Some people have posited that life is but a series of lessons. If that were the case, how many of them can we say we’ve missed? One of the greatest advantages of being mindful is that it allows to absorb new information on an almost-daily basis. Embracing this allows us to be open to change and growth. On the flipside, closing yourself off can end up insulating you from some very important truths.
1. Your perception is a reality
Your outlook in life has an effect on your beliefs and the way you live your life. We tend to be biased when making choices because we are more than likely to defer to what is comfortable and relatable. It’s not that perceiving the world to be a cold and unforgiving place makes it as such, but doing so does cause you to act and react in way that assumes it to be true. As such, the consequences that follow will be in line with your internal narrative.
2. Nothing lasts forever
Every moment you experience is transient. Be thankful for the good times and don’t dwell on the bad times. A common saying is that the finite nature of life is what makes each and every moment so precious. What you may think to be horrible now, may actually be paving the way for something greater, just like how a thunderstorm gives way to a rainbow.
3. The importance of being present
We tend to overthink every time we perceive ourselves to be in a bad position. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu had an apt quote for describing overthinking: "If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present."
We lock ourselves in a dark room and pile up on worries that have yet to happen. Unfortunately, worrying isn't productive and overthinking is a misuse of imagination. Focusing on the now allows you to direct your energy towards the things that you can influence, rather than wasting it on what-ifs and could-haves.
4. Invest in yourself and do what you love
Bob Dylan put it best when he said "What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do."
Develop hobbies that make you happy. You deserve to come home after a long day at work and to be re-energised by the simple pleasures that bring a smile to you. While work is a large aspect of our lives, we forget how important it is to unwind after the long hours we put in at the office. It's important to work on yourself and achieve satisfaction in life outside of the workplace.
5. Being happy requires you to put in the effort
The happiest people aren’t like that by chance – they often make the very conscious choice to be happy. This however, is not something that just floats your way. It’s one thing to allow yourself to be happy, but it’s another to make the choices that turn it into reality. There will be times when it seems tough and you might not know if it will work out at all. While nothing can really guarantee you happiness in life, it is far better to actively work towards it instead of wishing it upon a star.
While some truths might be universal, the sad fact is that they’re rarely so when it comes to being realised. The upside is that it’s never too late to pick up on these lessons. Whether you’re engaging them via life hacks or self-help books, an earnest appreciation of them will allow you to make the most out of their practice and fuel some much-needed personal growth.