10 Ways of Improving Your Life

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Do you see the New Year as a new beginning?

Do you weigh up what you’d like to improve?

So how about a few inspirational tips?

My Impulse

I remember many years ago taking an exotic holiday. Such breaks sound amazing, and they can be, but as the saying goes, you take yourself with you. I should have been relaxed, but the self I took could not relax because my head kept spinning with work-related problems. So, to try and remedy that I went for a massage. At one point, the Balinese therapist used her elbow to press on four places around my abdomen and I literally screamed. The pain was like being cut with a knife.

She was a master of shiatsu – the art of freeing up the energy channels in the body, and she told me that this pain was a warning. The channels responsible for digestion and the transformation of food into healthy energy run through the abdomen, and the pain was telling me that mine were in a critical condition. “I shouldn’t tell you this, but if you were to die tomorrow, it would be no surprise.”

Back then, I did not know much about shiatsu, so I thought that she was just some charlatan who was trying to scare me into paying for further massages. But what if she was right? It really had been painful, so I started to think about what would’ve happened if I had dropped dead the next day in. My small child would have been left fatherless and would grow up without me. I would not get to enjoy family life and the money that I’d worked so hard for.

So, on that day, I changed my approach to life, and the main thing that changed was I stopped waiting. When people asked me about it later, I told them I had decided to live. To live better than before – from then on that became my aim.

Obviously, I can’t know whether the thing that you value most is health, happiness, another person’s satisfaction, money, your career, or inner peace. However, the following 10 inspirations make sense regardless of your priority, and you can take something from them at any time, not just at New Year.

Your environment. The basis of your change. Think about whether it helps or hinders you.

1. LET’S START spending time with the right people

Who are the “right people”? For me, they’re the ones who fill me with energy and move me forwards.

In the first part of my life, they were what I call “obverse” people – the ones who kept telling me I could do the things I did not dare to. They gave me the positive external motivation that I wasn’t always able to summon myself.

By the time I’d reached the next phase of my life where I did believe in myself, I found that “reverse” people, the ones who kept telling me I could NOT do something, were just as useful. They actually gave me what I call negative external motivation, by which I mean that their negativity and lack of faith inspired me to prove them wrong. They were not ideal to have around but they did push me forward.

For the most part, I’ve tried to keep true friends around me – people who like me not only for who I am now but also for who I want to be in the future.

It is important to think about whether the people we keep near are “right” for us because we are directly influenced by our environment. It has been said that we are all an amalgamation of the five or so people that we spend most of our time with. On that basis, the difference between 5 bad people and 5 good people in your life can be huge.

2. LET’S START facing up to our problems

We do not live in an ideal world. Everyone has problems, but what defines us all is not the size and nature of our problems, but the approach we take to solving them and the way that we recover from them.

We have to solve them because if we do not act, they won’t just linger, they will fester.

This is why it is so important to be in the right environment. Even when we feel smothered by problems, external motivation (either positive or negative) can help us.

So, let’s get stuck into our problems. Let’s learn to do everything in our power to eliminate them. Let’s see every problem not as a threat but as an opportunity. The thing we’re struggling with today will one day become the thing we’ve overcome. And the harder it was, the prouder we will feel of ourselves.

Problems are like chests, old and heavy, stiff and hard to open, but they hold a treasure inside called strength.

3. LET’S START being honest with ourselves in every respect

Do we need to change something? Do we need to achieve something? Do we need to become a better person? We can only find the answers to these questions if we submit ourselves to true self-reflection.

When we don’t know where we’re going, it does not matter which path we choose, because the destination could be anywhere. And when we don’t know where we’re coming from (and we try to pretend that we’re better than we really are), we make our journey longer and more difficult.

So, let’s ask ourselves honestly, what warms our ego? What gives us more energy? Let’s answer truthfully, as this is the only way to be our true selves. It is our life, our goals, our values at stake here, so let’s be straight with ourselves: what do we really want from life?

Have you got your answer?

How can you make it happen?

Please, continue to the 2nd page