I’ve often heard the old saying that there are two kinds of lives: the life we want and the life we have. This adage is trotted out, it seems to me, when people feel disappointed about some aspect of their existence. While some things that happen to us are not our fault, some of the reasons we find ourselves in the circumstances we are in is due to wrong thinking, as well as bad past and present decisions we have made.
Some people simply accept the idea that their life is always going to be the way it is and refuse to believe that anything will change or that anything can ever get better. They have resigned themselves to the worst fate possible and feel helpless to attempt to transform matters.
However, it is not only possible, but probable that you can start to have the kind of life you desire, if you set the following things in motion:.
DO A WRITTEN ASSESSMENT OF YOURSELF
Most of us have never really sit down and given careful thought to what our strengths and weaknesses are. In some cases, we only focus on the negative characteristics that we have, while, still others of us may not want to admit our faults.
That’s why doing a written self-assessment can help you get a more realistic viewpoint of exactly who you are, what you think and how you handle certain situations. Make two columns- one listing what you believe to be your strengths, gifts and accomplishments and the second column listing what you feel are your weaknesses, shortcomings and failures. Don’t just write anything down, but contemplate carefully.
After you have made the lists, then go to the second column and try to come up with solutions on how you can improve those areas in your life. It will involve considering active things you can do to alter these areas and even mapping out a plan on how you might go about achieving these goals. Once you start to look at your “weaknesses” in this manner, then they lose their negativity and you move them over to the “Strengths” column. Now, your “Weakness” list has lost its bite.
Changing your self-perception is an ideal place to start.
CONNECT YOURSELF TO POSITIVE PEOPLE
The kind of company we keep really can have an effect on our attitude. If you hang around people who are optimistic, encouraging and who have a successful mind-set, you will find yourself wanting to pattern yourself after them. On the other hand, if you are mostly fraternizing with those who are pessimistic, consistently dwell on their troubles and have a “failure” mentality, you may find yourself acting, thinking and speaking exactly like them.
As difficult as it may be, especially if you have known some individuals for a long time, you need to distance yourself from such “toxic” people. Don’t waste time on the telephone listening to their depressing talk. Gradually back off from too much social interaction with them, opting, instead, to begin mingling with new, positive friends. If the “toxic” folks in question are family members, it may not be as easy to escape coming into contact with them, but you can either try changing the subject when they start to express their gloomy outlook about some matter and, if possible, just get up and leave the room if you don’t like or agree with their conversation, find more info.
Stay connected with those who are happy, upbeat and success-minded, people who will lift you up.
BE WILLING TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND NEW
A lot of folks get stuck in a rut because they are resistant to change. They complain about how awful their lives are, yet they still keep doing all the things that keep their lives miserable.
You may have to do something out-of-the-ordinary, go beyond your comfort zone in order to get the ball rolling. Maybe it will require you to take some college classes or change jobs or move to another area, etc. It may require extra time and effort on your part, which will not be easy, but, in the end, will help you get to a better place.
You can expect that not everybody is going to support you. The reason many people fail to move in another direction is due to fear of disapproval from others. You can’t allow your life to be controlled by the opinions of others. Certainly, if you are married and have a family, you may have to make changes gradually rather than immediately, but make sure that you are doing something to propel your life towards a more positive course.
SEE EVERY OBSTACLE AS SOMETHING TO RISE ABOVE
Too often, we fold because of the obstacles life can bring. Whether it’s challenges related to health, finances or personal issues, we can find ourselves having an attitude that we can never progress beyond our current circumstances. Thinking that way is defeating and limiting.
You must learn to look at every difficulty as something you can rise above. Will it be simple to do? Certainly not!. It may take some time to look at each individual situation you are dealing with in order to seek out potential solutions. It may take a trail-and-error method to see what works and what doesn’t, but the important thing is that you refuse to give up until you find the answer that is best for you..
THINK OF YOUR LIFE AS A “WORK IN PROGRESS”
We sometimes look at our lives the way they are now and believe that we can never go any further. None of us, however, has “arrived” yet, in terms of life experience. There was a saying the older folks used to say in church when I was growing up: “God isn’t finished with you yet!” In other words, there is more for us to do and discover in our present existence that what we already know about.
There are new experiences waiting for you to find them. I think I have seen more new things happen in my life since I turned 40-years-old and the years that have followed, although I used to think that when I hit that age, things would be more humdrum, unexciting and stagnant. Yet, it has been the opposite. I am blessed to be having more fun and adventure now than I did when I was younger.
Begin to expect more possibilities in life, no matter how old you are. If you’ve made mistakes, which we all do, just consider them learning tools towards wisdom and put them behind you.. Every day is another leg of a journey and, with the proper attitude, you can travel that journey with hope, joy and victory.