Life is deep, like the ocean. We can either be fish, or we can be sharks. Alternatively, we may be whales if we wish. Whatever floats our boats and does not sink another’s. Here is a list of things you can take charge of immediately, as well as a list of things to let go of en route to becoming happier and more successful.

Things YOU can control

  1. Your Schedule. It’s up to us to show up on time, or early. The old saying ‘early is on time and on time is late’ applies here. It’s up to us to prioritize what we need and want most above all distractions. Some days don’t go as planned, and that’s ok. Solid routines can afford a bump in the road because when you are known for being on time, patience is granted for the unexpected delays we all tend to incur from time to time. Don’t waste others time, and especially not your own.
  2. Your Attitude. Things happen. Every day. To all of us. It’s really in how we respond to these things. Sometimes the guy taking your coffee order is dealing with more than you would care to hear, so be easy. Understand there is life beyond your own and don’t flatter yourself by taking everything personal. It leaves more room for gratitude and transforms your energy into one many would pay to be around.
  3. Your Surroundings. Time and time again we hear people complaining that they’re not happy. That they CAN’T change because of this, or that. What all the rest of the world hears is that they WON’T change. Don’t be that person. Truth is, we all have that choice, that control to change our surroundings if we aren’t happy. We benefit the ones who enjoy that surrounding by taking the negativity out, and turning it into everyone’s sanctuary of decision.
  4. Your Hygiene. Deal with it. Don’t sluff off the basics like brushing your teeth, washing your clothes and showering daily, as well, be sure to having the self respect to make your bed once you have risen from it. This will change the way you feel and ultimately make everyone else’s interactions with you much more pleasant as well. You teach others how to care about you, as you show them the ways you care for yourself.
  5. Your Integrity. Everyone knows when something is wrong, but do they follow this code when no one is around? Ultimately, you have the power to say no even when no one can hear you. Whether you are returning a lost wallet full of cash, leaving the amazon package on the doorstep it’s meant to be on, or simply locking a stranger’s car doors in a bad neighbourhood, good deeds are done out of respect that you wish others to have for you. The universe really repays those who take care, even when the cameras are off.

THINGS YOU can’t control

  1. The Weather. If you curse at the sun to stay longer, the clouds may come and teach you how to be more polite. Don’t get upset that your golf game was rained out, or that the one weekend a year you go on vacation there is a storm. Don’t curse the snow – learn to snowboard instead. Learn to understand the chaos of creation. Slow dance inside to the sound of rain, read a book or get closer to the people around you enduring the same weather. There is always sunshine after the rain, even if it rains again.
  2. Other People’s Behaviour. We sometimes don’t realize that when a person behaves poorly that it isn’t our responsibility to be bothered by it. If we are, we are also projecting a portion of ourselves that needs work. Figure out why you’re bothered or forget it and be happy you aren’t them.
  3. Traffic. Is it daily you find yourself angered by traffic? Have you considered taking public transit or moving out of the big city? Is construction ruling the roads you try to walk down? It is what it is. If you don’t like it, go somewhere that is less congested. Can’t? Then you also can’t complain; you are where you chose to be.
  4. Age. We can’t change our external age. We can control our internal one though. If you are fearing getting old, or are just having a hard time letting go of that inner child, fear not. The blooming of a person’s prime years is a mental perception. You are only as old or young as you agree to. A famous quote reads “people do not stop playing because they grow old, they grow old because they stop playing.” You will learn to appreciate how far you have come with the going of the times.
  5. Death. This is a heavy one. No one wants to deal with death and yet we all do; it’s inevitable for all of us. In some way, with some life form, we lose and, in the end, we all too must part. It should be less feared for its mystery, and more celebrated for its certainty. We are blessed to live, and we should do it the best we can. When it hurts, it is a reminder that you’re still alive. Be grateful for all the moments you are granted. Grief is lessoned by the showing of gratitude.