Yesterday afternoon I met a friend at a local coffee shop. She brought her laptop along so she could show me some of her latest digital art designs. As we chatted and scrolled through her artwork, the laptop suddenly started making an unhealthy buzzing noise, then the screen flickered on and off and then cut off completely. And as we both stared at one another in disbelief, the funky aroma of fried computer circuits filled our nostrils.
I quickly grabbed the laptop off the counter to inspect it and the problem instantly revealed itself. The bottom of the laptop was soaking wet and an empty, spilt water cup rested against the side of her purse just behind where the laptop was sitting. In the midst of us chatting and shifting the laptop’s 15-inch screen back and forth, we somehow spilt a cup of water the barista had inadvertently placed on the counter behind the screen, which was out of our view.
When life throws us nasty curveballs like this, it typically doesn’t make any sense to us, and our natural emotional reaction might be to get extremely upset and scream obscenities at the top of our lungs. But how does this help our dilemma? Obviously, it doesn’t.
My friend threw her hands up in the air and, to my surprise, cracked a half smile and said, “That’s exactly why I backed up my files this morning, and why I have insurance on my laptop!”
I was truly impressed by her sentiment. Many people I know have had meltdowns over much smaller inconveniences. And yet, this unfortunate situation didn’t steal her happiness in the least.
So let’s all take this as a lesson learned. It’s time for us to let go of the needless stress weighing us down.
This is a new hour of our lives – a new beginning – and life will continue to surprise us with changes, one way or the other. So we mine as well make positive transitions going forward. Don’t you agree?
Aren’t you tired of dealing with the same type of headaches and heartaches over and over and over again?
Seriously, focus on purging some negative habits as you begin anew. Focus on learning from your mistakes rather than be conquered by them, and letting your errors be of commission rather than omission.
Remember, you ultimately become what you repeatedly do. If your daily habits aren’t helping you, they’re hurting you. Here are seven common examples of the latter that have stolen happiness from thousands of our coaching/course students and readers over the years (and I’m betting you can relate):
1. Letting every little problem get the best of you.
Inner peace begins the moment you take a deep breath and choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
In other words, the greater part of your happiness or misery in the long run depends on your attitude, not your circumstances. If you’re stressed out by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your interpretation of it; and this is something you have the power to change at any moment.
Just take that deep breath, adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress is gone.
2. Expecting the day to be easy and everything to go as planned.
Easy days don’t exist when you’re doing amazing things. Good goals require hard work. Your days may be enjoyable, but there will always be unexpected obstacles. Expecting otherwise just leads to unnecessary headaches and heartache.
Decades from now when you’re resting on your deathbed, you will not remember the days that were easy, you will cherish the moments when you rose above your difficulties and conquered goals of magnitude. You will dream of the strength you found within yourself that allowed you to achieve what once seemed impossible.
So don’t do what’s easy, do what you’re capable of today. Astound yourself with your own greatness.
3. Wanting your efforts to be absolutely perfect.
Every one of us is a perfectionist about something. Learn to sense when your desire to make something perfect is preventing you from getting it done well. Realize that the idea of perfection is not only unachievable, it can destroy your otherwise productive mindset. It will keep you running in place, feeling insane for your entire life.
If you feel like you’re running in place right now, take a break and reflect. Think about the difference between diligent effort and perfectionism. Know when enough is enough!
Say it out loud if you must: “Get lost perfectionism! Without you I am brilliant!” (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
4. Lacking presence.
Isn’t it strange how life works? You want something and you work for it and wait for it and work for it and wait for it, and you feel like it’s taking forever to arrive. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.
So, how can you avoid these feelings of loss and confusion?
By being more present every step of the way.
Pursue your goals and dreams while at the same time enjoying the journey of getting there. Embrace the step you’re taking, even when you feel like you’ve lost your footing. Sometimes the road gets bumpy. Every step doesn’t have to be comfortable or perfectly placed.
By letting go of what “should” happen or what “could” happen every step of the way, you free up your life to various little surprises and joys. You may not lead the exact life you want, but you will lead a meaningful, miraculous existence, guaranteed. Life is sometimes difficult, but it’s not a chore. Make it an adventure. Make it fun. Make the choice to feel good about yourself, about your world, about your possibilities and the step you’re taking right now.
Do so and you’ll smile all the way to the finish line, and beyond.