I am about to reveal the cheat codes to a better way of living. A formula, if followed even imperfectly — leads to happiness and peace of mind. All of this coming with a money back guarantee, as long as you’re reading this for free. Though the principles themselves are based in simplicity, it won’t always be easy. As it was taught to me, it is us who complicate them.
Honesty (with yourself and others)
We’re all taught lying is wrong as children. Right before we disregarded such the first time telling the truth was seemingly going to get us into more trouble than we were willing to tussle with. As we got bigger and older, for some of us — a lot of us — so did the lies we told. Or the amount of lies we told. To ourselves and others. About ourselves and others. Some of us may even never lie to others, yet they still lie to themselves everyday.
About who they are and what they want from life. About their dreams and what they’re truly capable of if they would just believe in themselves and stop letting their beliefs limit them. Many of our beliefs are lies, or once truths.
Perhaps the biggest lies we tell are when others ask how we are doing. We respond with things like “Good, I’m great” when the reality is many of us don’t feel that way. It’s just a considerate lie we tell others to spare them the details of our hardships and to appear as normal as we perceive them to be.
If you don’t speak about whatever it is you’re going through, nobody will know you’re going through it. They will take your automated response at face value. Others can’t help you with a problem they don’t know you have. Small practices of honesty lead to a truer and genuine life.
I spent a majority of my life angry about things that were out of my control and in which I could not change. It was like I thought if I regretted and fretted about the past enough, maybe I could change it. Without acceptance, we’re left swinging at the wind. Your inner conflict never ends until you find acceptance.
Both for who and what you are, as well as who and what others are. I used to believe I had the power to make people think what I wanted them to think about me. I do not and by the grace of a power greater than myself, I’ve finally come to accept it.
You have to come to understand who you truly are before you can find self acceptance. Which starts with the principal of being rigorously honest with yourself first and then others.
You cannot learn to love yourself until you learn and accept who you truly are and what it is you want out of this life while you’re blessed enough to be here.
So much of what happens to us and around us is out of our control. I used to feel responsible for righting every wrong in the world. Today, my peace of mind comes from knowing I’m only responsible for doing the next right thing for the next right reason. I can accept that, while responding to what happens around me rather than irrationally reacting to it.
Faith (In Yourself & Something Greater)
Seventeen atheists just stopped reading this when they saw the word faith and that breaks my heart. Not so much for my read ratio but for their quality of life and state of mind. Faith, both in myself and in a God of sorts has given me a second chance at life, a new day.
My faith comes from knowing how blessed I truly am to even be alive today. From knowing it wasn’t I who pulled myself out of so many situations others never made it out of. From seeing too many coincidences to continue to believe solely in coincidences. There are forces greater than you and I at work. Call it karma, call it the universe or call it God. Just know it’s working and having faith in yourself is that much easier when you learn to have faith in a power greater than yourself first.
Besides, do you really want to lay your head down at night believing Donald Trump is the most powerful in all of the land?
Humility is defined as a modest or low view of ones importance. The opposite of the ever present ego. The principle in which allows us be grateful rather than blameful as I touched on in What Happens When You’re Grateful.
It is the characteristic that allows us to give credit rather than wonder why we’re never given enough. Humility can be hard to come by in today’s world at times. However, you can find it by watching a man pick his breakfast out of a nearby trash can. If you don’t feel gratefully humbled in that moment, shame on you. Humbled by what you have, that you typically take for granted.
Humility is the ego’s worst nightmare. Both can’t coexist in the same body at the same time. The body simply isn’t big enough for the both of them. When one takes over, the other falls by the waist side.
None of us are nearly important as we think we are. Self centeredness is a disease we must learn to kill in ourselves individually, every day.
This is a tough one for me. I have the patience of a four year old that needs to pee. However, it is a practice I’ve committed to improving at daily. Sometimes I lose my patience waiting in line at stores, I lose my patience when others speak about themselves incessantly and over everything in between.
When I want something, I want it right then and there. It’s just how I’m wired. Waiting is one of my least favorite things to do. This is where the previously mentioned principles of humility and acceptance come in. To accept the fact things don’t always happen on my time, sometimes the universe has other plans. Be humble enough to accept just maybe, the greater power I mentioned earlier is way better than planning shit out then we are.
These is just a brief introduction to a few of my favorites, I’ll touch on more of them in upcoming posts in my new weekly #SpiritualSundays post. Thanks for reading, as always. I wish you all a blessed day.