In my late 20's, I started my journey to genuine happiness by truly waking the f*ck up. I woke up to the fact that I was living the life I thought the world wanted me to - and not the life I wanted to.
It took me time to wake up to what I needed to do for myself but I had reached a point where I was so sick and tired of my unhealthy habits and patterns, I knew something needed to change.
And it started with me.
Before I could trudge along this everlasting journey to happiness, I woke up to a few patterns that were holding me back from it. It didn't happen in one glorious AHA moment. It happened over a series of moments where I chose to cut the bullshit with myself and get deep into the heart of who I was - and more importantly, who I wanted to be.
The start of this journey was one of my major inspirations behind my founding School of Shine. I myself needed a space where I could connect to myself - the real me - and feel open enough to explore, develop and learn about the me I wanted to be - and not the me who others expected me to be.
For living a more full, happy, healthy and satisfying life, here are 7 lessons I learned along my journey that still need to be reinforced everyday. But hey, maybe they'll help you wake the f*ck up a little more too :)
[if !supportLists]1. [endif]Stop talking down to yourself.
If you wouldn’t say it to your frenemy, why are you saying it to yourself? Words are powerful, and if we listened to how you speak to yourself, we bet that you’re your own worst enemy. Get out of the abusive relationship and start appreciating your glorious self!
TO DO: Look at yourself in the mirror and whisper sweet everythings into your own ear. If you can’t think of any, write down what the people who love you would say. You deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion, but first, it starts with you.
[if !supportLists]2. [endif]Stop letting other people control your life.
We give away so many of our choices every day. What should I eat? What should I wear? Who should I sleep with? Thanks to brands and their sneaky messaging, friends’ influences, and even our parents wanting “the best for us,” it’s rare we stop to ask ourselves what it is WE want. Though asking for others’ opinions isn’t a bad thing, you are the only person who can make the best decisions for you, and you should pause to make sure you are living life the way you want, and not just flowing along with others due to lack of self awareness.
TO DO: Commit to a week of making every single decision for yourself. Take note of how often you ask for people’s opinions. Become the ruler of your own life by taking the time to stop and think about what it is YOU want, and what feels right to you. Get to know your gut by shutting up for a bit and just focusing on listening to her.
[if !supportLists]3. [endif]Stop avoiding your issues.
We all got ‘em. The less honest you are with yourself, the longer those issues linger, and the more you miss out on getting to know the real you - and everyone else does too. Acknowledging your issues is one of the most difficult steps in life. Once you do choose to take responsibility, this emotional awareness will allow you to develop into who you want to be, instead of who you’ve been told you were.
TO DO: Sit down and have a serious think. Have you noticed any patterns in your life? What are they and why? Do you get angry quickly? Are you super sad if no one hits on you at the bar? Do you flake on your friends all the time? Gossip too much? If you can’t pinpoint it yourself, talk to a close friend or coach who can offer an objective view, and then make efforts to change up the pattern.
[if !supportLists]4. [endif]Stop putting yourself last.
If you’re like 93.7% of the world, you don’t realize just how important you are. From your time to your energy, to your advice, love, or money, you’ve likely spent much of your life giving to others – and are probs burning yourself out right about now.
It’s crucial to start treating yourself with the same, if not more, generosity and respect that you give to others. You deserve it! The truth is, you can only help others if you help yourself. Pay attention to how much more fulfilled and happy you feel when you allow yourself some priority, some nourishment, and some good ol' self-giving.
TO DO: Read that paragraph out loud to yourself again and again. Seriously. Do it. Take time to prioritize yourself. You deserve it.
[if !supportLists]5. [endif]Stop thinking things will make you happy.
We live in a ‘more’ society, where the more things you have, the more successful you think you are. It’s a never-ending cycle of commercialism – why be happy with the iPhone6 when we know there’s an iPhone6S on the loose?
Well my friends, that S doesn’t stand for Superman, and if you keep on the same path, you will never have enough, or feel good enough. If we all appreciated the fact that we have exactly what we need, instead of struggling for what we think we want, our happiness levels would fly up as fast as big screen TV sales on Black Friday.
Yes, sometimes money can buy things that make you happy - but it's been proven that experiences are more fulfilling and offer more happiness. Less accessories, more adventure. .
TO DO: Do you have food, water, bed, roof, health, friends, family, love? Oh, and are you reading this on a smart phone or a laptop? You have enough. Appreciate every bit of it.
[if !supportLists]6. [endif]Stop comparing yourself to others.
You are different, just like everyone else. You have your own set of fingerprints to make your unique mark on the world. Just because it seems like your entire Facebook feed is getting married and having babies does not mean you need to be doing the same. Don’t get caught up in comparison, because every individual has their own path. Accept that perfection doesn't exist and the sooner you love your own perfect imperfections and remove societal pressure from your thought process, the sooner you will love life so much more.
TO DO: We’re not in high school anymore so say goodbye to the peer pressure. It’s self inflicted and it’s unnecessary. You are exactly where you need to be right now, without bringing anyone else into the picture. Also, read points 1 - 4 again.
[if !supportLists]7. [endif]Stop being available all the time.
We live in an ever spinning soundtrack of pings and dings. Expectations run high regarding response time, and sometimes we even stare at our phones waiting for a response. While that little ping makes us feel important and needed, it’s also exhausting and distracting, pulling away our ability to focus on any one thing.
Being accessible 24/7 has made us slaves to our phones, allowing us to be everywhere and nowhere all at once. The more we choose to stay connected, the more disconnected we actually get.
TO DO: 1. When you’re with friends, keep your phone out of sight and your priorities straight. The person sitting in front of you IS more important than whatever is happening on your Facebook feed. If you don't think so, you shouldn't be spending time with them.
2. Set boundaries for yourself. Choose times to turn your phone off daily. Place it another room and forget about it. Then, do anything that makes you happy, uninterrupted, and don’t feel bad about it.
3. For more inspiration,, read our poem called I'm Not Available All the Time
Listen friend. We know sometimes these things aren't fun to hear, but...we're just keepin' it real with you, and we want you to make the absolute best out of everyday. For the next step to shine, sign up for our newsletter, or if you want more realness, here are more things to quit doing now.