Before making any decision, ask yourself, What's the worst that could happen? This question will serve as your anchor at every crossroad you will face in life. I believe in lining up everything, in the words of the philosopher Seneca, "Luck is what happens when preparations meet opportunity." However, I also have faith in serendipity, of taking chances and taking a leap of faith.
Your happiness rests upon your shoulders. Most times we are too hard on ourselves yet too easy with others. How come? The way it should be is being able to control our thoughts and deeds. After all, who knows us best other than the person looking right back at you in front of a mirror.
I will outline five ways so you can start improving yourself by setting boundaries and sticking to them. When you set boundaries for yourself and others, you are telling the Universe that YOU are in control of your life and destiny but with an open heart to receive the little surprises that may come along the way.
Learn to anticipate when saying YES goes against your best interest.
Stay focused on your own priorities and responsibilities. When asked to attend social events with family, colleagues, or friends - try not to promise anything until you're willing to see it through. The best reply to invites is to say "Let me check on my calendar and get back with you by (state a specific day to confirm)". Make sure to follow through and state a yes or no answer. If you have to decline, must postpone, or must renege on something you have agreed to prior, be prepared to make it up to the other person at another time. You should be free to let your spirit move you. Sometimes, you just want to go for a run alone than having someone accompany you or spend the weekend with your family than attending a bridal shower or what not.
You are the only one who chooses what you think.
Do you know that we become what we think about all day? Negative thinkers find themselves feeling depleted resulting in negative emotions that prey upon our well-being. Yes, that feeling of gloom, confusion, anxiety, and frustration. Our body responds with pessimism in more ways than we want it to.
Having a positive philosophy for the actual good now is a requirement in order to be mindful and enjoy the present. I want to make sure that we have a clear distinction between positive thinking and foolish or blindly optimistic. One sentence for you: Avoid sugar coated truths. As my grandma used to tell me, "If there is some good you can do in a situation, do it. If not, accept it." By responding to situations greatheartedly means developing a positive habit of authenticity. As I stated before, ask the question, "What is the worst that could happen?"
Learn to accept people as they are.
Our tendency to know others is through our intuition. The job is not ours to judge them, reform them, or figure them out. When we set up unrealistic expectations of others, we are making a fool of ourselves. Busy yourself with your inner work and growth; avoid getting sucked into someone else's drama -- you already have a lot in your plate! What we can do is to offer our encouragement, love, be a good example and let others be. The universe will help them figure it out through appropriate life events when they are ready. As the old saying goes, "The teacher shows up when the student is ready."
Your body is telling you something. Listen.
Health is our internal clockwork. Our challenge is to take good care of ourselves and maintain our overall wellness throughout our journey to a long, happy life. Honor the positive rhythm that flows along your trifecta: body, mind, and soul. Work on yourself to shy away from negative thoughts that make you susceptible to ailments and deliberately harm your immune system. Taking advantage of your body is not good either. Pay close attention to what you eat, keep yourself active, and let yourself have time to recuperate and rest. Nourish your soul for what it craves for. Learn to meditate for inner peace and contentment. Unplug and keep away from too much connectivity. Being disconnected from external factors and tuning in to your self will do you good in more ways.
Learn the art of "Dolce Far Niente"
Dolce Far Niente is an Italian phrase which literally means "sweet doing nothing", this is the concept of doing nothing and enjoying it. In our case, I wish to make use of this concept of doing nothing as your free time or your own white space. Parents nowadays are stressed from parenting!
Mothers need time to be themselves and not constantly taking care of a loved one and making sure that the household is running smoothly. Some even worry about the conflicting demands of home and career. While Dads are pressured to earn more to provide to the never-ending list of the family's needs from fixing the kitchen faucet to replacing the old family van for a newer model for everyone's safety. Our tendency is to fill our day with "things to do" and we could barely accomplish any while the list is just getting longer day by day. How frustrating!
Take regular breaks. Allot time to decompress. Be realistic to focus only on three big things you need to accomplish in a day. Multi-tasking, in my opinion, is out of trend. Having these white spaces regularly scattered throughout your day, week, month or year-round give you the ability to pause, daydream, or sit still and do absolutely nothing (yep, no mobile phones to play with included!).