Expand your willingness to experience new things. Replace complaints with self-compassion. Be grateful when things are going good, and value this moment more than any other moment. These are a few life changes worth contemplating today.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy
I believe that change is a process of growing into who you really are. As the author, poet, and painter E.E. Cummings put it, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Your age doesn’t matter and your current situation doesn’t matter–it’s never the wrong time to change your mind about what’s possible for you.
The following life changes are offered from a place of love and acceptance of what life looks like right now; they’re meant to inspire you to become more of who you’re meant to be, to impel you forward on that journey into yourself.
4 Life Changes Worth Making
1. Expand your willingness to experience new things.
We can’t say yes to everything (for many of us, we actually need to learn how to say no), but we can stay open to new experiences. We may say no to a new adventure or opportunity at first, and then think about it, without shutting it down entirely.
Whether it’s a type of food, an exciting yet scary new job opportunity, making friends, a conflicting idea, or visiting a new place, be willing to experience something different. Be willing to do something you’ve never done before.
This is about waking up to the opportunity, rather than blindly rejecting the unknown. Every morning, try asking yourself a few questions to broaden your receptivity to the expansiveness of life:
- What would I like to learn today?
- Who would I like to learn today?
- Where could I go?
This is also about wonder. Get curious about what life has to offer you by being open to its offerings. Even the hard times offer an opportunity to grow, to help someone, to deepen your understanding about yourself, and to find something beautiful that you never would have found otherwise.
2. Replace complaints with compassion.
When life is hard, it’s easy to complain, but it’s more fruitful to be self-compassionate. When we give up complaining, even if just for a short while, we open ourselves up to enjoying what’s good. Limiting our complaints requires the moment-to-moment awareness of what we’re thinking and saying, and how we’re behaving.
When life seems difficult or unfair or just plain miserable, practice self-compassion. Instead of complaining about what’s bad, remind yourself that you’re always doing the best you can in any time and space with the awareness and knowledge that you have.
What you focus on with diligence you will learn more about, and it will become easier for you. Focus on compassion–treating yourself like you would treat a good friend, with forgiveness and patience–and the world will open up for you in a big way.
Smile at the world and you will invite the world to smile back at you.
3. Be grateful when life is going good.
In Gabrielle Bernstein’s words, “The moment we begin to celebrate ourselves and focus on our successes is the moment we begin living.”
Strengthening your gratefulness is an awesome way to transform your life perspective. One of the best ways to stay away from frustration and judgment is to write down a list of the things that made you happy or that you’re thankful for today. In difficult times, gratitude can save us from lingering despair.
When things are going great, don’t think that gratitude is no longer needed! In fact, when we complement our successes with gratitude, we enhance everything about the experience.
Think of one good thing that has happened in your life, and think of who or what deserves your thanks for helping you experience that good thing. Who was there to cheer you on or cheer you up along the way? Who was there to share the load and ease your mind? What blessings and circumstances helped you get to where you are?
Celebrate the journey, not just the destination.
4. Value this moment more than any other moment.
Focus on what’s happening in this moment: What surrounds you? Who are you with? What is your body saying to you? What is there to enjoy?
Being present doesn’t exclude movement towards something else; it allows you to grow into the next moment with more aliveness, more gratitude, less chaos and less anxiety.
The question here to consider is this…
Who am I without my past?
Peace means that I’m present. Happiness means that I’m present. I cannot have peace or happiness without presence.
When I live in this moment, I touch something so kind and so timeless that forgiveness isn’t even needed or thought of. When I can be myself without my past, I don’t know regret or guilt or loss. No, we don’t need to forget our past, but we might be happier, more peaceful people if we valued the moment we live in.
- What small life change will you make today?
- What life changes have you made in the past that have made a positive impact on your life today?
Please share your thoughts, lessons learned, helpful insights from your own experience, and any inspiring stories of positive change with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who is destined for a happy life.
Your presence is your power.
Free graphic by Lisa Glanz; lettering by Aim Happy.