As I sit down to write this post on the importance of “riding waves”, I have to admit that I just almost had a panic attack 10 minutes ago. If you think about it, I’m in the right state of mind to write this out- so I hope you benefit from my brief moment of clarity. As I felt myself losing it, I thought to myself, “You had such a fantastic day yesterday! How can life do such a 180 out of nowhere?!” Then I realized, ah yes, such is life. At that moment, as if the universe was trying to speak to me, Bohemian Rhapsody came on:
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me…
We all might complain about life’s ups and downs but a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. How do you know the true ecstasy if you have no idea how low you can be? It’s a beautiful thing. Own it. ROCK IT! Whether you’re up or down, focus on that feeling, learn from it, and master yourself. Everyday is a lesson polishing you into the ultimate you if you let it. These are a few things I’ve found make a difference when I find myself questioning my life and my happiness.
1. Hold your journey as your highest priority. It’s your life, you are the sole owner and the one in the driver’s seat. If, at the end of the day, you’re not happy with your life, you can only look at yourself in the mirror when trying to point the finger. This is a FANTASTIC fact if you think about it, because there is no one better than you to get you where you want to go. Really work on loving and caring about yourself, because once you have worked on that, you become a healthier, happier person to the other people around you. It’s a win-win! Life is full of deaths, breakups, money problems, and accidents… there’s nothing you can do about it except keep your head above water any way you can.
TIP: I talk to a positive friend about my issues or I go for a long walk with my dog and think of all the things I have to be thankful for.
2. Don’t get jaded. Whether you got burned in a business deal or by love, you have to work on keeping that childlike curiosity and openness. Don’t get me wrong- you have to learn from your lessons- but you have to dive headfirst into new loves or business opportunities because that’s what they deserve. They didn’t hurt you, so leave your old baggage on the doorstep. Don’t be too cool for school because you think you know everything based on the experiences you have had in the past. You could end up messing up wonderful experiences before they even have a chance to blossom.
TIP: Write forgiveness letters to the people that have messed with you in the past. Keep them and read them when you feel like you might be letting those skeletons mess with your HERE AND NOW HAPPINESS.
3. Find something that makes you happy and make time for it. It could be your own business or a hobby; whatever it is, be strict about making time for it weekly. The #1 rule is that it can’t be attached to a person: no boyfriend or kids or hairdresser. Yes, make time for all those things, too, but find something that is all yours that you use your hands and mind for, and that makes you truly happy.
TIP: Try a million different things until you find that one or two things.
4. Walk with purpose. Humans are pack animals. It’s a scientific fact. We are more successful when we are working toward the greater good. When everyone has a task that drives their pack to succeed, everyone is happier. When you make someone else smile, it in turn makes you smile. Try it. I remember when I was working around the clock thinking it was only for my well being, and I got burned out. Then I realized that when I really cared about my client’s project and well-being, I could work countless hours and feel refreshed and fulfilled. Make sure your purpose for doing things is benefiting more than just yourself, and you can go so much further.
TIP: When I have a task that I don’t want to do, I think about how completing that task can make a difference for another person involved and I think about them being happy. And then, I get it done. It’s a nice little fire under your ass.
5. Be honest. Be honest with yourself and those you care about. As you age, it’s easy to toy with the concept of truth. After some experiments with honesty toward yourself and others, one realizes that if you really care about yourself and others- it’s best to be honest. The problem is that most people would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Pick out your flaws and work on them every single day; don’t sweep them under the rug and hope that no one notices them.
TIP: Ask the people that you know really love you and want the best for you to tell you what they really think you could work on. Be open about their answers and try to work on some of the issues they might be right about.
Anyway, this was mostly an exercise in reminding myself that “this too shall pass” I hope it helps you too. COWABUNGA!
Randi Marks is on vacation this week. Look for The Real Show podcast as we discuss this article with Bijou.