1. Putting your own opinion to a fact. Unless you’re 100% certain – it’s not a fact, and you’re probably making it worse.
2. Waiting for something better to come along before you quit the thing you hate. This goes out to all the people stuck in dead end jobs, mismatched relationships and boring social circles. Tomorrow never comes.
3. Not asking someone out because you think they are out of your league. Give them a chance to make that decision, not you.
4. Worrying about the traffic jam making you late for work, getting caught in the downpour without a jacket or forgetting to get back to someone after you made a promise. Shit happens, get over it.
5. Thinking you’re more important than anyone else. You’re not. You’re just as important as everyone else.
6. Blaming other people when shit hits the fan. If it’s your own fault, admit it. If it’s not, then assume the person responsible is fully aware – they don’t need you pointing it out.
7. Forcing your religious beliefs onto another person. Well done – you’re a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Atheist/Jedi… whatever, do you want a medal?
8. Being afraid to spend money. You worked hard to earn it – so do something with it.
9. Waiting for a magical sum of money to appear. There is never enough – the sooner you realise this, the sooner you can start living.
10. Buying lottery tickets. See number 9.
11. Believing something to be true because you heard it from an authority. Do your own research. Form your own judgment. Trust your own instincts.
12. Ignoring your instincts. They’ll keep you alive.
13. Ignoring advice. Even if it seems misplaced – it probably comes from personal experience – which makes it completely relevant.
14. Refusing to watch a movie, read a book or buy a product just because it’s popular. One day, you’ll miss out on something amazing.
15. Looking too far into the future. It will never exist.
16. Trying to erase the past. It happened – accept it.
17. Ignoring the present moment. This shit is happening so pay attention.
18. Focusing too much on making a good impression. They will see the ‘you’ that they see – and there’s not a lot you can do about it. If you act with integrity, treat them with respect and look them in the eye – you’ve successfully played your part in their life story.
19. Allowing other people to write your story. Save that for when you’re dead.
20. Giving someone a lecture about a subject you know nothing about. People are remarkably good at sniffing out bullshit.
21. Treating your body like crap. It’s the only one you’ll ever use.
22. Treating other people like crap. See number 5.
23. Assuming someone is happy because they’re always smiling. Depression produces Oscar winning performances.
24. Blaming yourself for not realising something was wrong. You didn’t know because they didn’t want you to know. End of.
25. Suffering in silence. It’s not your fault. It’s an illness, and people give a shit. Let someone in – even if it’s one person – it could change your life.
26. Being scared of success. Fear is an essential part of life and expecting it to go away will always end in disappointment. Some of the world’s greatest entertainers get nervous before a performance. Some of the world’s greatest athletes are full of self-doubt as they face their opponent. Some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, innovators and CEO’s question their own products the night before a big launch. Always be afraid – never stand still.
27. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. If something isn’t working then try something new.
28. Aiming for perfection and avoiding mistakes. The person who never made a mistake – never made anything.
29. Living your life vicariously through others. Great writers will always take you along for the ride, but learn the difference between inspiration and imaginary. The brain is easily fooled into thinking it was really there.
30. Reading ‘The Secret’. The universe is just as lazy as you are. Do yourself, and it, a favour by at least meeting it halfway. Sitting on your fat ass and wishing for a better life is the reason why you have a fat ass in the first place. Expect brain-rot to kick in next.
31. Being jealous. It ruins lives.
32. Believing there is an ‘us’ and ‘them’. Quit your whining, work harder and meet the right people – all within your capability.
33. Feeling pressured into following the crowd. If you really don’t want to do something, then you have every right to say no.
34. Using silence as your preferred method of communication. If someone sends you a text, then you reply. If you have to let someone down, then tell them. If there is a date you cannot make, a deadline you cannot hit or an agreement you no longer wish to honour – then speak up.
35. Following the news. It’s negative, untrustworthy and it will not enhance your life in any way, shape or form.
36. Getting involved in online arguments. You may as well be talking to yourself.
37. Choosing the easy option. Everything worth doing was worth the effort.
38. Giving up something you really want because it’s difficult. Everything you’ve ever done was difficult at some stage. As a small kid you learned how to read, write and recall 26 random characters – in sequence. You reached fluency in one of the most challenging languages ever created. You went from the comfort and safety of your home to spending most of your days in an alien environment cooped up with 20 likeminded strangers. You dealt with ghosts in the night, monsters under the bed and lived in a world of giants. Do you think your life is difficult? Your 5 year old self is mocking you right now. Man up.
39. Forgetting numbers 1 through to 38. Go back and find the one which resonates with you the most.
Which number from this list are you going to stop first?
Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing this via Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!
Thanks, Jamie, for a powerful list (that really hits home, painfully so, in some ways!)
Number 19 is my focus for this year. I spent TOO much time thinking I was not the author of my own story, not the driver of my own bus, and I made the conscious choice to live my life, my way about a year-and-a-half ago. It’s a process. Heck, I’m a work in process, but I own my life, and I am writing my own story, with the people I choose to be around. Life is not what happens to me, it is what I do, what I say, where I go, etc. and etc.
Thanks for inspiring me (and others!) once again.
Hi, thanks for your comment. I say get off that bus and get on a train! You won’t have to stop as often, and you can get to your destination quicker 😉
Number 11 – I blame the internet for that becoming a modern day disease.
Razwana Wahid recently posted..With branding and your writing voice, ‘just be yourself’? Is terrible business advice
I think it’s human nature to immediately believe someone because of their title of position. But you’re right, the internet is making it a lot worse. People share news stories on FB without checking to see if it’s legit – you only have to look at the yearly ‘Facebook to own your pictures – share this disclaimer if you don’t want them to’ stories for proof.
Very interesting post, and a lot of them are resonating. Wishful thinking is never the answer. Doing something about your situation is always the answer. Asking for help if you don’t think you can do it alone is the answer. Thanks for sharing this Jamie!
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It sounds like you’ve got all the answers, Camille 😉
You’re right. The only way is to get out there and make it happen.
32, 28,26,17….. but more the 28. I am a perfectionist and it hurts. When I put more effort into something and it doesn’t gives me expected results it hurts even more. I just say – stop trying so hard and stop being desperate. I am currently working on my expectation/disappointment perception and how it affects my self esteem. Long way to go, but I’ll get there. Thanks for the article, always pleased to read your stuff 🙂
Thanks JJ – it’s all about the process. I too get annoyed when I can’t do something properly, but it’s one of those things we have to keep reminding ourselves.
Quite an interesting post, with a lot of stuff we should all probably stop doing. But I can’t help but feel that a lot of these aren’t all bad – it just depends on how you word it!
Great list nonetheless!
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Thanks Mathias. You’re right, nothing is bad on its own, it’s the content or the implication behind it which matters.. it’s just these points tend to come from a negative place, so its worth being aware of when we do/say these things if and when they pop up.
The problem with 12 is that some of the mistakes/things I wish I hadn’t done come from advise from people, although they meant well, were the wrong things for me. Not that I blame them, I don’t, but I should have listened to me. People sometimes insisted that their way is the only way, & they get upset when you don’t follow their advise. What worked for them did not even begin to work for me. Everything else on the list I think are great ways to live my live.
Great post, so complete.
For me it’s numbers 12, 15, 16, 24 and 25. I know it sucks and I should do something about this like, right now. Thank you for this brutally honest list.
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If only people read these. Its quite informing naturally