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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

20 Timeless Tips to Make the Most Out of Life

20 Timeless Tips to Make the Most Out of Life

The first step to making the most out of life is deciding what you hope to accomplish. What is it you desire? There is no right or wrong answer. Maybe you aspire to do satisfying work that will allow you to add value to the world. Maybe you’re looking for a fulfilling relationship that brings you joy. Maybe you want to become fit and healthy so you can be a positive example that your children can look up to. Maybe you’re ready to eliminate the personal stress that is limiting your potential. The following timeless tips will help you accomplish all of these things. Are you ready to make the most of your life? Let’s do it.

1. Creativity trumps book-smarts every time.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

The greatest minds are not filled with facts, but creativity. The ease-of-access in the information age has eliminated any need for people who fill their brains with facts that could be discovered VIA a simple internet search. Those who innovate will rise above those who regurgitate.

2. The rules are meant to be broken.

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

Why should you follow a list of rules without questioning their validity? You shouldn’t. Policies and procedures do have their place in large organizations where quality control and compliance must be considered, but you should make a habit of questioning everything. Rules are meant to be broken. How else do you think progress happens?

3. You are “inferior” to no other person.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

That person you feel inferior to? Get it out of your head. They are not luckier than you. Their brain is not more powerful than yours. They were not blessed with a skill set that you couldn’t develop. Do you really think successful people got where they are today by sheer luck? Do you think they achieved their ambitious goals overnight without setbacks along the way? Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team because he “wasn’t good enough.” The Beatles were rejected from a studio label because they had “no future in show business.” Charlie Chaplin was rejected by Hollywood studios because he was “too nonsensical to ever sell.” J.K. Rowling, the author of the world-famous Harry Potter series, encountered rejection after rejection for a full year before a publisher finally agreed to accept her work. The difference between winners and losers is simple. Winners keep moving forward no matter what trials they face while losers give up at the drop of a hat. You don’t lose until you quit, so don’t quit.

4. Slow down and bask in the pleasure of living.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Why are you in such a hurry all the time? The world will not end if you have to stand in line at the grocery store. Driving like a maniac to save two minutes does not make any sense. Tugging your dog on its leash and fussing at it to “hurry up!” is inconsiderate since it spends so much of its day indoors. Exercise your patience muscles by choosing to stand in the longest line at the grocery store, leaving your house ten minutes early so you can drive to work at a leisurely pace, and allowing your dog to explore the outside world to its heart’s content. Taking your time will give you a much-needed break from the constant hustle of the daily grind. Breathe deeply, quiet your inner-chatter, and take a moment to simply be.

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5. Upset by wrongdoing? Do something about it.

“Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.” – The Boondock Saints

Complaining about the world’s ills on Facebook and Twitter does nothing to bring about positive change. If you are truly upset by what you see as evil or wrong, do something about it. Join a movement or protest that you are passionate about. Write blogs or create videos that will mobilize people to your cause. Call your congressman and tell him how you feel about upcoming votes. If you’re not willing to take a stand, you have no right to complain.

6. Regret nothing (and do all the things).

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” – Lucille Ball

Talking to a stranger you’re physically attracted to isn’t an easy thing to do. Writing a book or blog about that idea you can’t get out of your head requires hard work and dedication. Quitting your job to start a business you’re passionate about does carry a risk. Neglecting to do these things carries the temporary benefit of comfort, but failing to act on your impulses could result in permanent regret.

7. Less thinking, more doing.

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

You should educate yourself and consider your options before you make any decision, but don’t become stuck in an eternal state of limbo. The more you agonize over a decision, the more paralyzed you will become. Gather the most relevant information you need to proceed and get to work.

8. You are not alone.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan

I have no doubt that you are a brilliant individual who is capable of accomplishing plenty, but your odds for success will be much greater if you harness the power of teamwork. No one has all of the answers and anyone who thinks otherwise is cocky at best and delusional at worst. Seek a mentor who can provide you with guidance and direction. Make a friend on a level playing field so you can bounce ideas back and forth. Offer your support to a newcomer who you can be a mentor to, growing confidence in your abilities. It is easy to stagnate when you are alone, so surround yourself with people who will help you develop.

9. View yourself from the eyes of another.

“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Any time there is tension between you and another person, take a moment to look at the issue from their perspective. This simple action will offer a fresh perspective that will help you avoid pointless arguments over nothing.

10. Be grateful for what is right in front of you.

“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

When is the last time you expressed gratitude for all of your blessings? It is easy to take things for granted when we don’t pay attention. I’m happy and grateful that every day is another opportunity to improve myself. I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, a family that loves me, friends who care about me, the opportunity to write articles like this, an ability to express myself freely, a healthy body that can carry me throughout the world, and a dog who greets me with bursting enthusiasm every time I walk in the door. The next time you are feeling down, grab a notebook or pull up a Word Document and make a list of the many things that you are grateful for. You might not realize it right this second, but I bet you have a lot to be happy about.

