When it comes to self-evaluation, we are sometimes lacking. Often, we get so wrapped up in “helping others” to distract ourselves from seeing the big picture clearly.
I’m here to tell you… That will work for a little while, until you end up in a room alone, and self-pity sets in, causing insomnia, stress and anxiety. All of which can be avoided if the right formula is identified for your life.
The very best version of you must include your own happiness, even if your purpose is to serve others, your life and health cannot be the expense of that effort.
Where are you now?
Follow the steps to identify where you are, then we’ll get to adjustments.
Though not always, age and health are typically linked. The older we get, the more likely we are of developing health related issues without proper diet, exercise and being mindful of our mental state.
That’s not to say younger people cannot get sick, but the risks increase with age (typically).
So, if you’re over the age of 35, and not taking care of yourself with adequate sleep (on a consistent schedule), it could be detrimental to your bottom line (and your waist line).
Becoming undisciplined with health could lead to common issues such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, chronic pain/inflammation. It’s important to lead a mildly active life, rather than a sedentary existence in front of the television or constantly sitting for long periods of time.
Going for a 20 minute walk daily is a great way to keep the body in motion, and always get up and move around/stretch at least every hour if sitting is a large portion of your daily routine.
Another important aspect is to eat properly, now dieticians may disagree (and by the way, I am NOT a dietician, so this is just my opinion, and not sound medical advice…), but it doesn’t necessarily matter WHAT you eat, as long as it is in moderation. Sure, have a handful of chips, but follow the serving size on the nutritional facts; if the size is 13 chips for 200 calories… EAT 13 CHIPS and stop.
Keeping track of caloric intake is a HUGELY important factor in weight control. The total calories allowed in a day depend on a persons level of activity; a highly active person requires more calories than a person who sits for a majority of their day without much exertion.
Some love their job, others hate their job. The way of life will always be “move toward the money”, we aim for jobs that pay a fair rate that will allow us to live a life that we will accept; at least we’ll accept it for a while.
If your career has been bland, and it doesn’t excite you, or make you hopeful, welcome to the new age, where choices are abundant.
Assessing risk factors is important before switching jobs, things like family size, responsibilities and debt.
Have young kids? Yeah, a career change will have to be calculated well to maintain the security for your family (like health insurance, steady pay, and dependable work).
Have a lot of debt? Calculate that if the next job is going to pay less, or more. Also consider if it’s paying more, is it additional stress that might affect your health? It’s not always ALL about the money; but, usually is about the money in some regard.
Have an ill parent or spouse? Changing jobs is hard to gamble with in a case like that. Especially if your current employer knows the situation and is empathetic towards your responsibilities, letting you leave early or come in late, or take days off, etc.
This kind of falls into the “occupation” category, but it’s separate for a reason.
The best version of you won’t tie up their identity in a salary if the job is not in line with your values.
Working for a creep won’t ever feel good, no matter how much the pay rate is, or the bonuses are.
Identify what it cost you (internally) to bring home that paycheck. Sometimes, less money holds more value if it comes from doing something that makes you feel happy.
I cannot stress the importance on this one! Your family is a clear gauge to let you know if you’re the best version of yourself. [I mean family like a wife and kids].
Parents judge harshly sometimes, so they don’t always know what’s best for the adult version of you. Sometimes we have to go against the grain in order to be free and alive.
If your parents want you to go to school and become a dentist, but you really want to paint… That’s not going to make anyone happy. You’ll resent them for “forcing you” into a decision you didn’t want to make, and you’ll be miserable fixing teeth until your mid-life crisis.
But honestly, your kids will be a good measure of who you are.
Are they happy to see you after work? Do they want to spend time with you? [I mean kids between the age of 5-12, because after 13 they’ll want nothing to do with you anyway].
If you are being a consistent and caring human being to your family, the rest of your life is in pretty good order. The ultimate goal in life is to be consistent, be happy and by default, those who care about you will be happy as well.
Are you satisfied with where you are right now?
If not, then just remember you’ve got TIME!
Identify in the topics above what you can do to improve, set the goals and stick to them. If effort is put forth, and those goals are taken seriously, satisfaction will have to increase, because staying on the path and putting in the work is the only way to results.
Some people are happy with mediocrity, but I’m not. I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and say that I’m lazy, but it doesn’t keep me from chasing my goals and “getting after it”; I can be lazy tomorrow, but today I need to write this blog.
Where do you want to be?
Answer this question honestly, right now.
What does your ideal life look like?
How can you get to that ideal life? What steps could you take to get there?
Draft a plan, set some goals, and start hammering out that list! Get to where you want to be, because life is too short to sit around and regret the things we did not chase.
Money is not success…
Despite the belief that successful people are all billionaires (yeah, some are), it’s not money that makes success.
Success can be measured by a number of categories, but I’ll name a few.
Life is nothing without he experiences we have, without standing in front of the ocean, breathing deeply and digging our toes into the sand looking at the sunrise casting a color of purple and streaks of pink in the sky.
It’s the sound of a trickling brook, trees swaying and creaking in the breeze of late autumn.
It’s a spring day when the ground is soft and the sun is warm, but the air is still cool and damp.
It’s a summer day at a BBQ with friends and family, laughing at the same story that your cousin Erick has told a half dozen times this year. It’s the smell of the food cooking on the grill in front of your dad that everyone is going to argue about their preference of which American cheese is better on a burger [white or yellow for you?].
Experiences define our stories; taking time to soak in those experiences and let them shape the world we live in is another story.
Descriptive memories are so powerful, and they make life joyous, and celebratory every day.
Do you deserve to be happy?
Have you been a good person (more or less) in your life? Even if you haven’t, don’t get discouraged, it’s never too late to turn it around.
Morals are programmed into people in childhood, and we all have an internal voice that says what we are doing is right or wrong.
I don’t want to believe there are naturally bad people, but there are people who make bad choices.
Don’t make bad choices, because it will be repaid later on in life. The idea of Karma is “voodoo” to some, but it’s very real in my experience.
Making ourselves happy is always encouraged, as long as our moral compasses are calibrated properly.
The definition is: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”.
Another noteworthy definition to take home today is: Character – “The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”.
In life, both of these are SO important, as they let others know exactly who they’re dealing with.
If someone has poor character and no integrity, RUN AWAY from them immediately, they’re just a vortex of destruction.
A good measure of character is how someone treats others who cannot do anything for them. For example: when a person treats a waiter/waitress like they’re less than human, or undeserving of respect and decency… That’s a poor character.
Integrity is an important factor in how we’re perceived in life. If our intentions are not apparent, then we seem untrustworthy and with loose morals.
Get your head on straight and understand what makes you “tick”. Knowing the difference between right and wrong is instinctual in humans, we’re programmed to feel a pull internally if we take a wrong turn.
Do the things that need to be done, and happiness will follow.
It’s said “do what makes you happy” is a good bit of advice, but it’s really not. To paraphrase a man named Jocko Willink, doing what makes you happy is going to get you in a place you don’t want to be.
If eating a piece of cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner makes you happy, then your health is going to pay, and that should not make anyone happy.
Do the hard stuff, do the things that will move you forward, and “Happy” should come along with it.
Stay on the path.