I get asked on a daily basis how I am so happy despite my circumstances. How did I remain positive through all the changes that were taking place that surrounded my accident? Let me answer you this, I am happy in spite of my circumstances. Because of the things that I have learned on this journey, mostly the last 11 years of my life, that I would have never experienced otherwise. These experiences have shaped my life and made me who I have become today. There were times right after my accident that I am not proud of and I wish to not even recollect, but throughout that time and more recent times, these are the things that I have found truly work for me.
1. Know Yourself. How many times have we heard “no one will love you until you learn to love yourself” or “nobody knows you the way you do”?
So get to know the right-now-real you, both the good and the bad, and own it. Write down your qualities, characteristics, values, strengths, and weaknesses. What makes you happy? What drives you crazy?
The good news is that if you don’t like certain aspects of yourself right now, you have it in your control to change that. But to change something you first have to know what you’re working with. So do some serious soul-searching and figure that out!
2. Learn to say “NO!” At the end of the day, it’s about how you say “no”, rather than the fact you’re saying no, that affects the outcome. After all, you have your own priorities and needs, just like everyone has his/her own needs. Saying no is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Say no is your prerogative.
3. Accept What Is. One of the greatest sources of misery in my experience, is refusing to accept what is. How often do waste your time with questions such as: What if I had done that differently? What if yesterday had turned out differently? Stop turning your back on reality.
If you’re happy, accept that you’re happy. You don’t try to justify that feeling. If you’re upset, accept that you’re upset, don’t pretend you’re not. If you made a mistake embrace your imperfection, don’t beat yourself up.
As you begin to accept what is, you will find that your experiences are exactly what you need at that moment. Sure, life won’t always go according to plan, but at the end you will survive, one experience stronger.
4. Visit a quiet place. Libraries, museums, gardens, and places of worship provide islands of peace and calm in today’s frantic world. Find a quiet place near your house and make it your secret getaway.
5. Find What Makes You Tick. Some people may not care to admit this, but I honestly believe that we each have something that makes us tick.
While it’s true some people just discover what they love, many of us have to do some searching. Not knowing what makes you happy, is the surest way to remain stuck in a miserable state.
Finding what you enjoy to do is fairly easy. If you enjoy a certain activity (assuming it’s legal of course) continue doing it. I realize that is overly simplistic, but you get the idea.
Don’t worry about what your family or friends think, but rather focus on what brings you joy. I’m not suggesting you be selfish or hurtful in your pursuits, but it’s important you take care of yourself so you can give your fullest to the world.
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