We live in a world that is full of complainers – unfortunately. No matter how good someone’s life is, they can still find something wrong with it. But obviously not everyone is a complainer – thank goodness. But nonetheless, most of us do look at life and want to change some things here and there. Some things we can change. Others we can’t, and so we just need accept them. Here are 10 things you should accept and change:

1. Accept the choices you’ve made, change your next ones.

We all make mistakes. But I don’t really believe in “mistakes.” They are all really just learning opportunities. As we walk through life, sometimes learning the hard way is just how we have to do it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from the past. Use it as a guidepost of how to do it better the next time. As Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

2. Accept those who hurt you, change those with whom you are surrounded.

It’s a sad truth, but you can’t trust everyone. I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I’m probably not alone. Some people don’t mean to hurt you, and some do. Either way, forgive them. Do it as a gift to yourself. Release the negative energy of resentment and anger. It doesn’t serve you well. Then make new choices about people you spend time with. Cut those “energy vampires” out of your life. You know – the ones who drain you and suck out your life. Only tolerate positive, uplifting, growth-oriented behavior from other people into your lives.

3. Accept your body, change your health.

Do you want longer legs? To be taller? To have a smaller bone structure? Good luck with all that. All you can do is accept your body for what it is. Sure, you could spend a ton of money on plastic surgery to re-do your face, but why would you want to do that? Love yourself for who you are. Accept how you look. The only thing you can change is your health. If you want to lose weight, then commit to it! Change your eating and exercise habits. You will automatically feel better about your body and yourself.

4. Accept your imperfections, change your idea of beauty.

There are no such things as “imperfections.” Our society has brainwashed us into thinking that if you don’t look like Angelina Jolie then you aren’t beautiful. That is hogwash! Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. That saying came about for a reason – because it’s true. Instead, look at your inner beauty. You can look like a movie star or super model, but if you’re rotten inside, then that is not beautiful. Likewise, you could be way outside of our culture’s standard of beauty, but if you shine your light from within, then that is gorgeous.

5. Accept your family, change your friends.

We don’t voluntarily choose our family. Because of that, it is sometimes difficult to accept them when the are making your life unpleasant. They might be critical, judgmental or demanding. As much as you want to change them, you can’t. All you can change is how you view them. Accept their behavior because you have to. However, if your so-called “friends” are exhibiting negative behavior, you do have the choice to walk away and find better companions.

6. Accept your losses, change your earnings.

We all have losses of many types. They might be financial. They might be human. But all losses are painful. There is probably nothing you can do to get back what you lost. Maybe your money is gone in that bad investment you made. Maybe a loved one has departed this life. We can’t always get our losses back. But we can set our focus toward the future. We can look ahead with a positive attitude and decide to hold our heads up high and move onward.

7. Accept your situation, change your outlook.

One of Buddha’s famous quotes is: “It is your resistance to ‘What Is’ that causes your suffering.” In other words, there are some things we just cannot change. And if we keep fighting against that, then we are causing our own suffering. It’s not the situation that causes our suffering, it’s the fact that we are resisting it that causes your pain. So we have two choices: (1) keep fighting against a situation we don’t like and suffer as as result, or (2) accept the situation and change how we view it.

8. Accept your fate, change your journey.

Our fate is not always welcomed. There are way too many people who get diagnosed with terminal illnesses, have broken marriages, lost too many loved ones, or simply lost their way. But sometimes the best gifts to the world come in the dark moments. There are many people who turned their painful fate into a meaningful path – for themselves and others. So just because you are dealt a bad hand of life at the moment, that it not where your journey has to end.

9. Accept where you are now, change where you’ll go.

Most people want to be better, richer, thinner, happier or more successful. And it’s great to have goals and want to improve. But growth and change starts with acceptance. When you resist your current situation, you are putting negative energy out into the situation – and the world. In order to change your path in life, you need to put forth positive energy and actions into creating a better future.

10. Accept the things you can’t change, change what you can’t accept.

As I said in #7, there are just some things in life you can’t change. Other people. Taxes. Those are just two of them. So instead of fighting against the things you can’t change, look to the things you can change. It’s much more productive to put your energy into change than it is into resistance. Resistance is pointless because it keeps you stuck. So move onward and upward toward positive change.

Life is a tricky balance of acceptance and change. We all walk the fine line between the two. But with some conscious focus and action, you can simultaneously accept and change for the good of all concerned.

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