The journey is tough…often messy…sometimes unbelievably cruel. Everyone has experienced variations on that theme. No one escapes the “unfairness factor” of life. When you’re young and struggling, you think you’re the only one. But with age comes the realization that life is a two sided coin…happy/sad, success/failure, easy/hard. Just as you need two sides to even have a coin, you need the ups and downs to have a life.
However, those ups and downs aren’t an excuse to “settle” in life. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Oh, my life’s good enough. It could be a lot worse. At least I’m not_________?”
I know you can fill in that blank. There’s always someone dealing with things worse than what you’re going through, someone who weighs more, someone with a worse marriage, someone with more health issues, etc… You’re supposed to appreciate what you have, right? Okay, but be careful:
Happiness doesn’t come from measuring yourself against a standard of misery. That kind of thinking just lowers the bar and keeps you from reaching your potential.
I think you should love, not like, love your life, in spite of the hardships that cross your path.
Here are three things you can do to get more excited about your amazing life:
1. Build a great support team
Humans are incredibly social creatures. We have built in mimic and acceptance tendencies. In other words, you are who you hang out with so hang out with people you admire, people who are a great influence on you, people who believe in you. Friendship is a privilege not a right.
2. Don’t judge yourself by your past
Mistakes are tests. You can learn as much from things that go wrong as from things that go right. It’s important to treat yesterday as homework. Those lessons can set the stage for a great future. They give you wisdom…UNLESS you judge yourself by them. Babe Ruth had way more strike-outs than home runs. If he focused on the strike-outs, he never would’ve hit the home runs.
3. Have at least one “happy” goal.
What would make you happy, really happy? Build a goal around that with tons of detail so you can take little steps toward it every day. Focus on the things you CAN do. With persistence, tiny steps eventually turn into success. You deserve that.
The challenges we face are like mountains we have to climb. It might seem like your mountain is steeper and higher than anyone else’s, but keep climbing because the higher the mountain, the better the view from the top.