These days, it's nearly impossible to avoid getting caught up in the challenges of everyday life.
With so many distractions, our attention spans have progressively become shorter. We're continuously working on balancing careers, keeping in touch with family, managing relationships with lovers and friends, traveling, etc. The list is never-ending.
Lately, I've been working hard to de-clutter life and maximize efforts to somehow find that balance (if it even exists).
I've come to learn adult life means serious prioritization (shocking discovery); it's as simple, and simultaneously as complicated, as that. The simple part: Where you put your energy is where you'll excel. The complicated part: What if it's difficult to laser focus that energy in just one direction?!
That said, I've come up with a list of seemingly small, yet mindful, things that can be done on a daily basis to positively impact your life and well-being.
1. Catch yourself when you feel you're judging someone.
Try to pay attention next time you're judging someone or his or her situation. If it's not impacting your life for the better, let it go.
You never know what he or she has been through, and you don't know how your life would pan out if you walked a mile in his or her shoes.
2. Turn jealousy into a motivator.
Jealousy is a biological trait that everyone feels; it's inevitable. It helps people excel and become better if acted on properly. On the flip side, it can be deceitful when used to bring someone down.
Many times, people don't like to see others excel. Their immediate reaction is to talk others down to make them seem inferior.
Next time you feel yourself reacting negatively to someone's successes, and aren't sure why, take a step back to understand why you're feeling that sense of jealousy.
Jealousy is the fear or apprehension of superiority: Envy our uneasiness under it.
3. Realize you can't force people's feelings.
One thing I'm noticing the older I get is that people can't be forced to feel certain ways. This pertains to friendships, relationships, etc.
If feelings aren't organically mutual, no matter how much you try to force them, you won't get what you're looking for. The last thing anyone wants is a forced relationship.
When feeling this way, most of the time, it's best to do the opposite of what you're feeling (i.e. take a step back and give people space rather than nagging them about how they're feeling).
Also, don't forget to give yourself space and time to process your feelings, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. This will help with regrets down the line.
4. Accept the fact that nothing worth having comes easy.
Happiness seems to be less attainable the older we get (or so it seems). Sometimes, happiness comes in the form of a slow, difficult and grueling process. Change to life's course isn't easy, and we must realize that navigating through instantly gratifying gestures won't fill the void in the long term.
Materialistic purchases can help us in the short term, but long-term happiness is a much more taxing process that takes work and time.
A great quote from Theodore Roosevelt puts this into perspective:
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
5. Be mindful of where your energy is going.
No, I don't mean you should sit around for hours meditating (ain't nobody got time for that). What I mean is that it's paramount to prioritize where your energy is going on a daily basis. More often than not, some end up burnt out when it's too late.
6. Focus on one thing at a time.
Rather than focusing on that never-ending to-do list of tasks, it's important to hone in on one thing at a time. Although this is really challenging to do in today's world of constant distraction, not only will this make you more efficient, but it'll also minimize stress levels and will leave you feeling less overwhelmed.
7. Question everything.
It's important to take things at face value, but even more significant, to evaluate them on a deeper level. I've realized over time and learned the hard way that probably 90 percent of the time things aren't what they seem. It's just life's virtue.
8. Reflect when doubting yourself.
Even the most successful people doubt themselves, but may just be better at hiding it. What separates those from the masses is that they're able to work through that doubt and not overthink whether they'll succeed of not.
When you sense you're not feeling confident, but rather doubtful, take a step back and try to understand what can be done to work through it. If you're in tune with what makes you tick and why, there's no where to go but up.
9. Remember to pace yourself.
I'm one of those people who has a tendency to speed through life, especially when I'm excited about something (and when I drink too much Nespresso, which is non-negotiable).
If you're one of these people, try to slow down, take a step back and look at the situation from a holistic perspective. As my dad would always say, "The difference between animals and humans is that we're able to control our instincts."
Easier said than done, but once you learn to do this, you'll become a pro at tackling any challenge that comes your way with confidence.
10. Remind yourself that you're winning at life.
No, I'm not being trivial. I've come to realize that no matter what, if you're doing something on a daily basis to improve yourself, you're winning. This is the only way to not only stay humble, but to live up to your potential and become the best version of yourself.
As one of my favorites, Winston Churchill, once said:
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.
11. Remember to stay grateful.
No matter what you're going through, think of the things you can be grateful for in life. As long as you have people in your life who care about you and your health is intact, you can get through the rest.