I'm a simple girl with a li'l dream, of seeing her humble works in exquisite print, to share with all who feels for words, written with
an unsupressable urge. So indugle in my fantasies, and plow your way through my memories, greatly appreciated you will be,
if you can leave your comments here for me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

10 Ways To Feel Good About Your Life

Artwork by wojtar

Many times in my life I come across people who are always finding fault with themselves, with their lives, with people around them and with the world at large. Happiness seems to elude them, and they may even feel guilty or undeserving if something good happens to them, simply because life hasn't been all that fair to them since they came into existence.

You may laugh, but it's a real social problem. Not being a sexist here, but women tend to exhibit this fatalistic trait more than men. Maybe because we are emo creatures, or maybe throughout tradition, we have always been subconsciously reminded that we are the weaker sex, physically, emotionally, intellectually, psychologically and whatever-terms-they-can-come-up-with-ly.

Gender aside, it is getting quite common to feel small and not-so-good about oneself in today's world. Intense competition, higher living of standards, dynamic environments and rapid changes in lifestyle and technology can give rise to an acute sense of uncertainty.

Even some of the most confident men I know will show this vulnerable feeling of inadequacy from time to time, even without them realising it. The tell tale signs are evident in their words, their responses and attitude towards certain issues in life, work, family and personal relationships.

Personally, I used to be a worry-wart and had tendencies of putting myself down too. Like many people, sometimes I feel that I am just "not good enough". It took many unpleasant and drastic incidents in my life to eventually realise that I do not want to ever die with regrets, or feeling unworthy.

Who is the best judge of myself, except me? The best way to live a damn miserable life is to be your own's worst critic. Is there one good reason why we are so hard on ourselves? Is there any human being whom we need to impress so much that we willingly lose our identity and sense of pride in order to gain their supereme approval? Do I want to live my life and be happy living it, or do I want to live a life that others expect of me, so that they can be happy watching me wallowing in misery?

In short, do I really care about these people's opinions or should I be more concerned about who I am and could potentially be?

I don't know about you, but for me - yesterday was over and today will be tomorrow the next day. I cannot live my entire life pleasing everyone, and waste each and every day pondering what I could have done to be better, smarter, richer, prettier and more popular. If something happens to me tomorrow, all I can reflect on my life's CV is - "I feel lousy all my life."

It scares me just thinking about it - having nothing to be happy about or to feel good about.

I came across these 10 tips below recently on how to feel good about your life, and was pretty amused to see that I have actually started to live my life as illustrated in the points below. I believe I am now a person with tons and tons of happy little things to add into Elvina's Life C.V. - and if anyone was to take a peek at it, it will be filled with good memories, funny mistakes, shocking blunders, naughty encounters and horrible experiences. The most important takeaway will be that every single incident recorded in there - is worth celebrating.

Well, if you have not fallen asleep by now, I am sure you can take that extra step to stop feeling shitty, and start feeling good about yourself and your life. Here's how:

1. Never stop questioning. Every time you feel frustrated with a task, ask yourself, "How does this task fit in with my ultimate goals?" "How can I do this better, faster, easier, simpler, and even more fun?"

2. Don't give up on life. Be interested and curious about yourself and about others. Don't assume that's "just the way it is". Look for the choices behind your results.

3. Accept your weakness. Don't deceive yourself by thinking you're the only one with difficulties in their life. Everybody has them (yes, everybody!). Instead of spending your time and energy trying to "overcome" your weakness, make friends with it and make it work for you.

4. Don't stop learning. The brain is a muscle just like any other, and it will stagnate if you let it. Make it your rule to learn something new every day. Then USE what you learn to make your life better.

5. Expect nothing; expect the best. Paradox? No. It just means that you don't want to miss out on what's wonderful in your life right now, while you spend all your time peeking around the next corner.

6. Don't lie to yourself. Telling lies to yourself is the most harmful form of disrespect. Write out ways in which you are untruthful to yourself, and how to correct it. "I will no longer pretend that overspending my budget is ok".

