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8 Ways To Make Life Better

September 25, 2012

Who doesn’t envy those seemingly perfect families? We look at iconic television shows like “Leave It To Beaver” or “Happy Days” and it’s often with a sense of ‘how do we measure up?’ I look at later ones like “That ’70s show” and it didn’t represent our family in many ways, but there’s common ground with all. Yet we think it was a simpler time, a different time. Different yes – simple…well do we want simple? Many say yes but act no.

For those willing to put the effort to changing – here are some ideas to seek that simplicity. Some picture simplicity as the Amish – working together, not a care about “modern problems” – but the truth is, wherever we are there are problems. How we handle it – that‘s simplicity.

1. Never give up. Ever. If you want something badly enough, persist. Too many people “fail” from simply giving up before they succeed! No matter how discouraged you get, ask God for courage and strength. One step at a time, seek  time with encouraging people. Mentors. Practice encouraging others towards their dreams. Find ways around the problems in your path. Detour. Persist. Plan. Believe. Be open to opportunity. Be ready to take opportunity when it comes. But don’t give up.

2. Accept your limitations.Anything seems possible in youth. We think we can do anything, find we sometimes can’t, try anyway. We weren’t created with perfection – accepting your weaknesses helps to develop your strengths. Keep a childhood dream alive by exploring that interest – be it stargazing or horseback riding or bike rides on the weekends. Accept the limitations of life only if you can’t get around them. Some years ago I knew a very active exhibitor of horses. Loved horses, but had an accident and was in a wheelchair. End of a dream, right? Wrong! They started raising and showing miniature horses, with the wheelchair! Driving a cart took some adjustments to get in and out, but it meant living that dream! Don’t accept less. Farmers find adaptive equipment for tractors to allow them to keep farming.

3. Make the best of it. Things happen – some things we can change, some things we can’t. Look for ways to turn a less than perfect situation into a good situation. The next time you’re standing in line at a grocery store, or waiting for a flight or sitting for another appointment, look for ways to make the best of a situation. Perhaps it’s striking up a conversation with someone, or perhaps extra time is a chance to read that book you’ve been wanting to get time to read. It’s said you can tell much about someone in how they handle tangled Christmas lights and lost luggage. What could someone tell about you then?

4. Let go of grudges.Hanging on to anger and grudges sucks the energy from living! Someone might have done you wrong. There are others who may think you’ve done them wrong. Be thankful for what we have rather than what we want. Don’t give someone else power to control your life now. Forgiveness is a choice. Letting go is a choice. Is it easy? No it often is *not* easy! We want to be right – to be justified. Let it go. Move past it, get on with living now, not in the past.

5. Laugh at your mistakes. We all make mistakes. M. W. Larmour said “The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness and the spirit of adventure. He never tries anything new. He is a brake on the wheels of progress.” You made a mistake? Great! Learn from it, laugh and go on! You learned something! Life is learning! As we get to our 30s and 40s we find our parents aren’t quite as dumb as we used to think. By 50 it seems they were geniuses and too often we don’t get a chance to learn everything we want to from them. Stretch yourself trying new things. Staying in our comfort zone is safe but doesn’t allow us to be everything we could be if we just applied ourselves.

6. Change your inner dialogue. Silence that inner critic! When critical or negative thoughts arise, think of receiving complete love, acceptance and grace. Don’t give power to what’s wrong unless you’re changing it! Listening to critical messages takes energy and keeps you from a best effort, or in many cases keeps you from doing something new. Believe in yourself enough to be open to the possibilities of change, even when it’s scary. When a child is learning to walk and falls down, parents usually encourage him or her. “You did it!” “You made three steps!” Encouraging affirmations help push children forward – and we’re all children. Be as encouraging with yourself as with the child learning to walk.

7. Tell your truth. It’s so easy to fit in isn’t it? Safer. Comfortable. We’re bombarded with messages to fit in. Use this product or people will think your house smells; use this product so others see your beautiful skin or hair; buy this car so people are impressed with your choices. Stand out! Stand up for what you believe in, whatever that may be. Inner truth is part of it – have you been avoiding a truth you don’t want to admit to yourself? If so address it! Be yourself, whatever that may be. If you want to wear a straw hat, or have a closet of purple shirts, or have a different opinion on something than others do – own your truth. It doesn’t mean change theirs – but know that you can be different – and it’s ok!

8. Find discarded treasures. Don’t be too proud to hunt for treasures at yard sales, thrift stores or other places. I needed a nice dress skirt for a presentation – money was tight. I put off for some time going, but went in to one of the thrift stores…found a nice angora (yes as in rabbit!) fiber dressy skirt for under $5. Score! Some find antiques hiding in plain site, but if you don’t know their true value then folks overlook them. How many don’t see our true value? We might be a little worn, ragged around the edges or might be like new. We might need a patch here and there – but when we value and don’t throw out things without a care, it can give more value in many other ways as well.

We don’t get “do overs” with life. Make our time count – every day. That makes life count.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2012 5:38 PM

    Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. Working on #6.

    • October 1, 2012 5:50 PM

      Thanks – and thanks for visiting. Good luck with #6 – we can always strive to do better just for today! 🙂

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