“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
In every life there are great challenges, and in every challenge there are great doses of life to be lived.
Whether you judge a challenge to be a problem or an opportunity says more about you than about the challenge itself. The way you choose to see the world is the way your world will be. This is what gives life its magic; it’s a continuous, dynamic phenomenon that becomes exactly what you choose to make it.
Do something extraordinary. Accept life’s opportunities. Realize that if you never step up to a challenge that’s a bit over your head, you’ll never know how tall you truly are. Rise to each challenge and continue adding value to the ever-growing possibilities that await your brilliance.
2. Working Hard
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” –Beverly Sills
When you’re young you have this fantasy that super successful adults – writers, musicians, doctors, businessmen, etc. – have some kind of magical chest of toolsallowing them to build masterpieces that are larger than life. You fanaticize about a hammer of creativity, a pliers of efficiency, a saw of wisdom, and so on and so forth.
But then you grow up and you realize, for the most part, everyone is working with the same set of imperfect, rusty, old tools – desire, commitment, honesty, kindness, love, persistence, etc. And as flawed and bent as they may be, they work wonders against the odds when you truly put them to the test. Read The Success Principles.
3. Choosing Wisely
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –J.K. Rowling
The universe – people, books, life experience, etc. – can only give you good advice, but you ultimately decide what to do with it.
Life is ticking away every second. The worst thing is spending your entire life drowning slowly and not being able to convince yourself that you are in full control, and that you can easily save yourself by simply standing up.
This is your life, made up entirely of your choices, your actions, your thoughts, your relationships, etc. Someday you will either decide to save yourself or remain unsaved forever.
4. Growing from Problems
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” –Friedrich Nietzsche
Times of great difficulty are times of great opportunity. These times may not seem ideal at first, but they usually provide keen insight into ideas of great value. When you are surrounded by problems, you are simultaneously given an opportunity to provide valuable solutions.
When times are good and everything is comfortably in order, it’s easy to become complacent and forget how skillful and resourceful you are capable of being. Troubled times are necessary evils that push you forward, because they eventually end, and the lessons and strengths you gain from them last a lifetime.
5. Laughing it Off
“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” –Veronica Roth
If you wish to measure your success in life, don’t bother analyzing your bank account, or your job description, or your relationship status, or your weight, or any other superficial badge society loves to pin on your resume. Just count the moments you spend peacefully in laughter. That’s what success is – living happily in your own way, and laughing at the highs, the lows, and all the ridiculous moments in between.
Do what you need to do, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh whenever you can because you can. There’s honestly nothing like deep breaths after a good chuckle – nothing in the whole wide world like a sore tummy and cheeks for all the right reasons. Read Learned Optimism.
6. Staying True to Yourself
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” –Rita Mae Brown
To make a positive difference in your life you must sometimes be different andtake the road less traveled. It requires courage to go against the grain like this, especially when the people around you are confused and irritated by your choices; but such courage can bring great rewards when you stick to your guns.
Where others see only shadows of uncertainty, look for glimmers of opportunity. When you encounter rudeness and irritation, generously offer polite doses of confident patience. When you bump up against arrogance, dilute the negativity with your own sincere, self-assured humility.
Just because everyone is heading in a one direction doesn’t mean you must go that way too. On the contrary, it’s a valuable opportunity for you to step aside and figure out where you truly want to go.
7. Fighting for Your Dreams
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
When things don’t go right, it doesn’t mean you have to go wrong along with them. Goals and dreams are kind of like breathing – once you give up, there’s no hope left. Don’t do that to yourself.
It’s always too early to quit. You must continue breathing, even if it’s just a series of short, shallow breaths. Continue putting forth even the smallest efforts to sustain your dreams. Accept the fact that if you fight through the challenges, there is always a chance you might lose, but if you do not fight at all, you have already lost. Read 1,000 Little Things.
8. Deciding to Change
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –H. Jackson Brown Jr.
If you’re not where you want to be right now, take the time to visualize yourself in the place you want to be and take the first step in that direction. You may not be able to change your destination in a day, but you can change your direction right now.
Keep moving along this new path and it will eventually lead you to your destination.
9. Being Present
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” –George Harrison
Do not wish your moments away. Do not ruin today by focusing on another time and place. There is only now; realize how rich you are in it. It stands to reason that if you learn to live well you will eventually pass on well too, in complete peace. The skills are the same: being present in the moment, and brave, and thankful for all the opportunities you have.
Make your time count. Right now you are creating history – your legacy. Don’t let it slip by without being aware of it. Life works in a strange way: You want something and you work and wait and work and wait, and feel like it’s taking forever to come. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is relive all the great memories you made along the way.
Happiness is the journey. Open your eyes. Don’t miss it. Read The Power of Now.
10. Being Thankful
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” –Walt Whitman
You are right here, right now, breathing. Enjoy it. You’ve got nothing to do today accept to smile.
Happiness is valuing what you have, and enjoying the people, places, objects and events in your life for what they are. It’s not about changing and achieving all the time, it’s about being and appreciating. And you can nearly always enjoy the things happening around you if you make up your mind firmly that you will.
Photo by: Hartwig HKD