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It may be that you have a decent job and a pretty comfortable standard of living all things considered, but that you still feel as if things just aren’t going “the right way” somehow.
When all is said and done, humans are primarily creatures of habit, and we tend to fall into certain ruts and routines, and to follow the path of least resistance rather than actively charting a conscious course forward – especially if that course goes against the grain in some way.
A lot of dissatisfaction in life occurs when people find themselves feeling that they’re not really in control of their own lives, even if their lives seem pretty good by most objective measures. Very few people – maybe none, in reality – truly thrive when they feel that they are just blown this way or that on the wind, without much input into how they are living their lives.
If this sounds like the kind of problem that might be afflicting you, here are some suggestions on how to change that.
Sit down for a weekend, and really plan out what you want to achieve in life, what’s most meaningful to you, and what is ultimately just a distraction
To feel “in control” of your own life, the first thing you need to have is a “roadmap” or “blueprint” that you can use as the basis for taking conscious steps in a direction of your choosing.
And, in addition to that, it’s equally as important to do what you can to limit distractions, and reduce the number of “meaningless” or “unfulfilling” elements of your life.
This is the kind of task that takes some serious introspection and a good deal of active imagination. You should strongly consider sitting down for an entire weekend, with a notebook and pen, and really planning out what you want to achieve in life, and identifying what’s most meaningful to you.
Try and keep these ambitions roughly within the realm of “reason”, but still make them ambitious enough that you’d be thrilled, and maybe a bit amazed if you actually achieved them.
Perhaps you want to run your own successful company within five years, and net a six-figure income from it, while working from home. Good. That’s a start. Now, write out exactly what that scenario would look and feel like to you, from your current vantage point.
After this initial step, list out the things in life that you find truly meaningful, and which fulfill you on a deep level. That means things that you will be able to look back on with the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction years down the line – not just purely material pleasures such as owning a big yacht.
Finally, try and identify those areas of your life that you find ultimately meaningless or unfulfilling. A big part of your mission from this point on will be to minimize these elements as much as possible.
Hone the art of standing up for yourself more
In psychological terms, the character trait is known as “agreeableness” correlates negatively with the ability to stand up for yourself, be assertive, and advocate for your own interests in life.
No one really likes the idea of being “disagreeable,” and it’s certainly not a good idea to be consciously and needlessly mean-spirited, or aggressive.
All the same, however, you can only really take meaningful steps to move your life in the direction of your choosing, when you manage to hone and apply the art of standing up for yourself more in everyday life.
This can take many forms. If you’ve come to suffer a serious health condition as a result of asbestos exposure, for example, a first step will be to contact mesothelioma attorneys who serve your best interests, in order to hold the guilty party accountable and receive fair compensation.
Consider taking “assertiveness training” classes from a trained and reputable therapist. It may make a big difference.
Focus on living with as much integrity as possible, in a way that makes you truly like and respect yourself
According to the teachings of the ancient Stoic philosophers, self-mastery lies in focusing on the things that are really in your own control – namely, your actions – and disregarding the things that aren’t.
If you always focus on acting rightly in a given situation, in a way that makes you truly like and respect yourself, you can always hold your head up high, and be satisfied that you’re doing the best you can for yourself at any given moment.
Focus on living with as much integrity as possible. To a large extent, that’s the “secret” of developing self-respect and self-guidance.