Wanting to make our lives better implies that we want to be ‘feeling better’ for more of the time……or ‘turn my life around.’ So it’s a no-brainer to consider that by doing more stuff and having more stuff that makes us feel good more often, we will get the better life experience we are hoping for.
However, as with many things in life, it’s not always as easy as it seems. If it was easy, we and everyone else would already have achieved the happiness and success we desire. But the reality is that we have woken up today, like many other days, and realized that everything is not working out for us as we had hoped. And we wish we could do something to turn our lives around and get back on track to achieving the better life we have been dreaming of.
Let’s explore the best ways to turn my life around to make it better….. I already have written a post outlining a series of steps to take, (practical things to do) that will temporarily improve your lives here: Turn Your Life Around….. However, as always, I prefer to give solutions that are wide-ranging, permanent and can be applied to all aspects of your lives to improve your whole life experience, while also positively impacting those you love. So let’s do that now……
The current conditions of your life are a result of the choices you have made.
We can all turn our lives around. We can head in any direction we want….. back the way we came, continue on the familiar predictable path, or head down one of the many roads less traveled! One thing’s for sure: There is no shortage of directions we can take. However, the only wise ones involve us making our future lives better than the current reality we are living…. And this begins with the choices we are making today!
Permanent positive change requires that we work on ourselves (our inner world) instead of trying to affect change in the outer world of consequences and circumstances.
This is because the outer world is where lots of stuff is happening that we have no control over. Can you control the weather, the currency exchange rates, what your boss will ask you to do today, or the color your neighbor paints their house? No….you can’t!
However, you can control how you think, feel, and react to these things. So, if we are typically existing in a ‘non-thinking, reactionary mode,’ when stuff happens in our outer world, we may lose the plot, get angry, cry, give up, or feel sorry for ourselves….. and it is these negative behavior’s we have been resorting to that are degrading our life experience…. this is why we are now waking up wishing our life could be better!
Making a better life, finding permanent solutions to our problems, requires that we do things differently. And for this, we need to consciously engage in our thought processes more of the time instead of just mindlessly reacting as we have done many times in the past…. Because reacting mindlessly is the sure way to continue your life pretty much as it is now. But…. what you want is a better life, isn’t it?
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” — James Allen
Accepting responsibility for your life is the first step to creating positive change.
I say this because we are the ‘captain’ of our own lives…. no one else has the responsibility to steer our ship (although some others may believe they do….THEY DO NOT!) This is your life, and the sooner you accept responsibility for it and assume control of it, the sooner you can put it on the course you want to be heading.
We can’t change our lives overnight. Sure, we can change the circumstances of our lives…. maybe move to another city, change partners, change our jobs, take up a martial arts class, etc. And yes, these things all add up to changing the direction of our lives, but they do not immediately change who we fundamentally are. So the reality remains that wherever we go, we take ourselves with us!
This means that if we have always been lazy when we move to a new city, we will more than likely still be lazy. If we have been unable to appropriately express our feelings in the past, it is unlikely that changing partners will suddenly turn us into great communicators. Changing jobs because we don’t get on with our workmates does not necessarily mean we will fare any better in a new work environment.
I hope you’re getting the picture… To paraphrase Gandhi: FOR REAL AND LASTING POSITIVE CHANGE TO HAPPEN IN OUR LIVES, IT IS WE WHO NEED TO BECOME THE CHANGE WE WISH TO EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIVES. So, the question then becomes “How do we create permanent and beneficial change within ourselves so that we will get to live the better lives we desire for ourselves and those we love?”
What Are The Best Ways to Permanently Turn My Life Around and Make It Better?
1) Understand that you hold the key to the quality of your life IN YOUR MIND: It is our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that ‘allow for’ the experience we are having. And if we are not enjoying our experience, or aspects of it, we have the power to change it. And all change first comes from our minds…. I’ve already written several articles on this important topic, so I won’t repeat myself. You can check them out here: Conscious Thinking Creates A Better Future and What You Are Thinking Now Is Creating Your Future.
2) Understand that nothing is permanent: If life was the same every day we would soon die of boredom. Luckily, life is dynamic and in a constant state of change. And for us, this can mean that things are not always going to work out as we had hoped! So what?…..
It’s an advantage that life is ever-evolving. It means that we don’t have to remain with the results we currently have. It’s our choice to change things if we want….. Yes, we don’t have to remain in a job/relationship/location we are not happy with. Change it or continue being unhappy….. What a choice!
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” — Carlos Castaneda
3) Nothing is guaranteed in life! ‘To love and cherish until death do us part.’ I’ve heard that a few times in the past…. Didn’t always last though! Business guaranteed to make lots of money?…. coronavirus took that away. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger….. unless it does actually kill you!….
