I’m 33 today. No complaints. I love being in my 30s – which are definitely a far sight more fulfilling and exciting than my 20s :-) Each day, I am aware that I want to keep pushing and striving to be my best self, and to live my Kaizen Life. So today, I want to share with you 33 thoughts. They are a mixture – some are just my thoughts, others are quotes I find inspirational, and some are things I think everyone should do. But these are the things that you sometimes need when you need that boost of positivity, or just a kick in the ass, or just some inspiration. This is one of my longer articles here, at almost 1900 words, but still a fairly quick read. After all, 33 years of lessons under 2000 words is not a bad thing. I hope they will help you.
- Don’t ignore mortality
Bit heavy start, right? But no, I assure you I’m not being morbid, thinking about death on my birthday. It’s important to remember that we are mortal, and that we don’t know how long we have left on this earth because then we can appreciate the time we have. Live your life fully, now. Don’t postpone your dreams, your wishes, your goals for the future – because you have no idea how much future you have left. Live the life that leaves you feeling, “I did all I could” rather than thinking, “I wish I’d done that.” Death is not to be feared. Life is to be lived. And celebrated.
- Smile. A lot.
Smiling seriously makes your day better, and it makes you a better person to be around. It brightens the atmosphere. It brightens the world. It costs nothing. So just let the smile out.
- Make a bucket list
If you don’t have things to strive for, you will either end up with accidental achievements or spend decades just drifting. Make a bucket list. Figure out what matters to you (however big or small). Once it’s there in writing, you can think about making them a reality.
- Believe in possibilities – Kaizen Journaling Manifesto (Which you can also buy as an inspirational poster, a journal, or note cards)
Believe that there are more possibilities for you. Believe that you have choices. If you don’t believe, then nothing is going to happen. Have faith.
- Don’t settle for mediocre achievements – Kaizen Journaling Manifesto
This happens. A lot. You get a decent job, are able to buy a house, afford a vacation a year, and you think it’s all good. You are comfortable, luckier than many people you know. It’s good enough. Good enough is NOT enough. If you are truly content, great. Enjoy your life. But if you are not, then don’t just settle because you think you are doing better than others, or because you are meeting the society’s expectations of what success looks like. Achievements are not about money. They are not about status or prestige. Achievements are what gives you a true sense of accomplishment from the inside. It could be running your first marathon, or getting that top level job, or travelling somewhere on your own, or learning to swim, or drive a car. Whatever it is judge it based on how you feel about it, not by the importance the society gives it.So, don’t settle for mediocre achievements. Aim for things that feel like genuine achievements to you.
- Be ambitious. Be audacious. Be authentic. – Kaizen Journaling Manifesto
Without ambition, what are you aiming for? Without audacity, where is the courage and the fun? Without authenticty, what’s the point?
- Be brutally honest with yourself
I get it – you can’t always speak the truth. We live in the type of world where there are times when we have to lie, or at least avoid telling the truth. Even if it’s for a good cause. We all do it. As much as I advocate honesty, I know there are moments when not telling the truth seems to be the right option. But it is NEVER the right option when you are speaking to yourself. Don’t ever lie to yourself. Depending on your circumstances, the society you live in, your life – yes, you may have to lie to other people. But lying to yourself is foolish. It holds you back from being your true self. It prevents you from facing reality. It prevents you from truly moving forward towards your Kaizen Life because you are stuck in a lie.
- Look after your body, mind, and soul
Neglecting any of these three means neglecting yourself. Healthy body, mind and soul nourishes you, and allows you to pursue your Kaizen Life.
- Surround yourself with people who make you want to be better than you are
People are important. Even if you are not a people person, even if you are a complete introvert, you are still affected by the people you surround yourself with. So pick the good ones. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who push you to be a better version of you. The kind of people who motivate you just by being who they are.
