Mediocrity and Unhappiness.
It would seem as if the two go hand in hand.
There are too many of us out there just “getting by,” not living life up to it’s full potential.
In my opinion, the problem with most people is that they are content with just being average.
The problem with that is that they really aren’t at all that satisfied.
Deep down inside they are miserable.
You can see it on their faces and in their actions.
At some point in their lives, they settled; they gave up on themselves.
Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with money or material possessions.
As a matter of fact, it’s quite the contrary, as it has more to do with what’s going on inside.
Every day we are faced with a choice to make: we can choose to follow the crowd, or we can make a conscious decision to take the road less traveled and lead an extraordinary life.
HERE ARE 15 WAYS TO NOT BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE:
1. Find Your Purpose
I spoke a bit on this subject, here.
Take the time to sit down and honestly ask yourself, “Why am I here?”
One of my favorite books (and one I will quote often) is Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl.
If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend you do; it will change your life.
In the book, he states that we can discover meaning in our lives in 3 different ways: by creating a work or doing a deed, through our unconditional love for another human being, or by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
It is your responsibility as a human being to decide why you have been put on this earth, and then to go do it to the best of your ability.
There are too many people that go through life never having answered life’s call to them.
They wander through life like zombies, lifeless and with no purpose or cause to strive for, living for the weekend and dying slowly in between.
Don’t be like them.
Find your purpose, and then go be awesome at it.
2. Don’t Complain
Energy—the universe is oozing with it.
It’s inside each and every one of us and all around us.
Use it to your advantage.
We can’t control the events in our lives, but we can damned sure control how we perceive and react to them.
Our perception and our response is what determines the outcome.
If you want to change your current situation, whatever it may be, you must first change your thoughts.
Every single “problem” we are faced with has a silver lining.
You can choose to be negative and complain about it, or you can harness the power of positive energy and change the outcome.
It’s up to you.
Energy is contagious, both good and bad.
So many of us go through life complaining, and all we do is attract more negativity.
In Jon Gordon’s book, The Energy Bus, he states that the goal in life is to live young, have fun, and arrive at your final destination as late as possible, with smile on your face.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and stop complaining about your problems; they’re like butt cracks, everyone’s got them and no one wants to hear you talk about yours.
Those who succeed in life understand this and make the choice to remain positive no matter what the circumstance.
3. Don’t Judge Or Criticize
Benjamin Franklin once said,
“I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody.”
He went out of his way not to criticize others and to try to understand where they were coming from.
In his autobiography, he attributes this specific trait to his diplomatic success.
Everyone you meet has had a different journey that has led them to where they are now.
Put yourself in their shoes and honestly ask yourself if you would not act or think the same way under similar circumstances.
Very few of us show empathy towards others any more.
The majority of us are quick to condemn and slow to understand.
Even God waits until the end of a man’s days to judge, so why should you?
Don’t be like everyone else.
Instead, try point #4.
4. Compliment Others
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,
“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
Charles Schwab, one of the first American businessman to be paid a salary of over a million dollars, attributed his success to his ability to “arouse enthusiasm” among his employees.
He felt that if there was anything that killed ambition in others, it was criticism from their superiors.
He was anxious to praise and reluctant to find fault.
A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats smaller men.
Only fools get a feeling of importance by telling others what they are doing wrong.
It takes a person of great character to look past a person’s shortcomings and give praise for their strength’s.
Make those around you better.
The majority of people you meet only care about themselves.
Separate yourself from the crowd and let others know that they are important, too.
5. Be Appreciative
If you are reading this right now, you are in the top 1/3 of the world’s population.
I’m sure that if you take the time to look around, you’ll realize that you have plenty of other things to be thankful for as well, besides just having a computer with internet access.
Take time out of every day to step back and give thanks for all that you are blessed with.
We live in a society where “more is better,” and we are never satisfied.
Work hard and always strive to be better, but don’t ever forget that you are extremely lucky; take time out of each and every day to show some appreciation for all that you have.
6. Get Rid of The All the Life Suckers
You know them, I know them.
These are the people that can suck the energy right out of a room.
Jon Gordon refers to them as “Energy Vampires.”
They do the exact opposite of the 5 points I just listed above.
They are negative, cynical, and condescending.
The people we surround ourselves with have a big impact on our lives and our success.
Surround yourself with people that exude positivity and optimism and get rid of those that don’t.
7. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
There is only one you.
Take pride in that.
No one else in the history of this earth has had your life experiences.
No one thinks like you do or acts like you do.
You are truly one of a kind.
Be proud of that and only look to be better than the person you were yesterday.
There will always be others better off than you.
On the flip side of that coin, there will always be people less fortunate.
Focus on yourself and stop worrying about what others are doing.
Constantly comparing yourself to others will only lead to feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness.
One sure fire way to avoid this is to follow step #8.
8. Spend Less Time On Social Media
With the swipe of a finger we now have a 24 hour news feed of other peoples lives.
Friends are getting married, buying new cars, moving into big houses, getting promotions at work, and going on exotic vacations.
They always seem to be having more fun, making more money, and living a better life than we are.
What you have to realize is that social media is nothing more than a collection of snap shots of the best individual moments in a person’s life.
It is in no way, shape, or form a complete picture of that person’s existence.
Everywhere I look, I see people with faces in their phones—walking down the street, while they’re eating, driving, before they go to sleep,when they wake up, while they workout, while they’re at work.
The ironic part of it all is that they probably don’t even care for most of the people that they are spying on!
Instead of going about their day being productive and bettering themselves, they spend the majority of their time looking at snapshots of the best moments in the lives of people that they don’t even like in the first place.
It’s no wonder most of us are miserable!
