We have no idea what other people’s lives are like or the things they’ve had to go through to get to where they are. We’re all made up of different traits, different heredity. Childhood, society, culture, geography, religion...each of us has a unique set of factors that shape our beliefs and our paths. Some of us like numbers, some like words, and one class may find it impossible to fathom how the other can possibly bend that way, but that doesn’t mean either preference is wrong.
We’re all on a learning curve and no two curves are exactly the same. How can we even consider judging someone for their choices or for the way they live their lives when we know nothing of what shapes them; when we have to go deep inside ourselves just to get an idea of what shapes ‘me’.
The saying, ‘Don't judge somebody until you’ve walked a smile in their shoes’ has never been more apt as it is in these days of diversity and change.
The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you used to be or the person you are striving to become, and even then only to appreciate how far you’ve come and to plan your next steps.
Comparing yourself to the woman down the street in the nice skirt is like comparing an apple to an orange – sure they're both fruits, but other than that they are nothing alike. It’s easy to look at someone who has the traits, possessions or circumstances you would like and scoff at them, declaring that they were ‘born with a silver spoon in their mouth’ or that they must have 'kissed some quality golden ass to get where they are today’. This is normal, this is our ego-coping mechanism, but it comes from a place of negativity.
Wouldn’t it be better instead to look at these traits, possessions and circumstances, give the person kudos for achieving what they did, and add said traits, possessions and circumstances to the image of your future you. This not only helps you to realise what you truly want, but it also puts the power of achieving these things back in your hands.
Seriously. Shut the hell up. You’re bringing yourself and everyone listening to you down. You don’t like something? Then change it. If your clothes don’t fit because you’ve put on weight, then lose that weight. I refuse to listen to someone complain about this – there is an entire gym outside your front door if you can’t afford actual gym fees. There are hundreds of free 60, 30, 20 minute workouts online, all you have to do is search your target area and follow on. Haven’t got 30 minutes to spare? Then a ten minute yoga sun/moon salutation morning and evening is a good start, and it has the added benefit of calming your mind before you start the day or hit the hay. There are people with genuine illnesses and disabilities who are making the effort, so there are no excuses.
This is just one of the many things we hear people complain about over and over again. There’s work, money, weather, the spouse, family... Stop it. The more you complain the more you find to complain about, and the more those who want to hold on to a shred of positivity in their lives will try to avoid you.
Moon Salutation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmu3n5e-VPM
Ever have one of those days where you start thinking how shit your job is, then you find something else shit about it, then you realise your colleagues are treating you like shit, and all of a sudden everyone you’ve ever known is taking advantage of you, everything you’ve done is pointless, what you’re planning to do isn’t going to work out, and that thing you didn’t want to happen, well it’s going to happen? That’s how negativity works – you start thinking it, you find more of it. By law (Newton) if this is true with negativity, it must hold true for positivity too. Consider that...then start thinking it.
Life consists of what a person is thinking about all day, ergo the best you can do for your future is learn to be happy and positive in the present. If you constantly give out positive vibes then you’re paving the path to your future with scrummy, golden goodness.
Forgive + Learn + Forget = No Regrets
Ask yourself – would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? To forgive you don’t have to approach the person, you don’t need to send them a foot long letter or have aeroplanes write in the sky. Forgive them within. Write that letter if that’s what it takes for you to let go. If you feel like sending it in the end, fair play to you, but it never has to be sent. The act of you admitting you forgive them is enough to release them.
Picture the person in your mind’s eye. Imagine telling them you forgive them (it may feel horrible, even fake because you might not feel it or you’re not ready to let go, but stick with it) then ask them to forgive you (at this point your inner voice is going to be saying something like ‘fuck them, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ Keep going.) Then, turn it around. Imagine them sitting there saying ‘I forgive you.’ Feel that? That warm cosy feeling inside? The beginnings of a release? Smell the freedom? And then imagine them asking you to forgive them. I guarantee, 90% of the time you’ll be surprised by how easy you find it to say ‘yes.’
Everything happens for a reason. Seriously, I can’t say this enough – everything happens for a reason. There is no such thing as a wrong choice because for you at the particular point in time it was the right choice. It was the right choice because you made it. You’ve got to let that shit go.
You’ve heard people (me) say ‘it’s all a learning curve.’ Well it is, that’s what your experiences are – a learning curve – they’re there to shake you, mould you and build you into the person you’re supposed to be. If we didn’t experience, we’d stagnate, we’d never change. Who wants to be that boring? Find the lesson in things, even if it’s simply ‘well I know never to do that again’, then walk away. If we learn something from every situation then we can’t possibly regret any situation.
Take a Break from Worrying and Count Your Blessings
You can’t change the past, so why stress over it. Do your forgiving and your learning, then leave it behind where it’s supposed to be. You have no guarantee of the future, so why worry about that either? The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Everyday, at least once a day, look around you and thank whatever you believe in for what you have, for your wealth, for the comfy seat you’re sitting on, for the bird singing outside the window and the moderately speedy laptop you’re on. Be thankful for your eyes that can see and your intelligence that helps them to read, for the new fluffy slippers on your feet, and when you’re done, say ‘more please’. This is the one time you can allow yourself to be greedy.
Finding and being grateful for even the smallest things breeds endless positivity. If you can be thankful for the small things, imagine how good the big things will feel. Be unapologetic for your successes and good fortune – it was you who had to figure out how to get them, so accept that you deserve them.
Don’t feel like everything you do every second of the day has to be in the pursuit of those desires you’ve identified. You don’t need to figure it all out right now. Relax, get out of your own way and let the universe do her thing.
Feel like reading for a few hours or playing that new computer game? Do it. These things let you wind down, take your out of your own head. This is necessary because most of us fall into the trap of trying too hard to force our futures rather than relaxing, feeling good in the now, and just letting things happen. Obsessing over the future is a noisy pastime and prevents us from hearing those little golden nuggets of inspiration that tell us how to get what we want. Let go, kick back, recharge and allow.
Watch this space for The Definitive List of Life Rules (Part 3)