Angel and I have worked with thousands of coaching clients over the years. Together, they have given us incredible insight into what the average human being needs to do to go from “loathing” to “loving” their life. And, of course, we’ve successfully helped the vast majority of them gradually get from point A to point B.
What most of these people never suspected is that they would have to learn how to do lots of little things differently. Because the truth is, there are specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world that we all have to master before we can awaken to a simpler, happier, more fulfilling life – a life worth loving. And that’s precisely what this post is all about.
No matter what part of life’s path you’re traveling on, the list below will always be applicable. These are simple, positive habits that thousands of people who have learned to love their lives, now live by. Here’s what they do differently…
- They flow with life, not against it. – When everything in life seems to be going wrong, mostly it’s meant to go wrong so that you may outgrow the things you need to outgrow. Keep this in mind. Life may wreck your plans when your plans are about to wreck you. For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else. You don’t have to accept it; it’s just easier if you do. When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little. Sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath and appreciate what is.
- They let go of self-defeating thoughts. – Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret and frustration. Let go of the need for approval too. You don’t need any of it. The world is as we are inside. What we think, we see, and we ultimately become. So choose your thoughts wisely. Think how you want to live.
- They prove themselves to themselves, not others. – If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone else, you’ve already forgotten your value. Don’t do this to yourself.
- They believe in the possibilities ahead. – You are a victim of the beliefs you live by. And a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind. So believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that there are many roads to what’s right. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth your while.
- They find the positive in every situation. – The most underrated trait of all successful people I’ve ever met: Positivity. Your attitude directly determines how well you live your life.
- They appreciate what they have. – Every now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness, look around, and simply be happy for what you already have in your life. (Read The How of Happiness.)
- They nurture their own inner peace. – In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Take a few deep breaths, a relaxing walk, or a moment to meditate. When you find peace within, you who can live at peace in any situation.
- They find the courage to be real. – It takes courage to grow up, grow wiser, and turn out to be who you really are. Find the courage to own your story. To speak your truth. To ask for what you need. To set boundaries. And to reach out for love and support when you need it.
- They maintain high personal standards based on strong values. – Goals are important but they are temporary. Values on the other hand are forever. Raise your standards by taking a values-driven, not just a goal-focused, approach to life.
- They walk the talk and always set a great example. – Be the change you want to see. Give what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.
- They help themselves by helping others. – We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will… an idea or gesture that helps others live better. Strong people stand up for themselves; stronger people stand up for others too. Remember this next time you feel like flexing your muscles.
- They use self-reflection as a tool to keep things in perspective. – Never forget where you’ve been, lose sight of where you’re going, or take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.
- They make their important relationships a daily priority. – An incredible thing happens when you pay close attention. It’s by participating more in your relationships that you breathe life into them. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
- They accept that not all relationships are meant to last. – This is a harsh truth. And what we do with our pain is nearly everything. To punish people for not loving us is a heartbreaking, broken sort of justice. It just doesn’t work out for anyone. So let the wrong ones go, willingly. Ultimately, you will meet two kinds of people in life: those who build you up and those who tear you down. In the end, though, you will thank them both. Because the wrong relationships eventually lead to the right ones.
- They leave the past behind. – Don’t let the past steal your present. Your past has not defined, deterred, or defeated you. It has only strengthened who you are today. Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
- They make every day count. – What you do daily matters more than what you do every once in awhile. Your life will not improve unless you start making daily improvements. It’s not about being the smartest, it’s about making the smartest decision. It’s not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.
- They do the work. – The near-term cost of discipline is always less than the long-term cost of lack of discipline. At some point you have to stop wishing for it and start working for it.
- They focus on effectiveness, not busyness. – The great paradox of our time is that many of us are busy and bored at the same time. Busyness and effectiveness are two different things. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- They get uncomfortable. – You can’t learn, grow and succeed until you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The best wins in life often come only after you dare to lose.
- They break-up their routines to seek new insight. – You will often see what is wrong when you are doing it right. But you will rarely see what is right when you are comfortably in the routine of doing it wrong. If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today. Mix it up! Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
- They take action in spite of their fears. – Dreading is often far worse than just doing the thing. Dread rehearses a scenario over and over without progress and success ever showing up. So just do it already! Stand strong. Do what you fear, and fear disappears. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions speak louder than your words.
- They use change as an opportunity to grow. – Life is change, but growth is optional. Choose wisely. To be a success in life you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving. Let your mistakes, and life’s twists and turns, strengthen you. Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
- They always give themselves another chance. – Sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you. You just have to give yourself another chance to get there.
Do the best you can to smile. Be so busy loving your life and the people in it that you have no time left for hate, regret or unnecessary stress. In the end, loving your life is about trusting your intuition, taking chances, losing and finding happiness, cherishing the memories, and learning through experience. It’s a long-term journey.
You have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting every step of the way. Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds – struggles and all. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be.