Updated: Jan 27
Don’t take advice from family, friends, or anyone who doesn’t have the career, relationship, or life you want.
Because they’ll give you advice based on what they think is best for you, their life experiences, and their knowledge.
So firstly, if you take their advice, you’ll end up exactly where they are. Instead, take a look at their life, and if it’s not how you want to end up… then take what they say with a grain of salt.
Second, even if they think their advice is what’s best for you, it may not be what you actually need or want. So, reflect. Get clear on your values and your vision. Figure out how you want to live. And make decisions for yourself. And only take advice from people who are exactly where you want to be.
Focus on yourself.
The only person you have control over and are responsible for is yourself. Not anyone else.
Look, people are going to act in a way that you don’t agree with. Whether that’s drinking. Smoking. Eating junk. Not exercising. Not learning. Not growing.
One of the most important lessons I learned this year is to let people be. Leave them to themselves.
Because whatever they do, however, they live, that’s their business. It’s out of your control.
Instead of focusing on them, judging them, and feeling better than them, focus on yourself. Look at your behaviour. And if you’re acting in a way that isn’t aligned with your values, then figure out why. Find a solution. And make sure you don’t do it again.
Similarly, understand you’re not responsible for other people.
Stop trying to “save” people by pushing your habits, values, and mindset onto them. The reality is you can’t save anyone.
Even if you give people the exact roadmap to living a healthy and fulfilling life, there’s no guarantee they’ll listen to you. Because people will only change if they, themselves, have the desire to.
It’s exactly that saying, “People will only change if the pain from remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”
If they don’t have the will, whatever you say or do won’t matter. And if you insist on changing them, they’ll only grow to resent you. This leads me to the point above, let people be. It’s their life.
Stop giving unsolicited advice.
Look, you get upset if people give you unsolicited advice, so why would you be a hypocrite and do the exact same?
As I said, people won’t change unless they want to, so by giving them unsolicited advice, you’re:
Coming across as a know-it-all.
Being a busybody.
Wasting your energy.
Instead, when people talk to you about themselves, ask about their thoughts, feelings, and processes rather than give your opinion. Only give your opinion if they’ve asked for it or if you have asked if it’s okay to do so.
Only respond in a calm state.
Not when you’re overly happy or angry because you may end up saying something you’ll regret.
Instead of replying when you’re angry or happy, use these two tips to re-center yourself.
When you’re angry, stressed, or anxious, you breathe more quickly and shallowly. So, focus on your breath to breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself down before responding.
If breathing doesn’t help, write down all your ugly thoughts in a journal instead of saying them to someone else. By the time you’re done writing, you’ll have already processed your emotions and will be able to respond more logically and empathetically.
Protect yourself from clients.
Look, your clients don’t care about you.
Even if they say they value you, take a look at their actions. Are they paying you the rate you deserve? Are they paying you on time? Are they giving you constructive criticism?
The reality is, you’re replaceable and they’re not afraid to take advantage of you. So, always have a contract in place to protect yourself.
And if they’re not treating you how you should be treated, then walk away. You’ll find better clients.
Your environment is testing and helping you grow every day.
It’s asking you, “Are you who you say or think you are?”
Do you think you’re disciplined? Okay, let’s see if you work out even when you’re not motivated to.
Do you think you have a good temper? Okay, let’s see how you react when your morning routine gets disrupted.
Do you think you’re patient? Okay, let’s see how you react when someone cuts you off on the road.
These situations reveal who you truly are. So, use your environment like a mirror to look at yourself clearly, and perhaps, grow from it.
Stop compromising in your relationship.
Because if you compromise, you and your partner are both giving up something to make each other happy.
I first heard of this idea from Jay Shetty. He says, instead of trying to reach a compromise, why don’t you and your partner try to find a solution that you’re both happy with?
For example, last weekend I wanted my partner to go ice skating with me. The problem was that he didn’t like ice skating.
At first, I wanted to tell him, “Okay, if we go ice skating this week, then next week, we’ll watch a movie that you want to watch.”
But rather than doing that, I thought about what Jay said. In the end, we decided to go to the zoo because it’s something that we both wanted to do.
Be aware of your narrative.
When you get triggered by what your partner says or does, more often than not it’s because you’re interpreting what happened based on the narrative caused by your inner child’s wounds.
In short, your perception of what happened may be clouded by your fears and traumas.
So, whenever you get triggered, instead of reacting how you would normally react, learn to say, “When you do x, the story that I’m telling myself is this…”
This lets them know how you’re interpreting the situation and how it makes you feel. And it gives them the chance to clarify their intentions and reassure you.
Lastly, thank you for reading.