“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” — Oscar Wilde
If you are struggling with something right now in life, and you’re questioning your very existence, then my heart goes out to you. It truly does. I know that pain so well. When everything around you comes crashing down, all you want to do is self-destruct. But you know what. Something you don’t realize is that you were meant to walk this path. You can’t understand it right now. But I assure you, there will be a rhyme or reason for it one day.
Take solace in the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That pain will manifest into something extraordinary. This is not the end. It’s your chance to start again. Fresh. New. From the beginning. To rise from the ashes like a phoenix. It’s not time to give up. You can’t give up. Yes, life is hard and it won’t get any easier. Understand that. Embrace it. Welcome failure and pain. Because it will build you up and make you stronger.
As humans, we are emotional beings. We are wound up like a coil, just waiting to spring based on pre-conceived notions, generalizations and perceptions. If we think that something should affect us negatively, it does. The truth is that we don’t always look for the silver-lining or the best in a situation. We simply react based on emotions. Remember, the heat of the moment can burn you for a lifetime. And it often does .
Of course life is hard when we’re simply in reactionary mode. How can we attempt to do anything with a level-head when we’re simply a slave to the emotions brewing in our minds? Those emotions make us over-spend, overeat, over-drink, and overindulge in just about anything. And of course, businesses feed on these emotions and play into our underlying psychology in places like casinos where oxygen is pumped into the air and vibrant colors are used to make you spend more.
Life will always seem hard when we hinge our happiness on the others. Whether that’s a spouse or a friend or someone else, happiness is not sourced from other people, it comes from within. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s hard to be happy when you’ve based your entire existence around the presence of someone else in your life. Or on their overall happiness. Even worse, when that person makes your life more difficult, it’s hard to keep your sanity.
So how do you extricate yourself from a situation like this? It’s not easy if it’s become habitual behavior. But you have to find happiness from within. That’s the only source of happiness. No person or money or thing is going to make you happy. It just won’t. It might last for a few days. But after that, when the feeling subsides, you’ll want something else. It’s a constant Hedonic Treadmill that we’re on. Find a way to break free and find true meaning in life if you want to overcome this.
I’m the first person to tell you that things are hard and they take a long time. Nothing is easy. Nothing comes simply. It takes hard work and effort. Blood, sweat and tears don’t even aptly describe the amount of effort certain things take. Have you ever seen that meme where there are two miners digging, and one just gave up before he struck gold or diamonds or whatever? That’s just the way life often goes. We work so hard and then we give up, even though we could have been so close.
Sure, things can seem incredibly difficult when we’re constantly jumping from one shiny object to the next. How can we expect to have any peace of mind when we take on one opportunity after another, thinking that they’ll bear fruit, but we give up too soon and try the next thing? You have to put in years and years of effort to see the overall products of your work. Success takes time, but as long as you don’t give up, anything is certainly possible and achievable.
We all struggle with criticism. I know this has plagued me in much of my earlier life. I wonder what people will think of me. What will they say or feel? Why do I even care? Shedding this skin was hard. While we’re only human, you can’t expect life to be easy if you’re constantly worrying about what others think. This is deep-rooted into our culture and our society, but it needs to be something we extricate ourselves from.
You can’t be happy or sated if you’re worried about the opinion of others. You simply cannot be. It just doesn’t work like that. Finding a way to break that cycle is hard. But I have found one thing that works well. Take the one thing that you’re deathly afraid of, that you think people will criticize you for, and go do that one thing every single day. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at it. With practice, everyone improves over time. For me, it was doing my podcast. What will it be for you?
We’re all afraid of something. Whether it’s the fear of being broke, losing your loved ones, or anything else for that matter, each of us is plagued by fear. Oftentimes, we fear things that we know will be painful. That’s natural. But how do you overcome something like that? Obviously, life is cyclical. Bad things happen. Even to good people. Does that make life any easier to know? Of course not.
In order to truly break free of fear, you have to accept that things are outside of your control. But you also have to shift your focus. Remember that like attracts like. If you think negative thoughts, you will attract negative circumstances. There is pure power in your thoughts. So if you keep your thoughts clean and have a positive outlook on life, fear won’t pervade your mind as much. And when it does, cast it out like an exorcist casting out demons.