Important Life Lessons

I've been bombarding myself with information and experiences these last few weeks. And because of that, a lot of information (most of which sounds like good old common-sense stuff) has started to work its way in to my daily life. I've noticed a dramatic improvement in my outlook, my happiness, and my overall well-being.

A lot of it, even though it makes perfect sense, is hard to hold on to 24/7, and I have noticed times where I go against what makes sense and fall back into my old patterns. But change takes time, so I don't let that discourage me at all. I think it's impossible for me to list all of the things that have contributed to the changes that are going on, since I don't think I'm even aware of all of them, but here is a list of a few.

Only you can make yourself happy

People put so much time into working towards that one thing, or that one person that always eludes them, but that they are certain is the key to making themselves happy. I was guilty of this. VERY guilty. Do you want to know what the "ultimate secret to being happy" is? You have to decide that you're going to be happy. Start the day with a smile, get excited by challenges that come up, take charge of how you're feeling and own the day. This one is easy to fall back from, but I can tell you that it gets easier and it gets better once you make the decision to take control of your happiness.

If you've got some happiness going on, share it!

I know I just said that other people can't make you happy, but you have to take that in the context it was presented. If you're miserable, it doesn't matter what comes along, or how happy it makes you feel – that underlying miserableness will destroy it after awhile. But, once you have a solid foundation, that's when the real magic can start to happen. Once you get to that point, if you find someone that makes you happy it's much more likely to be able to work out, and in the process you'll be able to brighten their life. And that's what it's all about, it's no good to just be happy by yourself, to truly reach the next level you need to be able to bring someone else in to share the experience with.

Worrying doesn't do as much good as your instincts seem to think

I was a chronic worrier, and I'm still fighting to overcome this. Worrying is great if you're facing impending danger and need your body to get all chemically imbalanced in order to deal with it. But a lot of the time worrying is just a habitual reaction to a fear that probably doesn't make much sense anymore. Someone tells you that they're afraid of clowns – you might laugh – but if they're going to have a possible run-in with a clown, they might be worrying them self sick. I had way too many "clowns" in my life that I was afraid of, and worrying about facing them didn't do me any good.

Don't screw things up because you're thinking too much

I also had this horrible habit of thinking things out way beyond what was rational. I destroyed a relationship because of this and the worrying (these two go hand in hand to destroy a person.) It got to the point where I was so off the mark, that I started trying to protect myself from something that wasn't even a problem. I was thinking things like "Well, I'm probably just driving her nuts.. so I won't call her. If she doesn't hate me, she'll call." And, let me tell you, that's one of the stupidest things I could have ever convinced myself to think. Like all the others, I'm still trying to fully integrate what I've learned about this into my life, but it's gotten to be much better.

Sometimes life gives you more than one chance to make things right

The biggest regret that I have involves losing the one thing that mattered the most to me. But I think I've been given another chance, a chance to make things right. The difference this time is that I'm more prepared, I know more about myself now, about how I react in certain situations, and I think I can catch myself now before I fall into any self-destructive patterns again. I believe in fate when it's convenient, and think that if something is meant to be, if you're supposed to end up in Place A or have Object B or accomplish Amazing Thing Z, then it'll happen. It might take a few tries, but what is right for you will come into your life when it's the right time.

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