With the proper skills, attitude, and approach you can navigate to wherever you wish to go.
But how quickly & easily you get to your desired destination depends not only on how efficiently you operate — and how resilient you are to challenges you encounter along the way — but on the overall integrity of your vessel.
In other words, how well you do in life depends a lot on how well you can handle and navigate less than desirable circumstances.
Now consider that your weaknesses are like leaks in the hull of this boat.
Under normal circumstances — and if the leaks are small — one can often bail out water quickly enough to keep their boat afloat.
Now, because a boat with leaks takes more energy to manage than one without, the ideal approach is to locate and plug as many leaks as possible.
The more leaks that one can plug, the more efficiently the boat will float and the less one feels the negative effects of the leaks that remain.
In short, identifying one’s weakness and then working on ways to overcome them makes one’s life more manageable.
On the flip side, if the leaks in one’s boat become too prevalent — perhaps while navigating a stormy sea — one’s vessel will take in water faster than one can bail it out.
And whether we’re talking about leaks or personal weaknesses here, not being able to manage them effectively can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, helpless, and depressed.
So you can see why identifying and actively working on one’s weaknesses can be beneficial and empowering.
How to overcome weaknesses is beyond the scope of this post, but it should help to point out that the more that one can identify their weaknesses, triggers, and bad habits, the more that they can make a conscious effort to reduce them.
The more a person makes a conscious effort to reduce the impact of their weaknesses, the more they’re able to direct their life where they want it go.
The more control a person gains over their self, the more control they gain over their life. The more control a person has over their life, the happier they tend to be.
One of the biggest steps toward gaining control over one’s life is gaining control over one’s self.
Plug your leaks.
(And if you can’t plug them, at least learn ways to minimize them).
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castaneda
Just because someone isn’t considered to be a “smart” person doesn’t mean they can’t excel in life. Some people are quick thinkers, others are slow.
It isn’t necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed that makes the biggest difference, it’s how one chooses to use it.
Being smart means very little if you don’t use your resources wisely.
You don’t have to be smart to be wise.
“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” — Steve Jobs
We live in a culture where it’s far easier to gain admiration for looking good than it is for doing good.
Just look at any magazine stand and it’s easy to see that society reflects our worship of good looks by putting more emphasis on those who are beautiful than on those who are making a real contribution.
Isn’t it time we pay attention less to genetic lottery winners with little more ambition than to gain attention for being attractive and pay more attention to the truly beautiful people going out of their way to add real value to people’s lives?
Because people are rarely as beautiful as when they act selflessly and perform an act of kindness for no other reason than to make a positive difference.
True beauty has far more to do with what kind of value a person adds to the people and places they encounter in life than it does with being physically attractive.
It’s better to be your genuine self and have fewer of the right kinds of people in your life than it is to surround yourself with those who only accept you as long as you conform to their idea of who you should be.
Don’t live your life wearing a disguise.
When you refuse to be anything but your genuine self, you give those who are most compatible with who you are a chance to find you.
Never fear being rejected by those who seek to confine you to their expectations. It’s OK not to be liked or accepted by everyone you cross paths with on your journey.
You have to live your own life, learn from what life experiences provide you and evolve into the person you were meant to be.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and let go of things that are keeping you from making progress in life in order to make space for more of the things that will help you fulfill your potential.
Whether it’s strong, confident, carefree, independent or all of the above, give yourself the freedom to be as you truly wish to appear to others.
Don’t give power to those who don’t have your best interest in mind. Reclaim the freedom to be your true self by defining your own identity and wrestle back control of your thoughts, feelings, and sense of self-worth from those you have inadvertently given power over you.
“My life sucks.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’m not where I want to be.”
It should be obvious, but even if you’re not exactly where you want to be in life — or you’re unsatisfied with your current situation — beating yourself up over the fact that you aren’t where you wish to be only serves to make things worse.
Rather than help, this kind of negative thinking puts the one person most capable of fighting for your well-being at a disadvantage. It turns you into your own enemy.