11. Stay true to your authentic self.

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare

Your daily life is not a theatrical performance, so stop treating it like one. You wear all these masks depending on your current surroundings and it has to be so very exhausting. Why do you feel like you have to put on such a charade? You are amazing as you are and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Share your unique thoughts, ideas, quirks, and personality traits with the world without an ounce of shame.

12. No one cares how much “stuff” you have.

“We spend money that we do not have, on things we do not need, to impress people who do not care.” – Will Smith

No one is impressed by your bank account, wardrobe, or elegant choice of home decor. Sure, you might get some “oohs” and “ahhs” the instant you show off your stuff, but do you think these people are so impressed that they think any better of you for it? Live with truth and integrity. Show the world you care through your words, actions, and behaviors. The size of your bank account and the style of your outfit impress no one. You know what is impressive? Your strength of character.

13. Don’t merely expect more from life. Demand more from life.

“You can’t move mountains by whispering at them.” – Pink

While you are complaining about how unfair your situation is, other people are hustling hard in the direction of the better life they desire. Wishing with all of your might will do nothing to improve your life if you’re not willing to back up your words with monumental action.

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14. The things that are most challenging are often the things that prove to be most rewarding.

“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” – Tina Fey

Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. Raising a child is harder than any job you could imagine, but it also comes with an immense amount of satisfaction. Seeing a baby grow up to become a passionate and productive adult is a joyful experience for any mother or father. The same may be said for any ambitious goal that comes with a high cost in the form of time or effort. Instead of getting caught up in the long hours and mental energy it takes to write a book, imagine how amazing you will feel when you have a finished project to share with the world. Instead of concerning yourself with the pouring sweat and rushed breath you experience during a tough training session, imagine about how strong and confident you will feel when you’re the proud owner of a new-and-improved body that turns heads and attracts compliments everywhere it goes. Focus on the end benefit to stay encouraged when the going gets tough.

15. Exercise your power of belief and crush it.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

“I’ll try” is a weak statement that should never escape your lips. Expressing that you will “try” to do something is like accepting failure before you even begin. Believe in yourself with every ounce of your being, because you are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to.

16. March to the beat of your own drum.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

Forget about what other people are doing. Getting caught up in the rule-book used by others neglects a key ingredient in the pursuit of success: you. Just because something worked for another person does not guarantee it will work for you. Be an innovator. Make your own rules that are relevant for your unique knowledge, skills, and abilities.

17. Failure and pain are life’s greatest teachers.

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” – Oprah Winfrey

There is little incentive to improve ourselves when life is nothing but rainbows, cute puppy dogs, candy drops, and sunshine. Have you ever learned much about yourself during the best of times? Struggles aren’t fun when they are happening, but they tend to be followed by bitter pills that we need to swallow.

18. Knowledge is useless without action.

“It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life.” – Julius Caesar

Employers are typically more impressed with experience than education. What good is an impressive GPA if it isn’t accompanied with high level performance? The best way to get better at any activity is to take action and do it. Who do you think will be better at writing: a person who spends ten hours reading about writing or a person who spends ten hours writing? I would be willing to wager my bank account on the second one.

19. The worst of times can bring out the best in people.

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” – Agatha Christie

Have you ever gone through a nasty scuffle with your partner that resulted in such anguish that you broke-up for a whole day or two, but then you realized how empty you felt without this person in your life and reunited immediately? If so, you’re aware of the fact that the worst times have a way of strengthening a relationship in the long-haul. 

20. The world needs the special gift that only you can offer.

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Ian, What a Girl Wants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IhK8hzVfUk

You are a special person unlike anyone else on this planet. Those personal quirks about yourself that you can’t stand? You know what I’m talking about: that booming laugh that you think is obnoxious, those freckles on your face that you find unappealing, or the way you can’t resist doing a little dance in a restaurant booth if your favorite jam plays (that last one describes me but I can’t be the only one)? Your laugh is wonderful and full of feeling, your freckles are gorgeous, and dancing is always a good idea. The world is full of people trying to fit in, so the best way to stand out is to let your true personality shine (quirks and all). There is nothing more beautiful than a person who is totally comfortable with who they are.

I hope these timeless tips help you make the most out of life

Your life is what you make of it, so I challenge you to aim high and expect the best of yourself. Reach for the stars because life is too short to do otherwise.

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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

How irrational fears impact your life

The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

  • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
  • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
  • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
  • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
  • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
  • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

Why bother to fight the fear

Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

  • New hobbies
  • New travels
  • New opportunities
  • More success
  • Financially more secure
  • Happier
  • Healthier
  • Confident

The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

How to fight your irrational fears

In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

Why did this happen?

For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

The tool kit

From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

1. Why I’m awesome

Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

2. Draw out your emotions

Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

3. Acknowledge that you need to change

It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

4. Choose your words carefully.

I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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5. Believe that you have the control power

The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

6. Put up physical reminders

Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

7. Physical supports

Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

8. Don’t go it alone

The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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9. Get physical

One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

A little fear can be good

As someone famous once says:

“It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

And just remember, it’s never ever too late to face your fear and do what you desire most! It’s even possible to start over your life no matter what stage of life you’re at. Here’s the proof:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

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