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7 Things You’ll Regret Taking The Shortcuts In Life

7 Things You’ll Regret Taking The Shortcuts In Life

If you’ve ever seen the film The Social Network (the one about the creation of Facebook), you’d be correct in assuming that Mark Zuckerberg’s big idea became an overnight success.  However, in reality this wasn’t the case at all; as Zuckerberg put it during a speech to a group of 8th graders, “it couldn’t be further from the truth.” He also pointed out that it takes years and years of hard work and practice, and that a lot of building a company or product like Facebook is just about determination and believing that you can do it. “There’s no shortcuts.”

If you want to do something worthwhile, whether it is a relationship, a business or life in general, it is so important to see it through and never give up, no matter what obstacles come up. Of course you can look at ways to make it more efficient and create avenues to get you to where you want to be. However, you’ll find that most success stories that appear to have taken off overnight will have taken years of dedication and commitment to get it to that point.  It’s the blood, sweat and tears that make anything of any real importance worth it in the end.

In any area of your life, it’s so important not to sell yourself short, so I’ve put together a few pointers on what shortcuts you’ll want to avoid taking.

Settling for an arranged life.

Who wants a boring, mediocre life?  This is what happens if you settle for just about anything, like your job, your relationship and your life.  We’re all here for a pretty short period of time, so why waste it doing things just because that’s how it is.

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I’m guessing you don’t want to look back at your life and wish you’d done it differently; hopefully you’ll want to glance back in wonder and amazement over what you have achieved.  You’ll realize that the best things in life, the worthwhile things, took guts, determination and hard work.

It’s not about fixing something; it could be about creating something new and starting fresh.  Sadly life can become a bit of a habit, doing the same old thing, day after day and until one day it dawns on you that you’re not really living at all–you’re existing.  As the great man Anthony Robbins once said “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” So grab life NOW and don’t settle.

Are you a Tiger or a Sheep?

At school, you’re taught a certain way in life, to go to college, university, get a job, get married, have kids and live happily ever after.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but try looking at it differently.  Why do what everyone else is doing? Why do what’s expected of you just because there’s some unwritten manual in life that everyone else seems to be following?

Each of us was born unique.  We were all created to be who we were and that’s being YOU.  There’s no one else like you on this planet, so why are you trying to be like everyone else?  Find the courage to be yourself and follow your heart. Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. Go out and do it, and you’ll inspire others to do the same.  And remember, “a tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep”–so what are you, a tiger or a sheep?

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Taking the “easy route.”

Life can be a struggle, but if you are settling because you are afraid of what it might throw at you, then don’t! It’ll throw stuff at you anyway!  If you give up on yourself and your dreams, you are giving up on life, and what a waste that would be.  It’s so easy to take the “easy route,” except aren’t you worth more than that? Don’t you think you’ve got something more powerful inside of you, more capable at beating all the odds if it came to it?

Each struggle is a chance to learn and provide you with a great new experience. If you want an awesome life, adversity will be around every corner, but that’s what makes it so wonderful.  Remember sometimes you’ll have to take a step backwards to take 100 steps forward; it’s that journey that makes it all the more worthwhile. Never give up on yourself.

Forgiving people instead of ignoring their existence.

Forgiveness isn’t about letting the other person “off the hook.” It’s more about ending the suffering for yourself. Forgiveness provides you with peace of mind, a way to move forward and provide yourself the gift of freedom. Without it, happiness can be limited. When you forgive someone else, you are giving yourself permission to forgive yourself, which makes healing your own life that much easier to do.

People come and go in our lives. They each teach us something about ourselves.  Whether someone hurt, betrayed or loved us, each provide a valuable lesson to learn from.

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Putting things off until tomorrow.

This is something most of us can relate to and let’s be honest, when we say, “I’ll do it tomorrow” we usually mean, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t want to do that” and it rarely ever happens. But if you want to make an immediate impact on your life, this is where you need to pull your socks up and take some action.  Choose one thing that you’ve been putting off for months and do it today. Roll those sleeves up and really dive in. You will feel wonderful once you’ve started, and imagine how you’ll feel once it’s completed!

“Actions speak louder than words” which is absolutely true here, if you put things off they’ll only come back to bite you later on, so why not just get it done today.  It’s a choice you have to make, the choice to live by your word, and you’ll be amazed at how those around you will follow suite. If you start each day being intentional, you’ll become a lot more productive and heaps happier!

Leaving everything to chance.

When you get up every morning, what do you dedicate your life to that makes a difference to the world?  If you’ve no idea what that is, then you need to work out what it is you want.  Once you work out your true feelings and desires, and take action in line with that, you’ll end up getting more from life than you ever expected. Opportunities and possibilities will start flowing your way, as long as you’ve known what it is you want.

You’ve got to have some kind of plan for your life or a purpose. Then you’ll know that what you do every day is aimed towards that.   Don’t just wait for life to happen to you; make it count, because once it’s gone it’s gone, and you’ll want to leave some kind of legacy for the world to aspire to.  Make sure every moment counts!

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Keeping quiet instead of speaking up.

If you’ve ever experience unrequited love, you’ll understand why sometimes the fear of rejection will stop you from saying those three important words.  In life, there are no guarantees, and if the fear of saying “I love you” outweighs the fear of not saying it, then you could be in for one of the biggest regrets of your life.

You know people will come and go from your life, some quickly taken from you and some because you realized they were worth your time.   Try not to take important people for granted; you’ll never know how long you have got them here for. The best gift you can give is your full attention. Be present at all times and always say how you feel.  There is nothing worse than wishing you’d said something when you could, so always remember to speak up.

So what shortcuts have you taken in your life so far and are you willing to give them up?

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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