Two years ago, I had to start over. Since then, I have been on an incredible journey of rebuilding my life and becoming the best version of myself.
I have learned many lessons. Here are just a few:
Stay leery of conventional wisdom
People are wrong most of the time. That’s just the way we’re built. We have our biases and ways of thinking, and reality has a way of contradicting that.
So if there’s a concept, mantra, or otherwise that lots of people latch onto, be leery of it. Most of the lessons I’ve learned pertain to why conventional wisdom gets it wrong.
Your comfort zone is underrated
Not overrated. UNDERrated.
Pushing yourself is tiring. Getting out of your comfort zone can be exhausting. Your comfort zone is there to provide stability, which is essential for your health.
Take it from me, the guy who kept pushing and pushing further and further out of his comfort zone. I pushed myself just a tad too far and wound up in a hospital crisis center.
The next time someone tells you that nothing good comes from your comfort zone, tell them not being in a hospital crisis center with out of control anxiety is a good thing, so they’re wrong!
You don’t have anything to prove to anyone or yourself
Unless you can specifically name your doubters, you don’t have any. Everyone is too busy worrying about their own problems to doubt your capabilities.
You don’t have to prove anything to yourself or anyone else, so do what makes you happy.
Your life is not important, so do what makes you happy
Most people tell you that your life is incredibly important, and that’s why you should do what makes you happy.
Chase your dreams, be a goal-digger, etc. because your life is incredibly important and special.
That’s a whole lot of pressure, right? It’s also a terrible motivator to do what makes you happy because of the unnecessary pressure.
The real reason to do what makes you happy? Your life is not important.
In comparison to the entire universe, we are a speck of dust living on a speck of dust floating around on a speck of dust. We all will eventually go back to being literal specks of dust.
In the grandest scheme of things, we are insignificant.
Knowing this, we might as well do what makes us happy if none of this really matters, right? Much better motivator! Much less pressure.
It’s ok to have simple dreams
Going after your dreams is a good thing, and it’s ok if they’re simple dreams.
If you dream of working a 9-5, raising a family, and doing crafts and yoga on the weekends, then that’s perfectly ok. You don’t have to dream about having a self-made multi-zillion dollar empire. You don’t have to dream of being a super-athlete.
If your dreams are to live a simple, normal life with people you love, then that’s perfectly ok.
The only three things you need to do for a good life
Having said all this, there are really only three things you need to do:
1. Let go
Let go of expectations. Let go of the need for certainty. Let go of anger. Let go of things that no longer serve you. Let go of goals that were set just for the sake of setting goals.
Let go of everything. It’s all going away eventually anyway.
Cherish what you have while you have it, and then enjoy the freedom that comes from letting go and not hanging onto things for dear life.
2. Do what makes you happy and healthy
Only you know what that is, so do what’s right for you. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Look to others for inspiration, but not for expectation that whatever’s working for them will work for you too.
3. Connect with others
Just connect, for its own sake. Connect with your family, friends, and colleagues. Connect with strangers.
We are social beings, and loneliness has been shown to increase our risk of certain illnesses and other maladies.
So, connect for your health. Connect because it’s good for you. Connect because we all need each other to get through this thing called life.