People love a good moan from time to time. It’s good to get some of that frustration off your chest and out into the open, in fact being a miserable bastard can actually extend your life but that’s a pointless endeavor if everyone wants to punch you in the face.
So it’s probably for the best if you stop moaning, at least a little bit, and instead look at the reasons why you moan. I reckon that you’re currently struggling because you’re making life too difficult for yourself.
I know everyone likes to believe that life is hard, but they’re just moaning, so ignore them.
Life is easy. You don’t even have to think about breathing – it kind of just happens.
Everything else kind of ‘just happens’ too. What’s that? You don’t believe me?
It’s true. Think about it. Eat good foods and you will feel energetic. Smile more often and you will feel happier. Exercise more and you will look better. Work harder and you will earn more money.
The opposite is also true.
Spend more time indoors and you will start to lose friends. Eat more calories than you use and you’ll get fat. Spend money you don’t have and you’ll get into debt.
It’s kind of… logical really.
Life doesn’t have to be harder than it should be and here are 6 reasons why yours might be in need of a tune up.
1. You take life way too seriously, man
Picture the scenario; you’re walking down the fruit and veg aisle in your local supermarket, admiring the carefully stacked apples and trying to work out if there is any discernible difference between a peach and a nectarine when… THUD – you land flat on your back.
You’ve just slipped up on a grape. Well done!
Do you dust yourself off, have a little chuckle and put it down to experience or do you rush straight home to write an angry letter to the CEO of ‘Fruits-R-us’?
Don’t do that, they really don’t care.
And neither should you.
Do you get agitated over the smallest of incidents? Do traffic jams threaten to turn you into the Incredible Hulk? Do you seek bloody revenge on anyone who doesn’t thank you for holding the door open?
This pent up stress is not doing you any good. We all venture into the realms of misanthropy on occasion – people can be annoying – life can be annoying, but so what? Take it on the chin and let it go. It really doesn’t matter.
Your moody behaviour is affecting those around you.
Chill out, man.
2. If you don’t put in the effort, you won’t get the reward
I absolutely love it when someone moans that they aren’t receiving the recognition they feel they deserve. Or more to the point; aren’t seeing the fruits of their obvious ‘labour’.
Musicians who claim the industry is fixed because no one is beating down their door offering them a recording contract. Writers who are baffled because no one wants to publish their rambling nonsensical words and my absolute favourite – people who spend years at the gym, pounding the treadmill and spinning their way to oblivion but reward themselves after a session with a swift beer and a cheeky chocolate bar. And they wonder why they never change their appearance.
Just because the gym has a vending machine doesn’t mean that you should use it.
Shit takes time. Shit takes effort.
If you think you are putting in the hours but you aren’t seeing the results then you obviously aren’t working hard enough.
- How many edits has your manuscript gone through? Edit it again.
- How many publishers or A&R guys have you sent your masterpiece off to? Quadruple it – and do the same next week, and the week after… until someone finally agrees to meet you
- How many hours do you put into your daily practice? Double it.
- Is your waist the same size even though you are eating healthily? Cut another 500 calories from your daily intake and spend an extra 30 minutes in the gym… 5 days a week – for several months.
Do you see a pattern forming here? The reason why you are not succeeding isn’t because there is a conspiracy against you. It’s because other people in your position are working harder at it than you are.
Stop living in denial and put the hard graft into whatever it is that you want to be successful at.
Nobody else is going to do it for you.
3. Stop being stubborn, get a little help from your friends
Most of us absolutely hate letting others know that we need a helping hand. It feels like a sign of defeat. Broadcasting to the world that we are incompetent fools – failures who cannot look after themselves.
Of course that’s not true but our ego is a fragile thing and even if we don’t admit it to anyone, deep down we know that we have screwed up somewhere and over time it can have a negative effect on our mental wellbeing.
Confidence is lost, anxiety levels rise and our passion for the present moment takes a plunge down the nearest toilet.
The truth is that we all need help occasionally.
There isn’t a single person reading this right now that hasn’t run out of money or needed a place to stay at short notice. I had to move back to the family home when I quit my job because I knew that it was the best solution for me at the time. It was tough, especially when I was used to living alone, but that was the price I had to pay to start my own business from scratch.
In 2006 I was unemployed and so short of cash that I had to borrow £50 from my then girlfriend just so I could eat for the next week.
Admitting that you need to take a step backwards or that you’re in financial trouble is difficult but the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
There is no such thing as pride – it’s just your ego playing tricks with your mind.
If YOU can’t do something on your own, then get help. A bruised ego is better than being stuck up shit creek without a paddle.
4. You’re confusing your heart with your brain
I’m not going to go all mushy on everyone and start treating the heart as some kind of soppy love organ.
That’s something completely different…
But I am going to use the heart as a metaphor for the word ‘instinct’, whereas, the brain will be used as a metaphor for the phrase ‘stop being a total idiot’. And if you haven’t guessed already, using your heart is a lot better than using that stupid brain of yours.
Yes it is stupid, and here is why.
As I previously mentioned, your ego is just an imaginary foe masquerading as your friend. The more you think, the more power and influence it has over you.
So stop thinking, it’s dangerous!
Instead, start using your heart to make your decisions. Follow your gut instinct because the chances are that if you do this, you will always make the right choice. You see, your brain will always look for reasons NOT to do something. It has an ego to protect and that will always be its number one responsibility. It doesn’t give a shit about you and your needs.
The heart meanwhile will always search for reasons why you SHOULD do something. It wants you to stretch your comfort zone and to see what’s out there. It doesn’t care about failure or looking stupid because it knows the risks are totally worth it.
The brain likes to write out its own little ‘pros and cons’ list, but the heart?
Better do what it says then…
5. Many of your ‘friends’ are not your true friends
You’ve all heard of the classic self-help wisdom that states ‘you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with’ – or something along those lines anyway. I’m not entirely sure of the science behind it but I can understand what it’s trying to say.
For example – if you spend most of your time hanging around meth addicts then you’re either inside an episode of Breaking Bad or, unfortunately, you’re not.
In which case, it sucks to be you.
But you get the point.
Our friends have more influence on our lives than we sometimes give them credit for. A well rounded, normal functioning member of society will usually have friends who are cut from the same cloth. We change and adapt our personalities over time depending on the people we have around us. It’s no surprise to discover that a lot of drug addicts and low level criminals are surrounded by other drug addicts and criminals. People drag each other down – it’s called ‘crab mentality’.
Look at your closest friends, is there anyone who is always getting you into trouble or isn’t there when you need them the most? Is there anyone who is hard to get hold of but whom has no trouble contacting you if they need something? Do you have any friends who take far more than they give?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then you’ll probably find that you’re never truly comfortable in their presence. You always feel anxious and on edge in their company, yet you may not even realise it.
Look for the 5 people that you enjoy hanging around with the most and try to bring them a little closer.
6. You aren’t allowing yourself to enjoy the little things
People are strange beings. Always looking forward to a future time when they can start enjoying themselves, but the problem with that is they tend to miss out on all the awesome little things that are happening right now.
Disgruntled office workers the world over usually spend the first few days of the week in some kind of zombie like state, groaning their way through the tedium and wondering why their boss hates them so much.
They put up with this boring existence because, to put it in their own words, many of them are just ‘living for the weekend’.
Yes, nice one – that’s several days away. What are you going to do NOW to brighten up your jolly little day?
It’s not just the weekends. How often have you taken a bit of sunshine for granted because you are going away on holiday in a few weeks?
‘Nah, I’ll stay in today – I’ll catch the sun when I go on hols’.
Stop waiting for the good times to come. Take a moment to enjoy something right now.
