Archive for the ‘finite’ Tag

Few Fundamental Facts


Throughout my relatively short life – I’m 30– I’ve learned a few fundamental truths that seem to govern our lives. They’re extremely powerful and, to an extent, have changed my life for the better. I can only sit back and ask myself, “What if I learned these things earlier in my life? How amazing would I be now?” They’re that fantastic, and, today, I’m going to share my best life lessons with you.

Be careful who you get close to. I’m not advocating paranoia, but be very careful with who you make your close friends, especially if they have any destructive habits, like addiction. If they’re a control freak, if they have ridiculous mood swings, or if they treat you poorly, do not feel bad about cutting them out of your life entirely. You have to be ruthless in this regard. If you let them get close to you, you’ll get burned – it’s only a matter of time. Be understanding, but when you cut ties with them, do it in an understanding, tactful way and don’t burn bridges if you can. Just distance yourself from them, and don’t have regrets about it – it’s your life, and the company you keep has a tremendous effect on your emotional state.

Your time and energy are finite. Even though I hate to admit it sometimes, I can only do so much. You can too. Choose how you spend your time and energy wisely – if you’re burning out all your energy on something that doesn’t leave much of an impact, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Spend your energy on the necessities and the things that you love the most. That’s it.

Today’s tragedy is tomorrow’s comedy. If you’re going through a rough patch, remind yourself that, at the end of it, you’ll still be alive and nothing totally catastrophic will have happened. Over time, the wounds will heal, and you’ll, at the very least, have an awesome story of survival and perseverance to tell around the proverbial campfire.

Reading is the single best habit you can cultivate. Read everything that interests you – from Wikipedia articles to books. Reading makes you smarter – it helps with your memory, it helps with your writing, and it helps with your speaking skills – all things that are incredibly important. You’ll be exposed to more ideas, and increase the size of your vocabulary. It keeps your brain in great shape. I seriously can’t say enough about it!

Exercise daily. Okay, not really – I’d give yourself one day off per week, but exercising for at least 45 minutes as a general rule per day does wonders for you. You’re not meant to be sitting behind a desk all day – your body is built for movement, and you should use it. Hit the gym. Go for runs. Find some form of exercise that you love and do it as much as you can and, please, don’t give me any excuses about your work schedule – if you want to exercise, you can work it into your schedule. Make it a priority. It makes you feel better, stronger, and more clear-headed. It’s too awesome to ignore.

Keep an open mind and meditate! Just because an idea is foreign or appears ‘wrong’ to you at first glance, don’t dismiss it outright. Sure, you might be right – but you could be wrong too. For example, I initially dismissed meditation as self-delusion, something that kooky yogis sitting in their caves invented as a way to delude the New Agey people who were bowing down to their god, Eckhart Tolle. Not so. As it turns out, I love both Tolle and meditation, after giving them a try at the recommendation of a few people I respect. Meditating is another awesome habit that I make sure to do daily.

Focusing is so powerful. For years, I’ve followed something like this – “Focus + Action = Success.” It’s a pretty great formula. When you focus on what you’re doing fully, instead of multitasking and dividing your attention, you do things much faster and with much better quality. Do what you love. Life‘s too short to sell your soul for money. Don’t do it. Instead, do what makes you feel the most alive and find a way to do it, every single day. If you’re good enough, you might be able to make it into a job. If you can’t, just make it a priority to do it whenever you’re not working.

You have to give in order to receive. If the world isn’t giving you what you want, take a step back and reconsider what you’re adding to the world. If you’re not contributing anything, the world doesn’t owe you anything. Do well, help people out in any way you can, and generate good karma for yourself. If you keep doing it, after a bit, you’ll earn the reward that you’re looking for – but take the time to enjoy the efforts you make to do good.

Have fun with life. It’s too easy to get caught up with work, philosophizing, and money matters. Take a step back and realize that you, quite literally, live for the times when you’re having fun, the times when you’re enjoying yourself. Start making everything fun. Express yourself more often, and, if something amuses you, do it! Don’t hold yourself back from enjoying yourself. To be honest, sometimes, I used to act deliberately unhappy or apathetic because I was afraid of answering people’s questions about why I was in such a good mood. Don’t be like that. Be unabashedly happy.

