset some people in the process, but hey, that’s life.
Unconditionally. Totally. Constantly. Restlessly. Love is the only glue that keeps your life running. You were born out of love and you carry it deep down in your being. Love is never about the others, it’s about you.
46. NO REGRETS
Regretting something is another form of not accepting reality. What you can do about it now? It’s gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. Focus on what you can change: your present moment. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Now. Live now.
Some of these things seem so obvious, so simple, but how many of us remember to really implement them all in our lives every day? I feel as if I’m constantly striving to achieve these things in my life, to be a better version of myself, and I almost always feel as if I have to remind myself to be happy, to let things be, to just be in every moment without judgement or a need to prove myself, my thoughts or my actions to anyone.
I have a dry erase sheet in my bathroom that I leave little love notes to myself, reminding myself of these things — “All things shall pass.”; “Today is a happy day!”; “Be in the moment!”; “Smile!” What do you do to help yourself become the better you?