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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

How to Do What You Love Successfully

How to Do What You Love Successfully

These days, we are becoming more aware of the importance of self-care and pursuing what makes us happy, leading many to create the lives they want. However, we can still see the culturally ingrained image of the individual who is stuck in a life that they don’t want simply because they need to do certain things to survive.

In fact, you may know people who do exactly this or you may lead a life like this yourself. You may feel the pull of rewarding activities that bring a smile to your face while doing the things that provide little spiritual value to your life.

In all of the intricacies of society, we tend to forget one simple truth: life is meant for living. We only have so much time on this planet and we should waste as little time as possible on things that don’t make us happy. But how does one get started in their search for unbridled happiness?

If you feel relatively unsatisfied with your life and want to start doing more of what makes you happy, you will find the tips you need to do what you love and develop the life you dream of in this article.

1. Understand That Life Is All About Balance

The first major misconception that comes with building a positive life is that everything has to be positive. People are very quick to throw out the things that are negative and unenjoyable but learn just as quickly that this is simply not a realistic or sustainable way of living.

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Why? Life is about balance. You can’t just do what you love because it is not possible. You are going to have to tackle things that aren’t fun in order to do what you love, and there are also aspects of that you love but are probably not fun as well. You are going to have to deal with things that are unpleasant while you seek out the positive.

To enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor, you have to do the labor first.

The overall goal is to create a life in which you can do as much of what you love as possible. However, it is important to know that there are still going to be things you have to do that are not so fun and that is absolutely okay.

2. Know That You Can’t Be Positive All the Time

Another misconception is that one can be positive all the time. We see a lot of people promoting this lifestyle that is all happiness. A life void of sadness, darkness, and pain.

The truth? Life can be dark. You are going to deal with things that are painful, trying, and difficult. It is an unavoidable part of living life. You have to open your heart and soul to live a life worth living and this means opening it up for everything that could come its way.

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Rather than trying to escape, you need to build resilience to help you deal with these things and you need to learn to cultivate a positive mindset that helps you see the light in the darkness. You can’t avoid the dark aspects of life but you can embrace them and turn them into a learning experience that contributes to your personal growth.

Building a life you love is an extensive process but one that is extremely rewarding. Here are some ways you can start working towards that higher standard of living.

3. Learn What You Love Personally and Professionally

You can’t build a life you love if you aren’t completely aware of what you love and driven towards that passion. The first aspect of life that you will need to focus on is what you want to do during your leisure time, as this will be the easiest part of your life to change.

Make a list of things that you want to do more of during your free time. Whether that involves spending more time with certain people, engaging in hobbies that make you lose track of time when you are doing them, or focusing on improving different aspects of your life such as your fitness or your financial situation, there are plenty of ways you can better utilize your free time by focusing on doing things you enjoy.[1]

The second area of life that will take longer to build but is just as important is the professional part of your life. More often than not, we end up in career paths because of the money or security that they provide rather than because we love doing them. Does this hold true for you?

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If it does, you are going to have to ask yourself, what do you want to be doing? What is something that people would pay you for that also brings you joy? What is something that you could do for the rest of your life that you wouldn’t tire of? Regardless of what that may be, it is important to keep that in mind as you work towards making the transition from your current employment to your desired career path.

Here’s a guide to help you find what you love in life: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

4. Set Goals That Lead You Towards Your Best Life

Part of being human is wanting to have everything now. We all want to have the lives we want at the snap of our fingers. While there are some things we can incorporate into our lives in the moment, we are going to have to work hard for the other, bigger things.

One invaluable skill that will take you far in life is learning how to properly set goals. If you have things you want in life, you are going to need to track your progress and continually move forward and accomplish things to carry you to your end goal and keep you there.

Although there are a myriad of tools and resources out in the world that will help you build upon this skill and become more productive and efficient in your day-to-day life, the concept of goal-setting is quite simple. All you have to do is develop a clear, specific picture of what you want, learn what you have to do to get there, break your goal down into small, achievable steps, and set a deadline for your goal. Learn more about goal setting here: How to Makes Lasting Changes with Smart Goal Setting

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Of course, goals are only as effective as you are. You will have to make sure that you are following through on what you say you are going to do. Otherwise, creating the life you want can become a longer, more painful process!

5. Live Your Life With Intent

Part of the reason why we end up in lives that we aren’t excited about is not that we are necessarily okay with the lives we are leading but, because we have fallen into certain habits. Once we are accustomed to doing things a certain way, we continue engaging in those activities. The only way to get out of them is to realize that these habits are present in our lives and break free of them.

Living a happy life means living a life with purpose and intent. Every decision that you make should ultimately be what you want and help you work towards the things that you are searching for.[2] This means that you are going to need to create a life that allows you to break these cycles and help you develop healthier habits that are beneficial to you. You can do this by making simple changes such as eliminating distractions and setting up simple reminders and motivators that drive you to change.

Once you’ve developed new habits, you can then become more mindful of the habits you are engaging in, so that you can begin taking on that which only serves your growth and happiness. When you start living your day-to-day in the way you want, you are going to get much more out of what life has to offer.

Bottom Line

Doing what you love means living a life you love and when you think about it, shouldn’t that be everyone’s goal?

Getting started is as simple as realizing what you want, getting rid of what you don’t, and setting yourself up for success, three tips that you can learn more about with the guide above!

More About Living Your Dream Life

Featured photo credit: Štefan Štefančík via unsplash.com

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Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Break Free From Negative Thinking for Good

How to Break Free From Negative Thinking for Good

Negative thinking can make us feel as though we are never truly good enough to change our lives. Whether we believe that we are not good looking enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, or something in between, we are always right.

