Does your life need a wake-up call?
The worst thing for me to imagine in my own life is the thought that I’ll have regrets about what I accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) once it is too late to do anything about it. We only have one life to live, and we have to make the most of it.
But many of us don’t. We put the things that are most important to us on the backburner.
“I’ll get to it tomorrow,” we say.
And tomorrow comes and goes. Before we know it, we find ourselves wondering “Where did the time go?” Now it is too late. Don’t let this be you!
We all sometimes take life for granted. I know that I did for a long time. All through college and well into my first job. It wasn’t until I woke up with that first ache that something finally clicked for me.
Time passes by quick. I went to bed in my early twenties and somehow woke up in my mid-thirties. Yesterday I was carefree and single. Today, I am married with a toddler and a baby on the way.
I love my life. I only wish I had realized before a few years ago to slow down and enjoy it.
Live your life today because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. Take time to get in touch with who you really are. Take the time to understand what it is that you want out of life and why. Take risks, laugh, cry, learn, love and forgive.
Life is always shorter than it seems.
Here are a few lessons that most people take a lifetime to learn. Don’t be one of them!
Failures are Feedback
Behind every beautiful face, there has been pain. We all trip and fall. We all make mistakes. But we all live and learn. Your wounds are only flesh deep. You have not been defeated. Instead, you have been given a chance to learn. And what an amazing thing to be able to grow through our failures – to struggle and overcome the challenges that threatened to knock us down.
It won’t always be pleasant, but failure is what makes our successes so powerful and uplifting.
So, keep stepping forward … even when you want to sit down and give up. Keep pursuing your dreams … even when it is painful. Because you are strong. You have made it this far, and you can achieve your biggest goals.
There is a lesson hidden in every failure. Find it and embrace it.
Live for Yourself
If you found out today that your life would end tomorrow, you would gain a type of clarity you never had before. When you look back on your life someday, you don’t want to realize that the dreams you had been chasing all of those years were the wrong ones. They weren’t yours. Instead, they belonged to your friends, family, boss and society.
Be honest with yourself right now. Are you living a life based on external pressure? Are your goals truly important to you, or are you pursuing them because you believe you “should?” Do you have the courage to be true to yourself?
We Need Boundaries
II am a big believer in hard work. I think you should set your goals and then pursue them with relentless passion. I think you should work your little butt off … during the day. But go home to your family and friends at night. Don’t get so caught up with work that you miss out on the people (yourself included) that mean the most. Set boundaries and stick to them. Learn to say no to the distractions in life that keep you from your loved ones. Go to your child’s soccer game. Go on a date with the love of your life. Visit your parents while you still can. Get enough sleep. Go to the gym.
It is so important to pursue your dreams in a feverish manner, but remember the people you want to share those dreams with once you accomplish them. Make time for your family, friends and yourself.
Don’t be a Slave to Procrastination
With social media and 24-hour access to television, distractions are more abundant in our lives than ever before. Time is our most precious resource, and once we spend it, we can’t get it back. When you waste that resource, you become a slave to the past. You’ll be caught in a never-ending do-loop of trying to catch up … but you will continue to spin your wheels.
Look forward instead of backward. Be proactive. Let loose the shackles of yesterday. Resist the temptation to procrastinate. Get done what needs to be done and use your time wisely. It’ll be gone before you know it.
Walk your Talk
Have you ever heard the phrase “Actions speak louder than words?” I’m sure you have. But most people never grasp the true meaning … until it is too late. We instead choose to believe the lies other people tell us and the lies we tell ourselves. We allow people to treat us poorly because we choose to believe their words instead of their actions. And we continue to disappoint ourselves because we keep telling ourselves that we are going to change our lives (make more money, finish the degree, lose the weight) … but we never take action.
We don’t walk our talk. And it is sad.
So be true to the words that leave your mouth or cross your mind. Watch what you say to yourself and others. Be honest to others and yourself. If you don’t intend to take action to lose the weight, own that choice and stop saying that you will. If you don’t plan to put forth the effort to achieve your goals, that is a choice you are allowed to make. But own it. Have integrity.
My guess is that once you start walking your talk, your entire perspective will change. And you will start taking action.
Gratitude is Life-Changing
How much do you appreciate what you have in your life today? If you think that you appreciate your family, the roof over your head and the food on your table … then why do you continue to focus on everything you don’t have? Why do you get hung up on the negative?
If you start practicing daily gratitude, it will change your life. It is nearly impossible to be anxious, stressed or scared when you are truly grateful. Give it a try. The next time you have to give a speech at work or anything else that makes you self-conscious or nervous, read through a list of 20 things you are grateful for. I guarantee your anxiety will melt away. Gratitude can change your life.
Has a stranger ever smiled at you when you were having a bad day? How did it make you feel? Kindness is so important, and there are opportunities to be kind everywhere you look. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Focusing on being kind will light up your life with positivity and perspective. Helping others helps you too.
So smile at the sad stranger on the bus. Hand over $10 to the embarrassed woman in the lunch line who forgot her wallet. Tell a joke to a friend who is experiencing pain. Hug your toddler who has managed to get on your last nerve. Kiss your husband. Hold your mother’s hand. Give kindness. It is the best give you can give.
Please don’t be one of the millions of people who learn these lessons too late. How can you implement them into your life today?