Be willing to admit when you make a mistake. If you own up to your mistakes and are honest about it, you’ll earn a lot more respect from yourself and the people around you. Admitting that you’ve made a mistake is the first step to getting better, as they say. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help with something, no matter who they are. If they’re the type of person you want to associate yourself with, they’ll be more than glad to lend you a hand. Realizing that you’re flawed is just a way to realize that you’re human.

Fear holds us back so much, but it is always an illusion crafted by our minds. It makes a very real scenario of failure appear in our heads and replay over and over again, but it’s fake. It’s all in our heads. It doesn’t exist. While the failure that we fear can and does happen some of the time, it doesn’t mean we should obsess over it. Rather, we should let go of the fear and let what will be, be. We can’t let something that’s fake hold us back – press on in spite of fear. Go towards what you fear. This is the single best way to expand your comfort zone and to realize that fear is an illusion. The funny thing is, if you do what you’re scared of enough times, you won’t be scared of it anymore. Do one thing you’re scared of per day if you really want to expand your comfort zone quickly.

Don’t be afraid to stand out. As the saying goes, “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” Wise words, for sure. Never compromise yourself with the world – be yourself without apology. If people start telling you to stop doing what you’re doing because you’re challenging the status quo, you’re doing something right – keep going. Stop caring about what people think and do what you think is right. Be sovereign and do not let other people stop you from being you. Some people will hate you no matter what; some people will love you for you. If you’re truly being yourself – like full-on authenticity and free expression – you’re going to rub some people the wrong way and you’re going to have haters, wherever you go. It’s a fact of life – you better get used to it now. They just won’t like you, for whatever reason. Like the proverb says, “To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” At the same time, for every person that hates your guts just because you are who you are, there will be ten people not a scientific figure who absolutely adores you for who you are. Surround yourself with the people that love you, but listen to some criticism from time to time to keep you grounded.

Savor the challenges that life gives you. They’re an opportunity for you to enjoy yourself and put your skills – whatever they may be – to use. Don’t shrink from them – welcome them. The fuzzy feeling of fear that you get before you’re met with the challenge is actually adrenaline. Get excited about them rather than trying to avoid it. As they say, what you resist; persists. Make an impact. Focus more on making an impact and doing things that matter instead of useless busywork. You can be busy all day, but not be getting anything of value done. Put your whole heart behind what you’re doing instead of holding yourself back, and remember that your mission, no matter what your job is, is to change lives for the better. That’s what you get paid for, ladies and gents. Remember that, and act accordingly.

Things go in cycles both bad and good. We live cyclical lives. We get rolling on good streaks, then we hit a rough patch, then we break free and turn things around, only to hit bottom again… It goes on and on. The trick is to try and make the good parts last as long as possible while minimizing the bad parts. However, don’t resist the bad. Just try to regroup and bounce back by doing what made you feel and perform so well in the first place.

People make mistakes all the time, and if you show them a bit of forgiveness, people will smile upon you when you make your mistakes. You wouldn’t yell at fire for burning you, would you? Even though mistakes can be avoided, they can’t when they’ve already been committed. Let go of the need to chastise people. Change is a fact of life; you can resist it all you want, but you won’t be doing yourself any good. However, if you adapt, you’ll be much better off than the people who try to go against the flow of nature. You can’t change the change; you can only decide to go with the flow or not. Don’t resist. Let go, and let the change be what it is. It may hurt you for a bit, but you’ll get used to it in time.

You can feel happy all the time, if you choose. Ultimately, your emotional state at any given time is a conscious choice. You can either choose to focus on all the things that get you upset and flush your mood down the emotional toilet, or you can focus on the positives in life and feel happy nearly all the time, for no apparent reason. You can be happy by just being you – but you have to realize that first. Do what makes you happy, say what makes you happy, and think what makes you happy as much as possible, and you’ll soon find that you actually feel happy. It’s all your choice.

Any life lessons I missed? I know I missed a bunch, but these are my favorites…

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