7. Do plant what you want to grow. Many many people are (figuratively) wondering where the roses are in their life, yet they spend all their time planting and nourishing weeds. You reap what you sow. That's just the way it is.

8. Don't live in the past. Let go of things that are draining you. There's nothing in the past that you can change or correct -- that can only be done in the present. Use Today. Today, change what you need to change, and move on to feeling good about your life.

9. Swim with the current. Don't waste your time complaining about what you can't control - like other people. Concentrate on what you CAN control, Like who you Hug, what you Read, when you SMILE, how much you Laugh, where you Go, what you Do, what you Think about.

10. Stand like a Rock. You know what's right for you - be willing to stand up for what's right for you.

.... and that pretty much kind of sums me up too!

“Aim for success, not perfection.
Never give up your right to be wrong,
because then you will lose the ability to learn new things
and move forward with your life.”


Aristocrat said...

Useful pointers there, Rena. And oops I forgot to vote! Haha..

Hmm identity issues. A person is always (if not consciously, subconsciously) concerned about others' impressions of him or her.

goodshithappens said...

good post you have there. you've reminded me how much i hated life (and everyone else and everything else) when i was young, but i learnt to appreciate life and look on the positive side, and have as a result become a more confident and happier person.

life is so beautiful even with its ups and downs!

Anonymous said...

Who am I?
What do I want?
What is the price of something?
And what is valuable in life?

Good pointers there.


Midorinosora said...

That was indeed enlightening.

Living in the past is really easy; taking that step to live the moment is easier said than done, but guarantees a sense of fulfillment if one really tries, I believe.

I've also realized that many people, girls in particular, sow lavender seeds in the hope of getting roses. While lavenders may be nice too, if it's roses that you really want, then it's pretty much pointless isn't it.

I was a perfect example of that and I've learnt my lesson: Be true and don't ever lie to yourself, cos at the end of the day, the only one getting the brunt of your actions is yourself.

The Human Battery said...

> 9. Swim with the current. Don't waste your time complaining about what you can't control

No wonder those who followed The One, are less happy than people like me, who rejects him and choose to remain Human Batteries ;)

Richard said...

For most of my life, being happy and feeling good about life was not really a problem for me. Of course, some might claim I was blissfully naïve and ignorant.

Balancing our desire to belong (a strong fundamental need) against being content with ourselves is difficult.

However, happiness is not just about "I", it also involves "you" (or "others"). Too often happiness is confused with pleasure - indeed, our societies seem to promote pleasure over happiness.

There are numerous motivations and pursuits of happiness - some involve wanting to belong, others involve seeking pleasure, which, to me, seem to be the two most common. In my case it is a belief and desire that everything is neat and ordered and things naturally fall into place; the chaos and suffering in this world is an aberration is easily fixed because people naturally tend towards order and harmony rather than disorder and chaos. Ok, it doesn’t work that way, which is why I spiraled into a major emotional / spiritual / mental abyss 4 years ago. Making things fall into place, rather than having them naturally fall into place is new for me and something I am working (sometimes) hard at. (On the other hand, it could all have been just some chemical / hormone imbalance.)

I found that blogging has helped (of course, that is doing something). Blogging also allows me to meet all sorts of wonderful, interesting and engaging people (so I guess I am not so averse to other people as I sometimes claim)

Tan Kok Seng said...

I like Richard's comment about balancing the desire to belong.

I think we only need to be concerned about what others think when 1) it affects your stability - financial, emotional, professional, etc. and 2) there's actually something that you can do to fix it.

So, what are these "naught encounters" you mentioned? You didn't think you'd get away just slipping that in, did you? ;-)

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

Thanks all for reading this. I guess I was feeling a bit fired up when I was writing this.

Felt kind of spaced out nowadays. Not sure why.

Getting old perhaps?

Whiskoffee said...

Well said! Many thanks ;-)

Szerena said...

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