Today’s article was inspired by my personal journal.
I’m a huge fan of journaling for a lot of reasons. Keeping a journal helps you think of new ideas and clarify your thoughts. It allows you to reflect on your experiences, feelings, and the writings of others. It is a place to document your life: what you’ve done, what you want, and how you feel.
I use my journal to grease my own mental wheels and get myself thinking outside of the box. I write down simple memories because if I don’t, they will be lost sooner than I care to believe.
This article isn’t explicitly about journaling. I’ll save that for an article in the future. This article is about something I came across when reviewing my old journal.
It was something I wrote about 4 years ago, at a time when I was first starting to figure out what I wanted in life. I was frustrated with my situation even though I had everything I ever wanted.
In this journal ‘entry’, I was trying to explore the things I had learned and the ideas I held that made me feel this way. I wanted to know what changed in my life that made me unhappy even though I’d accomplished what I set out to do. I wanted to examine how I viewed the world and what I’d learned over the years that made me question my place in life.
So I asked myself those questions and I started to write. I wrote for pages. Lists of ideas about how I currently view the world, how I wanted to live my life, and the type of person I wanted to be.
These ideas were the seeds, planted in my mind, that changed everything. It was great to be able to go back into my journal and see this entry, to see where it all started. The birth of my new life.
After reading through the list, I thought I’d share it with you. There isn’t really a theme, other than important concepts that became driving forces in my life. I hope you enjoy!
- If you aren’t being challenged, life becomes very boring. Challenging tasks force us to use our abilities in new ways and develop new skills in order to achieve a meaningful result. It’s the work involved in overcoming a challenge that makes us fulfilled and allows us to grow. Without fulfillment and personal growth, life is reduced to passive consumption.
- Giving of yourself and your time to help others feels amazing, especially when you care about the people you are helping. When you are in your own head or feeling unmotivated, stop thinking about your own problems and take the time to brighten someone’s day. These moments, when you make a meaningful difference to someone, will be your best moments.
- If you don’t find ways to motivate yourself consistently, on a regular basis, you will naturally become un-motivated and lose focus. Find things that motivate you, reliable sources you can tap into on a regular basis, and start to feed your mind daily.
- Learn about money, investing, real estate, and business. Understanding these areas is essential to becoming self sufficient and independent. Specifically, understand the value of owning assets and creating leverage.
- Don’t blindly follow a script for life that somebody else gave you. Decide what you want out of life, write it down, and make it happen.
- Building meaningful relationships with other people makes life better. Yes, you should be content alone, but once you are, expanding your relationships gives life more depth.
- Go out of your way to be enthusiastic and open-minded when meeting new people. Doing so will make your personality magnetic and you’ll have a lot more fun. Being suspicious and judgmental is our lizard brain protecting us from predators. For the most part, people are no longer predators. If you’re nervous, remember that the people you meet are just like you and most of them are just as nervous as you are.
- Try to do something nice to every person you interact with. It could be as small as a big smile or sincere compliment. Spread happiness and you become happier. (Source: A Great Read)
- Don’t bottle up your anger. Instead, be open and honest before your anger builds to the point of exploding. Communicating early and often will deepen your relationships.
- Relationships with people take work and thoughtfulness. They don’t happen passively, you have to actively make them happen. If someone isn’t calling you, call them.
- Live in the moment as much as possible. Don’t take things for granted. Learn to appreciate and enjoy the simple things in life like nature, walks, and cool breezes. Savor each bite you take.
- Your body is a temple. If you haven’t already, learn about nutrition and fitness, and start developing healthy, sustainable habits. This is essential to feeling good about yourself, being motivated, having confidence, and maintaining a high level of energy.
- Spend your time consciously. This means understanding why you do what you do. If you don’t, you can expect to drift aimlessly and leave someone else to decide your direction. Always understand the why behind what you do.
- There is more to life than mindless fun (hours of TV, getting drunk, etc). Though, there is a time and place for everything. Try to spend more time creating than you do consuming.
- Consumerism and materialism are traps. Focus on experiences and relationships over things. If you get a majority of your happiness from shopping or buying new things, you will never be content. You will always need more to be happy. You are stuck on a hedonistic treadmill. Learn to find your happiness from within. If you buy only what you need, your lifestyle becomes easier to maintain. Things you own become burdens that you have to think about. Clutter takes over.
- Biggest success “secret”: provide value to others and solve problems that real people have.
- Stop viewing money as a source of happiness or as a way to buy things. Money (to me) equals Time and Freedom.
- Life is about being happy and waking up excited to be alive. Life is too short to work on things that bore you or with people you don’t like. If you are doing something that makes you unhappy, you have the power to change that, and you should.
- Everything in life is a choice. You might say that you are not in control when bad things happen to you, but the key thing to remember is that you ARE in control of your reaction to them. Only you can make yourself unhappy, upset, or angry. (unless you suffer from a mental health condition, and even then, there are ways to control it. source: counselor girlfriend). The point is: stop blaming the world around you.
- Don’t waste your time thinking about things out of your control (like how people will react to something you do or something you create). There is no reason to regret the past, it can’t be changed. There is no reason to worry of the future because it may never come. Live in the present.
- Mindset is everything. Your mind controls your body and your emotions to an extent that is scary.
- Procrastination and laziness equal PAIN. Seriously. The sooner you learn to just do it, the better off you will be.
This list is by no means complete, but it will make you think.
I know that lists like this are tough to digest because they contain too much information to do anything with. To get around that, I have 2 challenges for you:
- Take just 1 item from the list that means something to you and come up with a way you can implement that action TODAY. Come back and write about what you did in the comments.
- Get yourself a journal and ask yourself, “What important life lessons have I learned?” Keep writing until you can’t write any more. Did you think of something vitally important that wasn’t on my list? Do you have your own personal life lesson to share? If so, share it in the comments and talk about how you implement that idea in your own life.
Thanks for reading!