- Go and change into your best/favourite clothes
- Turn the TV off and go outside for a walk – embrace nature, whatever the weather
- Go back to bed for a quick nap – enjoy the feeling of snuggling under the duvet
- Instead of scoffing your lunch in record time, savour every bite and enjoy it
- Give someone you care about a big hug… and don’t stop
- Find absolute silence – amazing isn’t it?
People sometimes mock me for having baths, but they are awesome. I start the day with a 45 minute soak, just because I can.
You’re probably wondering why I don’t shower? Pfft… showers are for girls.
That’s right – real men have baths!
Tell me what you think!
Do you recognise any of these in your own life? Have I missed anything out? Do you have any tips that you would like to share with everyone in making life that little bit easier? Let me know in the comments below.
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I like #3. Reminds me of the relief whenever I stop complaining and reach out to a friend. Not only that it’s consoling or it gives me a shoulder to “cry on” but it gives me a fresh perspective of the issue. And suddenly there’s light in the end of the tunnel.
Rob Leonardo recently posted..3 Secrets On How To Stop Brooding Over The Past
Hi Rob, it definitely feels much better sharing a problem with a friend, and you’re right, you get a fresh insight into your problems too. Thanks for your comment!
This was an excellent post. I really liked what you wrote about following our hearts rather than our brains. This is great advice as when we follow our heart we are following our innate instinct which is a manifestation of our real selves.
On your point about friends, in my early twenties I had to turn my back on a whole group of ‘friends’ who were essentially losers. Had I remained friends with them, I most definitely would be in a very dark place today.
Hiten recently posted..How to Use the Concept of Time to Create Positive Changes in Your Life
I can imagine how tough that is to drop your friends like that. But sometimes we have to wise up and admit to ourselves that some people are just toxic. Thanks for your comment!
Shit takes time. Shit takes effort. Priceless.
Why, thank you!
Totally guilty of #1.
I definitely believe that we can only control about 1% of everything. The other 99% is totally out of our control and should be pretty much disregarded.
I’ve gotten wayyy better at this over the years, but it can still be tough.
Kevin Cole recently posted..The Transparency Chronicles #1
I still get riled by the little things, like someone not saying thank you but at least the big stuff doesn’t worry me as much. That 99% idea is so true. Life is chaotic but the hidden ‘megalomaniac’ inside of us still thinks that we can control a lot more than we actually can.
If only we had that much influence, we’d be superheroes!
#1 lets all the rest fall into place if you can master it. The serious can all go suck it for certain. No matter what we do, we’ll all age and die. How can we take this seriously? I say go have some fun and spend time on what we like. And shirk obligation every chance we get. Have a fun one!!!!
cj recently posted..How and When to Speak to a Squirrel
CJ! I love the idea of shirking every obligation. Why waste time doing all the stuff we don’t like when we can all go outside and play?!
Love it….. with you on all of the above.
There needs to be more pulling your head out of your own ass and taking a look around, there is magic everywhere, so enjoy it!
Thanks Becky! There are far too many people who choose to take life too seriously!
Check it… I like the whole using your heart, but yea, I would rather use the word instinct or gut. There are too many people with a bright future that screw it up and throw their life away because they get too carried away with love. In those times, the heart is NOT good. But you know this of course.
In terms with friends. Umm, I will say that you definitely are the average of those 5 people you hang out with. That’s why I just hang out alone. Kidding… But seriously, when I’m around let’s call them “losers who do nothing but watch TV all day” their energy and vibe freak me out. I can’t imagine spending more than 1 hour with them.
SEBAstian recently posted..Fear Of Failure… Screw That
Hey, the good thing is that you realise who these negative people are so that you don’t spend all day hanging around with them! Keep them in small doses instead.
Holy shit. This article is exactly how I feel sometimes. It’s like I have all these thoughts inside my head but have trouble putting it to paper.
I especially love the points on the 6th reason. Mainly the silence and walking parts, also if I may, I will add my own point: Play video games and pretend you’re someone you’re not.
I do it ALL the time and I am serious when I say it lightens my mood tenfold.