Life is not always an easy thing to navigate, with all its ups and downs, and the sudden curveballs that it throws your way. But sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, you’re making your life harder than it has to be, due to your own mindset, actions, and behaviors.
Here Are 10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be
1. You ascribe intent.
Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.
Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.
2. You’re the star of your own movie.
It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.
You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.
Unfortunately, you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines or fail to fall in love with you, or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined.
Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.
3. You fast forward to the apocalypse.
I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.
Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.
4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.
Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims.
Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo?
Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.
5. You are waiting for a sign.
I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than to be governed by it.
6. You don’t take risks.
Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.