You wouldn’t tolerate a friend belittling your accomplishments, rubbing your mistakes in your face, or trying to put you down. So why would you accept that kind of behavior from yourself?
You don’t win an award for seeing how low you can go or how miserable you can make yourself feel.
If you have a tendency to do this, it’s time to stop. It’s time to take note of when your line of thinking is leading you in a downward spiral. It’s time to remind yourself that making yourself feel worse about whatever situation you find yourself in isn’t helpful or necessary and no good will come of it.
“This isn’t helping me. I need to stop thinking this way. I need to stop revisiting these thoughts. I need to focus on something else. I need to remember that, ‘This, too, shall pass’.”
While you may not be able to immediately change the situation you find yourself in, you can change is your attitude about it. And rather than focus on your problems, you can focus on solutions to your problems. Even if the most immediate solution is to stop beating yourself up — because that’s a problem you can solve.
If revisiting the past in your mind makes you miserable or comparing yourself to others makes you feel like a failure, stop doing it. Because no amount of thinking about these things in this way is going to help you. No matter what you do, you cannot change the past.
The only thing you have complete control over is your attitude and how you choose to act in this moment. This moment matters.
Rather than waste time and energy tearing yourself down, use that time to focus on what you want to achieve. Taking steps to stop yourself from feeling worse is a start.
You, more than anyone, have the ability to be your own best friend, it seems a shame to waste that opportunity by becoming your worst enemy.
You can be the hero of your life and the champion of your well-being, but first you have fully commit to the role.
And that transformation will only take place after you stop beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.
Don’t give power to your unfriendly thoughts.
*This isn’t about positive thinking or negative thinking. This is about stopping the barrage of unfriendly thoughts that lead one down a debilitating downward spiral that often leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless.
Negative thinking can actually lead to positive change, but it requires that one be in a mental state capable of finding the motivation to initiate that change. There is a huge difference between focusing on self-abuse that makes one’s self miserable and using negative thinking to initiate positive changes.
“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” — Maureen Dowd
Many people live with the hope of meeting someone special to share their lives with, but then settle for far less than what they truly seek. They fall for the false first impression. They fall for the physical and superficial instead of the authentic core of a person. They grow comfortable with the convenience of being with someone — even when that someone isn’t ideally suited to who they are or they ultimately want to be. Or worse, they let the fear of being single override their desire to leave what they know to be an unhealthy relationship.
It’s important at the beginning of any relationship not to confuse short-term attraction & desire with long-term chemistry & compatibility. It’s important to not want something to succeed so badly that you sacrifice who you are in the process of trying to make it happen.
For relationships to truly last, it’s important that people be able to connect on multiple levels and demonstrate that their core values are compatible enough to allow them to stay together long after the honeymoon phase is over.
Anyone can chase you, put their best foot forward, and adopt an attractive demeanor. Anyone can act agreeable, put in a little effort from time to time, and make you their flavor of the week. But if you’re looking for a serious, sincere, and meaningful relationship, always remember that it isn’t just anyone that you seek.
Wait for the person who accepts you for you are without seeking to change you into someone they want you to be.
Wait for the person who can appreciate your quirks without simply seeing them as something they have to tolerate.
Wait for the person who sees in you the potential for true friendship and not just a warm body or a matter of convenience.
Wait for the person who values you and your relationship enough to actually communicate their feelings.
Wait for the person who will let you grow as an individual without insisting that you never change.
Wait for the person who trusts you enough to not try to control or manipulate you.
Wait for the person who doesn’t simply see you as an option, but as a priority in their life.
Wait for the person who isn’t just nice when they want something — or who shows you appreciation only when it’s convenient.
Wait for someone with integrity, whose words are reinforced by their actions.
Wait for the person who wants to be the best person they can be for themselves, for others, and for you. Not just for a night, a day, a week, or a year, but always.
Wait. Don’t settle.
“Shouldn’t we hold out for the person who doesn’t just tolerate our little quirks, but actually kinda likes them?” — Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother