How To Not Waste Your Life

22 Liberating Truths That Will Change How You View Life

1. Every moment is fleeting. Nobody is keeping a detailed list of your most embarrassing mistakes or the most trivial of missteps. Nobody will remember the worst things you’ve said or the trembling of your hands when you said them. On the other hand, you won’t fully enjoy the good, simple, and magical moments of today if your mind is always on the hypothetical fearful events of the future or how others evaluate your worth based on what you have failed to do.

2. The more you exert your own willpower to pursue the external measures of someone else’s definition of success, the more you will be pushed back to where you started. The more you chase things out of lack, the more resistance you will face trying to achieve something you think you should want (only because it would give you a “good reputation” and proof that you are somebody worthy to be praised).

3. Perfection is paralyzing, but so is not having any goals or standards. Both will lead to nowhere. Set a goal, and don’t embellish it with details of steps that are out of your range. But don’t set it so low that you never grow, learn, or develop yourself.

4. Fixation on proving someone wrong is the root of all suffering, ego-based trauma, and emptiness. The more you try to attain success based on how much your ego was tortured and damaged when you were younger, the more rage and vengeance will consume you as you grow older, leaving you brittle, broken, and unhealed.

5.  You cannot mold or contour your entire future into an organized bulleted list in your journal, no matter how much you try (or how many sleepless nights you spend mulling over it).

6. But you do need to make a realistic plan with small, action-based steps that will help you achieve attainable goals by a certain time.

7. Most of the time, fear of displeasing others holds you back from growing into a person that you want to become.

8. Harsh and brutal life experiences are overrated. You do not have to put yourself through someone else’s hardships or deliberately endanger yourself or put your wellbeing at risk just to prove a point to those that judge you as “sheltered, entitled, and naïve.”

9. However, life will give you tough lessons in the form of rejection, failure, and the shattering of your preconceived notions of the idea of success and “making it” as an adult. And the only way to overcome them is to develop the grit, wisdom, strategic thinking, and deliberate actions to face them head-on.

10. Just because life is short, it doesn’t mean you should throw reason out the window and start indulging in destructive habits (like spending too much, eating too much, spend all of your time on entertainment, falling in love with random strangers, and traveling without an aim) or do anything without any sort of purpose in mind.

11. Contentment is not conditional. Being content does not require a total shift in external circumstances or having everything go your way.

12. However, it’s normal to experience dissatisfaction with certain aspects of your life and you should strive to improve the quality of your life, especially if you aren’t compensated enough, if you’re remaining stagnant where you are, if you have unhealthy coping mechanisms that you want to stop relying on, if your old ways of thinking hold you back, or if you feel like you don’t have enough time to pursue activities that bring you joy.

13. Dissatisfaction and unhappiness are not interchangeable. The former is rooted in wholeness. The latter is rooted in want and lack. Wholeness builds upon itself, while lack only buries you deeper into its dark, empty pits.

14. You don’t need to shine the brightest. You don’t need to be number one. You don’t need to be the trendsetter, the most inspiring visionary, or the wisest prophet of the future. You don’t even need to be the greatest at anything. But you do need to be kind, respectful, and compassionate.

15. Life is simple, but you make it complicated, stressful, and fear-inducing whenever you overthink how others will react to what you are doing, mentally create a long list of frivolous details of things that could possibly go wrong, and cripple yourself with the fear that the most disastrous outcome is guaranteed to happen.

16. You don’t need to be ready, over prepared, or experienced to break into a new path. You just need to start. And keep the momentum going. No matter how slow or flawed your beginning may be.

17. If you’re spending your life trying to prove others that you are special and gain mass recognition, you are living an empty life and only setting yourself up for failure. Seeking to be legendary and spectacular will only disappoint you because you’ll realize that the love of a few people that truly understand you is worth more than the adoration of massive crowds.

18. Music is good for the soul. Listen, and really listen, to it. Immerse yourself the melodies, the rhythm, and the stories being told.

19. Reading will improve the quality of your life and help you learn from other people’s life experiences. And it is especially worthwhile read books that build you up and empower you to be more of yourself every day, in the most authentic way.

20. It is better to focus on a few things that are most essential to you than to stretch yourself too thin and strive to earn the approval of everybody and try to do everything all at once.

21. Some battles were never meant for you to win or even fight in. You need to learn that in most battles, the second best thing to do is to surrender. The first best thing to do is to never enter them in the first place and recognize that you don’t need to show off or prove your strength by fighting for what isn’t even meant to be yours. You are strong, regardless of how much or how little you struggle. Regardless of how many victories or how many losses you’ve had.

22. You cannot manifest the future by thinking or dreaming about it or defining it based on your feelings. You cannot write your own ending in a book and expect it to be followed word-for-word. You cannot write a song of your life and expect it to remain in tune. There will be surprises, both wonderful and terrible. Times will change, people will love you and betray you the next day, and there may be a time when you get all that you want and still feel lonely, miserable, and hollow, just as you were before. That’s life. That’s reality. It isn’t and will never be perfect, but that is okay. Accept it as it is and let go of the ideas of how you think life ought to be. And your life will be the better for it. Flawed yet beautiful, broken yet majestic, ordinary yet extraordinary. But most of all, fully your own. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Poet, sci-fi/fantasy writer, music lover, composer, & INFP.

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