They are no magic, but they work.
Most rules that promise to change your life are bound to specific circumstances and actions. Principles, however, are broad and thus allow you to use them according to your individual situation. Principles don’t tell you exactly what to do, it isn’t a step-wise guide. Instead, they help you find your own truth.
They can be used in various ways and guide you toward the right decisions without giving you clear answers right away.
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Sometimes, they’re harder to use than specific rules, but if applied correctly, these five can make your life a whole lot easier:
1. Expect nothing, appreciate everything.
Most people live in misery because they expect too much from anyone else but themselves and when some things don’t happen, they get disappointed, mad, and frustrated.
Here’s the problem with expectations: You can’t influence someone else’s behavior unless they allow you to do so. If you constantly expect others to behave in a specific way and do things for you, you’ll mostly find yourself buried in disappointments because most people don’t care about you as much as you’d like.
Here’s a better way to live: Expect nothing from others but everything from yourself. Forget about anyone else and focus on making sure you do the right things daily. Nobody owes you anything, not even your partner, family, or friends. They could all decide to ignore you, and you wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. So appreciate their presence and efforts, even if those don’t match 100% of your expectations.
Nobody’s perfect, and we all have our flaws. Yet, most of us are trying to be good partners, friends, siblings, and coworkers. The best way to deal with those disappointments is by focusing on your inner world instead of being too focused on other people’s behavior.
2. Macro patience, micro speed.
Here’s a profound lesson most people aren’t aware of: Time is infinite, but life is short. No matter if you’re 20, 40, or 60 years old, you don’t know how much time you’ve left to chase your dreams. You don’t know how much time you’ve left to spend with your loved ones and you don’t know how much time you’ve left to show up for yourself.
The hardest but also most rewarding way to live is to focus on long-term gains while working on short-term progress. If you constantly chase quick wins, you’ll eventually miss out on making real progress because you’ll be too busy with small, daily activities. If you want to change how you live, you need to be patient and do things that don’t deliver results right away.
If you’re chasing huge goals, you need macro patience because it’s a long journey.
3. When in doubt, moving is better than worrying.
So many people are wasting their time because they’re busy seeking “perfect” opportunities to finally do what they want to do. They’re so worried about being too early or late that they prefer not to take action at all and when years have passed, they regret their choices.
The truth is, making decisions is always tough because we’re surrounded by more opportunities and choices than ever before. We have infinite amounts of information at our fingertips at all times and in a world where you can do millions of things, picking what you want to do and who you want to be isn’t necessarily easy but here’s the painful reality: Most of the time, making any decision is better than making no decision.
When you pick a side, you’re ready to take action and by taking action, you can find out whether you made the right decision or not. Not deciding, on the other hand, keeps you stuck because you keep thinking about the pros and cons. So pick your side. Allow yourself to make wrong choices and change the path when you realize you’ve made a mistake.
Most decisions are reversible anyway.
4. Safety is an illusion.
Your 9–5 job isn’t “safe.”
Neither is my online business.
Working out daily is no guarantee of great health.
Life is full of risks, and nothing’s ever “guaranteed.”
But the good news is that you can pick your risks.
I’m not safe, and neither are you, but we both are taking different risks in order to design our lives. The past two years have taught us how quickly things can change without our permission but here’s the good news: If you accept that you’re not safe anyway, you can at least choose a path you enjoy.
Stop trying to build a “safe” life and focus on building a life you genuinely enjoy despite the difficulties.
Read also: 3 habits of highly positive people
5. Happiness is a choice.
Here’s a little thought experiment: Who are the happiest people you know? Have a few people in mind? Great.
What do these people have in common? Do they have more money than anyone else you know? Do they look more attractive? Do they have similar jobs? They don’t, right?
Even though we don’t like to admit it, the truth is that happiness is a matter of choice. If you wait for your life to change before you finally find happiness, you’ll likely wait forever.
Losing weight won’t magically change how happy you are. Moving into a new place won’t change how happy you are. Finishing your studies or getting a promotion won’t change it either.
Whenever we attach our happiness to external circumstances, we’re really just avoiding responsibility. Thinking of happiness as a final destination might sound amazing, yet, it’s an illusion. No goal, milestone, or “special occasion” will ever change how you feel about yourself deep inside. The only way to change how you feel is by deciding on it and acting accordingly. Being happy doesn’t equal being an annoying “all positive” person, by the way.
Happiness is a state of mind and an inner feeling, which you don’t need to communicate to the outer world. You don’t need to post photos on social media to prove you’re “happy.” You don’t need to smile and giggle to show how great you feel. Screw those stupid thoughts about what happiness should look like and do you.
You’re the only person who knows how to make yourself feel good. So go do that and be relentless about prioritizing your peace of mind over anyone’s expectations.
CONTRIBUTED BY Jahnvi Mehta
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