Like most people in their late twenties do, I’ve done my fair share of soul searching as I was trying to make peace with becoming a fully functioning adult. One of the most difficult issues I had to overcome on my journey was realizing when to act and try to change things, even when the battle is simply not mine to fight.
A few months ago, I had one particularly strong eye-opening experience that involved a person I was close with. She had so much negativity and bitterness, which turned all of my efforts to shine a different light on the matter to waste. The moment of clarity and a true wake-up call came when all of my intentions were twisted and turned into something completely opposite. That is when I realized that people see things as the reflection of who they are. No matter how hard you try to help them, it is futile until they become willing to take a chance on changing perspective.
Don’t get me wrong. Being persistent and working hard towards achieving our goals and changing things we can, is still a very much effective way to achieve anything. However, we need to be wise enough and know when to accept certain things just the way they are. Here is a list of 6 such things:
1. Not everyone will like you
No matter how harsh this may seem, it is the truth. Trying to make everyone like you will only make you invisible, as you will block your true colors from shining through the perfect masks you put according to the situation. Letting people see and know the true you, will get you friends, partners, and coworkers that are just the right match to you. Therefore, you don’t need the approval of the whole world.
2. Guilt won’t change anything
Feeling guilty about some mistakes we made won’t make it better, it will only keep us immobilized from moving forward. Instead, we should accept and acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them, since they are here to help us grow.
3. You can’t change anyone
Any effort to change a person who is not willing to give up their destructive behavior or beliefs will only be counterproductive, since their defense mechanisms will put up a wall so great that none of our kind words can break down. The only way to help anyone is to let them be, and realize that they have their own path, and they will deal with their issues in their own time and terms.
4. You are not immortal
Most of us put our work first and in the vicious circle of always achieving more. We forget to rest, take care of our health, and enjoy the time spent with our loved ones. We think we have all the time in the world. We must truly realize that we are not going to be on this planet forever. The sooner we actually come to terms with this truth, the sooner we will stop working our bodies out to exhaustion and start appreciating the life we are living and take care of our mental, physical and spiritual health.
5. You are only competing with yourself
Measuring your own success, wealth, and looks to those of others will only make you lose yourself in the process. You are unique, and as such you shouldn’t and can’t compete with anyone else, but your previous self. Other people’s lives shouldn’t concern you, since it is their path to take. The only thing you should be concerned about is being better than you were yesterday.
6. You are responsible for the way you feel
Nothing anyone says or does can have any impact on us unless we let it. We can’t control other people’s thoughts or actions, but we can choose how it will affect us. Learning to not let others’ reactions affect how we feel will help us save the energy for working on self-improvement.