Keeping life’s basics in mind helps us to steer in the right direction, even when the going gets tough. Some people have religion to help them through, I use these life’s basics to help me navigate life’s challenges:
1) Distinguish between the person and their behaviour.
Whenever I hear a parent say to their child, “You are stupid” (useless, etc), I cringe. Judging a person’s character rather than their behaviour is the surest way to encourage self loathing and low self esteem. This is especially true for children and teenagers who are still forming their identities. It is much more effective to say “that behaviour was thoughtless/inconsiderate” instead of “You are thoughtless”.
2) Quality over quantity
Less is more. We strive for more and sacrifice quality of life in the process. Humans can actually be very happy with simple lives but we choose to complicate matters. Choose less…choose simple.
3) Enjoy the present moment instead of wishing it away for an imagined future
I have find myself wishing away the present moment in the hope of a happier moment in the future. What I have found, is that the future imagined happiness isn’t quite what I expected – never as good. Now, I do my best to ‘saturate’ my senses in the present moment. Take it all in, moment by moment.
4) Life needs purpose
Working towards something greater than ourselves or feeling valued and needed is wonderful for contentment. We all need to feel we have purpose in life. What that is, differs for each of us.
What would you like to hear about yourself during your eulogy? Use this to guide you.
5) Maintain personal values and boundaries
When we lack boundaries, ie, what we will and will not tolerate, we are more inclined to allow others to take us for granted. Be clear about what works for you and what doesn’t. Others may try to disrespect you by ignoring your needs, invalidating your experiences and leave you feeling inadequate and awful. You have a choice to reject this, people pleasing must have it’s limit. It is never okay to want validation from others to such an extent that you will throw away your own self respect.
6) Acceptance of diversity, open mindedness and tolerance will allow more happiness into your life.
The more rigid our rules and beliefs about life are, the more often these rigid rules/beliefs are broken. Learn to adjust and adapt and you will be much happier.
7) Life doesn’t have to be serious
Yep, life is rubbish at times but at the end of the day, seeing the funny side or looking at the lesson helps the emotional side of our characters to manage adversity more easily. Have a laugh, keep perspective and remember that we are all in this crazy life together.