The pleasure and positive memories afforded by great experiences far outweigh material things. If you’re trying to decide between the new sofa or the family trip, take the trip every time.
Save and plan for new adventures and meaningful experiences. Don’t just dream about them — make them happen.
We keeping waiting for that amazing thing to happen in the future that will be the key to our happiness.
But this is it. Right now. Life continues to be a series of right nows. So learn to love right now, and you’ll have an amazing life.
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.
Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting.
And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.
Own your life; no one else will.
Be yourself. Don’t waste time and energy trying to be and do what you think others want you to do and be. And most of the time, your actions trying to be what you think others want won’t make you happy. They won’t make others like you any better. Instead of trying to please others, just be you. Be honest about who you are and what you want. Maybe some of your old friends won’t like who you will become. That’s okay. You’ll make plenty of new friends who do like who you are.
Choose happiness. Do work and play that brings fulfillment. Spend time with people who build you up, not those who bring you (and others) down. Strip from your life the things that take time, money, and energy, but which do not bring you joy. Focus on the essentials.
Quality tools can make life better. For years, I equated low cost with smart spending. Now I know that’s not always the case. Now, I’m willing to spend to buy high-quality things when I know I’ll use them all the time. The expense is worth it because it makes working a joy. For items used daily, buy the best. If you don’t use it often, of if it’s not important to you, buy the cheapest possible.
If you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed, create margin in your life. Simplicity brings peace. Every item you own, every meeting you schedule, every email you receive — every obligation in your life carries both psychic and physical weight. As much as you can, build margin into your life so that you can feel peaceful and free.
You can have anything you want — but you can’t have everything you want. Everything is a trade-off. You have limited resources. When you choose to spend — time, money, brainwidth — on one thing, you’re also choosing not to spend on others. Do your best to spend only on the things that matter most to you. If you don’t really have a passion for Big Bang Theory, why are you wasting your valuable time watching it? Spend your time and energy on something you do care about.
You’ll be happier if you focus on efforts and attention only on the things you can control. Each of us has a large number of things about which we’re concerned: our health, our family, our friends, our jobs; world affairs, the plight of the poor, the threat of terrorism, the current political climate. Within that Circle of Concern, there’s a smaller subset of things over which we have actual, direct control: how much we exercise, what time we go to bed, whether we leave for work on time; what we eat, where we live, with whom we socialize. You’ll be happier and more productive if you dedicate yourself to your Circle of Control and ignore your Circle of Concern.
You have the freedom to choose how you respond to any event. In the classic Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Fankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” He based this philosophy on his personal experience in a Nazi concentration camp. When that jerk cuts you off on the freeway, you get to choose if you’ll get angry or give him the benefit of the doubt. When you get stuck behind the old lady in line at the grocery store, it’s up to you how to respond. When those stupid kids next door vandalize your lawn, you get to choose how you feel about it.