As human beings we are always learning. Learning about ourselves and about the world around us. We are on this planet with 7 billion other people who are also learning and growing and developing. We are extremely fortunate to be living in Australia and in this time. However, despite this, life can be difficult and it can sometimes feel overwhelming but often if we practise some self-awareness and self-development we can live a harmonious and happy life. Here are 10 ways to work on being a well-rounded individual and being fulfilled and happy.
1) Choose kindness
Kindness is so underrated in our society, yet it is so important. Practise being kind with your loved ones and with strangers, with your children and with your spouse. It is amazing how things change when the heart softens and the voice lowers and we choose the kindest path. If you can, stand up for the little guy, stand up for the minority. There is enough hatred and anger in our world, trump it with kindness. Even a smile while out food shopping can brighten someone’s day. A compliment can brighten someone’s week.
2) Be your own best friend
Learn how to be alone. I honestly think this is one of the keys to living a fulfilled life. If you can get over the embarrassment of doing things by yourself and the feelings of being a ‘loser’, which are all in your head anyway, if you can stop worrying about what you look like and instead just know that you are out with your best friend then all of a sudden a whole world of possibilities opens up. Movies you want to see, restaurants you want to try, holidays, day trips all suddenly seem a lot more accessible, (always ensuring you are safe of course.) There is freedom to be found in not needing to wait for your friends and family to be ready to see or do the things you want to. Once you are confident with doing things alone, you can even take it one step further and delight in the delicious, magical feeling you get when you are anonymous, when you are having an experience that is yours and yours alone. Now, I’m not advocating you ditch your friends or family, far from it, I love people and am constantly doing things with my loved ones. I’m just saying that if you can have the courage to do things alone suddenly nothing is off the table. It is very liberating. Plus when you are by yourself you have a much greater chance of meeting other amazing people so it can actually increase your circle of friends. Mind blown!
3) Trust that everything will be ok
If you hit a rough patch or you have your heart broken, I know it’s a cliché but time really does heal. Our bodies and brains have an amazing way of protecting us when we are at our most vulnerable. We are very resilient beings and you are stronger than you think you are. Just trust in yourself, refer to point 2 above and always remember this quote from John Lennon….
“Everything will be alright in the end. And if it isn’t alright, it’s not the end.”
We all have a To Do list and a set of mundane chores we hate and in this modern and busy world our lives often leave us feeling overloaded and rushed off our feet. We are so busy racing through life that we forget to live it. We are so busy thinking of the next thing, we forget to take notice of the current one. Try slowing down, taking a breath and always ask yourself, will this matter in 1 year, 1 month, a week, tomorrow? If the answer is ‘no’ then please don’t spend too much time and energy worrying about it. If all else fails, try to remember this mantra….
Nobody on their death bed, remembers how many times they made the bed.
5) Be curious
Never stop learning. Our brain is a muscle and we need to exercise it. Be interested. Be interested in the world around you and the people you meet. Find your passion and your love and learn, learn, learn. Be it animals or knitting or sport or fantasy or sci fi or cooking or theology or boats or politics or glitter. It doesn’t matter what you love or how many things you throw yourself into, just keep learning. You are never too old.
6) Count your blessings
Be positive, be joyful, and practise gratitude. The happiest people in the world are not those who worry about what others have but those who worry about what they have. You don’t have to look very far to find someone worse off than you. Think about all the good things in your life and focus on those. If you have good health, somewhere to live, a full tummy and people to love, you are better off than a huge majority of the people on this planet.
Travel opens the eyes and it opens the mind. When we move away from our ordinary surroundings we are invigorated and inspired. You will see how things are done in other countries, towns or cities. Explore other cultures and meet people from other worlds. Listen to their stories, there is so much to be learnt from hearing a different perspective.
8) Don’t worry about what others think
Some people get so embarrassed when out in public and are always so worried about what others will think/see/overhear from them and their party. Well, guess what, most people don’t care what others are doing, wearing or saying, and are so wrapped up in their own lives that they won’t be listening. And anyway, even if they are, so what! Embarrassment is really quite a pointless emotion. Live your life and live out loud! Truthfully, not many people will be looking at you, they’re all looking at their phones!
9) Don’t strive to be THE best
Strive to be YOUR best. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. It’s pretty hard to be the smartest or the prettiest or the fittest or the skinniest or the best at something because there will always be someone faster, skinnier, better etc. This will only end in heart ache and disappointment and that which we focus on we manifest. However, if you compete with yourself, there is every chance you can win and even do better than last time, which is positive and encouraging. When in doubt please refer to point 2 and point 1: be your own best friend and practise kindness. And at the end of the day winning isn’t everything.
10) Be open minded
Realise that people are different and that’s ok. Embrace diversity, encourage individuality. Live and let live and see people and situations for what they are. Try not to be constantly offended, our world is becoming very offended. People can have different opinions on all sorts of lifestyle issues and that’s ok. Difference of opinion about politics, raising children, relationships, everything. Try to listen and understand, you may even learn something new. What a boring, beige world it would be if we all thought and did the same. Difference creates colour and light and shades of rainbow. And who doesn’t like rainbows!!
At the end of the day, we have one life and it is short. Love and be loved. Be kind and be bold.
Get out there and make memories so that when you are old and grey you will reflect back and smile.