Once in a while, you hit a roadblock and wonder what’s next. You might be stuck with a crazy deadline, you might have friends complaining about this-that and the other thing or you might be overwhelmed with everything from finances to relationships. It’s nothing to be ashamed of but it’s also a moment in which reflection can be the best cure.
Reminding yourself about some of your own core beliefs and values can be a great place to start. It’s a way to release tension and truly remember why you do what you do. It gives you a chance to reflect on the past and the present while preparing for the future. And as a result, it allows you to erase your frustrations, reduce your stress and optimize your motivation and inspiration to chase your dreams.
Here are eight things I try to remind myself on a regular basis:
1. You’re in control of your own life. Do as you wish.
When people tell you that what you’re doing is crazy and that you need to focus on something else, remind yourself that you’re the pilot of this aircraft called life. You control your final destination and the actions you take will determine how fast, how slow or if you ever get there. Putting the specifics aside, remember that you have the same amount of time in a day as everyone else, it’s up to you to decide what you do with it.
2. Don’t worry about what other people think. Do you.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
When you think people are thinking about you, they’re likely not.
In fact, they are likely spending as much time wondering what other people are thinking about them as you are spending wondering what people think about you. Stop worrying about it. It doesn’t matter. Worry about what you’re doing and not what other people say you’re doing (Tweet This). If you want to achieve success, greatness or happiness – stop looking for the approval of your colleagues, peers and parents. Look for approval in yourself.
3. Invest in yourself. Read. Work out. Study. Build.
I’ve talked about this one before and I’m going to talk about it again. Investing in yourself is the best investment anyone can make. Whether it’s the decision to purchase an ebook that will help you understand marketing better or taking the time to get in shape at the gym – Invest in yourself and reap the rewards for years to come. Not investing in your own growth is the easiest way to get left behind by your friends, colleagues and loved ones. In life you have three options, stand still, step back or move forward. What’s it going to be?
4. Define your version of happiness. Now go live it.
For me, I defined happiness at an early age as being what I call freedom. It’s the ability to wake up in the morning, go to bed at night and do exactly what I want in between. Sure, for me, that can sometimes mean writing a 3,000 word blog post or drawing mock ups for clients or my own projects. Either way, these are things I enjoy and choose to do the same way I choose to fly down and watch the Philadelphia Eagles every season.
Identify what it is that makes you happy and cherish every moment in which you’re living that happiness. It could be spending time with your kids. It could be working on a new app. It could be as simple as spending time with your friends. Define what makes you happy and chase it.
5. Embrace and tackle the things that scare you first.
It’s easy to wake up and spend the first two hours reading through blog posts and emails. It’s not easy to open up a word document, launch a handful of SEO tools, marketing platforms and dive into the development of everything from strategies to metric driven reports. That said, getting the tough things out of the way early ensures that the rest of the day is smooth sailing or at least that I’m not worried about timelines. Often times, I finish the hard things so early in the morning that by 3PM, I forget I finished them and question whether I tackled anything important at all.
6. Help others more than you ask for assistance.
Call me crazy but I’m a firm believer that we should all strive to give back to this world more than we take. It’s a challenge. I’ve taken a lot from the world but I’m striving to give as much back as I can while I’m able to do. Whether it’s through public speaking, mentorship, writing or anything else that is considered giving – I’ve found a direct relationship between how “lucky” I am and how much I try to help others.
7. Create more. Consume less.
Everyone is born with the ability to create. It’s why they give us play dough when we’re in elementary and the reason why kids today still love things like LEGO and are recently obsessed with MineCraft. Some of us create blog posts, some of us create apps, some of us create buttons and some of us create furniture for our living rooms. This is human. Everyone is also born with the urge to consume. We consume food, energy, hygiene products, music, drinks, water and more…
The issue is, we’re at a time in society where we’re consuming more than we’re creating. Look around you and the signs of a society where over consumption is the norm is every where you look. So instead of listening to that billboard telling you to go buy that new dress, listen to your instinct and try to create something that you’ve built before. The satisfaction will be worth more than that new dress.
8. Don’t let one bad chapter ruin your ending.
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f**k on.” ― Tupac Shakur
Most people have gone through struggle at some time in their life. In fact, some people will go through periods of constant struggle with no signs of a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the reality of life. It’s the world we live in. It’s a part of it that we must accept and embrace. The struggle comes in many shapes and in many sizes. It can come in the form of work and it can come in the form of relationships. What’s most important is to remember that those struggles of your past should never ruin the chapters to come. In the story called life, it’s important to keep turning the page. It’s important to never let one bad chapter ruin your happy ending (Tweet This).