10 Keys to Stop Sucking at Life and Make Better Decisions

10 keys to stop sucking at life and make better decisions

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1. Never lie to yourself

When I was younger, I used to create stories for myself. I fabricated my own interpretations of events that were not in line with reality. I either believed that God will grant me something because I deserve it. Or I thought that God hates, so nothing will ever work out. Neither of them was true. There was only one reason for my successes and failures - Mr. Nick Bublik himself.

Many people create alternate realities in their heads for different reasons. Some do it to justify their failures. Some to inflate their self-importance. Others to protect their egos from being hurt. How dumb is that? Very dumb.

Perhaps...your ninth breakup means you have some deep emotional issues you have to resolve, not ‘he wasn’t right for me’. Perhaps your anger at another person doesn’t come from her actions, but from your jealousy of her success. Just maybe... the reason why you don’t get along with people has more to do with your attitude than everyone else.

If you continue lying to yourself, you may be able to sustain a level of satisfaction for a short period. However, reality will catch up to you. The longer it takes for you to accept your situation, the more painful the realization will be down the road.

There is power in truth

Always ask yourself: why am I doing what I’m doing? You may find some justification for lying to others, but why lie to yourself? That doesn’t do you any good. You cannot have any progress in life with self-deception. Analyze yourself and your actions with sincerity. There is power in truth. A deceived person is weak because he’s not aware of reality.

2. Take life seriously

Some people say ”don’t take life too seriously”. If they mean “don’t take first world problems too seriously” - I agree with that. But life is long. A century long. If it sucks, it will suck for a long time. Living with chaos and depression in your head for decades can be worse than imprisonment. Dying as a loser, who wasted his whole life, is not something you want to experience. If you don’t take life seriously early on, it will only get more serious down the road. Things will start piling up one on another.

Taking life seriously doesn’t mean having no sense of humor. It means taking responsibility for yourself and people around you. If you become a serious and responsible person, you will be admired and imitated by others. People are drawn to those who have their life in order. If you take life as a joke, you will be a joke to everyone around you.

Becoming an honorable person is serious - if you don’t, you may spend your entire life being lonely. Educating yourself is serious - if you don’t, you may end up spending decades on a job you hate. Starting a family is serious - divorce is one of the most painful things that happen to people. Raising your kids properly is serious - if you don’t, they will suffer and will hate you for it.

Don’t pursue happiness

Some say ”pursue happiness”. Sure, being happy is great. But happiness is not a constant state. You will go through struggles and dark times in life. What happens then? You become a failure because you lost happiness? Pursue deeper meaning and purpose in life. Pursue something that is constant. Something that will leave you fulfilled even in the time of suffering and chaos.

3. Have a strong desire to change

Many people will tell you that the worst time in their life ended up being the turning point for the better. I know it was true for me. Once I hit rock bottom, I realized that I was a mess. I couldn’t continue living that way. I had too many flaws that had to be fixed.

Sometimes it’s better to start off at a less favorable position. When life sucks, you become furious with yourself and your situation. You tell yourself ‘enough is enough’. You make a promise to do whatever it takes to get out of your situation. This is when the transformation begins.

If you want to improve your life, you have to generate some type of strong emotion. I don’t care what it is - love, hate, anger, fear. Just find an emotion inside yourself with the most energy, and channel it into passion for transformation. That energy will give you the needed boost to start taking the first steps. After that, it’s all about persistence and self-discipline.

What stands in the way

If you decide to transform your life - you will be entering an unchartered territory. You will meet a lot of resistance. Some of it may come from other people, but most of it will come from you; your old mindsets, old habits, old fears. You have to generate enough energy and passion that will trump the old compulsions. Below are some to watch out for:

Fear of being uncomfortable - you will have to get out of your comfort zone to change.

Fear of failure - you will have to try new things. You will probably fail more than succeed.

Fear of admitting ignorance/not being good enough - you will realize you don’t know a lot.

Fear of change/uncertainty - you will have to make a lot of changes in life - your mind, friends, environment, lifestyle, habits, daily routines, diet, attitude, etc.

