There are worse things than being alone. But it often takes decades to realize this. And most often when you do, it’s too late. And there’s nothing worse than too late.
– Charles Bukowski
Yes, there are worse things than being alone.
In fact, your single years can be some of the most productive and liberating times of your life. But the way some people reluctantly wear their single status, you’d swear it was something to be escaped and avoided at all costs. You’ll no doubt know friends who obsessively crawl bars and clubs looking for someone – anyone – who can provide the security and comfort of a familiar relationship. And then everything will be all right. Right?!Advertising
It’s a shame that so many people view relationships as the best part of life. Being single allows you to experience so much that is often simply not possible when subjected to the financial and emotional pressures of supporting and maintaining a relationship. Far from being a temporary state that merely fills the inconvenient bit in between relationships, this time should be used to grow and evolve beyond the realms of those consumed and caged by societal expectations.
Being single can be the most magical, wonderful time of your life. Here’s why.
1. It’s about finding out who you really are.
There are physical characteristics that we all know about ourselves; height, approximate weight and sex being the obvious ones. But being single affords you a unique opportunity: you get to really find out who you are. The good, the bad, the indifferent, are all laid bare. Your strengths, weaknesses and insecurities exposed. Embrace the solitude and vow to learn and uncover everything about yourself. Resolve to tackle your demons rather than bottling them up. So many potentially great relationships are ruined because we carry much unresolved baggage from one relationship to the next. Being single is about finding out who and why you are what you are. And then working to iron out the creases.Advertising
2. It’s about exploring what you want to do with your life.
Being single used to mean nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.
– Sarah Jessica Parker
How many people do you know that had dreams and ambitions, yet fell into an unhappy relationship? Maybe felt obligated to assume new responsibilities they never wanted or expected? There’s something deeply tragic about this. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is nobility in living for others and putting their needs before yours. And there are times when this is absolutely necessary and the right thing to do. But wouldn’t you want your children to blaze their own trail and find and live their dream? So what’s your excuse? Use this time to pursue your passions, whether they come with monetary rewards or not. Immerse yourself in the process. And to hell with the consequences. Because you will never be happy unless you find and love what you do.
3.It’s about gaining confidence.
Being single allows you to develop skills and talents you may have forgotten about or didn’t even know you had. It allows you to learn how to do things independently and cope with change. Being single and creating the life you desire is a journey. And the reward for a journey of self-discovery is a new-found confidence and sense of contentment. Your choices, options and freedoms are limitless. Having the confidence to really seize these opportunities means you’ll get to live and enjoy the life you want.Advertising
4. It’s about knowledge.
A journey of self-discovery requires that you explore different cultures, beliefs and ways of life. It is about acquiring knowledge and gaining wisdom. When you are accountable only to yourself, you have a unique opportunity to go wherever your heart takes you. A hunger to learn and a curious spirit will serve you well. Read that great book you’ve never gotten round to. Revisit the classics and broaden your horizons with new genres of literature. Travel far and wide and soak up new experiences. Absorb the smells, sights, sounds, and exotic cuisines of foreign lands. If you commit to squeezing every last drop from your life, being single moment will prove to be utterly exhilarating.
5. It’s about regaining your health.
Not only is an unhappy relationship the cause of many mental health issues; it is often to blame for an expanding waistline. Whether it be comfort eating your way to an all too fleeting sugar high, or devouring one too many convenience meals in front of the TV, a familiar, safe and comfortable relationship rarely stirs the physical beast within. Yet your physical and emotional well-being are intrinsically linked. Use this time to nourish your body with quality, whole foods and benefit from the feel-good endorphins that exercise provides. You’ll gain the self-confidence, satisfaction and a sense of achievement that only a strong and healthy human body knows. And you get the satisfaction of politely declining admiring suitors captivated by your recent physical and mental transformation.
6. It’s about making your own rules.
When you’re in a relationship, you tend to put someone else’s needs before yours. You no longer always come first. But being single means you can be selfish, for all the right reasons. Have an urge to travel? Take flight. Want breakfast in bed, a long leisurely morning walk, followed by an afternoon swim and dinner at midnight? Do that. There is no one guaranteed way to live a great life. But by being single, you get to immerse yourself in the vital process of actually doing things – of living – and making up the rules as you go along. There are no limitations. Nothing holding you back, apart from your own fears. Isn’t it about time you addressed them?
7. It’s about loving yourself.
People always say that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Well, maybe not. You can certainly love someone even if you’re going through the darkest of times. But you simply cannot give the pure unadulterated love you’re capable of if you’re shackled by low self-esteem and regret. Finding the true you and evolving into what you were meant to become means that those who enter your life will be enriched by the experience. You will be present – making the most of every moment. Unmasked. Those who are able to love themselves, seem to effortlessly create happy and fulfilling lives.Advertising
Would these lives be better and more enriched if shared with a partner? That depends. Sometimes, yes – but often not. If you’re not yet feeling content with your life choices, and don’t know where you’re heading, maybe it’s time to put the search for your perfect soul-mate on hold for a little longer…
You’ve got some living to do first.
Last Updated on May 28, 2020
10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life
Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?
You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.
Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.
You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.
Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.
1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams
If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.
Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.
When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.
Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.
So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.
Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.
2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.
Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:
- Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey
- Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment
- Answer a few Superpower Questions
Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.
3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required
Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.
The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?
You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.
Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.
Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.
4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love
The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.
Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.
To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.
This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.
5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo
Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.
Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:
- Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
- Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
- Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.
The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.
Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.
6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling
I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.
To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.
Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.
A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.
Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?
Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.
7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic
Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.
Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.
What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.
Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.
8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future
Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.
Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.
What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?
These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.
9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas
Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.
This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!
Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,
“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”
10. Count Your Rockstar Moments
Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.
You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!
Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.
By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.
If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.
This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.
Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.
More About Success in Life
- 20 Definitions Of Success You Should Never Ignore
- How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide)
- How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People
Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com
|||^||Huffington Post: Why Finding Time Each Day For Creativity Makes You Happier|
|||^||Fast Company: These 4 Hobbies Can Actually Improve Job Performance|
|||^||VIA: The VIA Character Strengths Survey|
|||^||Fast Company: This Is How Many Minutes Of Breaks You Need Each Day|
|||^||Stanford News: Stanford study finds walking improves creativity|