Twelve Lifelong Observations Worth Contemplating

Nearly every person on Earth possesses some knowledge that could benefit others, including the people with whom you work or associate each day. Don’t “write off” others because they’re too old, too young, too rich, too poor, or for any other such reason. You might be surprised by the wisdom you can gain by listening with a non-judgmental ear. Now then, here are 12 enduring axioms of life that I’ve encountered:

One Through Six

  1. It is of little use to dwell on the past and wish you could change it. Making mistakes and feeling as if you’ve squandered time is a natural part of life that happens to everyone. Anew, view your youth with a healthy perspective; while you squandered some time, you likely accomplished a lot and also had some fun along the way.
  2. Don’t lament that you’re not smarter than you are, or that you’re not as good at something as you would like to be. You can accomplish nearly anything you want through hard work. Your skills develop over the course of your life, and you can develop new ones. Maybe your boss will foot the bill for training, or maybe you have to enroll and pay for yourself. Further, recognize the things at which you are adept and put your talents to use, rather than struggling to excel in the wrong career.
  3. Never become so caught up in dwelling on your mistakes that you fail to seize present opportunities. You have time left to move on. Use your time productively.
  4. Regard change as a recurring event. It’s a part of life and certainly part of your work. You won’t be the same person at 30 that you were at 20, or the same on February 25, 2020, that you will be at 40 or 60. Growing in all different ways is a good thing. If you went through life with the mindset of a 20-year-old, you would miss a lot of the joys of adulthood. While change can be disconcerting at first, each stage of life becomes more (or at least as) enjoyable and fulfilling than the previous one.
  5. Make a constant effort to grow. Challenge yourself mentally. Explore different means of spirituality. Place yourself in new social situations. Unfamiliar scenarios can be a bit frightening at first but, with time, the unfamiliar becomes the familiar, and you’re glad you took the chance. Move out of your comfort zone and explore.
  6. Stay flexible. In our rapidly changing society, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the technological innovations and information you think you need to absorb in order to function productively at work and even at home. Rest assured that everyone feels the same way. Remaining flexible is key to maintaining productivity. Find ways to make the changes in your work-life advantageous.

Seven Through Twelve

  1. Life is a continuing process; at no one point do you become magically grown up or accomplish everything you desire. If there was such a point, what would you do when you got there?
  2. The nature of life is to constantly grow and change, and there is always more to learn and experience. Be wary of feeling as if you have reached the pinnacle of all of your experiences and accomplishments. If you become complacent, that point really will be the pinnacle of your life, since you won’t feel compelled to achieve even more.
  3. You only have so much time and energy in your life. To feel fulfilled, you must choose what things you want to spend most of your time and energy doing. Choosing your priorities might take some soul-searching, or they might be obvious. Is family most important to you? Or, do you envision a time-consuming career? Whatever your interests, you must define your priorities in order to be productive. You can try to have a dozen different “priorities,” but they will hardly be priorities, and you likely won’t pay sufficient attention to each. Decide what few things are important to you, and spend most of your time and energy supporting those priorities.
  4. In general, people see what they want to see. Never underestimate the power of your attitude and the effect it has on your perceptions. If you’ve heard something negative about a person before you meet them, you are more likely to dislike that person right off the bat, regardless of anything they do or say. The same holds true for almost every situation in life: There are both beautiful and horrible things in the world. If you think positively, you’re more likely to notice the beautiful things. If you think negatively, you will pick up on all the not-so-great things that occur.
  5. Many people seem to blame the mistakes in their life on some unseen force that constantly brings them down. They think they are just unlucky or that others are out to get them. For the most part, this is not the case. Almost everything that happens to us results from the choices we make, consciously or unconsciously. Not choosing becomes a choice in itself. Don’t ignore the tough choices you will have to make. Blaming fate for your misfortunes leads nowhere; taking control of your life and the choices you face does. To empower yourself, recognize the choices in your life for what they are and consciously make the best decision you can. Something completely random will happen to you occasionally and you have no control over that. Still, realize that most of the things that happen to you don’t merely “happen to you.”
  6. Making effective decisions can be hard. The best decisions result from careful thought. However, don’t ignore your gut feelings. We have instincts for a reason, and such instincts don’t often lead you astray. Sometimes it is detrimental to overthink an issue; instead, go with what “your little” voice tells you. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t realize you already know. The subconscious is a powerful thing. When you can harness some of that power and put it to use in the conscious world, you will find that the things your little voice tells you are usually on target.
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Posted by Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony.

Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including:
* Managing the Pace with Grace®
* Achieving Work-Life Balance™
* Managing Information and Communication Overload®

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