Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind of life, that we seldom stop to evaluate what is really important and what matters most to us. If we’re not aware of where we are heading in life, it can lead to some serious negative consequences.
The practice of reacting to life instead of intentionally designing our lives can lead to:
- Feeling unmotivated and unfulfilled.
- Having lack of clarity as to what we want out of life.
- Not having a purpose behind what we are doing.
- Chasing the wrong things in life.
- Not being happy with where we are in life.
If we don’t know what is important to us, then we can end up going after things in life we think we want or will bring us happiness, but when we do achieve them, it can be very painful to discover that they did not bring us the level of satisfaction we had hoped they would.
So then, how do we determine what is important to us in life?
One way is to first be aware of things we may think are important but are really not.
Whenever we have an experience we deem to be a failure, it can hurt our identity in a major way. While we may intellectually know that experiencing failure is a part of life, we still experience negative emotions when things don’t go as planned or work out as we expected.
The truth is failure is just a perception. It is our perspective on what happened or what should have happened that dictates what we consider a failure or success.
If we don’t shift our perception around what we deem to be a failure, it can:
- Cause us to doubt ourselves.
- Prevent us from taking chances or risks.
- Affect our mental and emotional states in a negative way.
- Reduce our self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Cause us to miss new opportunities.
The good news is we can make each failure a valuable learning opportunity.
One of the most valuable skills we can develop is our ability to make better decisions in life. The quality of our lives is directly related to the quality of the decisions we make.
If we consistently make good quality decisions, we will have much better results and an overall better quality life. If we consistently make poor decisions, it will show up as poor results in our lives.
The importance of making good quality or right decisions over time will result in:
- Consistent forward progress towards what we want.
- Better ability to make adjustments quickly if we’re off track.
- Less chances of feeling stuck, stagnant or unmotivated.
- More new or unique experiences.
The ability to make the right decisions is a skill that can be improved with practice and discipline over time. Once we experience positive results from making right decisions consistently, we will gain more confidence and also trust ourselves more to make the right decisions every time.
One thing that keeps us motivated is knowing that we are making progress and we are heading towards what we want to create, experience, achieve or acquire in life.
As we are automatically programmed for growth, when we don’t see signs of progress, it plays out in different ways, which may include:
- Feeling unhappy, stagnant or stuck.
- Losing motivation to do new things.
- Becoming agitated or upset easily by little things.
- Declining productivity and effectiveness.
- Lower self-confidence and self-worth.
Lack of progress and growth may cause us to believe that our life is not how it should be and that we are headed in the wrong direction.
The key is being able to recognise those warning signs early that indicate things are off track and we must make adjustments quickly, otherwise things could get much worse.
We tend to look at politicians, celebrities or sports stars as being influential people because of who they are or what they have achieved in life. The different platforms we have available today, especially different social media channels, makes it a lot easier for them to seen as being important or influential.
How then, can a normal, everyday person become more influential?
First, we have to consider why it is beneficial to become a more influential person. Some of the benefits of becoming more influential include:
- Being seen as someone who stands for something.
- Being involved in making important decisions.
- Being considered as a leader in an industry or community.
- Being contacted for advice or guidance.
The more we review our habits, the more we realise how much they control our lives. Our habits define who we are and how we choose to live our lives.
Those who have healthy, inspiring and positive habits tend to create better results and have a better quality life than those who have destructive, unmotivating and negative habits.
Take for example someone who chooses to live a healthy life by engaging in regular exercise, eating foods that energises and fuels their body, and takes care of their mental, emotional and physical well-being — chances are extremely high that they will be in a much healthier state than someone who chooses not to do regular exercise or eat the right foods or takes care of themselves mentally, emotionally and physcially.
Good habits will lead us to living our best life, whereas bad habits will prevent us from living our best life.
Most of us are our own worst critics. We tend to be much harder on ourselves than we are with others because we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we typically expect from others.
We know that being hard on ourselves can be dangerous and unhealthy because it can:
- Affect our self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Make us doubt ourselves when we are attempting something new.
- Cause us to be unhappy or sad.
- Affect the way we communicate with others.
- Put a strain on our personal and professional relationships.
But what if we could have a healthy balance between being hard on ourselves and being able to use it to our advantage?
It’s a crazy thing that we spend so much of our lives going after things that, at the end of our lives, will not really matter.
Just think of all the things we do in our daily lives, which may include:
- Working in a job or career we are not passionate about.
- Choosing to work long hours instead of being with those who matter most.
- Spending time watching meaningless television shows or wasting time on social media.
- Hanging on to resentments or grudges against those who may have hurt us.
- Avoiding saying what we really want to say to someone important.
Most of us have regrets in life, some which we’re easily able to let go of, while others may have had a major impact on our lives. While we cannot go back and change the past, we can make better choices now so that we don’t have regrets later in life.
One of the qualities we admire most in other people is their level of kindness towards others and themselves.
When we refer to kindness, we are referring to the qualities of being friendly, generous, compassionate and considerate. The kinder we are, the more we are perceived as someone trustworthy and a person that can be counted on to do the right things.
Although we may not always realise it, we are given multiple opportunities to bring more kindness or perform acts of kindness daily. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference to someone’s day and how they are feeling. Acts of kindness can change a person’s life.
The good thing about performing more acts of kindness is that it can also be beneficial to us in many ways, which can include:
- Improving our relationship with others.
- Bringing more joy and satisfaction into our lives.
- Inspiring others to also show more kindness to other people.
- Helping others cope better with challenges they may be facing.
- Increasing the level of trust others have with us.