Life has a tendency to become overly complicated and stressful, particularly because things change so quickly. I’ve identified seven problems that you can eliminate to make your life a whole lot simpler (which doesn’t mean boring or less interesting).
Problem #1 – Too Much Responsibility
Think back to a year or two ago. How much extra responsibility has come into your life since then? You may have too much stuff, too many possessions, too many projects, and too many commitments.
Spreading yourself too thin reduces focus, increases stress, and lowers overall performance.
Too much stuff could include anything from a new cell phone, to a new swimming pool, to a bigger house. It might be nice to have more possessions and new gadgets, but they often come with responsibilities and maintenance. Ask yourself if you’re being “owned” by the things you own.
It’s also exciting to get caught up in many new hobbies or projects. I did this when I got into building websites. Before I knew it I was working on 20 projects at the same time and seeing minimal results across the board. It took me a while to realize that I was working like a maniac, yet none of my projects were anywhere near completion.
These days I’m only working on 2–3 projects in total. Not only do I feel more relaxed because it’s easier to keep track of what I have to do, but I can also see significant progress in my work month after month since I am doing less.
Try to simplify your life. Cut down your possessions, projects, and hobbies to relieve some of the responsibilities that you don’t really need to have.
Problem #2 – Limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts that you’ve come to accept as the truth.
Through years of social conditioning, media advertising, and peer pressure you’ve shaped your reality. You’ve decided on the things that you can and cannot do in your life. You’ve also very likely told yourself that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do certain things.
I used to have many limiting beliefs. I always thought I wasn’t smart. I thought I wasn’t cool enough to have many friends or be a person that people wanted to invite to events. I believed that I wasn’t attractive or interesting enough to ever get a girlfriend.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve managed to make a steady income from my own websites, I’ve got a circle of close friends that I’m really happy with, and I haven’t had any problems meeting girls.
In short, the limiting beliefs you (don’t know that you) have could be holding you back from a lot of happiness, success, and even the life you’ve always dreamed of living. Take the time to identify and release them.
Problem #3 – Negative Relationships
Certain relationships can become emotionally draining, and they can even leave you feeling mentally abused and take advantage of.
I used to know someone who I considered a good friend, but the reality was that he would only be a good friend if he wanted something from me. He would never call me just to hang out—only when he needed a lift or place to stay. Eventually I decided that it was time to let go.
I’ve also been in relationships with girls that involved unnecessary jealousy and competition to see who’s right or better.
I know that it can be very difficult to end a relationship like this because there are feelings involved. You have some sort of history together and you hope in vain that things will get better. But these relationships can be toxic.
Be polite and let the person know how you feel, but be prepared to cut them out your life entirely if they’re not willing to make any adjustments.
You’ll be amazed at how much energy and enthusiasm you’ll have after you cut out all the negative and emotionally draining relationships in your life.
Problem #4 – Highly Stressful Job
When you’re young, you choose your direction, but over the years, you may find that your job creates more stress than you want to deal with. It may even leave you feeling trapped and unhappy about life.
After high-school I went to work with my dad and sister in a supermarket we bought as a family business. Supermarkets are open 15 hours per day, every day of the week, all year.
We had management but we were almost always present in the business to ensure that things ran smoothly. I had no time for anything else but work and sleep for the two-plus years that I worked there. Fortunately the business made good money, but when we got the chance to sell and get out, we took it. Sometimes hard work and sacrifice are worth the effort, but there’s only so long we can sustain that.
Unless you’re doing something you love, consider looking at alternative jobs. Everyone needs money, and sometimes you don’t have immediate options. But you have the power to plan and work toward something different if that’s truly what you want.
Problem #5 – Debt
Debt enslaves you to other people. It limits the freedom and choices you have, and it might require you to pass on fantastic opportunities because you need to manage your debt first. Aim first to minimize it and then eliminate it.
The first step in this is to stop taking on any additional debt. Don’t buy anything on credit unless it’s a life-threatening situation. Especially stop buying anything like TV’s, vacations, and other gadgets on credit!
Secondly, stop spending money on all unnecessary things and start to pay off your debt as fast as possible. For example, you can stop eating out, cook at home, and use the money you save to pay off your debt.
The faster you become debt free, the faster you’ll be able to have more freedom to follow your own path. Once you pay off your debt, you can start saving money, both for an emergency fund, and to invest in your passions.
Problem #6 – Bitterness
Sometimes things happen that are difficult to deal with, like death and other tragedies. Events like these can have a big impact on you—especially because you have no control over the situation, but somehow you still feel you could have done something to prevent it.
A few years back I had a decent amount of money saved up that I lost by making some bad decisions. At the time I thought I knew what I was doing, but reality showed me that I didn’t have a clue at all. After I lost that money, I beat myself up about it for months.
Eventually I realized that I couldn’t change the past. I needed to stop making myself feel bad about it and just make sure to not let it happen again. I’ve made my peace with what happened and now I make smarter choices with my finances.
Learn how you can make peace with your past and move on. You’ll be able to get a lot more out of life (and spread the joy to many others) when you don’t carry bitterness through your day-to-day life.
Problem #7 – Hate
Hate is a poison that leads to anger, sadness and, ultimately, suffering.
If you hold animosity towards anyone, do the work to release it. That hate hurts you more than them, and it slowly degrades the quality of your life.
The best way to remove the hate from your heart is through forgiveness. Be the bigger person, forgive, and move on. Don’t focus on settling the score. Revenge only leads to regret.
If you cut out even just a few of these problems you’ll find that a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. You’ll also have more emotional freedom to enjoy the things you love doing.
Photo by AlicePopkorn