10 From GEM:
10 “Notes To Self” To Remember Every Day
It’s good to have little sticky-notes to remind you of important things. Some people put them everywhere—the bathroom mirror, the dashboard in the car, and on the refrigerator. Do you ever write notes to yourself as a reminder of what’s really important in your life? Read on for 10 “notes to self” that anybody can use to get through the day and to get through life.
1. WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU
IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
First of all, there are some people’s opinions that should matter to you: your spouse, children, and parents, and to a lesser extent, your boss. Maybe some colleagues. Most other people’s opinions don’t matter because they’re going to think what they think, no matter what you do. Are people thinking of you as much as you think they are? The answer is probably no. But, there will always be those who don’t like your political or religious views, think you could never be successful starting your own business, or don’t like the clothes you wear. If you care, you might want to evaluate why you’re allowing their opinions to share space in your head with your opinions. Better yet, stop finding out what other people think of you.
2. RELY ON YOURSELF FOR
Despite what music and movies spout, other people cannot make you happy. They can enhance the quality of your life, but they can’t and shouldn’t be responsible for your happiness. It isn’t fair to rely on something or someone else to do what you don’t do for yourself. Much of your happiness comes from choosing to be happy. Only you control your thoughts, emotions, and outlook. Only you can choose to see the beauty of your life.
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3. SEEK POSITIVE PEOPLE
We choose the people we hang out with. How do you feel when you’re around your chosen ones? Are you inspired, uplifted, or motivated? Or are you drained, demoralized, or disheartened? If you’re not feeling the former, it’s time to find some people who can be a positive influence on your life. Of course, in order to find positive people, you have to be positive yourself. The old proverb, birds of a feather flock together, comes to mind. Nobody can make you happy (see number 2), but the people you surround yourself with have an impact on your emotional well-being. Choose people who love and support you and who nurture your spirit.
4. BE A RESOURCE OF
INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Giving away knowledge you have that someone else doesn’t is a fantastic way to help that person, especially if knowing what you know can enhance the other person’s life. If you’re working on an invention that will be the next big thing, by all means, keep your secrets to yourself! But if what you know can help a new coworker’s job go a little smoother because you’ve been there and done that, give her the information she needs. Everybody has a particular skill or knowledge base about something. We all like and trust people who genuinely want to help and aren’t looking for something in return. Be that person.
5. YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING
There are some things you can control. For example, you can control what time you get up in the morning. However, you can’t control the rainstorm that knocked out the electricity, rendering your alarm clock useless. You can decide the best route to work, but you can’t control the accident on the highway. You can get the kids up in plenty of time for school, but you can’t control one of them being sick from last night’s taco dinner. Things will happen on a daily basis that are completely out of your control, no matter how you try to structure your day. Control what you can, accept changes when they happen (see number 6).
6. GO WITH THE FLOW OF CHANGE
Change happens. There isn’t anything you can do about it, whether it’s your baby morphing into a teenager or downsizing at your job. The inability to accept that life is a series of big and small changes will only frustrate you. When it happens, take a deep breath, adjust your perspective, and find the funny or good in the change.
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7. COMPETE WITH YOURSELF
Comparing yourself to other people and competing with the life they present on Facebook is a recipe for personal disaster. There will always be people who you perceive to be more successful than you, but know these three things: you don’t know what battles they’re fighting and how you might be better off than them, the people you’re competing with don’t know (or care) that they’re in your mind game, and they probably suffer from the same feelings, too. Think about high-performing athletes. You don’t hear them saying things like, “I can’t quite hit those half-pipes like Shaun White” or “I’ll never confuse the defense the way Peyton Manning does” or “Miguel Cabrera is the best batter. I wouldn’t dream of doing better.” You don’t hear this because elite athletes compare themselves to who they were yesterday and focus on being better tomorrow than they are today. Get on the elite level with your life.
8. TAKE PLEASURE IN SIMPLE THINGS
You’re in a hurry, I’m in a hurry—everybody is in a hurry. We’re all rushing around juggling our many priorities. Don’t forget to look for and savor the moments of your day that are extremely pleasurable: the first sip of your morning coffee, quitting time at work, tickling your child so you can hear that oh-so-cute laugh, the five minutes before the house erupts in activity, talking to an old friend, getting an actual letter in the mail, finding money you forgot you had, bed linens straight from the dryer, realizing your alarm clock doesn’t go off for two hours.
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9. TREAT YOURSELF GENTLY
Many of us freely give feelings of compassion, charity, and love to other people, but we’re pretty stingy when it comes to extending that same generosity to ourselves. But shouldn’t you be the first in line to treat yourself well? Focus on what you love about yourself rather than what you hate. Forgive yourself for your transgressions and resolve not to repeat them. Ask for help when you need it. Make a date with yourself—even a short one—every day.
10. BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU
Take it from Judy Garland, it’s so much more fulfilling to “always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” The scary thing about being who you are is that it’s painful when you reveal your heart and others don’t accept your authenticity. But, you have limited time on this earth. You’re not here to ensure that others feel a particular way about you. Even if you change yourself for one person, the next person won’t like you. You’ll go on a vicious roller coaster of changing yourself—and making yourself unhappy with every dip and turn. You are here to share your gifts, talents, and strengths with the world—to do good. If you can do those things while being exactly who you are, then you’ll come out a winner.
Let’s hear from you. What are your daily notes to self? Share your thoughts below.
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Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a writer, a work at home mother, and a new business owner. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.