Friday, June 13, 2014

I Have A New Blog Idol......

...and you will too. Trust me.

If you read nothing else ever again, PLEASE read this article, written by Marc Chernoff at Marc and Angel Hack Life:

20 Hard Things You Need to Do to Be Happy
I don't care if you're 16, 25, 42, 60, or 80, this piece will resonate with you in some way. And if it doesn't, you're a cold hearted alien sent to earth to destroy mankind. 

Dear Marc:
I think you're brilliant.

Here is his list. It's amazeballs. My personal comments follow.

1. You need to take small chances every day. 

I don't do this enough. I was born a chicken...the "bock bock" kind. I like my confort zone. I don't get disappointed. I don't appear foolish. I can't fail. Yet in my comfort zone, I don't succeed at anything except complacency.

2. You need to worry less about what other people think of you.

I got this..... But it took me 35 years! Divorce in a small town will cure you of that concern fairly quickly. Not only did I learn that it was ok to be me, but no matter what you do, people will talk. And when they do, it's the voice of their insecurity. So tell 'em "go on with your judgey judge selves. I'll just be over here moving on with my life."

3. You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving.

Marc writes: "Plan to outdo your past, not other people." 

4. You need to invest in youself even when no one else is.

Imperative. "Invest in education, health and happiness every single day", he says. I don't feel I do this consistently enough, but I know that IF I did, it would make a positive impact on my life. So what's holding me back??? ME.

5. You need to walk the talk.

Simply put: If you want something, go after it. 

6. You need to put your heart into your work.

This could mean your job, your parenting, your relationships, your hobbies. Whatever it is, put your heart in it. I am passionate about my writing. It's out there. Like or not. It's 100% me. I am passionate about my kids and being a mom. When I'm old and gray I may look back wishing I'd done some things differently, but the one thing I can never say is I didn't leave my heart out there.

7. You need to deliver results even when excuses is easier. "No excuses, no quick fixes, no blaming others. No I'll Do It Tomorrows. No more excuses"

Genius!!  #7 also applies to our kids and that fight against entitlement we have as parents. I need to print this list out solely to highlight #7 and chant it in my boys' ears as they're sleeping at night. Subliminal message much?? :)

8. You need to make mistakes and look like a fool sometimes.

Me = Nailed it. Many times. Thank god, none of which were caught on Vine or YouTube. But Marc means, it's ok to fall, metaphorically, not literally. Been there done that as well. Looking like a fool, humbles us. Failure makes us stronger. Both really suck a lot in the moment, but give us the stepping stone needed to strive for greater things.

9. You need to let go of yesterday's struggles.

That's another doozy for me. Why is it we can forgive others much easier than we can forgive ourselves? One of my favorite quotes from his blog:
"The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end. So stop re-reading the bad one already and turn the page". 

10. You need to refrain from feeling sorry for yourself.

Hey, no one likes a pity party as much as yours truly, but I'm married to a man who gives me one swift kick in the arse and motivates me to move past whatever it is that has me down in the dumps. While it annoys me to NO END in the moment, I'm greatly appreciative. Get up, brush yourself off, and move on.

11. You need to toughen up.

Life's experiences help tremendously with toughening up. It doesn't mean I have no heart or feelings. It means I can endure whatever difficult situation I am in because I realize there is an end in sight that leads to better things.

12. You need to fight hard for what your believe in.

Whatever it is, fight for it! A product of divorce is a massive reality check and prioritizing what is important. I have learned to fight for what I believe in even if it may seem like a hopeless cause at the time. In the end, I never regret standing up for something that is close to my heart.

13. You need to be patient

Weeeeellllll...  I completely suck at this. But I'll do better. I swear. 

14. You need to take control of your thoughts before they take control over you.

I won't let negative thoughts win me over. It only sets me up for failure. And when weakness prevails, it's time for me to focus on #15.

15. You need to be positive. 

I steer clear of Negative Nellies. And I try to look for the good in every situation even when my initial instict may be "Oh sh$#!"

16. You need to spend more time with the right people.

Truer words have never been spoken. I recently wrote a blog about Toxic Relationships. There comes a time when you realize the people that are healthy for you and those that are toxic. And it's time to clean house.

17. You need to stand up for yourself.

If you don't take up for yourself, no one else will.

18. You need to forgive everyone who has wronged you.

Trust me, this should be #1 on anyone's How to live a fulfilling, happy life list. I once posted a quote on Facebook "Holding on to anger (bitterness) is liking drinking the poison but waiting on the other person to die". I could write a book on this one thing alone. I was this person. I hated the constant feeling of anger until one day I made the decision to forgive and release myself of the bitterness demon that had held me hostage for so long. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. To this day, I still see people walking around in their bitter cloud and I pity them. They are sad, miserable people. One day they'll learn they are only imprisoning themselves.

19. You need to reach out and help people.

Nothing fulfills the soul as much as helping others. I challenge anyone to go on a shopping spree for themselves vs. volunteer their time/pay it forward for another. Which experience will be lasting in your heart? While those adorable new shoes will get compliments for a season or two, whoever you helped in your selfless journey will remember what you did for a lifetime. 

20. You need to be present enough to enjoy your journey.

Thank you for the reminder, Marc. You're right. Presence is KEY. And I've gotten better with this. It is a harsh reality check into today fast paced, technologically advanced world. Step away from the device and live. We are only in this life once.

Live it. And live it filled with positivity, no regrets, happiness, forgiveness and love.

And when in doubt, read Marc's Blog again.