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7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself To Know If You’re On The Right Track

7 Questions You Must Ask Yourself To Know If You’re On The Right Track

Being “on the right track” can mean completely different things for different people. But regardless of what characteristics you want your life to have, the same basic questions apply to everyone. Answer these seven questions honestly, and you’ll have your answer as to whether you’re on the right track or teetering off course.

1. Am I enjoying myself?

Enjoying life isn’t the only priority we should have. For example, enjoying life a little too much can lead to reckless and irresponsible behaviors. However, a much more common problem people have today is not making time for enjoyment. If you’re not careful, jobs, bills, and various obligations can end up occupying most of your time. In this case, we begin to break down like a car that has needed an oil change for too long. If you’re consistently busy, you may want to consider consciously planning out time for enjoyable activities. If we don’t do this, our minds often compensate with less healthy enjoyable activities, like eating junk food or gossiping just to blow off steam.

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2. Am I spending time with people I can learn from?

We know we want people around who have things in common with us – people who make us laugh, people we can relax and spend time with. But it’s also important to have people in your life who can teach you something – someone who is advanced in some area of life that you are not. Many of the most successful people in the world cite personal mentors as crucial to their success. And while it may not always be fun, certain people can challenge us in ways that catalyze our personal growth.

3. Am I feeling healthy?

With the exception of accidents, health issues are not strictly physical issues – they often accompany an underlying psychological problem, and/or an unhealthy lifestyle pattern. This is especially true for chronic illnesses. While we can’t immediately heal ourselves from disease, we can pay close attention to health issues that are developing in us and try to address them and understand where they came from.

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4. Am I making compromises?

Compromise can be a positive thing – like something you do with a friend when deciding what restaurant to eat at. However, compromise can also be an insidious bad habit that keeps people unsatisfied, while pulling them away from who they really are. If you frequently ignore your intuition, you can easily fall off the right track. For example, feeling like you need to relax, but instead going to do favors for a friend. Or on a broader scale, feeling the urge to pursue a certain career, but being coerced by others into a safer route.

5. Am I doing what I’m good at?

While research shows that practice is the most significant precursor for success, we all have innate skill sets and particular interests that we naturally drift toward. If you are constantly pushing yourself to be better at tasks that don’t come natural to you, or that you don’t enjoy, you can begin to slip off the right track. If you allow yourself to explore things you’re good at (whether in a career or otherwise), you’ll be happier and you’ll be more equipped to help others.

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6. Am I procrastinating my life away?

This is perhaps the easiest and least noticeable way to go off the right track, which makes it especially dangerous. It’s very easy to let ourselves believe in the “one day” lie: one day I’ll start exercising; one day I’ll spend more time with my family; one day I’ll start my own business. But if you don’t mean today, these things will probably never happen. Instead, you can begin taking small actions each day to bring about the changes you want. As long as you accomplish a small task, you’ll be moving toward a goal.

7. Am I following my heart or my ego?

It is often very difficult for us to tell whether we are doing, saying, and believing things because they are true, or because our egos tell us they’re true. Our egos can mislead us in countless ways. For example, you can think you’re beginning a new relationship because it makes you happy, when in reality, it’s because you feel the need to compete with an ex. If you have a hard time distinguishing between following your heart and following your ego, consider this: Your heart will lead you to genuine contentment and simple satisfaction, while your ego will chase fleeting happiness that depends on external factors.

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Featured photo credit: flickr/ kris krug via farm2.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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