It hard to believe that exactly one week ago I was standing in front of the home Nelson Mandela lived in at the time of his passing in Johannesburg S. Africa. It was an interesting day, there was a tangible love hanging about. Directly in front of his home scattered amongst some garden beds were hundred of painted rocks, signed with messages of love from people whom had come to pay their respects from all over the world.
This day, this man, this movement has got me thinking. Mandela stood for love, for connection and for respect. I personally think, in order to have any of those things we must first start with loving, connecting and respecting ourselves.
Here is a list comprised of many lists on the same topic; 30 things to START doing today. Love, Connection & Respect of Self – First.
#1. Start being choosy about whom you spend time with. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
#2. When problems arise, Lean In. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
#3. Live your truth – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
#4. Say it, “It’s okay to nurture #1” – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
#5. Whatever you are going to be, be a good one. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
#6. Start living, acknowledge the past like an old acquaintance but now it’s time to move on. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
#7. Recognize that you’re scared to make a mistake, and try anyway! – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
#8 If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
#9. Buying happiness is a temporary fix– Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
#10. Start looking inwards rather than looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.
#11. Start moving! – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
#12. Start telling yourself you ARE ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
#13 Start looking for the most important qualities in a relationship to you and seek until you find them – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
#14. Start looking at situations at face value, just because something wronged you in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen again. Have some faith. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
#15. Start learning that the only one you need to be better that is the person you were yesterday – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
#16. Start being happy for other people success, and mean it. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Turn that ego down, waaaay down and take a deep breath, smile and give a genuine word of support and encouragement
#17. Start speaking messages of affirmation and self love, even in times of trial. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
#18. Start loving, period. Let go of past grudges and breathe in pure love, exhale the same. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
#19. Start owning your own power to choose. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
#20. Start accepting that you are ENOUGH. – Spending precious energy trying to explain your every action, in justification or in an act of narcissism is incredibly draining. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right. AND say it, I am ENOUGH.
#21. Start your day knowing that our society thrives on frenzy, put your foot down. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
#22. Start enjoying the little things. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
#23. Start learning the difference between striving for great and striving for perfect. In fact banish that word form your vocabulary while you are at it. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.
#24. Start taking the road less traveled. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
#25. Start accepting what is, what ever it is. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
#26. Start avoiding deflections. Own your mistakes. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
#27. Start trying, narrow your focus. – Being everything to everyone is a miserable undertaking, it’s also doing something impossible, and continuing on this path will only burn you out. (I speak from experience here) However in that same breath, making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
#28. Hakuna Matata – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
#29. Start focusing on the positive – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
#30. Start a commitment today to seek 100 days of gratitude! – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have. #100tweetsofGratitude
I hope you found something in that list that has spoken to you! & that you might take a bit of Mandela’s legacy into your own lives.
Happy Hump day people ~
xo Miss D