Sitting having drinks with my friends the other night, it dawned on me that the majority of us just weren't feeling all that happy. There seemed to be something that was making us all feel a bit crap, so that led to discussing what we needed in our lives to make them better. Then I got to thinking about how it can actually not be bringing more into your life to make you happy, but to stop doing things, to take things away from your life.
A lot of the time we over think the past, the past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others. Then let it go. Easier said than done? It depends on how you think about it. When something bad happens to us, more often than now we dwell, oh we dwell (I know I do) and we go over and over it in our head. But instead of doing that, when something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn't know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding, believe me you will feel so much better in trying to forgive them, than being angry.
Another thing we do is blame, people make mistakes. people don't meet your expectations, things don't get delivered on time. So you blame them for your problems. But you're also to blame. Maybe you didn't provide enough information. Maybe you didn't build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon. Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn't masochistic, it's empowering—because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time. And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.
Critcising is another negative thing that you can remove from your life right now. Yes, you might be more educated than the last person, you've sat at more corportate events, had more sales etc etc. That doesn't however make you smarter, better or more successful, it makes you, you. Everyone is different, everyone works at their own pace in life and in business and instead of looking down at others, critcising them, well help them, encourage them, because you will not only make them feel better, but you too.
Criticising has a friend and it's called controlling. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you've decidced that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs. Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure—none of those let you feel good about yourself. Find people who want to go where you're going. They'll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships. And all of you will be happier.
In my opinion people often criticise others because they are jealous of them. This can lead to people trying to impress. No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all "things." People may like your things—but that doesn't mean they like you. Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship. Genuine relationships make you happier, and you'll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.
Now when trying to impress people, we often do this when we're afraid or insecure, we hold on tightly to what we know, even if what we know isn't particularly good for us. An absence of fear or insecurity isn't happiness: It's just an absence of fear or insecurity. Holding on to what you think you need won't make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will. Even if you don't succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.
All of this is good and well, but if we don't change it we will continue to whine about it. Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better. If something is wrong, don't waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you'll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now. Don't talk about what's wrong. Talk about how you'll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself. And do the same with your friends or coworkers. Don't just be the shoulder they cry on. Friends don't let friends whine—friends help friends make their lives better.
Look we're all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can't change, or what we won't be able to do, or how other people might perceive us. So it's easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives. Really it all comes down to fear, and before you know it the days, months and years will have passed us by. So put your fears aside, and do whatever the fuck makes you happy. But this is what I think makes me the most unhappy, fear. Fear of what might, what could happen and yes it might fail, and yes you might get rejected but you'll be a lot happier knowing you tried than not trying at all.