4. Fall in love with learning

What makes children learn so much so quickly? Perhaps some of the factors are biological. But I believe that one of the major reasons for quick learning is their curiosity. Children always ask questions. What is that? Why? Where? They’re not afraid to admit they don’t know something. Their ego doesn’t stand in the way of learning. Adults, on the other hand, are always afraid of being perceived as ignorant. They would rather nod with acknowledgement than ask for a clarification.

When I decided to improve my life, I developed a mind of a child. I became curious in many subjects. I asked a lot of questions. I read books by the hundreds. Oftentimes, I devour three books at the same time - a physical copy before bed, a Kindle book during the day, and an Audible book while driving.

Books can provide you with a lot more knowledge than any college education. Fall in love with acquiring new wisdom. Implement it. Imagine if you discovered a trick in a board game that gave you an advantage over your family members. Wouldn’t that make a smirk on your face? This is what books do. They are full of tricks and tactics for getting ahead in life.

Is a book worth reading?

How to determine whether a book is worth reading or not? Look at the author. Do you want to be like him or her? Do you want a similar life? If yes, then buy the book. I made a mistake of reading books whose authors had a dysfunctional life. I took their advice and implemented them. This definitely held back my progress by at least a few years. So, be cautious.

5. Become an authentic person

I believe that finding yourself in this world should be one of the essential life goals of every individual. It may sound like a cliché phrase, but it holds a lot of truth.

As children, we were taught to think, speak, and act a certain way. Our parents tried to mold us into humans they believed we should become. However, as we got older, many of us felt uncomfortable playing the role of an artificial character. It felt unnatural. We didn’t ‘feel ourselves’. We began looking for other role models to imitate, which hasn’t always produced positive results.

When we’re not being ourselves, we long for something that is absent in our soul. We start seeking our own truths, perspectives, and purpose.

None of us are certain of who we are meant to be. However, once we ‘find ourselves’ - we know with assurance that we discovered our true identity. Finding ourselves gives us a sense of confidence and ease. Everything seems to fit together: our actions, our beliefs, and our personality. We feel energized and positive about the direction of our life.

People are turned off by those who pretend to be someone else. They can smell it. Genuine people are attractive; they are trustworthy; they are pleasant to be around. Playing someone else is a sign of insecurity and immaturity. It’s even uncomfortable to the person himself. It drains energy to continually be conscious about how to act and what to say.

Learn to be sincere and authentic. Don’t force yourself, because artificially forcing yourself is in itself ingenuine. Authenticity is learned over time. Remember - when you feel at ease, most likely you’re on the right track. Don’t hide your flaws. Be imperfect. Be just a person.

6. Stop talking about yourself

Some of the most attractive and charismatic people are those that make others feel important and appreciated. To achieve charisma, you have to become a good listener. Good listeners always shift the focus of a conversation from themselves onto the other person.

People love talking about themselves. They yearn for someone to listen to them and understand their inner world.

The art of listening is a rarity today. Usually, our conversations involve one person preparing a response while the other is desperately explaining her point of view. Modern dialogue often becomes a battle of two egos rather than an intimate experience of mutual discovery.

Next time you’re having a conversation, try to talk as little about yourself as possible. Instead, become genuinely curious in the other person. Ask questions. Dig deep into their stories. Ask what their thought process was during a particular incident; how they felt. Don’t come up with responses while people are talking. Listen.

Through active listening, you will discover deeper or contradictory meanings behind people’s words. Oftentimes, people themselves wish that someone recognized the discrepancy. They dream for someone to bring their true feelings to the surface. Putting all cards on the table gives people a sense of relief. You can’t help them achieve that unless you develop great listening skills.

7. Get into other people’s shoes

If you were born in Oprah Winfrey’s body and raised in the circumstances she was raised in - you would’ve been Oprah Winfrey. You would think like her; you would act like her; and your worldview would be identical to hers.

Our perceptions and beliefs are products of two things - nature and nurture. If you were born a female - you experience the world differently than a man. Your race, nationality, religion, appearance, and life experiences determine how you think of yourself and the world around you.

So in order to understand other people, we need to stop judging their actions and beliefs based on our experiences and beliefs. We have to be exposed to their pains and struggles to understand their perspectives. This skill is called empathy.

