The year is quickly drawing to a close and for many people, we tend to look back on the year and wonder: was this a good year for me? Each of us had success and loss, perhaps in varying degrees, over the past many months. And some of us undergone changes or found themselves in a stasis they couldn't escape. Some of us feel no different at all. As part of your end-of-the-year reflection, here are Ellen's pieces of advice for your life:
1. Don’t let yourself get irritated by small, trivial things
For some people, daily hassles like having a wrong order at Starbucks or misplacing your keys can add up and be really stressful, but you’re still completely in control of how much and how long they could affect you.
Because small, trivial things are just that – small and trivial. They don’t matter. Don’t let them matter. Train yourself to take it easy. Learn to accept and deal with the situation instead of having a victim mindset “Why must it be me?”. It’s not just you. It’s everyone. Annoying stuff happen sometimes and it’s okay. Let it go.
2. Don’t waste time on done matters
Regretting is a normal reaction when things don’t turn out the way you want. But dragging it out is unhealthy and time-wasting. So is living in the past. It doesn’t make things right. If anything, it will suck you dry sooner or later and that’ll be what you actually regret letting happen.
Accept what’s done is done and focus on the present. If still have regret, remember this: you only regret because you know what you know now. But you didn’t know what you know and you had done what felt right to you at that moment. Cut yourself some slack. It’s just life – in the end, nothing matters.
3. Learn to take pleasure from the simplicity
Happiness and life satisfaction comes from within, not just from external factors and definitely not from wanting more. It will only make you insecure because no matter how rich you are, you can never have enough and feel enough.
Possessions might add joy to your life but they are not sustainable. They can even be addictive and especially costly. As your list of wants extends, your ability to afford it is likely to be limited. At this point, you don’t only add to your life unnecessary distress but also get yourself into serious financial problems.
On the other hand, keeping your living space and desires minimal saves you money and time. You don’t have to waste too much energy worrying about how to maintain it or what to do with all the things you have yet you don’t need. Also, minimal living can help you clear your mind and appreciate what you have, hence over time peace and contentment.
4. Be micro-ambitious
If you want to succeed, you need a plan to get to where you want to be. If you want to materialize that plan, you need to set goals. Many people make the mistake of setting impractically ambitious goals and getting disheartened on the way because they can’t possibly see any result or simply have no idea how to achieve those goals.
In this regard, small goals do wonder. They are achievable and motivating. For example, instead of aiming to start a business and become a millionaire in… five years, which is unlikely, you could aim to earn some extra profit per week and actually make that happen.
So the best strategy is, do what you are capable of doing right now and keep an eye on what’s truly important in the long-term. With perseverance and hard work, one day you will get there.
5. Take your time
Along the way as you meet obstacles and challenges, frustration is bound to arise. Especially when life gets stagnant and you temporarily see no progress, you might feel like all your effort is in for nothing and you will never make it.
The truth is, at this point, whether you make it or not all depends on the power of your mind. You could give up or you could tell yourself to stay calm and keep working towards your goals because you believe in your ability and vision. Which option do you choose?
Take your time. Lots of time. It’s all okay. You don’t need to rush because you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone at all. Trust your judgement and believe that it’s never too late. It’s always a chance to turn your life around.
6. Accept that life is temporary.
After all, life is temporary. Your job, your relationships, your possessions — nothing is forever. They will be changed or gone one day. Even yourself. I’m sorry but one day you will die. We all die. And it’s absolutely okay. That’s life. There is no point of holding on to something too much and beating yourself up over it. There’s also no point of making your own life harder by torturing yourself with negative thoughts.
So be nice and kind to yourself. Embrace all what you are. Live fully for each moment. Let go of the past and the people who have done wrong to you. And don’t take life too seriously.
You are fine.
Ellen Nguyen is about many things and definitely one thing: she loves to write. She talks honestly, openly and positively about young people, lifestyles, cultures and well-being. You can visit her at http://thetinglymind.com where she shares with readers about her experiences, opinions and attempts at fiction.