It is really easy to let external factors define who we are.
Especially the traumatic ones.
I know, I’ve been there…
There will always be things in our lives that impact us negatively.
Some of them a lot.
And it can be really easy to become bitter or sad and live your life like that.
But here’s the important thing to understand: these external factors, especially the negative ones, they can only define us if we let them.
That’s the key to it.
No one has a perfect life.
Everyone has challenges – some big, some small.
But we all have a choice in how the challenges (and bad experiences) impact us: we can let them define who we are, or we can make a conscious decision about who we are.
We do have a choice.
But only if we exercise it.
Exercise your ability to choose for yourself.
Don’t let external factors define who you are.
One absolute truth about life is the fact that everything in life is temporary.
Nothing lasts forever.
Be it people.
People come and go. Some stay longer than others. But no one will be there forever – be it because some people are just not meant to be there with you for the long haul, or because life sometimes gets in the way, or because death comes for all of us…
Things aren’t everlasting – they are not permanent. Some things perish, others lose utility, while some get lost somehow.
Experiences fade. With time some experiences disappear while others fade, and some just get replaced while others are blocked and forgotten.
The point is, nothing in life is forever.
So it’s important to make the most of what you have right now.
People – Live fully with the good people in your life. Fully enjoy the time you have with them because you never know how much time you have with them.
Things – Make the most of the things you have. Get the most out of them so that eventually when they aren’t there you won’t have any regrets (e.g. don’t just buy things if you aren’t going to use them or enjoy them).
Experiences – Embrace the experiences you have (and seek out). Fully enjoy the good ones, and learn from the not-so-good ones.
It can be challenging, to pay attention to things now because we get distracted, and life gets in the way. But that is what often leads to regrets.
It’s not hard though. Being present in the moment – being mindful – is a great place to start.
Live your life, rather than spending all your time and energy on trying to make life happen.
Nothing in life is permanent, so it is important to make the most of what you have while you can.
Are you mindful of the people, things, and experiences in your life?
Are you living your life, or too busy trying to make life happen?
I love to travel.
The new destinations, new cultures, new food… all that new and interesting to explore is interesting, exciting, and fun.
But travel isn’t just good for for the novelty and the excitement, it’s also good for your mind.
The novel experiences that you gain from reveling create new neural connections in your brain.
That, in turn, promotes the brain’s neuroplasticity and helps it stay strong, and grow.
This is essential if you want to have a healthy brain as you grow older.
Great also for reducing the probability of suffering from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
The stimulation is also good for promoting mental strength.
Part of traveling involves dealing with unforeseen circumstances, often challenging ones.
Dealing with them teaches you to be more resilient and strong.
It is also great for your self esteem, and confidence.
And for self awareness.
Travel can help you become more mindful, which can help you become happier.
It can help you become more open minded, through the new experiences you have.
It can also help you become more considerate, compassionate, and kind.
There are lots of good reasons to travel.
Here is a key rule of investing – understand your risk appetite.
Not sure how to do that?
Try the exercise below.
Imagine you’ve invested 1000 into the thing.
Now imagine it has lost value.
How do you feel?
Do you feel like this will give you sleepless nights, or are you still calm?
Now imagine you’ve lost it – how does that make you feel? Can you move on easily, or will it cause you sleepless nights (and regrets) for days, weeks, and months to come?
Now go through the same steps with the amount of money you were considering investing.
If peace of mind is more important to you, then generally you would do better with safer investment approaches.
But if you are someone who is willing to take risks, and will not lose sleep over it even when it goes down or you lose the investment, then riskier strategies will be your thing.
But whatever your risk appetite, never invest more than you can afford to lose. Even if you have nerves of steel and can mentally deal with the riskiest strategies, it’s still not a smart idea to invest money losing which can risk your livelihood.
I learned this the hard way, so learn from my mistakes.
Think about your risk appetite before you invest.
And don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose, especially in riskier investments.