How does it feel to be a person of the opposite sex? How does it feel to be born a different race? In a different country? Different family? What is it like to be in the shoes of the person you’re talking to? How would you feel if you were in the same situation?

Instead of defending your position and opinions, try to understand the other person. You may discover something you’ve never considered before. Perhaps you may realize that your perspective on things was incorrect.

People want to be understood. They crave for someone to experience the world inside of them. If you become that person, you may win an ally for life.

8. Master your emotions

Mastering your emotions is considered one of the greatest feats of any human. Lao-Tzu said: “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” Being in control of your emotions will make you the stronger side in any situation. You will have control over your life and your destiny. Here are a few laws of self-mastery I learned the hard way:

1. Always delay pleasure if it means greater reward in the future. Instead of using your credit cards to buy a bike, wait until you save enough cash to avoid debt. Get up even if you feel like sleeping in. Study instead of playing video games.

One of the best ways to keep yourself from delaying gratification is creating long-term goals. Next time you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself: “Is the short-term pleasure bringing me closer to my goals or not?”.

2. Don’t make any choices when you’re full of emotions. Emotions create tension. They create an urge. Anger creates an urge to yell at someone. Uncontrollable attraction can generate a compulsion to send text messages you’ll regret afterwards. Fear and greed will make you a victim of manipulative marketers. Learn to notice yourself getting emotional. Tell yourself to calm down, think rationally, and wait it out.

3. Avoid arguing with people if you value the relationship. Arguments are always about inflating and protecting egos. They are never about trying to understand the other side. Arguments never end up in a mutual agreement. Usually they result in a bitter feeling in both parties. Unless inflating your ego matters more than friendships, avoid arguments at all costs. You’ll be proud of your restraint afterwards.

9. Stop trying to impress others

Trying to impress other people stems from a deep feeling of unworthiness and insecurity. Usually, a person who seeks approval from others didn’t receive enough recognition from parents as a child. This drives him to continually seek any kind of reaction from the people around him. Oftentimes, his actions end up being provocative and destructive in nature.

Ask yourself: Why am I acting the way I am? Why did I buy a car I can’t afford? Why do I say what I say? Why did I exaggerate about my achievements? Why do I wear the clothes I wear? If whatever you do comes from a desire to get attention - stop it.

Do you waste a long time editing a photo to get more likes on social media? Do you spend half an hour trying to come up with a funny comment? Just think about how pathetic it looks from the side; sitting anxiously in anticipation for the internet community to recognize your creative effort. And they better recognize! Otherwise all of your self-esteem will go through the floor.

People can smell when someone attempts to impress them. It turns them off. Showing off is considered as immature and a low-class behavior. People want to be around those of the same social status as them. Never present yourself as a low status person. If you do, this reputation may follow you for a very long time. Act with dignity and self-respect, and you will be respected by others.

10. Compare your progress only to yourself

Look. There’s one thing that everyone can agree on - some of us are just more fortunate than others. Some are born into riches; others are born into poverty. Some are born into a beautiful family; others have never seen their parents. Your race, religion, place of birth, upbringing, connections, appearance, IQ, etc. determine the cards you are given at the start.

If you’re born into a family of entrepreneurs, most likely your parents are connected to plenty of affluent people. From your childhood, you might’ve been be taught how to find customers, how to sell, and how to operate a business.

However, if you are born into a working-class family, raised in a poor neighborhood, went to an underfunded school - there is no way you’ll be as equipped as your more fortunate peers. What if on top all that you also carry some emotional baggage? Life is not fair. It’s just what it is. Every person starts off on a different starting line.

So, don’t ever compare your progress to someone else’s: not your brother, not your neighbor - nobody. Only compare your progress to the person you were yesterday. Do you still have the same destructive habits and thoughts as a year ago? Do you still have the same amount knowledge and wisdom as a month ago? If yes - you deserve a solid kick in the butt. If you made improvements - be proud of yourself.

What brings happiness and fulfillment is knowing that you are on the right path in life. Seeing progress and improvement is motivating. Compare your progress to yourself and you will always stay motivated.

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