We often tell ourselves the following:

“I’m not good enough to accomplish this.”

“They won’t like me. I’m too ugly to be around them.”

“I won’t ever be able to get out of this situation.”

How we see ourselves dictates how we lead our lives. This simple truth, while it is currently impacting your reality in a negative way, is actually good news. Why?

You can change your thinking, and when you can change your thoughts, you can change your reality.

Put simply, if you start to believe and feel like you are good-looking, intelligent, wealthy, or other things, you begin to see yourself in that light. If you tell yourself that you are capable of achieving greatness, you will eventually get there!

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That said, many find themselves wondering what to do when they get stuck in negative thinking. Are you tired of letting negative thinking run your life? Do you want to take control of how you feel and put yourself out there?

If you want to start writing your own narrative, let’s learn more about negative thought cycles and how you can change your own internal voice.

Where Do Negative Thoughts Come From?

You aren’t going to wake up one day and find that you are suffering from random negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are often a mix of ideas that we develop on our own, as well as ideas that we may have gotten from others.

For example, if you are constantly watching media where individuals are depicted as having thin bodies and perfect skin (and you do not have the same characteristics as those who are traditionally considered to be beautiful), you may come to the conclusion that you are not beautiful or deserving of love.

This is far from the truth, but your own take on how the world works can play into how you feel about yourself.

Equally harmful, the opinions of others can start to affect our self-perception. If several people tell you something negative about yourself, you may begin to take these opinions to heart, telling yourself the same things over time. This self-belief then becomes the model for how you live.

More often than not, the reality is that individuals who lack confidence and self-esteem are going to develop negative thought patterns.

This does not mean that confident people do not face internal crises of their own. After all, everyone is prone to experiencing a negative thought here and there. However, those who are self-aware and confident are able to bounce back from these thoughts and return to their truth.

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Those who do not think highly of themselves, on the other hand, are going to keep believing the negative thoughts that come into their mind. The issue? These negative thoughts turn into a repetitive cycle that becomes harder to break over time.

When you tell yourself something for months or years at a time, it can be difficult to transform that internal dialogue into something more positive and realistic. But is it possible? Absolutely!

The Importance of Quitting Negative Thinking

Beyond low-self esteem, there may be mental health-related causes behind your negative thought patterns, like depression. One of the major symptoms of depression is, you guessed it, negative thoughts. Depression can make us feel unworthy of love and life, even if we have everything we could wish for[1].

You may be struggling with anxiety disorders instead, which can paint uncertain visions of the future and leave you anticipating the worst long before the moment has arrived. Some people have anxiety about the present or will return to past moments where they felt as though they failed, which affects their feelings about who they are or who they will be[2].

Having mental health issues can make your situation more complex, but it is important to know that these types of health issues are highly treatable, especially with the assistance of a mental health professional. You are deserving of self-love, and getting help is the first, most important step of your journey!

How to Break the Cycle of Negative Thinking

In order to overcome your negative thought process, you are going to need two things: self-awareness and a willingness to love yourself. Once you are armed with these two tools, take a look below to learn more about how you can break free of the cycle of negative thinking.

1. Become Aware of the Thoughts That Are Affecting You

Negative thoughts are hard to catch because they have a tendency to become a part of who we are. These thoughts build our belief system and go unchallenged, even when they pop up daily.

All change begins with awareness. Whatever it is that you believe about yourself, take the time to pay attention to your own dialogue.

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What are you saying to yourself on a regular basis? How does it make you feel? Is any of it true?

 

When these thoughts are brought to your attention, you begin to notice just how often you are saying these things to yourself. Once you’ve cultivated awareness around these thoughts, you can begin to develop the change that you want.

2. Learn to Accept Them as They Come (and Move on)

A lot of people believe that you have to completely remove negative thinking patterns from your life in order to be happy. Not only is this not possible, but it’s also not true. You are going to experience negative thoughts regardless. It’s what you decide to do with these thoughts that matters.

Next time a negative thought comes into your mind, treat it like a passing car. Acknowledge it and let it pass you by. Don’t try to wave the driver over to you or continue thinking about once it has passed. Just let it go.

Giving power to your thoughts allows them to have control over you. You can’t stop a negative thought from entering your mind, but you always have the power to let it go!

3. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Our own beliefs play on a loop, telling us certain things over and over again. While it’s important to let go, it is also important to get to the root of these issues and figure out where they are coming from.

Let’s imagine that you are telling yourself you are stupid throughout the day. If you notice this pattern, ask yourself: Does this have any basis in reality? Am I really stupid or am I telling myself this unnecessarily? Is there any evidence to support this[3]?

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Challenge negative thinking by asking questions.

    Challenging your negative thoughts will help you realize that they are highly-exaggerated and untrue. This gives you the opportunity to transform these negative thoughts into positive ones that resonate with you.

    4. Replace These Thoughts with Kinder, More Realistic Alternatives

    Anything that is broken must be replaced. The broken record playing on a loop within you can easily be changed to a tune that you can actually sing to.

    Whenever a negative thought comes up, take the time to stop yourself and think of something positive to put in its place. If you find yourself saying, “I can’t do this,” try telling yourself that you are more than capable instead.

    Keep in mind, however, that you need to tell yourself things that you truly believe. If you start telling yourself things that don’t resonate with you and encounter a situation that proves your belief wrong, you may do more harm than good!

    Bottom Line

    Changing the way you think is a rigorous but rewarding process that will change your outlook on life. If you find yourself struggling with negative thinking, learn more about where they come from and how you can stop them for good with the guide above!

    More on How to Stop Negative Thinking

    Featured photo credit: Max Ilienerwise via unsplash.com

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