Month: February 2014

Stop Settling

Due to the format I’ve chosen for this site all the titles are in caps. This often can look as if you are being yelled the subject. In most cases that is not my intention. However, this time I would like you to hear the title as a loud voice in your head. A mantra you remember again and again, especially when you’re being treated in a way you do not deserve.

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It seems as though many people feel that overall happiness is make believe or unattainable. If you believe that then of course you aren’t feeling fulfilled.

There are many things in our culture that seem to be taken as truth and no one questions:

  • Everyone is unhappy in their job
  • Relationships are hard
  • Life is all about struggle and is always difficult

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful and whether you believe it or not, they shape our reality. If all you see is struggle and strife, all you experience is struggle and strife.

settling

Not everyone is unhappy in their jobs. Our culture places a lot of emphasis (maybe too much) on work. There’s an unwritten rule that we should live to work, not work to live. Why do we buy into that? It’s not worth it, dreading going into work everyday. Quitting in many cases is not an option so here are some tips on how to better enjoy your job.

Relationships can have rough spots but they shouldn’t always be difficult. It can be scary to examine a relationship but maybe it’s time if you are feeling unhappy.

Life can be full of difficult times but it does not have to always be that way. Loss and grief are terrible things to endure but don’t let them take you over. There are so many parts to you. You are not just your struggles.

If you want to read more on why you shouldn’t settle in life have a read here and here.

Start telling yourself that you deserve happiness and joy and be sure to settle for nothing less.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Equality

Recently in Ireland the equality debate has heated up. Many people are calling it the ‘same sex marriage’ debate, or the ‘gay rights’ debate. I don’t want to call it that. At the heart of the matter it is about some humans having different rights than other humans and that is about equality.

What kicked off this debate was Rory O’Neill, an advocate of same sex marriage. He called some people who have a voice in the media ‘homophobic’. I believe these claims were justified, as the people he named are openly opposed to gay and lesbian partners marrying. However, there was a lot of backlash which resulted in payouts and other such nonsense. For a good synopsis have a read here or listen to what Miss Panti Bliss (Rory) had to say about it.

I get the impression people can find it difficult to empathise with homosexuals. Maybe it seems like an unfamiliar world and they can’t put themselves in their shoes:

How could the marriage of two people in love affect anyone else’s relationship? The divorce rate in North America is about 50%. I assume that’s because when some people get married they think, ‘Well if it doesn’t work out, we can just get divorced.’

That is what hurts the institution of marriage, that sullies the commitment, that is a threat to the vows that were taken. People who are in love and want to spend their lives together can do nothing but add something positive to this world.

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If anything is to be learned about the human race, it is that we grow and we evolve. My children will most likely never use a CD or know what a VCR is. But I would also like to think that my children will never know what it feels like to ‘check themselves’, worrying about what makes them such a target. More importantly I hope they won’t be made to feel like less of a person because of who they love.

“I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality” – Martin Luther King

Regrets

It’s difficult for many of us to live the life we want. Being pushed and pulled by family, friends and the ideals of what we ‘should’ do.  Many people end up in a job they don’t really enjoy with people they can’t stand.  I am always surprised when I hear of someone miserable with their current life. I just think ‘Do they not know they can change it?’

There are many excuses as to why someone would stay unhappy in their life. There are eight here at the Huffington Post and below are a couple examples that the author gives:

  • I’m not ready to change – I know change is difficult and scary. We all enjoy routine, it calms us because we know what’s going to happen next. But if you want to have a different life you MUST be prepared to change.
  • What will people say? – In short, it doesn’t matter. You want to be unhappy because you’re worried about the opinions of others? I doubt it.
  • I don’t believe it’ll work out – Then it most likely won’t. You need to change your thinking and your belief system. If you need something to believe in, believe in you.

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Two years ago I read an article where a palliative nurse shared the most common regrets of the dying. When I read the list I found it very powerful but not surprising. It’s a cliche saying that at the end of your days you won’t wish you spent more time at the office; it’s a cliche because it’s true.

These are the top five regrets of the dying, taken from this article at the Guardian.

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Nothing here has anything to do with anyone else. All of the many individuals that reported these regrets were not blaming anyone else, they knew that no one else was responsible.

It is up to each and every one of us to be happy in our own lives. If you feel like you aren’t living the life you want, change it. No one else will do it for you. Make a change today and start feeling more content in yourself. I’m not saying quit your job and end your relationship all at once. But take stock of where you are the most unhappy and start to change it. If you need some help with how to change why not take a look here and here.

Life doesn’t have to always be a struggle. I love my job and I can honestly say I love my life. I remember at 16 realising I no longer enjoyed the job I was doing so I quit. I have only ever stayed in a job as long as I enjoyed it. I always knew something better would come along. It always did.

Start believing that you deserve a good life and don’t become someone who wishes they had done everything different.

“Life is short, break the Rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.” -Mark Twain