Do you feel stuck? You’re not happy with your life, but you don’t know what you can change, if you can change it, and whether it will make a difference. You’re just going through the motions of your job, and when people talk about “passion” or “following your dream” you cringe. Passion? You just want to get through the day without wanting to kill someone.
Everyone goes through moments like this. And the good news is that you can use this feeling as a chance to start fresh, and create—from the ground up—a life that is fulfilling and meaningful. Here are some life tips to help you.
Life tip # 1: Listen to your intuition
When you’re stressed out or discouraged you are locked into one interpretation of reality. You can’t see opportunities and you’re confused by conflicting ideas or feelings.
In situations like this, you need to tap your inner wisdom, what some people call intuition or gut feel. All experiences and events can help you realize what makes you happy—or unhappy. You just need to be more aware of your reaction, and that little voice in your head that says, “This means that…” Let’s say you meet someone at a cocktail party. You can feel a stirring of excitement as you listen to him talk about his job. That’s your intuition telling you, “I could do that. It sounds like fun.” You can listen to that and grab the chance to research on the industry and the skills it requires, or you can say, “I’ve had too many margaritas.”
You can tap your intuition through prayer, regular meditation, tarot cards, or even looking for patterns in your dreams.
Life tip # 2: Don’t tune out unhappiness
Human beings are really good at adjusting to situations—sometimes to the point of forgetting that they’re miserable. “It’s always been this way.” Or, “I just have to accept that this is my lot in life.”
One of the first steps in improving your life is recognizing the specific areas that cause the most dissatisfaction. Don’t just stop at “I hate my job.” Go deeper: “The repetitive tasks are boring me, and I’m not learning anything new.” Or, “My job’s okay, but I need to be more creative.”
Life tip # 3: Pay attention to happiness
So you know what makes you unhappy…but it’s equally important to recognize what makes you happy. When do you feel most alive, excited, peaceful, grateful? Set aside half an hour a day to write down three specific experiences or things that brought joy that day. Then, make a decision to magnify the positive. If having lunch with your best friend helped lift you out of a funk, promise yourself to meet up with her twice a month, and go out of your way to make more friends at work.
Life tip # 4: Strike “never” and forever” from your vocabulary
You don’t know the future, and that’s a good thing. Be a “possibility thinker” and that starts from acknowledging that there’s more to life than what you know, feel and understand.
Life tip # 5: Know yourself
Write in your journal regularly, asking yourself these questions:
a. Do you have an interest, passion, dream or desire that you’re too scared to admit to others…and even yourself? (Conquer this fear with our article on fearless living.)
b. Is there someone you look up to, or are jealous of? What is it about her life that you’d like for yourself? Describe yourself doing it.
c. What do you love most about yourself? How can you share those qualities and skills with other people?
d. Are you afraid of success? Complete this sentence: “If I achieve (goal) then I might…”
e. Are you living out the expectations of other people? Are you afraid of what other people will say, or are you doing something because so-and-so said “it was the proper/stable/smart thing to do.”
Life tip # 6: Spin the negatives
Try phrasing things in a positive and proactive way. For example, instead of saying, “My job is boring” then say, “I want a job where I can learn something every day” or even better “I find ways to learn something at my job every day.”
And instead of putting yourself down (“I’m fat” or “I’m not good with people”) focus on the person you want to be. Everyone has something to give to the world; you just have to zero in on what’s important to you and devote your energy to that. And don’t give up hope.
Change is a natural part of life. It can be scary—and liberating. You don’t have to be where you are now. Once you embrace change, then you open a whole new world to yourself. “I don’t like where I am now. So I am moving forward.”
And always check in with a qualified health professional.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.