#1 - Abandon your comfort zone.
We always fear leaving our comfort zones—and never achieving anything extraordinary because we are afraid of what a bit of courage might cause. We must understand that our comfort zone is our enemy. It’s the little voice telling us to keep that job we know we hate, or to stay in our relationships we know we’re unhappy in, or to not go after a girl or boy we know we’re interested in. We stay in it because we are afraid of what facing adversity and humility feels like. We tend to get so afraid of being anything but “comfortable”, that we never end up pursuing our dreams, and always settle for mediocrity. We should abandon our comfort zones— and stop letting our fear of the unknown dictate what we can or can’t do with our lives. The world is ours for the taking, and we should make our lives exactly what we want to, regardless of who says otherwise.
#2 - Stop having regrets.
We often regret not doing or saying certain things, and end up wishing things had gone better for ourselves. This ends up in us always living somewhat in the past—having the idea of a better life, but never taking the effort to actually improve it. This is denial, pure and simple, and only distracts us from reality. When we have no regrets, we are able to take full control of the present, and focus on our true goals and aspirations that will make us the happiest versions of ourselves. Having no regrets means you are able to actually learn from all of your mistakes, and make a conscious effort to get your life together.
#3- Openly express your feelings.
Most of us suck at expressing our emotions. But we don’t realize that this is why we’re emotional in the first place. Think of our personalities like a bottle—and our emotions shake it up constantly. Never releasing that ever-building pressure not only makes it more difficult to withstand keeping it in, but also makes the eventual opening up much more explosive and painful. People who learn to honestly express themselves (and are most importantly not afraid to) are much happier with their lives as a result.
#4 - Take full responsibility for your problems.
This means that you should never put your problems on others. Say someone hits you with their car. Yes, they are to blame—but it is still your responsibility to get it fixed, not theirs. When we don’t take full responsibility for our problems, we victimize ourselves into thinking other people should solve them for us. When we finally accept the harsh reality that every one of our problems is up to us and ONLY us to solve, we have the opportunity to develop a strong independence that can make us unstoppable.
#5 - Stop procrastinating.
It’s the reason we binge watch Netflix daily or stay glued to our phone screens for hours on end. If we utilized the time we spend procrastinating to actually do something with our lives, we would find how much time we actually waste every day. The thing is, utilizing our time correctly is extremely valuable—and the more time we waste procrastinating, the less amount of self-worth we will ever develop. In reality, no sense of self-respect or worth comes from staring at our phones like robots, wasting our lives away. To stop this habit, you can think of procrastination like a drug addiction. When we procrastinate, we’re typically doing activities that trigger our pleasure receptors in our brains—such as watching TV, playing video games, or staring at our phone screens. This rewires our brains into believing that procrastination equals happiness. In effect, our brain's pleasure receptors become desensitized—making us more lethargic, and more addicted to wasting our time avoiding problems.
#6 - Start exercising.
Improving our lives also means improving our bodies and health. Lack of exercise almost always makes us lazier—and less likely to ever solve our problems. Start a habit of exercising at least once a day, absolutely no exceptions. The more pain we pursue through exercise, the less stressful and painful solving other problems will feel.
#7 - Stop pursuing pleasures for self-fulfillment.
Have you ever eaten an entire pizza by yourself, then sat there in misery wondering why your life's a mess? It’s the low point we feel when we’ve been chasing pleasures in an effort to be happy. We subconsciously tell ourselves “Wow, a whole pizza sounds awesome, I’ll feel better afterwards,” then we somehow manage to feel worse. What’s with that? It’s because pleasures ultimately fix nothing but short-term, unimportant problems. And while there’s nothing wrong with pursuing pleasures occasionally, too much of it (especially for the wrong reasons) will leave you feeling emptier every time. The key is to moderate your pursuit of pleasures, and to look at pleasures in the correct manner: short-term solutions for short-term problems. In other words, nothing truly worthwhile ever comes from pursuing pleasures.
#8 - Stop trying to be perfect.
Oddly enough, when we try to be perfect, it only stresses us out even more. But when we accept that we're actually pretty mediocre at most things, then we can take a sigh of relief and actually work to improve ourselves. True improvement comes from understanding that our flaws make us who we are, and they can be improved upon but never removed. Think of this as an anti-perfectionist mindset. With this in mind, we appreciate the process of growth more and begin to see our true potential surface.
#9 - Be humble.
Typically, if we ever think we're above everybody else, we're really just covering up our own insecurities. Practicing being humble means to make a habit of questioning your ego, and to stop doing everything just for your own personal gain. Not only does being humble make others respect you more (and improve your reputation), it helps you focus less on judging others and hones you in on improving your own issues. Not to mention that humble people always bring good vibes and are generally much happier with their lives as a result.
#10 - Be passionate.
This is perhaps the most important trait of all. Consider people like Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi. Their work was filled with passion for something greater than themselves, and due to that, they were some of the most influential and honored historical figures of all time. Having passion in our actions fills our lives with purpose and meaning. People with no passion are consistently bored, and distract themselves from doing anything important with their lives. Some great examples of noble passions are honesty, perseverance, courage, integrity, and wisdom. Whenever you work on your issues—ask yourself, "What passions do I have underlying my actions and pursuits?" This will help you get to the bottom of your problems in the quickest manner, and help you to introspect more easily.