Things you can do to turn around a no-good day

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

My

time is about half­way up.

I’ve loved and lost. My once young heart has turned wise. My laugh lines have run into my worry lines. I keep on breath­ing.

There are only a fist­ful of things I know by now to be true in life. They weren’t what I thought I knew even five years ear­lier. I thought I was smart.

My smart­ness ( in my head):

But, I found out re­cently that it had re­ally gone like this:

Flat-line.

It turns out self-per­cep­tion’s a tricky snit. It got me.

So, what do I know to be true?

We miss a lot of sim­ple, but im­por­tant stuff that could give us the strength to stand up a lit­tle straighter, laugh a lit­tle more, and feel loved ev­ery­day.

Take it from a 40-yearold (al­right, 42-year-old) who knows she knows noth­ing.

I try to do these things every day. Maybe they can give you a boost too.

1. I say “Hi!” to strangers first.

It usu­ally shocks the hell out of them, and the good ones smile and say hi back. We zing for a mo­ment and take a break from this big, cold world.

2. I for­give my mother. She’s a rag­ing nar­cis­sist. After years of ther­apy, I re­al­ized that if I let her is­sues go with a quick med­i­ta­tion in the morn­ing, I could be more com­pas­sion­ate to ev­ery­one else for the rest of the day.

3. I write my list of high­est pri­or­i­ties from long to medium term in a jour­nal at night.

Then I wake up and go about my day.

When I’m about to spend money on some­thing, I pull out my jour­nal and ask my- self if it sup­ports the goals I wrote down the night be­fore. If it doesn’t, I move on. Bye­bye, Free Peo­ple pon­cho.

4. I laugh with my lit­tle belly.

I don’t know about you, but when I don’t laugh for a few days, I turn grey. My yel­low­ish-brown skin turns ashen, and my smile gets toothy.

What­ever it is that makes me laugh, I do it. I rent some­thing on Ama­zon Video, I go to a com­edy show, or I read a funny book. I re­ally make sure I belt it out. I’ve been read­ing Mark Man­son’s The Sub­tle Art of Not Giv­ing A F*ck, based on a rec­om­men­da­tion from Dar­ius Foroux. They’re both way too wise for their age.

And yes, you can laugh about things that used to hurt.

5. I re­mind my­self that cer­tain words have power. I try to never say “never.” I steer clear of “should” when I can.

Hope­fully, I can “hope” with­out “need”.

Some­times, a “maybe” is prefer­able to a “yes” or a “no”. I know, it’s rookie mis­take #1 ac­cord­ing to self­help gu­rus. No of­fense, Tony Rob­bins.

I love to “do” now more than I used to “think” about what I was go­ing to do.

Rather than push, I try to give the peo­ple around me the free­dom to choose their lives be­cause I would want the same for my­self.

6. I take noth­ing per­son­ally.

Ev­ery­one is hurt­ing. I as­sume no evil.

Can you imag­ine what it would be like if peo­ple as­sumed you meant every crappy thing you ever did? I’d be toast. I pay that grace for­ward.

7. I read a new book. Of­ten.

Read­ing is my only go-to life­long “hack”.

Life is short. There isn’t enough time to learn how to best ap­proach its most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges with­out men­tors.

The truth is that even though we may want to feel spe­cial, none of us are unique snowflakes. “Personal” prob­lems are never personal. Every sin­gle prob­lem we face has been faced by count­less others.

Try to think of a prob­lem that you strug­gle with that hasn’t been writ­ten about or at least ex­pe­ri­enced by a good chunk of the hu­man pop­u­la­tion. It’s hard. We’re con­nected more than dis­con­nected.

I want to know how my men­tors be­fore me over­came prob­lems that de­feated many others. A good book is in­spir­ing.

8. I do some­thing for some­one else.

When­ever I start to feel sorry for my­self, I do some­thing good for some­one else. It’s the best cure in the world for self-pity.

Over the last few years, the most un­ex­pected peo­ple were kind when I was strug­gling. So now, I:

* Talk to the lonely. * Visit who­ever’s at the hos­pi­tal.

* Vol­un­teer at food banks.

* Write a story to support a friend.

* Give money to a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion.

* Stop the car when I see some­one cry­ing.

* Share hugs. * Gen­er­ally, any­thing and ev­ery­thing to be use­ful to some­one.

I used to only help peo­ple I thought could help me. My he­roes were jerks.

These days, my kids’ nanny is my personal hero. She’s the mom I never had. She’s the kind­est per­son I know. I would do any­thing for her.

9. I breathe and sweat. I hate ex­er­cise. But it gets my juices flow­ing and mind whirring, so I ac­cept the chal­lenge every day.

No mat­ter what, I’ll never be a health nut. Oops, I vi­o­lated rule #5.

10. I green lights.

I tend to see red.

I grew up in a pes­simistic fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment, so I do what I can to men­tally bal­ance my­self out. I look for green lights.

fo­cus

on

11. I ex­pect things to not go as planned.

I used to get ir­ri­tated when my per­fect plans were foiled. Now, I laugh. Fix­ing the world was never my re­spon­si­bil­ity. I thought it was, when in re­al­ity, I could only fix my own val­ues to be the ones that mat­tered most?—?you know, things like hon­esty, self-re­spect, com­pas­sion for others, pa­tience, etc. in­stead of other less pro­duc­tive val­ues like liv­ing an easy life, hav­ing a big house, and get­ting the kids into the right school. You know.

What­ever peo­ple think or do after I change my own val­ues is out of my scope. It’s such a bur­den off my small shoul­ders to see that.

I set my day up as best I can, then I go for it. I do my best. I try to make a dif­fer­ence. What­ever doesn’t work, I let go.

12. I say “Thank you” out loud when I open my eyes in the morn­ing.

It mo­ti­vates me to want to con­trib­ute my best to what­ever I’ll be ac­com­plish­ing that day.

If I do five out of these twelve things, it’s a great day. I’m smil­ing from the in­side out. I hope you feel better too. (ThriveGlobal)

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