I am so entrenched in the land of advice you’d think my self-awareness would be on the level of Buddha. Sadly, that isn’t the case. But there are some quotes and things I have read or received that have really stuck with me. I call upon these ideas in times of anxiety or stress in my own life – or when trying to help friends and family through difficult times. Here are my absolute favorite pieces of advice!
1. Don’t take things personally (because SURPRISE … it isn’t all about you!) This comes from Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements. When someone isn’t friendly, it’s not because you did anything wrong (often times). If someone isn’t into you after that first date, it is not because there is anything wrong with you – the connection just isn’t there. If a friend flakes on you, don’t take it to the place of ‘I guess I am not that important.’ We internalize and assume so much (wrongly!) when we need to be telling ourselves that it’s not about us. Do not make her bad mood or his rudeness about you – because it is really about something that is going on inside of them. Spending lots of energy and worrying about these sorts of things is a waste of time.
2. Don’t give the thoughts that run through your mind too much power. They are just thoughts and not necessarily an accurate reflection of a current situation. I got this from talking to Deepak Chopra recently (which was a total thrill for me!). I like to think of my brain as my own personal memory-based encyclopedia. It is a challenge to not let your fears and other negative thoughts have an impact on enjoying the present. We tell ourselves so much crap that just isn’t true! Whenever my thoughts turn anxious or negative, I imagine them being thrown into the trash — goodbye negative thought, I recognize that you have risen from my memory encyclopedia, but you can leave now.
3. Be grateful every day for all that you have. This has been written about so much but I firmly believe that starting each day thinking about what you are thankful for sets a positive tone for your experience. Gratitude is so powerful to one’s spirit – studies actually show that the act of practicing gratitude affects your health and happiness in hugely positive ways. It’s pretty simple to just jot down a list of what you are grateful for, right?
4. Be what you want to attract. I have to say I have heard this point made by several incredibly smart people. We interviewed Dr. Wayne Dyer about attracting romance into your life – and his response was, “Whatever it is that you want from a relationship, I would say, ‘Be that.’ If what you are looking for in a relationship with another person is an exquisite sense of love, then be that. You do not attract into your life what you want. You attract what you are.” His other point was to stop thinking of a relationship in terms of what someone will do for you and give you – but what you have to offer and how you can be a positive force in their life.
5. Accept that people are operating at their own level of consciousness. I can’t remember exactly where I heard this, but it always helps me when I find myself judging another’s behavior, or bewildered at decisions being made. All I can change (and control!) is my own level of awareness, right? And be grateful about the fact that I think about living consciously!
6. Give everyone you encounter a gift (this can be a compliment, a silent prayer, or something like that). I love this – from Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. It forces me to think positively throughout the day. It takes away the temptation to sometimes judge another, and replaces that thought with something good. It just makes me feel better.
7. The most important decision you will make in life is who to marry. This sentiment is from our own CEO, Dr. Neil Clark Warren. Boy, was he right on. I see evidence of poor marital partner choices all around me — and it can have a catastrophic impact on your finances, your mental well-being, your children, and your options. This extends to relationships as well, not just marriage. Make sure to get involved with someone who has good character, and take time to see what someone is about. Do not rush into a relationship! You can’t really know someone after a month or two.
OK, I will get off of my soapbox now. I would love to hear what your favorite advice is … and what really resonates with you.