Use social media to stay in touch with family and friends, and/or to share cool and informative things with others that will make them laugh, or even inspire them to be better people. (Like this post.)
Don’t, however, spend your entire day looking at everyone’s highlight reel.
All your going to get is angry and upset, and more importantly, you’ll get nothing done to improve your current situation.
9. Nourish Your Body
There are too many of us that are out of shape, unhealthy, and overweight.
I see it more and more, particularly in young people.
In the documentary Fed Up, it is stated that by the year 2050, 1 out of every 3 Americans will have diabetes and almost half of the population will be overweight and/or obese.
This is a MAJOR problem.
Treat your body right.
No matter what your philosophy is on exercise and nutrition, I think we can all agree that we should be eating less processed foods, minimizing our sugar intake, and getting at least 30 minutes of activity each day.
Eating foods that nourish your body will increase your energy levels, help fight the affects of anxiety and depression, and increase your cognition and productivity.
Set goals for yourself in the weight room.
Whether it’s a bigger squat or deadlift, running faster, or jumping higher, training for performance will lead to better aesthetics and more confidence in and out of the gym.
There are too many people wasting time and wandering around the gym taking selfies.
Have a concrete goal and always look to improve.
There is no greater feeling than setting your mind to something and achieving it.
I’ve always looked at my training as a metaphor for life; it should never be easy and I should always look to challenge myself.
Take an hour each day to get stronger.
Leave the weight room or the track knowing you gave it your all, and apply that mindset to everything else you do in life.
11. Read More
33% of high school and 42% of college students will never read another book again, after graduation.
Most people don’t read.
Don’t be like them: aim for at least 1-2 books per month.
Reading not only broadens your horizon and gives you different perspective’s from which to view the world, but it also keeps your mind sharp and vocabulary strong.
Throughout this post I have mentioned and linked to books that I’ve read and that have inspired me in the last couple of months.
If you don’t have an idea of where you’d like to start and you’ve enjoyed this post, pick up one of those.
12. Keep An Open Mind
Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest athlete’s of all time, has to have one of my all time favorite quotes.
He said, “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
Thirst for knowledge and NEVER stop learning.
Many of us graduate from college and get a career, but we forget to keep challenging our minds.
We are so firm in what we believe in, and what we “know,” that we ignore or turn a blind eye to any opposing opinions.
Make it a point to try to learn something new every single day.
Read books, talk to people who are different than you are, pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, or watch a documentary or a film that contradicts your current beliefs and convictions.
Keep an open mind and question everything you are told.
We live in a very exciting day and age.
We have access to the internet, and science and technology are evolving at a rapid pace – use it to your advantage.
Evolve as human being, and always look to better yourself spiritually and mentally.
13. Stop Saying You’re “Too Busy”
We get it already.
We really do.
But here’s the thing, you’re not as busy as you think you are.
It has become increasingly common in this day and age for us to get caught up in the rat race.
It seems as if we all tell each other how “busy” we are and wear it almost like a badge of honor.
You’ve heard it before I’m sure, but life is all about priorities.
We all make time for what we care about.
This goes for family, work, exercise, spending time with friends—if it is truly important to you, you will find the time.
Please stop telling everyone how busy you are.
Chances are they are just as busy (or busier) as you and they don’t care.
I’ve had personal training clients tell me that they didn’t have time to train because they had kids.
At this very moment I have a client with a full time job, 2 kids, and that recently went back to school to finish her education.
She STILL makes time to train 3 days per week!
Make time for the things in your life that are important to you.
Prioritize and focus on the things in life that matter.
Stop telling others how “busy” you are and start working on your time management skills.
As Bruce Lee once said, “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Cut out the activities in your life that are wasting your time and focus in on the ones that will make you better as a human being.
14. Do What Makes YOU Happy
At the end of the day it’s all about you.
You could have all the money in the world and be completely miserable; so many people are.
You see it all the time on the news and in the magazines, people with “picture perfect” lives that turn to drugs and alcohol and throw it all away.
Don’t live up to anyone’s expectations but your own.
Do what makes YOU happy.
I ask myself almost on a daily basis, “If I won the lottery tomorrow, would I still be doing what I’m doing?”
The answer is always “yes!”
The day that changes will be the day I look for another career.
I’m sitting down typing this right now at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning.
I don’t make any money for writing this, but it’s important to me.
I enjoy it.
It gives me a sense of fulfillment as a human being knowing that I could possibly be helping someone out there through my words.
Don’t live for anyone else’s hopes of what they think you should be or worry about other people’s opinions of you.
At the end of the day it is you and only you that has to live with your choices.
Don’t do something because it is “safe” or makes a lot of money.
Find what makes you happy and then go do it better than anyone else.
15. Continue To Read This Blog
I started this blog a little over a month ago, and I can honestly say that is has been one of the most fulfilling tasks I have ever set out to accomplish.
Whether it’s my thoughts on life, health, fitness, or just cool stuff I’m passionate about, I’d like to continue sharing them with all of you.
While I am not perfect, nor pretend to be, these are some of the principles I try to live my life by.
I will continue to do my best to help you guys navigate through this crazy journey we call life.
I’ll keep posting the latest on nutrition, training, and self improvement, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my entries thus far.
I’m trying to reach as many people as possible, so I would ask all of you out there to please subscribe, keep reading, and to share my blog with as many of your friends and family that you think would benefit from this info.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this; and I hope that you apply most, if not all, of these points to your lives.
Take pride in NOT being like everyone else.
Follow your heart and do what your’re passionate about.
Treat others with kindness and always look to bring out the best in them.
Thirst for knowledge and never settle for less than you are capable of.
Embrace your uniqueness and give thanks for everything you have and who you are.
In this modern day world of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I encourage you all to stop “following,” and start leading.
DON’T BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.