We seek guarantees to give us some assurances, some sort of safety and predictability. However, safety is an illusion, and seeking it just prevents us from experiencing lots of other stuff that could potentially help us grow and develop into better, happier, more capable, and more successful individuals. It’s when our lives are uncertain that we become freer to experience more of what life has to offer.
4) The journey doesn’t end when you reach your goals: Years ago you had a goal to graduate primary school…. Tick that off the list. Next goal, graduate middle school… ok, done. New goal, high school, university, post-grad, great job, loving partner, house, kids, a bigger house, retirement fund, overseas trips, grandkids….. and on it goes.
The journey ends only when we pass over from this earthy experience (actually, no guarantee about that either.) And until we do leave this mortal body, OUR LIFE IS ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY….. NOT ABOUT ACHIEVING GOALS. Our goals are just guideposts to keep us heading in the direction we want to travel….. and even then, they are subject to change!
So, enjoy the moments of the journey, because that is what life is mostly made up of…. it’s all the ‘in-between moments’ that count towards a wonderful overall live experience…. not the occasional (and fleeting) moments when you achieved the odd goal here and there.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine
5) Discomfort is not a sign of failure or that you are heading in the wrong direction: How do any of us learn new stuff and grow, either mentally, emotionally, or physically? We grow by experiencing new stuff, by going to new places, and by stretching ourselves beyond our current limits. And this can be uncomfortable….
However, we have to grow to get anything we want that we don’t currently have…… If we could have achieved it already, we would already have it….without the discomfort. But if we don’t have it, then we are missing some ability, some knowledge, some skill, or some contact that we need. And therefore, achieving our goal requires that we learn or do stuff that we may not be comfortable with…..
……. If something is important to us, we will find a way to achieve it. And learning to enjoy the process of overcoming our limits, as much as possible, even if it is uncomfortable, will make much better people out of us every time. Fortunately, discomfort neither damages us permanently nor kills us.
“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
6) Excuses never help you achieve a better life! So, did the reason why you couldn’t finish the study course, why you crashed the car, why your relationship ended, etc…… help you in any way move closer to turning your life around for the better? I believe the correct answer is always NO!
Yes, I know, stuff happens! And as previously mentioned, we can’t control everything in our lives, and nor should we want to…… imagine the terrible burden and time commitment required to control everything that everyone in our lives was doing and going to do, which cars could travel on the same roads as us at a certain time, whether it is ‘allowed’ to rain today or not (do we really want to go to the beach after work?)
Fortunately, IT’S NOT OUR BUSINESS TO CONTROL ALL THE STUFF OUTSIDE OF US! Letting stuff unfold as it will is always the best option…… and then our job is to deal with it in the best possible way. And once it’s happened, it’s important not to use any of it as an excuse for why our life is not working out the way we want.
Then, if desired or necessary, we can make adjustments, corrections, new plans, new friends, get a new job, etc….. We always win when we make the best of what we have been given to work with.…. We never make our lives better when we complain and make excuses!
“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me. I will simply breathe. And it will be okay. Because I don’t quit.” — Shayne McClendon
7) Either find something you are passionate about, OR you become passionate about what you are doing! Chances are some things in your life are regularly going to consume a lot of your time. Work is one of these things that everyone can relate to. So…. Imagine two different scenarios: a) You love your work, and b) you hate going to work every day, the people you work with, the smell on the train, and the color of your workspace!
Just to digress; remember you’re here, reading this to find out ‘how you can turn your life around for the better,’ right? Well, it’s quite obvious from the way I described the two different scenarios that if you’re in category b, there is a huge benefit to be made to the quality of your life just by addressing this one aspect.
I’m not suggesting that you quit your job, but I would suggest that you find some way to ‘make peace with your situation.’ If you really consider that there is nothing good about your job, then come up with some alternative sources of income (if money is the reason you are working.)
Or, a better alternative and one that will serve you in all aspects of your life, is to…….
….. learn how you can frame the situation differently so that it’s not all bad. Then maybe some aspects of going to work can actually be ok or even good!
At first, this may be challenging, but I promise you, it does get easier. And when you understand it’s not the situation that’s good or bad, but our perception of it, you will always be able to make your life better by changing your perspective, regardless of the situation you find yourself in!
For more on this, you can check out my post How Can I Be Happy When Life Is Not Working Out For Me?
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer
That’s it for this post…. Except to say, please consider sharing with us what ways you consider the best to turn your life around in the comments section below.
I wish you all happy and successful lives, and want you to truly know that no matter what situation you are currently in, if it is not where you want to be, you do have the ability to change it!
With love and respect for all souls playing the game of life,