Your purpose is to develop so robust on the within that nothing on the skin can have an effect on your interior peace of thoughts with out your acutely aware permission.
The ultimate measure of your knowledge and strength? How calm you are while confronting any particular issue. Yes, serenity is a human superpower. The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your thoughts pure and your emotions at peace, which immediately gives you an upper hand regardless of your circumstances.
Thus, the hardest and most intricate hurdle you will ever have to conquer is your own thinking. If you can overcome that, you can overcome practically anything. And by “overcoming,” I’m referring to the skill of mindfulness, and learning to successfully regulate your emotional reactions to life’s unexpected challenges. Because much of your greatest anguish and anger on a daily basis will come from the way you react, not the way reality is.
Of course, being calm and thoughtful is easier said than done, particularly when we’re under pressure in this day and age. High stress, persistent concern about job and life, and other types of social anxiety are all a part of the contemporary way of being. Most of us simply don’t experience any feeling of serenity or tranquilly during the day, and are thus exhausted of energy and effectiveness in practically everything we do. I have to confess that Marc and I used to be precisely this way.
The good news is, we have since learnt to concentrate our brains more resourcefully, and so can YOU. Our greatest breakthrough occurred about a decade ago when we began utilising five-second daily reminders to keep ourselves thinking better and living better. The reminders merely reiterate the essential everyday acts and routines we know we need to participate in to stay calm and in control from the inside out. Although Marc and I have shared many of these five-second reminders with readers in the past, the reminders are strewn among different blog posts, subscription emails, and chapters of our three books. So, today I’m placing 31 of my personal favourites in one accessible spot for you to ponder on.
Challenge yourself to choose the one new reminder every morning for the next month (about 31 days), write it down somewhere you can readily see it (maybe put it on a post-it note), and then deliberately repeat it (at least three times) as required during the day. See how doing so inspires you to react to life with a calmer and more successful perspective.
- Calmness starts the instant you take a deep breath and choose not to let another person or incident to rule your thoughts. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become in this instant. Let go, and begin afresh.
- Happiness is letting go of what you imagine your life is meant to be like right now, and really enjoying it for what it is. So, RELAX. You are enough. You have plenty. You do enough. Inhale, exhale… let go, and simply live right now in the now.
- Be here. Just right here. No matter what, you can always fight the battles of only today. It’s only when you add the unending fights of yesterday and tomorrow that life becomes unnecessarily difficult.
- Calmness does not imply to be in a location where there is no turmoil, conflict, or unpleasant truths to cope with. Calmness is to be in the middle of all those things and yet be intellectually, emotionally, and physically balanced.
- Be selective with your energy. If you can remedy a problem, fix it. If you can’t, then accept it and adjust your thinking about it. Whatever you do, don’t spend more energy than you need, stumbling over something behind you… or something that just exists within your brain.
- When you are immersed in anxiety, it is easy to mistake your fears for reality, instead of understanding that they are simply thoughts.
- Remember, you alone get to select what matters and what doesn’t. The significance of everything in your life has exactly the meaning you give it.
- Most of the time the issue is not the problem—the problem is the huge amount of over-thinking and over-analyzing you’re doing with the problem. Pause, and breathe, again.
- Life humbles us progressively as we mature. We realise how much rubbish we’ve spent time on. So, just try your best right now to enjoy the calm that emerges from your determination to rise above the petty drama that doesn’t really matter.
- What you concentrate on expands. Stop controlling your time. Start controlling your concentration.
- Positivity is a decision. The happiness of your life relies on the quality of your thinking. And remember, being positive doesn’t mean avoiding the bad, it means fighting the negative. There’s a tremendous difference between the two.
- Life is too short to dispute and fight. Count your blessings, respect the people you love, and move on from the drama with your head held high. Calmness amid turmoil is a human strength. Give yourself that authority. Focus carefully on what genuinely matters.
- If you don’t like someone’s conduct, stay away, but don’t injure them. Don’t be harsh and insulting. That’s an indication of vulnerability. In reality, the true test always comes when you don’t receive what you anticipate from others. Will you respond in anger? Or will tranquillity continue to be your superpower? (NOTE: Marc and I construct mindful communication routines with our students in the “Love & Relationships” module of the Getting Back to Happy Course.)
- Individuals are considerably friendlier when they’re at peace with themselves, which says a lot about people who aren’t particularly pleasant to you. Wish them well, and be on your way.
- Don’t reduce your standards, but do remember that reducing your expectations of people is the greatest way to prevent being disappointed by them. You will end up horribly disappointed if you assume others would always do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.
- You won’t always be a priority to others, and that’s why you need to be a priority to yourself. Learn to appreciate yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system. Your needs matter. Start meeting them. Don’t wait on others to pick you. Choose yourself, now! START making your happiness a priority. START making your happiness a priority.
- Give yourself the room to listen to your own voice—your own spirit. Too many people listen to the noise of the world and become lost in the throng.
- Just breathe, be, and pay attention to what it’s like to be YOU. Nothing to repair. Nothing to alter. Nowhere else to go. Just you, breathing, being, with presence, without judgement. You are welcome here. You belong here. Here, you are enough. Close your eyes. Breathe…
- Tell yourself, “I am ENOUGH!” whenever you begin to feel like you aren’t. What we do in life eventually comes out of who we feel we are.
- Don’t compare your development with that of others. We all need our own time to traverse our own distance. Just concentrate on the step you are now taking.
- It’s OK to be low-key about the move you’re taking today. You don’t need to share everything on social media. Silently advance and let your deeds speak for themselves.
- A decade from now it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what kind of clothing you wore. What will count is how you lived, how you loved, and what you learnt along the way.
- Sometimes we get so wrapped up in striving to achieve something great, that we neglect to recognise all the tiny things that give life its charm. Keep your eyes open for favours in disguise. They are everywhere. And they are worth collecting into your consciousness.
- Take life day by day and be thankful for the small things. Don’t get caught up in something you can’t control. Accept it and make the most of it. When you stop worrying about what you can’t control, you have more time to alter the things you can manage. And it alters everything in the long term.
- It’s not too late. You aren’t behind. You’re precisely where you need to be. Every step and experience is crucial.
- Think of all the hundreds and hundreds of tiny steps and stumbles and chances and coincidences that have gotten you here. In a sense it seems like the greatest miracle in the world, doesn’t it? Keep this in mind, and dwell on the reality that you are a work in progress, and every great achievement involves some form of battle to get there.
- Forgive yourself for the wrong mistakes you made, for the times you lacked insight, for the choices that wounded others and yourself. Forgive yourself, for being young and irresponsible. These are all crucial lessons. And what counts most right now is your commitment to develop from them.
- Life changes every every second, and so can you. Every instant provides us a fresh starting and a new ending. You truly have a second opportunity every second.
- Nothing is permanent. When you realise this, you can do practically whatever you desire since you’re not trying to hang onto anything anymore. Let it soak in. It’s all about embracing what is, letting go of what was, and having trust in your path. (NOTE: Marc and I take our readers through this process in the Letting Go chapter of “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently“.)
- It’s interesting how we outgrow what we once believed we couldn’t live without, and then we fall in love with something we didn’t even know we wanted. Life continues taking us on trips we would never take on if it were up to us. Don’t be frightened. Have faith. Find the lessons. Trust the trip.
- Head up, heart open. To more pleasant and productive times forthcoming!