Face it. You tell yourself things all the time. Good things like: “Don’t be nervous.” ”Get out of this relationship now.” ”You need to pay this bill this month.”
The fact? You don’t listen to your own advice.
Deep down you know what’s right. Deep down you know you should do something but it’s too hard, too risky, too unknown for you to go through with it. So you continue on with life. Putting yourself in situations you don’t want to be in. More importantly, in situations you don’t have to be in.
I’ve been there.
A month ago I left my job with stock grants and bonuses, packed up my house and family and moved across the state. All of this to move to small town Idaho and work in a job where I would be making less than half of what I was used to. In fact, I put my notice in at my job before I was even offered the job I currently have.
Am I crazy? Likely. But I did something that I needed to do. Listen to my own advice.
The fact of the matter is I was tired of listening to myself procrastinating and doing exactly what I told others not to do. I like to help people. I like to show people life lessons I’ve learned along the way and give them action plans to help them get through similar situations. That’s all great, but what happens when you aren’t listening to yourself?
You will always find reasons to not do something. That’s life. Choices will come along that are easy, some will be hard. But you do have to make them. You cannot go about life picking and choosing which choices you want to take head on and which ones you’d like to avoid. If you think this is possible, be prepared to live a life similar to mine a month ago. One filled with a lingering unhappiness and no way out.
In the last month, I’ve moved (twice actually), met a ton of new people, learned a new job and have implemented things into my life that will hopefully make me a more well-balanced person. I’ve learned a ton along the way. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you will never fail if you do what you know is right.
Listening to my own advice triggered a whole lot of life lessons. Here are some of them.
1. Take any and every opportunity to minimize the “stuff.” When we were packing up our house I encouraged myself and my fiancé to pack only what we knew we would use and need. Anything we haven’t used for 6 months or more, give away or trash. Not only was this great because we packed less, but it helped us when we got to our new home because everything we unpacked, we needed. No clutter. Even better? Less to maintain and less stress along the way and in the future.
2. Turn off your cable and internet. My new gig is up on a mountain. They were awesome and put us in a home up there for a month. The “problem?” No internet or cable for close to a month. I thought I was going to die. But in fact, I used that free time to read and do other things. I think I read a total of 3 books, all while also dealing with the stresses of moving and starting a new job. It created a great balance for me and formed a habit of making a bit of time to read each day.
3. Look back at how things were from time to time. It’s easy to forget. By the time I was starting my second week in my new job I was starting to feel stressed. This isn’t a new feeling for me. Actually, it’s very familiar. By taking time to stop and think about how my last job was and how I felt coming home every night or waking up every morning, I was able to really be grateful for the position I’m in. That’ll take the stress levels down real quick.
4. There is never an ideal world. This decision and move have forced me to realize one thing I really didn’t want to be okay with. There is no ideal. If you think that moving somewhere else or having something new will make you happy, you’re wrong. It’s you, and only you, that can make you happy. You have to change your mentality. It’s true what they say, a positive person has a positive mindset – always. It’s amazing how easily you can change the vibe of a situation when all you do is act in a positive way.
Many of these lessons I’ve learned have been small. Many of them I already “knew.” But the point is, I now actually understand them. You already “know” what you should be doing. You just don’t “understand” what you should be doing…yet. Until you make the decision to listen to your own advice you’ll be in this situation.
Think about a decision of yours you’ve been dreading, procrastinating, or just don’t understand. Without thinking too hard about it, what do you think you should do? Do it. Don’t start questioning it or thinking about the negative consequences. You already know it’s what you should do. So do it!
Will the outcome always be positive? Absolutely not. But who’s the person that said every good outcome came from a good decision? You can learn a lot from great choices, but you can learn even more from poor choices. I’m not saying go out there and make decisions you know will put you or someone else in harm’s way, but you know what’s best. Stop blaming others or possible outcomes on why you didn’t make a choice.
This is your life, your happiness is at stake. You cannot afford to not be happy all because you’re scared to make a decision. From first-hand experience, it will be a rough road. But any road to something good is hard, right? Make the choices you know are right. Be selfish. Act for yourself and your happiness and in the end you’ll be grateful you listened to the best advice – your own.
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