This article contains a collection of bits of wisdom on freedom, happiness, success, and a few other topics.
Being extraordinary is something that anyone can do no matter what it is you do. You don’t have to be in any particular job or circumstance to be extraordinary and make a difference in your world. It’s not about your circumstances, it’s about you. You can choose do be extraordinary.
“If Fred the Postman could bring extraordinary creativity and commitment to putting mail in a box, I can do as much or more to reinvent my work and rejuvenate my efforts. He is proof that there are no insignificant or ordinary jobs when they’re performed by significant or extraordinary people.” — Mark Sanborn
Stop Trying To Do It All
I know you think you have to do all those things you think you have to do, but you don’t. I used to be there too. All the people who got used to me doing all those things also got used to me not doing them anymore. The world survived and the earth continues to spin. I’m a lot happy and healthier as a result. If you are a helicopter parent, your children will not die if you stop hovering. In fact they will start to thrive when you give them some room.
“Learn that productivity isn’t everything. Creating is great, but you don’t need to fill every second with work. When you do work, get excited, pour yourself into it, work on important, high-impact tasks … and then relax.” — Leo Babauta
Identify the Essential and Eliminate the Rest
This two step process is the most elegant way to simplify your life. It’s easy and it works miracles. The biggest stumbling blocks occur because people think everything they do is essential or they can’t eliminate the other stuff because somebody else will not survive. They are wrong on both accounts. So get busy identifying the essential and eliminating the rest.
“Our lives are frittered away by detail … simplify, simplify” — Henry David Thoreau
Free Yourself From the Manipulation of Others
Consider how you are damaging or neglecting your healthy relationships by tolerating the toxic ones. You don’t get a mulligan (do-over) in life. Every minute spent with a toxic person is a minute taken from a healthy relationship and a minute lost from your magnificent life. Set yourself free from manipulative relationships.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” — Helen Keller
Freedom From Commitment
“If there is one change you could make today that would have the biggest impact on your life in terms of productivity, effectiveness, and being able to do the things you most want to do, it would be to reduce the commitments in your life.” — Leo Babauta
I couldn’t not agree with the sentiments quoted above more. People fill their lives with one commitment after another, one at a time. You are giving your life away one commitment at a time. Free yourself from commitments.
Stop Killing Yourself With Choices
Barry Schwartz wrote a book called The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. In the book he documents how all the choices we have are making us unhappy. You are probably stressing yourself out, wasting time and mental energy, and generally sabotaging your success and happiness by making too many decisions. When our biology evolved, we had few choices. Eat or die. Run or die. Hide or die. Kill or die. Our minds were built to look for patterns and make quick decisions in order to survive. Top 10 Ways To Stop Killing Yourself With Choices
“If you overcome paralysis and manage to choose, and you manage to choose well, you’ll be less satisfied with what you’ve chosen if you’ve chosen from a large set than if you’ve chosen from a small one. Even if you make the right choice, you end up thinking about all those other wonderful things you’ve passed up, and that makes your choice less satisfying.” — Barry Schwartz
Paying The Price of Freedom
Everything you do or don’t do has a price attached. You pay a price to change and you pay a price to maintain the status quo. The price you pay may be in the form of money, time, stress, health, a confrontation, loss of friendship, loss of material things, or anything else for which you have value. Determine what is trapping you in the life you don’t want and pay the price to get out.
“Every day outside of a box is another day added to your free life.” – Harry Browne
Make Positive Choices
Are you making primarily positive choices – choosing the best among good alternatives, or primarily negative choices – choosing the least worst alternative? If you are making too many negative choices then you are trapped by your situation. A free person will be choosing from a set of good alternatives most of the time. Take an inventory of your choices and create a life of positive alternatives.
“Why do you have to postpone moving to a warmer climate where you can swim all year round, until you are so old that you’re afraid of the water?” – David S. Viscott
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
This has made a huge difference in my life. If you can truly absorb and practice a mindset that doesn’t sweat the small stuff, you can take a giant step forward toward a life of happiness and peaceful well-being.
“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” — Robert Elliot
Well-Being is Better Than Happiness
I recommend you choose well-being over happiness. Occasional happy moments happen to everyone regardless of your overall state. Happiness is a number of short-lived states. You can be temporarily happy doing things that will hurt you and cause serious trouble in the long wrong. Well-being is more a state of contentment and a sense of serenity and peacefulness that comes from knowing you are doing things and living in a way that is right for you. Well-being requires positive action on your part. You are choosing to live according your values.
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” — Marcus Aurelius
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