Sometimes it seems like the beauty of life can be found in the struggle. After all, how often do we recognize the things that come easily to us?
We don’t applaud those that get to where they are without working for it.
We applaud the people who have sat up and paid attention to the lives they are living and wanted to make a change.
If you are trying to turn your life around, here are 20 powerful rules to live by that will help you get your shit together.
1) Laugh When You Can
If you can’t laugh at yourself while you are trying to change your life, there’s no point in even trying.
Here’s why: you are going to fail and fall on your face before you stand tall. So get ready to laugh at all your follies before you find success.
2) Cry if You Must
Don’t try to stop yourself from expression emotion that is real and raw for you. If you hold it in, you’ll end up resentful or blaming others.
Let yourself cry and then get on with your task at hand. You’ve got a life to create. There’s no time for buckets of tears.
3) Wear What You Want
You might spend an hour trying on different clothes everyday just to impress someone who doesn’t care about what you are wearing.
Yeah, that’s right. People don’t care. Even if they take a moment to notice, they’ll find something else to gawk at soon thereafter, so don’t put too much stock in what other people think of your attire.
Wear what you are comfortable in and what makes you feel good.
4) Don’t Live in Fear
If you are always living life on the sidelines, you are going to wake up dead having accomplished nothing.
Life requires us to take risks and although we don’t need to be jumping off mountain sides or bridges to get a thrill, we should be doing little things everyday that cause us to feel scared, so we can push passed our limits and start enjoying life the way we were meant to live it.
5) Don’t Be a Liar
Fewer things can ruin a relationship than a lie. So don’t do it. Even if you think you are saving someone’s feelings or your own ass, just don’t do it.
The sting of the truth will never last as long as finding out you lied.
6) Commit to Things
Don’t make a to-do list that never gets done. Don’t speak in terms of the future. Use language that demonstrates commitment.
Instead of saying “I am going to start a business this year,” use words like “My business opens on Monday.”
7) Don’t Rest on Your Laurels
Even though life has its share of ups and downs, don’t rest during the downward paths. This is where you can build your momentum for the next uphill battle.
Rest, but don’t quit, when you are trying to change your life.
8) Let Love Change
As you age, you’ll start to realize that love means something different at every age. When we are young, love is exciting and something to be obtained.
But when we get older, love becomes something to be shared, not attained.
9) Work at Things You Enjoy
Instead of spending all your extra time watching television reruns or streaming movies on the internet, start working on the things you are passionate about – you’ll find you are a lot happier and get a lot more done when you do focus on your passions.
10) Recognize the Power Within You
You might think that you are a victim of your circumstances but nothing could be more farther from the truth. You have the power to change your life one decision at a time.
11) Don’t Take Shortcuts
When it comes to upping your game, don’t think that it is going to happen overnight. Don’t sit around and wait for it to happen on its own either.
You need to be willing to put the work in to see the results, so don’t half-ass your work and you’ll get there.
12) Take Responsibility for Your Actions
No matter what kind of work you do or what kind of relationships you are in, have the decency to accept your responsibilities.
If you screwed someone over, admit it. If you deserve the promotion, ask for it. Don’t sit by and let someone else steal your thunder for the good or the bad.
13) Listen, Don’t Just Hear People
The next time you are in the middle of a conversation with someone, resist the urge to check your phone. Don’t look over the shoulder. Ask them questions. Listen to what they are really saying. Don’t just hear them.
14) Be Kind Whenever You Can
Being kind is different than being nice. Being kind is deliberate and intentional. Being nice is something that happens in passing.
15) Nothing is Written in Stone
No matter where you are right now, you can change your life. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are a certain way or you do certain things because the truth is that everything about you is up for debate.
Ask yourself what you want to change and start working on a plan to be different.
16) Don’t Live inside Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to hide away and just glaze over the opportunities in life, but if you want to make the most of your life, step outside your comfort zone a little at at time each day.
You’ll be surprised by where you can end up if you just try to do things differently.
17) Focus on Your Actions
Whatever it is that you are doing, give it your full attention. If you are walking through the market looking for apples, don’t be thinking about that report you need to write when you get back to work.
Do things with intention and you’ll see your life start to change in big ways.
18) Don’t Wallow in Self-pity
Go ahead and feel sorry for yourself and see where that gets you. Oh, that’s right: it gets you nowhere in life.
Stop sitting on the couch and get up and go do something that makes you feel good.
19) Recognize Your Mortality
Here’s the thing: it’s your life. You can live it whichever way you want to, but if you are trying to make the most out of it and struggling to get a head, try changing some of the little things first, instead of the big, overwhelming things and before you know it, you’ll end up where you wanted to be. And you won’t have any regrets.
20) Build Resilience
Humans have a lot of comfort in their lives and it can make us weak. We can build this emotional resilience by stepping outside of our comfort zones from time to time.
[Not only does Buddhism provide a spiritual outlet for many people, it also teaches us an incredible amount about healthy relationships, letting go of negative thoughts, and living in the moment.
I have just released my new eBook, The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy for a Better Life. In it, I place iconic Buddhist teachings into the context of the modern world, and provide practical tips for you to start living a better life today. Check it out here].