“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
This morning a close neighborhood friend, Alison, passed away far too early. While Angel and I have spent most of the day grieving, I’ve also spent this past hour thinking about the fact that our lives are often much shorter than we expect, and that we need to do some pretty darn hard things to maximize our very limited time. Alison strongly believed in doing the hard yet necessary things in life—we talked about this topic on several occasions, and she never backed down from a challenge. So today, I want to reflect on this with you.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you absolutely need to do hard things to be happy in the long run. Because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life. They make the difference between existing and living, between knowing the path and walking it, between a lifetime of empty promises and one filled with more possibility and progress.
You know this is true, so…
1. Don’t be afraid to accept and appreciate life’s changes.
You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago. You’re always growing. Experiences don’t stop. That’s life.
Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow. Let this sink in. Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
The bottom line is that you can’t reach for anything new if you’re holding on to yesterday. You may think holding on makes you strong, but oftentimes it’s letting go and starting anew that truly builds your inner strength.
2. Don’t be afraid to trust yourself.
You may not be where you want to be yet, but you’ve also come a long way from where you once were. Appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too. Give yourself credit for your strength and resilience. You have good reason to believe that you can trust yourself going forward, not because you’ve always made the right choices, but because you’ve survived and grown from the bad ones.
Good things take time, and you’re getting there. So don’t allow yourself to be crippled by stress and self-loathing. Everything is only as it is. There’s no reason to let it cripple you. Remind yourself to breathe—to let every moment…