In Another

Work to make sure your happiness does not lie in another. 

People will always disappoint you – it’s sad, but true. It won’t always be of their doing. We can’t control whether a friend moves away, a significant other loses interest, or a family member dies. 

If another person is the key to your smile, your world will fall apart when they fail, and it’s up to you to pick yourself back up. 

This negative stigma around selfishness needs to be fought. Yes, we should be there for and help one another to the best of our abilities, but not to the detriment of our own health. 

Notice where your happiness lies today. 

Protecting or Blocking?

Today’s Shine text: “We often think low expectations protect us from possible failure. Truth is? We’re just blocking our opportunities.”

What are your expectations doing to your opportunities? 

Remember: upgrade your belief to match your vision. 

Just because you can’t see HOW something will turn out at the current time doesn’t mean there isn’t a way. 

I’ll Be Happy When…

How do you finish that sentence? What will make you happy? Is it a certain age, job, vacation, home?

I’ve been told that happiness is wanting what you have. But how do you learn how to do that? 

Say you like new, but you have an old hand me down car, and it’s green, and you hate the color green. You take care of it, but the heat and AC don’t work, the speakers crackle which drives you insane, and it’s not a smooth ride. It constantly breaks down, and you’re spending countless dollars every month getting various things fixed. 

I think it’s safe to say this car doesn’t make you happy, and you don’t want the car. You may NEED it to get to work, but you WANT a different car. 

If you can afford it, I think upgrading your car could make you happy in this case. 

So I don’t really think happiness is always wanting what you have. I think it’s more about recognizing the things you can be grateful for. 

You can start a savings plan for your new car, and stop harborig hate for your current car by being grateful that it gets you where you need to go. You may not call this “happy” – but it can give you a sense of calm on your journey to something that brings you happiness.

I Surround Myself with…

Complete this sentence with the people and things you currently surround yourself with. 

Are they helping you and growing you, or are they holding you back? 

Why did you choose these people or these things? 

What changes can you make going forward to keep yourself on a positive track? 

What Do You Want?

Most of us fear failure, but have you ever thought that you might also fear success?

I used to dream about being a pop star. When I went to college for music, I was surrounded with more talented people with the same dream. I would write 1 song in the time my roommate would write 5, and the guy down the hall would write 10.

I felt inadequate.

I started thinking, what if nobody likes my music? What if they hate my voice? What if I spend my life trying to get into this business and never make it?

That was the failure.

But I believed in myself. I kept at it.

Then came fear of success.

What if I make it?

What if people love my music? What if I get to go on tour? What if I can buy my parents a house? … Will I get to have a family? Will I like living on the road 90% of the time? Can I handle the spotlight? Can I deal with the criticism? What if I regret it? I’m comfortable with the way things are…do I really want them to change?

It’s a strange feeling… fearing success. It’s gripping. More so than fear of failure. Being afraid to fail motivates me to try to prove myself wrong…but being afraid to succeed gives me a reason not to try.

If you’re afraid to succeed, evaluate what it is you actually want, and why you want it. You may find that you don’t like your reasoning, and your true desires are in a completely different direction.

Listen to yourself. Evaluate your fear.

What do you want?

You Decide

One of the hardest lessons to learn in life when things are not going your way is that things don’t just happen to you.

Life is made up of choices and decisions and you can impact it.

Of course, there are bad days. There are days where you wake up and say “today will be great!” … but then you spill your coffee, arrive late to work, left your report at home… you see where this is going.

On these days, it is possible that no matter how many times you shrug off the problems and continue with a smile, a little piece of you still breaks, and you return home upset.

It is possible to be so sad you can’t control the tears, or so angry you can’t control lashing out.

So no, you cannot control everything.

But you can control some things.

Maybe you can’t control your need to cry, but you can give yourself 5 minutes, 2 hours, or however long you need, and then get up and do something else.

You can’t go back and make a bad day good, but you can get up the next day and decide not to focus on the previous bad day.

Remember, you’re always one decision away from a completely different life.

You decide.

Expectation is the root of all heartache?

I struggle with this one, because I feel like when you have certain close relationships, be that friends/family/partners/etc. you should be able to hold certain reasonable expectations. 

On the other side of the coin, I do see how expectation breeds heartache. If something/someone fails to meet our expectations, we’re disappointed. 

What do you all think of this one?

Lift Up, Don’t Tear Down

I’ve been reading a lot of “inspirational” articles and books lately, and a common thread I’ve noticed is “if you’re unhappy/unsuccessful it’s you’re fault and you’re attracting all the negativity to your life” and that REALLY bothers me.

Some people are motivated by that kind of talk so I get it, but personally I don’t find it helpful to attack or place blame on myself for things that went wrong.

Of course I believe we should all learn to accept blame and move on from it, like if you spoke out of line and damaged a friendship, own up to it.

But I don’t think it’s healthy to say you’re unhappy because you made yourself that way. – is that not the opposite of self love?

You didn’t. You’re trying.

I think we should all keep looking forward.

If you don’t like something about yourself, maybe you have bad anxiety, doesn’t it make more sense to focus on how to combat it, rather than sitting down saying I am so anxious because of xyz that I didn’t do when I was a kid?

Give yourself a break! Life is challenging. It hurts sometimes. We’re going to break down, and that’s okay, so long as we get back up.

Hang in there, you’re exactly where you need to be.