Do you ever have one of those moments, where you hear a sound bite or a quote, and you know it has just changed your life? Or have you ever had a conversation with someone you admire, and they bestow upon you advice that makes you see life from a brand new perspective? I know you all can probably answer yes to these questions, and you can appreciate the importance of valuable advice passed down, year after year.
I’ve spent some time lately thinking about my own life path, the ups, the downs, and the lessons that have come with it. In my reflection, I thought it would be fun to pull out some of the greatest life hacks shared with me along my journey thus far. These five pieces of advice I share with you today have changed my life in many ways: from saving relationships, to helping me through dark moments, to even moving me along on my career path.
I truly believe knowledge is power, and of course, like Maya Angelou says, “When we know better, we do better.” I lovingly pass along these words of wisdom that have changed the way I live my life.
1. Begin each day with a grateful heart. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude saved me from one of the darker moments in my life. Every day that we wake up living and breathing, we are given a gift, a clean slate, an opportunity. It is up to us how we choose to spend that day, but how beautiful it is that the opportunity is presented to us. By remembering gratitude in the morning sets the tone for the day in a positive light, and truly has the power to create meaningful change in our lives.
2. You cannot control the external world, but you can control your reaction to it. This is one of the most empowering pieces of advice I’ve been given, and my life was never the same after hearing it. Life will continue to happen outside of us, and it’s true, we cannot control it, but how amazing it is that we have the ability to monitor our thoughts and actions, take note of our habits, and consciously react to the world around us. Whenever life feels out of control, I remember that I can manage anything when working from the inside, out.
3. Finding forgiveness sets you free. I used to really love to be the person that held grudges (yes, I’m a Scorpio, it happens). Whenever I felt wronged by someone else, it only seemed fair that I be allowed to act out, hold on, and make it known that I was the victim of something unjust. After a period of time, I recognized how horrible this felt. And then I started to learn about the miracle of forgiveness. The truth is the purpose of forgiveness is not to benefit the person or thing that hurt you, but to release yourself from the shackles of the past. I had some difficult moments in my childhood (like we all do), and I’ll never forget my mom telling me over and over “don’t be a victim.” When you forgive, you release the victim mentality, you find freedom, you come back to the present moment, and open yourself up to new possibilities in life.
4. Release the need to take things personally. I credit this piece of knowledge to don Miguel Ruiz and his book The Four Agreements. This was one of the very first self-help books I ever read, and it opened my eyes to a brand new way of viewing life. I used to really care about what people thought of me, and truthfully, I am still working on it. Whenever I get into a funk about how someone treats me I remember that it has nothing to do with me, everything to do with them, and it really helps diffuse the situation. A bonus here is to send that person love and compassion, it always helps.
5. If you’re being your authentic self, you have no competition. I used to really worry about how I was going to make my mark in the world. Competition and comparison ran rampant in my mind, and it was draining trying to sort out how I could set myself apart in a world of billions of people. The antidote to this problem is to find out who you are, get in alignment with it, and come back to it, every single day. There was so much relief for me when I was able to truly bring this into practice in my life. I’ve been working a lot on what it means to cultivate your own sense of self, and how to live that, every day.
I hope these five pieces of advice give you some support on your own journey in life.
I’d love to hear what advice has been life changing for you. Let me know in the comments below!