There are a couple of things you could do to kickstart your 2017, reinvent yourself and make the best out of it. Here is my list of things you could do.
“It went from a spark to an open flame
Now destiny’s calling out your name
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1. Make Peace with the Past
It’s difficult to let go of the guilt. But eventually we have to remove the chains of the past and move on. We have to forgive ourselves and everyone else who wronged us, or we will never be truly free again.
I see so many people out there who are struggling to pull it off. They remain stuck because they cling on to their “story” of what they think is their life.
But your current life situation is not your life. And neither is the idea of what you think your life is. Let go of all that bullshit and make peace with it now.
In order to…
2. Picture a Brighter Future
Sometimes I can’t imagine how my life situation will improve anytime soon. It’s difficult to look through the fog into a “brighter” future when everything around you forces you to put your attention to the chaos.
Still, we have to learn to have faith into something greater than ourselves. As Steve Jobs said, it’s impossible to connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. The same is true for your current life situation. When things are hard it’s difficult to see yourself overcoming them anytime soon.
But eventually (when you look back at your past years) you see how all hardships and challenges eventually had to happen in order to make you the person you are today. Now looking back everything makes perfect sense. Now looking back the dots connect.
And it’s up to you to cultivate the faith that they will connect once more in the near future.
And soon you’ll…
3. Move Beyond Your Current Standards
If you keep doing what you have always done, you’ll keep getting the same results you’ve always gotten. And expecting something else is just insanity, as Einstein pointed out.
So in order to “upgrade” your current life situation you have to move beyond your current limitations. Since a problem can not be solved at the same level it was created. You have to play at the edge of your comfort zone to eventually expand it and grow as a person.
Soon, what frightened you in the beginning, suddenly becomes second nature for you. You have moved beyond your past limitations. You broke free.
But to pull it off, you have to…
4. Give More Than You Have
If you constantly keep giving more than you have, you’ll end up broke. People might use you and you will feel terrible about yourself because you allowed them to use you.
And yet, you have to do it in order to reach the next level. You have to cultivate immense gratitude and value within yourself and then share it with the world freely in order to get rewarded later on. Or not.
You always have to give, so you can eventually receive in the near future. You have to constantly plant new seeds (of good value and intentions) because it’s the right thing to do. And it always pays off doing that, because… it’s the right thing to do.
And to make the journey more exciting and less painful you have to…
5. Add More of What Excites You
“There’s a fire that burns inside
It’s an instinct that never lies. ”
The opposite of happiness is not sadness, I read in Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek. The opposite of happiness is boredom.
You don’t die of an unhappy life. Your life becomes unfulfilling because it no longer excites you. That’s why people switch up careers in their midlife crisis. That’s why young millennials are struggling to find meaning in their boring office job. That’s why people become addicted to perfectly curated social media accounts showing them the celebrity lifestyle.
They miss the excitement in their own life. And this is the reason you have to add more of what excites you into your life in 2017. You have to rediscover your past passions. The things that excited you as a kid. Because when we were kids we instinctively knew what is good for our soul. And then we did that.
Doing more of that is what keeps you young. And happy. And helps you to create an exciting life to look back at.
But sometimes you can add whatever you want and still see no improvement because you first have to…
6. Cut Out Toxic People
“Everyone’s watching through your eyes
There’s only two options
Win or die, win or die”
I believe the default state for human beings is happy and content. But there are things or people around us that rob us from this beautiful state of feeling OK with oneself. There are people who (for whatever reason) try to beat you down and stop you from experiencing this good feelings.
They are miserable themselves and can’t stand the fact that some people are not. They are so addicted to their own pain that they can’t bear the fact that some people are free of all this burdens. That’s why they try to keep you small.
Just as Joshua Fields Millburn said: “You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.” You change them by cutting them out of your life and adding healthier alternatives to replace them. No hard feelings. You have to save yourself first. You have to put the oxygen mask onto yourself before you can help your child.
Be selfish in this regards.
And also don’t forget to…
7. Love Yourself Unconditionally
I always figured I need a reason to feel good about myself. I missed the “unconditionally” part somehow. I always needed prove that I am worthy of being loved.
And because there never seemed to be a good enough reason to do so, I just skipped it and hated myself for a long time. Add some toxic outside influences into the mix and you have the recipe for failure.
Loving yourself unconditionally is what resolves the chaos. By making peace with yourself and accepting yourself as you are you lay the foundation to also resolve your “outside world”.
But you also have to learn to…
8. Be OK with Not Being OK
Because sometimes life sucks. There are challenges ahead and you have to move beyond them. You have to grow as a person and get stronger (mentally and physically) to get yourself back up once life knocks you down.
Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” And life is pretty good at punching you in the face. Now you have to suck it up Rocky-style and keep moving forwards.
And in order to muster the willpower to do so you have to…
9. Express Gratitude for Your Unfair Advantages
Because you have way more “unfair advantages” than you might realize at first. Whatever your current life situation, there are powerful gifts within you and around you that allow you to turn adversity into an advantage.
It’s all just perspective, but in challenging situations our judgement is too clouded to see the advantages within the adversity. Expressing gratitude removes the fog. It removes the clouds and you see it clearly again.
And then you are facing the challenge to…
10. Say No and Say Yes
For so many times I said yes to things I wished I had said no to. And the other way around. And then I did a bad job, felt miserable about myself because I didn’t stay true to myself or felt like I was missing out on something greater in life.
But I learned the hard way that staying true to your own convictions is what liberates you. By saying no to the things you don’t like and giving yourself enough respect do it without guilt nagging you every day. By saying yes to the things that excite you and you want to add to your life and not feel like are “of too little value” to deserve such great gifts.
It comes down to loving yourself and also…
11. Knowing Who You Are
“There’s a power that’s underneath
And you can’t see it ’til you believe
On the edge of infinity”
You’ll never be satisfied by living some other person’s life. Just because your parents want you to become a lawyer, doesn’t mean that you will have a great time fulfilling their dreams for them. Most of the time you will suffer.
But this suffering can be used to lead you closer to where you really need to go. Because misery is not the end goal, it’s a signpost of where not to go. And what to avoid. And it slowly but surely points you to the one thing you need to do in your life. But when our life is to scattered and there is too much going on, I know it’s very difficult to see who you really are and what you care about.
So it’s a good idea to…
12. Make Room for Better Things
Kick it all out.
There are so many “things” we think we need and we hoard that there is no value in it anymore. The little things that mean a lot to us get buried underneath a shitload of things that are meaningless. And we all try to fill the empty hole with materialistic things. None of that crap will make you feel better about yourself.
True fulfilment can only arise from within. Everything else is just a cover-up for a burned child. Forget about the bandages for once and go and heal up the open wound.
You just have to…
13. Make Room for Better Thoughts
Let go of your old convictions and ideas. Everything you know is wrong anyways. It’s not the truth. But a flawed misconception of your world view.
And the very next person you meet has a different one, also believing that only he “gets it”. Both of them are wrong. Nobody knows the truth. Because what you call the truth are just your thoughts.
Still, I know from my own experience that letting go of your old story is the fastest way to move beyond it.
But you have to…
14. Forgive Others and Yourself
We all have this mental story we keep telling ourselves over and over again. New Year Resolutions are a fun way to trick yourself into finally breaking free of it. A fresh start. A new hope. It’s a nice tactic but it won’t work unless you let go. Accept your past.
Forgive everyone who wronged you (even if it was yourself) and then be ready to…
15. Move On
Now destiny’s calling out your name
So reply, so reply