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Last Updated on May 7, 2020

How To Live a Good Life By Making These 8 Choices

How To Live a Good Life By Making These 8 Choices

Life can be a beautiful journey, a crazy ride, and a big adventure.

But it can also be a living nightmare, a constant struggle, and a hard teacher.

It’s all up to you.

In each moment, you choose which side of it to embrace, and that affects your mind, body and soul, your present and your future, the person you become, as well as other people in your life. Here are some of the choices you need to make in order to see this world for the wonderful place it is, full of opportunities, kindness, and love.

1. Let Go of the Past

You won’t be able to continue your life and enjoy your days if you’re stuck in past memories and constantly reliving what happened a long time ago.

Free yourself from the burden of the past by letting go. We often hold on the death’s of loved ones, mistakes made in relationships, things we said when we were angry, or decisions we made that led us in the wrong direction.

However, each of those things can offer a lesson for how to move foward. Now that you know what not to do, let the lessons lead you toward something better.

Meditation is a great way to overcome harmful reliving of the past. Try sneaking in a few minutes of meditation each day to stop the reminiscing in its tracks.

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2. Don’t Take Things Too Personally

We tend to overthink every little detail of our days. We think life is unfair when something bad happens. We keep asking ”why” when someone leaves us. We fail and give up.

But most of these things shouldn’t be taken personally. People leave, they argue or are mean because they have their own problems, they are misunderstood, or they just don’t need you anymore. It’s not your fault.

You make mistakes and fail, yes. And the beauty of it is that you get to try again, more experienced and confident this time. That’s how leaders are created. No one succeeds from scratch.

You may meet bad people, end up in awkward situations, have things taken from you, or lose something important to you. Learn to look at challenges with a sense of humor and a lightness of heart that will allow you to overcome them and move on more quickly.

3. Choose Less Over More

In today’s world, it’s easy to overdo it, to buy too much, eat too much, spend too much on that new phone they just released, or work too much.

Get rid of some of the things cluttering your house, speak less so that you can listen more, eat less or healthier, and dress more simply.

Eliminate the people in your life that only burden you with negativity, because you don’t need them. Shorten your to-do list by focusing on the essential things you have to do and ditch everything else that only keeps you busy.

By cutting back on areas where you feel you can, you can create space for your hobbies, passions, and the important people in your life[1]. Ultimately, you’ll find that you don’t miss most of that extra stuff.

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4. Appreciate What You Have

Grateful people live great lives[2].

They are thankful each day for what they have and are so much happier because they focus on the people they love, the opportunities that are everywhere around them, the things they enjoy doing, the time they have, the place they live in, and the friends that surround them.

Being grateful doesn’t mean being happy all the time. It simply means that you can recognize that things will get better during hard times and that you will come out on the other side. It means you can see the good when other’s can’t and that your positive outlook permeates most of life’s challenges.

If you’re not great at gratitude, don’t worry! There are simple ways to get started. The easiest is to start a gratitude journal. Start by writing just three things each day that you were grateful for. These could include people you talked to, a positive experience you had, or a gift you received.

5. Stop Worrying About the Future

By constantly thinking about what might happen, you miss out on the present moment, which is where life is happening.

We worry about tomorrow, fearing something bad might happen. We try to predict it, we prepare for everything, and we try to plan our days. However, most things in life just happen, and the only thing we can do is enjoy it to the fullest and make the best of it.

Life is full of surprises, and that’s a good thing. By expecting the worst to happen, you complicate life and make it hard. So let go of all those worries and the need to control and predict everything.

The so-called Type “A’s” out there[3] will find this more difficult. If you fall into this category, you’re likely a control freak or a perfectionist who doesn’t handle change or surprises well. Stopping those worrying thoughts may be a challenge, but they can be done.

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Work first on some relaxation techniques, including practicing your favorite sport, yoga, or meditation. These will get your mind pulled back into the present, and after some practice, it will become second nature.

6. Realize That You Are Enough

You don’t really need anyone to make you feel good and to start living, so stop waiting for them. That’s just another excuse that keeps you from dealing with things.

There may be a void inside you, but another person won’t fill it. You need to fix your relationship with yourself first — to start loving, appreciating and accepting yourself for the person you are.

Many people let their lack of a romantic relationship stop them from doing things, from going out with friends to taking that big vacation they’ve been planning. Ultimately, many of these things can be done alone once you build up your self-esteem and courage and accept that being alone and being you is a great gift.

7. Watch for New Opportunities

You can truly live a life full of excitement if you choose to live outside your comfort zone[4] every once in a while.

Take risks, try new things, do what scares you and challenge yourself as much as you can. That’s how you grow and improve, and that’s how you feel free and full of life.

To get started, try saying yes to one new thing each week. If your friend invites you to go try out that new restaurant downtown, say yes. If you’re sister wants to go to a karaoke bar, get up there and sing. If you see a sign for a free dance class, go ahead and give it a go. What do you have to lose?

8. Choose Kindness

Be kind to everyone you meet. No matter how they treat you, you can always be polite, smile, and offer help.

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It’s true that we often contribute someone’s bad mood to a flaw in their personality, but most of the time they are simply having a bad day. Maybe they just had their heart broken, lost a loved one, got fired, or just got a bad medical diagnosis. What they need more than anything is a kind word or a smile, and you can easily give it to them.

Once you start offering kindness, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it is returned to you. Not only will you improve someone else’s day, but you’ll find that you feel better in return.

Make it a goal to say one kind thing to someone each day. This could include sending a nice text to your mom, complimenting a friend’s outfit, or telling a joke to the cashier to make him laugh. Whatever it is, just keep it kind.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to live a good life can be difficult when the world is so full of complications and negative news. However, by starting with these 8 choices, you can turn your perspective around and start living each day in a more positive way.

Get started and make the best of what life has given you.

More Tips on How to Live a Good Life

Featured photo credit: Warren Wong via unsplash.com

Reference

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Lidiya K

Lidiya is the founder of Let's Reach Success, a blog on personal, spiritual and business growth.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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