I thought that I had it all figured out, my life was a series of calculated decisions, I was happy, but I wasn’t fulfilled. I started looking around at the people, in my life, and while I realized that some seemed genuinely happy, most of them were maintaining a life that was expected of them, just going through the motions, careful not disturb the delicate balance of their lives. One day, I asked a friend if she was fulfilled with her life. Her response confirmed my thoughts, “Not in the least. I feel content some of the time, but content is not fulfilled, at least, not for me.”
Why do we settle for less? Why do we give up on the things that we want? Why is ‘just enough’ good enough when it comes to matters of the heart? I know that fear plays a large role in the response to most of those questions. I have been guilty of staying where I knew I didn’t belong, professionally and personally, because I was afraid to fail, afraid that I wouldn’t find anyone else to love me, afraid that someone else’s opinion of me would be confirmed, if I changed.
Over the past few months, my relationship that I thought was going to last forever failed; my job is no longer challenging me, and friends that I thought would always be there for me have vanished…and here I sit, just going through the motions, waiting for better days, waiting for them to just fall out of the sky. Recently, I was reminded that you have to make your own better days; things will never just fall from the sky and fix all of your problems, so this is my list of ways to start having a more fulfilling life.
1. Stop blaming everyone else for your failures. You got yourself into this mess, so it’s your job to find your way out.
2. Being vulnerable will not kill you. I used to think that it would, and sometimes I still think that it could, but baby steps, people. Baby steps.
3. No one will understand your emotions if you don’t express them. Contrary to what you think, your emotions are not obvious to anyone, other than you. No one can read your mind.
4. Don’t walk away, when you want to fight. You will only end up with regret, if you do. It is better to know you tried everything, even if it fails, then to simply walk away and always wonder.
5. Don’t let anyone kill your dreams. Dream killers are those that aren’t ambitious enough to even get in the ring, so don’t take advice from the people standing on the sidelines.
6. If you love someone, tell them. Even if they laugh, even if they walk away leaving you holding your broken heart. You tell them and then you stand and deal.
7. Saying goodbye to toxic people will never be easy, but it’s necessary. Be prepared, they will not go away quietly, they will hang on with both hands, because, they are the vampires who will suck you dry.
8. If you are controlled, allow yourself an impulsive moment, and if you are impulsive, make a controlled decision. Either one will feel exhilarating.
9. Date someone who isn’t your typical dating pattern. It could change your life, I promise you.
10. Stop seeking revenge. It will never fulfill you; in fact, it will leave you feeling empty.
11. Make the foolish choice, ever once and a while. Those choices are usually a lot of fun, when done in moderation.
12. If you are the dominant one in your relationship, allow your partner to dominate you in the bedroom. I can promise you that your sex life will never be the same after you do.
13. When it comes to your career, request everything in writing, and don’t believe anything anyone says if they refuse that simple request.
14. Every setback, in life, has a silver lining. If you focus more energy on finding the silver lining, you will have less energy to focus on the setback, and soon the setback will look more like a blessing.
15. Don’t treat matters of the heart the same way you would treat a business decision. They are not the same.
16. Start enjoying the present moment, instead of focusing on what may or may not be around the corner, for what is around the corner may never reach you anyway.
17. You should get lost in love, but you should never lose yourself in it. There is a difference.
18. Laugh more than you cry, if any relationship makes you cry more than you laugh, it may be safe to say that the relationship has run its course.
19. Don’t deny yourself the things that make you truly happy. People may never understand the things that make you happy, but they don’t have to; they may try to convince you otherwise, don’t let them.
20. You can’t change your family, so love them, even if you don’t like them. It will save you an enormous amount of heartache and frustration in the end.
21. If something feels outside of your grasp, do one thing every day to make, whatever it is, feel more attainable. The time will pass anyway, and before you know it, the thing that was once, just a dream, could be within your grasp.
22. Never allow yourself to be defined by stereotypes of age, gender, race, etc…and don’t feed into expectations based on any of those things; those things don’t define you, unless you allow them to.
23. Kindness is always the best way to bridge the gap in any relationship. Being kind doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.
24. Laughter cures anything, and regardless of where you are in life and what you are dealing with, when something is really funny; you will laugh.
25. The choices of others have nothing to do with you. So, don’t take it personally; they probably never even considered you when they were making their choices. Remember, doing what is best for you has nothing to do with them, so why would anything that they do for their benefit have anything to do with you?
26. At the end of the day, if you are complaining about drama, chances are, you created it. If you want a drama-free life, stop manufacturing your own personal brand of it.