- Get rid of (or spend less time with) negative people in your life
You have to make choices in life. To have one thing, you often have to let go of something else. To surround yourself with positive people, you may have to let go of negative ones. Remember, you are affected by the people around you. So if you spend most of your time with negative, pessimistic people then that’s going to rub off on you. It may sound cruel, but it’s necessary. You can’t fix other people’s outlook towards life. They have to do it themselves. Yes, you can help and support them, but until they are willing to make the change, no change will happen. So cut your losses. Don’t let them drag you down.
- Make new friends
You are never too old to make friends. Regularly make an effort to meet new people, engage in conversations, because you never know when you may meet interesting people who may end up being new close friends.
- A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. – Wade Boggs
- Care for the friendships and relationships you have
Don’t take people in your life for granted. Value them. Cherish them. And not just through words, but through action. Everyone needs to feel loved and appreciated. Their love for you is not a given, nor absolute. It is a privilege. Respect it.
- Appreciate solitude, and cultivate your relationship with yourself
If you can’t handle your own company, there is a problem. Take time to get to know yourself. Spend some time alone. Give your mind a chance to speak to you. Cultivate your relationship with yourself so that you have a better understanding of who you are.
- Keep your glass half full. Always.
Because that’s better than a glass half empty.
- Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. – Bradley Whitford
- If you are not moving forward, you are going backwards
- It takes courage to grow up, and become who you really are. – E. E. Cummings
- Take pleasure in little things
Because life is made up of little moments. Big joys or sorrows come now and again, but every single day, there are little things to be enjoyed.
- Read Books
Seriously. Read for pleasure. Read for knowledge. Read books because there are worlds there waiting to be discovered, and more friends and companions who you can relate to. If you feel like reading a collection of fantasy short-stories by kick-ass women about kick-ass women, then you can read Fight Like A Girl (my short-story The Runaway Warrior is published in it).
- Cultivate confidence that comes from within, and is not reliant on others’ opinion of you
True self-confidence comes from inside you. If your confidence, and in turn, your sense of who you are, is reliant on others than they hold the power to tell you how you feel. Why would you give that power to someone else? Also, why should they take that responsibility? Take charge of yourself. Be who you want to be. And be confident about it.
- You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Don’t settle for a hand-me down personality – Kaizen Journaling Manifesto
- Take risks for things that matter to you
There are no rewards without risks. You can’t move forward to a new destination if you aren’t willing to leave your current place. So don’t be afraid of risks. Yes, you may fail. Yes, things may go horribly wrong. But things can also work out better than you imagined. And even if you fail, you will learn. You will grow. So take risks for your dreams and goals.
- Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you. – Joel Osteen
- Don’t go too easy on yourself
This is certainly not a statement you hear often. Usually people say, “Don’t be too hard on yourself.” I think we need to hold ourselves accountable for our lives. If you go too easy on yourself, you can become complacent. You may say, “Oh that’s okay I will do it tomorrow.” And tomorrow never comes. So use some self-discipline. Hold yourself accountable to yourself. Hold yourself up to high standards.
- Don’t berate yourself for what’s done
It sounds like a contradiction from the previous statement, but it isn’t. Not going easy in yourself is about NOW. The present. But if you find that something has gone wrong, you made a mistake, or you have been lazy, or whatever…don’t waste time berating yourself. What’s done is done. You can’t change it. Just learn from it, and move on. Stewing in negativity and regret is pointless.
- Don’t do things to prove anything to others. Do them because they matter to you.
- Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. – St. Jerome
- Love Life
You have this one life. Live it. Yes, you can always find people who are better off than you. People who seem to have it all, or people who just seem so together – that’s not it. Everyone has problems. Regardless of their socioeconomic status. But everyone handles them differently, and also you are not in the position to know what’s actually going on in those privileged people’s life. So stop comparing. Stop envying. Focus on the life you have, and focus on making that better. Try making your life a Kaizen life.
- You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C. S. Lewis
- Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. – George S. Patton
Well, duh!! Of course I was going to say that. Journal. Daily if you can, or as regularly as possible. It will change your life.
My Thanks To You:
Thank you, Kaizen Warriors, for being here. For being my readers. For being a part of this community. I’m grateful to have each of you in my life. Particular thanks to those who leave comments, and email me. Your input and your thoughts are much appreciated.