If you can’t control something, then focus on what you can control (which is how you think about it)
“IF ONLY” …
If only —I was stronger.
If only —I was more…
Adding the “*I*” is a step in the right direction because then you’re focusing on something you can control, but it’s still not a very effective way to approach a problem.
The issue still lies with “If only”. Ditch it.
You can ditch “If only” by asking yourself a question…
“How can I…?“
Now you are not only putting yourself back in control, asking this question implies there is an answer to it.
And the fact that you are now thinking about a problem as if there is an answer to it provides you with a huge benefit — and that is it allows your subconscious mind to begin looking for a solution for you rather than be stuck with the belief that there isn’t one.
Come on, even Captain Jack Sparrow knows this…
“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” — Captain Jack Sparrow
When you approach a problem in a way that implies you are powerless to address it, you create a mental roadblock and leave very little room for problem solving. When you approach a problem in a way that implies there is a solution to it, you open up a world of possibilities.
“If only” is a roadblock on the highway of life. “How can I…” is a roadblock breaker.
Use as needed.
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” — Bruce Lee
While some people are naturally more likable than others, it is a fact of life that no matter how nice, how giving, or how generous you are, not everyone who crosses your path is going to like you.
Not being liked by every single person on the planet is normal. Some people will just naturally “get you”, others won’t.
That’s life. And it’s a good thing, too!
If we were all the same and liked all the same things, we’d never have our beliefs or values challenged. We’d be unthinking automatons (robots) and life would be boring! Contrast in life is a good thing. And it is our differences that make us great and help us to grow.
It may help to remember that some of the most loved people in history actually made history because they were bold and they often thought or acted contrary to popular belief at the time. They had more than their fair share of critics.
If you want to self-actualize (reach your fullest potential), then you must learn to accept yourself for who you are & who you want to be and take personal responsibility for your life and how you feel.
And along the way to self-actualization, you must be prepared to be unpopular. Don’t leave your sense of worth and well-being in the hands of others.
So if you’re doing the best you can, and you still have your critics, remember to put your focus on where it belongs — on your greater mission and on the people who want you in their life, not on those who don’t.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Tease
Likability and Success
So if you’re not supposed to worry about whether everyone likes you or not, what’s the big deal about being likable at all?
Well, being likable, connecting with others, and forming relationships — whether it’s with an individual or an audience — can be (and often is) an integral part of being successful in life.
And being liked (or unliked) can (and often does) have a direct impact on your health, your wealth, your general level of happiness, and how effective you are at achieving goals.
This is — in part — because your potential is enhanced by the people in your life who find you likable enough that they are willing to take action at your request — or on your behalf — or provide you with assistance in times of need.
While it is impossible to be liked by all, the keys to being likable are traits that can have long-lasting positive effects on your life, your personal and business endeavors, and your relationships.
So while being liked by all should not be a focus in your life, increasing your likability can have a dramatic and positive effect on what you want to accomplish.
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” — Zig Ziglar
“When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
When you think about all the things you could do or all the places you could go or all the opportunities you could take advantage of, it’d be nearly impossible to fit them into a single lifetime, let alone a stage of life.
And yet many people put off doing things until some fictional future when “everything will be right”. A distant future that rarely arrives.
Don’t waste opportunities to do things that are actually worth remembering by sitting idly as they pass. The things that a person can sit down and “do” today are generally the same things one can sit down and “do” a decade from now.
So get up, get out, and really do something.
A person only gets so many opportunities to do certain things at certain times in their life. What a person plans for matters, but what a person actually does matters even more.
Any time you’ve taken care of your responsibilities and you find yourself with the luxury of time, ask yourself, “Am I doing something worth remembering?” And if what you’re doing isn’t worth remembering, think of something that you can do that is, and then do that.
While there is certainly something to be said about being appreciated & showing appreciation on mutually agreed upon and culturally convenient dates, one could make an argument that the most sincere times to show appreciation are those times when a person you care about was simply on your mind and you thought enough of them to take the time to say so. Not because it was a holiday. Not because it was convenient. But just because it felt right and you truly wanted to do it.
I think most people would agree that any time is a good time to be appreciated. But by that same token, any time is a good time to SHOW appreciation, but if you truly want to maximize the experience, the BEST times to show gratitude for those you care about might just be the times when it isn’t a common cultural phenomenon.
(* within obvious social norms)
So if today isn’t one of those holidays — or even if it is! — is there someone you could show appreciation to right now?
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo F. Buscaglia
Who we are today is a result of all the decisions we’ve ever made in life. Whatever we wish to be in the future depends on our present actions. To become who you wish to be, simply determine how that person would act and then, little by little, act like that person.
Life isn’t always easy — but it helps if you remember that obstacles in your path are there to test you and to help you grow. It is by overcoming obstacles that you develop new skills and new ways of handling what the rest of your life has in store for you. If you’d never had a problem in your life, you wouldn’t be very able to deal with — well LIFE, would you?
“As I look back at the entire tapestry of my life, I can see from the perspective of the present moment that every aspect of my life was necessary and perfect. Each step eventually led to a higher place, even though these steps often felt like obstacles or painful experiences.” — Wayne Dyer
Tell yourself you may not have the best there is, but you’re going to make the best of what you DO have. We often need far less than we think we do to achieve what we want.
We think we need the best gadgets, top-of-the-line thingamabobs, etc. before we get started. We often hold ourselves back waiting for just the right time for something — the perfect moment when everything is right.
But the fact is, we’d often get further faster if we started today and made the most of what we had. There will always be things we don’t have — waiting until we get all of them is often at the expense of making real progress towards where we want to be.
When we make the best of what we have, it allows us to make progress towards our goals, instead of waiting for that perfect moment that often doesn’t arrive. Progress is good. And that’s encouraging.
Many of us are our own worst critics. We beat ourselves up when things don’t play out as we imagined.
It may be disappointing to make mistakes or not perform as well as we expected, but it’s important to remember that no experience is wasted if we learn from it.
Life is hard enough as it is — we shouldn’t make it even harder on ourselves by focusing on our failures, lacks, or shortcomings. Yes, having an idea of our weaknesses is advantageous in order to find ways to compensate for them, but to beat ourselves up over not being able to do everything we attempt every single time we try is a waste of energy.
When we give ourselves a break, it makes our efforts easier and strengthens our resolve to keep heading towards our dreams. And that’s encouraging.