Through most of 2016 I have tried to deal with issues that are important to me here on Purpose & Pepper and I hope you have learned something valuable and found it interesting and entertaining.
2016 has been a year unlike no other. First and foremost, without comparison, the personal loss of my father made it my most emotional year so far. There has also been other things outside of my personal life, in society, that made this year pretty rough. However, I hate calling 2016 an all over bad year, because so much good has happened as well. So much love, tons of new experiences, personal development, professional accomplishments, incredible adventures, great friendships, family and so much more. I´m pretty good at letting go of the insignificant negative things that happens in my life, but to handle the more significant things I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve, I´ll get back to that.
I´m almost done with my education in Holistic Health and on that note I´m planning on adding new and, hopefully, interesting content next year here at Purpose and pepper. Even though in most situations things could always be worse, you just need to take one look at any newspaper and realize that all problems are relative. That being said the things that are near to you are always more significant for each and everyone of us. These are my thoughts for personal development on how to choose wisely and meet the hard times in the best possible way:
1.Suffering arises from craving.
From an early age most of us are taught that all pain is harmful and scary in one way or another and that we must always move away from it. But we need to feel pain, just as much as we need to feel alive and loved. Pain is just a feeling and sometimes it´s important to take it in, own your scars and accept that thais feeling is just a part of being alive, loving and feeling.
It´s all in the way you carry the things that doesn´t go your way. The other day I was listening to a lecture from a audiobook where the amazing author had this brilliant sentence; “Suffering arises from craving.” To me that was so brilliant, because if we try to accept things as they are and look naturally at the situations and feelings we do go trough, instead of always craving different options, we won´t suffer that much.
I strongly believe that we should crave better things, and work for a better life and for a change in what we think is wrong, but when it comes to working trough personal pain I think this is brilliant to keep in mind as you move towards a stronger, wiser version of yourself.
2. Your mindset is your most precious tool
It’s okay to have down-days and tough times. Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down. However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs. It becomes so clear that the ups of life must be balanced by the downs.
In other words, life isn’t perfect, but it sure is good. Our goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect life, but to live an imperfect life in radical amazement. To get up every morning and take a good look around in a way that takes nothing for granted.
I truly believe that to some extent changing your thoughts will change your reality.
3. Fear is just a feeling.
We live in a world where the feeling of fear is triggered trough media every day, and a lot of happenings in 2016 have been based on fear. Fear defeats more people than any other force in the world, but if you learn to look at it the right way it´s not as powerful as it seems. It can be overwhelming, but it can only be as deep as your mind allows and you can take control.
When times are rough it´s challenging to follow your heart and keep on walking but it would only be a tragedy if you allow fear to stop you.
In my opinion, courage doesn´t mean you don´t get afraid, it means that you don´t let fear stop you from moving forward with your life. It´s about being the hero of your life, not the victim.
4. Be Present.
Life is not lived in some distant, imagined land of “someday where everything is perfect.” It is lived here and now, with the reality of the way things are. I have often felt that “I can´t do this” and because of that I have to wait for the perfect time. Over the years I have learned that there is no perfect time.
The perfectionist in me still struggles with this, but I have become so much better at just throwing myself into things and that has made a big difference.
In my opinion we should all work for an idealized tomorrow, but to do so one must successfully deal with the world as it is today. Take a look around, with your eyes wide open to the possibilities before you, remember how fortunate you are to be breathing, and you will see that much of what you fear does not exist and much of what you love is closer than you realize.
It has been proven many times that positive things happen to positive people and visa versa. That doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t allow yourself to feel like shit and express your feelings, it just means that for most of us, most of the time we have a choice. You choose to see the cup as either half empty or half full.
There are many exceptions to this and life can be really hard sometimes. You should allow it to be hard, but after a while, force your self to look at the positive in your life and you will start to notice a difference.
That comes from a person (me) that compared to some people in this world doesn’t even have a clue what having a seriously hard time really means, but I´m talking about life in general and about going trough personal loss and crises. Not about extreme situations like war, hunger and other devastating ordeals that people go through. Situations like that put things in perspective for the rest of us, and perspective is a very important thing.
At the end of the day, it’s not happiness that makes us thankful, but thankfulness that makes us happy.
6. The long good road towards great things.
Instant results are rarely the best results. If all your desires were always fulfilled immediately, you would have nothing to look forward to. You would miss out on the joys of anticipation and progress.
It is really challenging to think like this because most of the time I want things to happen fast. However, I have learned that there really is no other way than to have patience. It´s not about waiting, but about keeping a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. Put one foot in front of the other and pave your own unique path. One of my favourite quotes is: “Know that the way you move a mountain is by moving one stone at a time” What success means to each of us is totally different, but whatever success means to you, every stone you move is progress. You just have to remember to move them in the right direction.
7. Power of Laughter
At some point in life laughter seems very distant and even wrong in many cases. However, humor is one of the healthiest and most powerful methods to help provide perspective on the difficult experiences in life. It´s scientifically proven that laughter is a powerful force and when we laugh our bodies release endorphins and dopamine, which is nature´s feel-good chemicals. Weeks and months can sometimes pass by, but eventually you will laugh again. And I think it is important to allow yourself to do so.
The result is often that we can better cope with stress, find hope, and put problems into perspective opening new ways for solutions.
As you read this I hope you are not going trough a rough time, but if you are I hope you can find some humor to sustain you.
My conclusion is that life is truly difficult some times and that is in fact a gift. Because that is when you build your strength. Strength again enables us to pursue our passion and enables us to successfully fulfill our most meaningful purposes. So remember this: When times are though, you have to be tougher.
“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.”
So do not hope for an easy way out, rather hope for the strength to endure though times that leads to greatness.
I wish you the best possible 2017 ♥
With Purpose & Pepper