It’s been 3-4 months since I decided to quit my job as a teacher… (seems WAY longer than that?!) so just want to follow up on life since then…
I can wholeheartedly say it was one of the best decisions of my life. Not discrediting teaching at all, it was a very rewarding job, it was a very good job, but it was just not the job for me. And that can be relatable to anything in life… People, situations, homes, objects, jobs, can seem perfect and great, but they may not great for you. One house might be beautiful and in the best location, but not the best for you. One man/woman might be beautiful and kind and a great person, but still not be a great person for you. A car, a cat, a job position, a toy, a vacation, may all be great things, but they don’t always have to be great for YOU. But GOOD NEWS IS, there ARE good things out there for you. You know inside what makes you happy, what things/places/people/dreams genuinely make you excited inside… but most people settle doing things that don’t.
I have tried to go after what DOES make me happy with full force and without looking back. I challenge you to do the same. Forget about the “what ifs” and the “buts” and fears of failing. I have never really understood the whole “finding yourself” term until I actually acted upon doing so. Before, it just sounded like a stupid cliche phrase that people like to use on social media. But it is actually a wonderful thing. Everyone has different passions and reasons for living, respect that and go after your own. You will get much more out of the one life you have been given!!!
Here are my top 5 things I have learned over the last few months
in order to be happy in life:
1. Put yourself first
2. Don’t judge others
3. You can’t control anyone but yourself
4. Happiness comes from within yourself
5. Choose kindness
1. Put yourself first. This sounds selfish, but it’s not. If you aren’t truly happy within yourself, it is hard to genuinely make others around you happy. Doing things for others is amazing and one of the most rewarding things in life, but you have to do them for the right reasons. If you aren’t feeling good about where you’re at in life and what you’re doing, you will often take it out on others unintentionally and/or get mad and jealous of what others have instead of being genuinely happy for them. You might not be able to support others with their goals and desires in life if you aren’t working on your own. You might not realize it, but you might hinder other people instead of supporting them just because you aren’t happy with your self. True happiness starts with you. Once your mind is happy with yourself and your own choices, it will show, and you will want everyone around you to be happy as well… not for attention or because “its right”, but just because you genuinely want others to be happy too.
So go for that job interview, go buy that car/pair of shoes/toy you want, start your own business, take that risk you’re scared of, go on that trip you’ve been thinking about taking, leave the person who doesn’t care about you, DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. You’ll be surprised how life works itself out after that. 🙂
2. Don’t judge others. Easier said than done. I used to be probably the MOST judgmental person in the world. I am actively working to become the least judgmental person in the world… lol, takes honest work, but hope for it to eventually become habitual. Everyone isn’t going to like the same things you like, everyone isn’t going to enjoy the same activities as you, everyone isn’t going to agree with your views, everyone isn’t going to approve of your choices. THIS IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN AND SO AMAZING. Everyone is different. Let everyone be themselves. If they make poor choices, let them learn for their own mistakes. Not saying you should watch someone kill themselves slowly, of course be there for them, but there’s only so much you can do for people, so choose be a good example instead of a nagging annoyance. Which leads me into number 3….. (they go hand in hand).
3. You cannot control anyone but yourself. (Let people make their own choices) Know this. Remember this always. It’s probably the most important thing to remember in life in terms of retaining your joy in life. You don’t like to be around something? Then don’t. You don’t like to do something? Then don’t. You CAN remove yourself from places, people or situations that don’t make you feel comfortable or happy. But you can’t forcefully make someone not do something just because you don’t want them to or because you don’t like it.. chances are they’re judging you back for NOT liking what they like. You can’t control how someone feels about you and you can’t control their actions and attitudes.. but you CAN control your own feelings and attitudes. So focus on what you CAN do. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but it doesn’t make either you or them correct… we all think we’re always right, where’s that going to get us? Nowhere but frustrated and upset. In the end, it’s just taking away from moments that you could be feeling joy. I read an amazing book on this topic called “People Can’t Drive You Crazy if you Don’t Give them the Keys” by Mike Bechtle. It was A GREAT READ. I highly recommend it.
4. Happiness comes from within YOU. My favorite quote is always “nobody is in charge of your happiness except you”. Don’t put your happiness in the hands of someone else. Don’t expect others to be able to fix things for you and always make things better for you. Expectations often lead to disappointment.
An example from my personal life: I was so unhappy teaching I’d come home and complain to my husband about it, as if he could do something about it… could he? not really. He could be a listening ear, he could give me advice, he could encourage me to find a new job or to stick it out, he could remind me of things I have that make me happy and to be grateful, but could he actually change my feelings and actions? no. But you know who could? ME. Only me. So I acted and changed my life.
If a boss is annoying you, a friend is making you mad, something didn’t go as you planned that it would… you can choose to react negatively and let it negatively affect you, or you can choose to respond in a way that won’t ruin YOUR mood and YOUR day/life. At the end of the day, YOU are the only one in charge of your choices, including actions that make you feel happy… so until YOU act to make YOURSELF and your mind and your thoughts happy, you won’t be happy. Fact.
5. Choose kindness. With my resting bitch face and introverted personality, most judge me as “bitchy” before ever even talking to me… so might laugh at the thought of me “being kind”… when in fact I hate confrontations of any kind.. they actually make me uncomfortable. Being kind goes hand in hand with #2 of not being judgmental. (all 5 of these things actually go hand in hand and work together if you allow them to). Kindness goes a long way. You’d be surprised how being nice to someone can affect your mood and life in a positive way. It is often hard to be kind to those that don’t seem deserving, but remember that you are responsible for yourself, including your own character. Do you ever regret the nice acts or things you’ve done for people in the past? Most likely not. But I guarantee we’ve all regretted something we’ve said that was mean or hurtful to someone. Don’t let other people get to you so much that your character becomes a negative one. Be a positive example to others (although let’s be real.. that’s really f*cking hard to do ALL the time…) So Just try to be kind as often as you can 😉
I hope this helped somebody today to realize life really is a wonderful thing. I hope you choose to be happy today. To find joy amongst the hard times, to see that you can choose to make a heaven out of a hell, or make a hell out of a heaven. The choice is yours. Life will go on no matter what mood you choose to live that life in. Make it count. Love you all!