6 Truths to Wake Up to Right Now

This is a guest post by Glen Allsopp from PluginID.

There are times in life where we get ‘wake up calls’ to the harsh reality of what is out there and realise we need to make changes to our current situation. Whether it is the death of someone close to you or seeing other people make something of their lives, until these happen we don’t notice we’ve probably been doing nothing productive with our time.

I’m a big believer in the concept of making the most of what we have, so today I wanted to share six truths about life that should hopefully help inspire and motivate you to make a difference. Some of these may help you a lot, some…not so much .Either way, I hope you get something out of this that inspires you to make a difference and apply change to your life where necessary.

1. This is Life

Quite possibly the most obvious but most eye-opening advice I can ever offer people is the statement: this is life. We may have more than one shot, but nobody knows that for certain so we have to make the most of what we have. This is it. Right now. This is life. More likely than not you will never get this opportunity again.

Let go of all the grudges you hold against others, make sure all the people that are important in your life know how you feel, and don’t waste another minute complaining about something petty. Could you honestly say that if you knew you were dying tomorrow you’ve made the most of the opportunity you have?

If not (which I’m sure applies to most people), then look at areas that instantly popped into your mind when asking yourself that question. What is holding you back?

2. Happiness isn’t Found in Possessions

Some of you may agree with me on this, some may disagree. For those that disagree, would you still be happy through your possessions if nobody else in the world ever knew about them? We can be fooled into thinking that possessions bring happiness due to the Ego boost or feelings of self-esteem we get from new purchases.

It was when I first heard this concept that I started to look to see if it was true. It was a few days before Christmas and I thought “No way! Possessions (games consoles in this case) can make us happy”. Yes, they can…for a limited amount of time if anything at all. True happiness is found in freeing yourself in life, going for the things you want and not letting others hold you back.

3. Caring What People Think will Hurt You More Than any Benefit

Even writing out that title I’m thinking “What are the benefits of caring about what people think of us?” Of course, when I say this I’m not suggesting you should go out, beat people up and break into shops. No, I’m referring to the judgements of others and the way we worry about how people will react to our decisions, our goals or even the way we dress.

If you spend your life worrying about what people think of you, you’re never going to find your true self. Your actions will be largely dictated on your assumptions of the opinions of others. Recently, when I showed my ~20 year old malefriends about my blog, I really thought they were going to judge me, and think “Why are you writing all this self help rubbish?”. Well, guess what? They actually loved what I have to write and fully support what I do.

Of course, not everyone will think like that, but if I had of worried from the start I would have never started my website in the first place, and I wouldn’t be writing this article today. What other people say about you is none of your business. Internalise that.

4. To Get Over Fears, Face Them

Fears come in many forms, but it’s rarely the fears of our current situation that bother us. When we fear things the most we fear the future, instead of focusing on the present moment. I’m sure some of you can relate to being nervous about driving when you first started to learn, but do any feelings of anxiety even cross your mind now that you drove so often? Probably not.

One of my biggest fears has always been public speaking, I can be very social but it was only until I knew a person that I started to show my real self. Despite having this fear, I decided to join a local speakers club and actually had my first speech yesterday.

My finishing line went something like this: “I’ve always been afraid of public speaking. However, I want to be the kind of person that fears public speaking, then signs up to a club and goes and speaks“. What about you?

5. Tomorrow May Not Come

With each day, my aim is to have been as productive as the one before. There are my off days where I take time out, relax, go out with friends, but on a usual Monday to Friday I always want to be as effective and efficient as possible. With each day I want to be proud of my accomplishments, I want the people around me to know how much they mean to me and I want to accept my mistakes and let go of any negative feelings.

People make mistakes, all of us do. Don’t waste your time worrying about what has happened. If you can take action then do so, otherwise just let go. Accept all that is, having things on your mind is going to stress you out more than the actual problem itself. As I demonstrated in point 3, worrying isn’t even worth it most of the time, things don’t turn out how we expect.

6. Only You Can Make These Happen

Hopefully some of the points here have motivated you somewhat to look at your life and see if you are on the ‘right’ path. If so then excellent. There’s just one more thing you need to know: only you can take action and make things happen. Friends can encourage you, your family can push you out there to do things, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make changes into habits, then habits into your lifestyle.

The support of others, the words in this post, your own beliefs…they are all great, they’ll help you get to a certain position. But ultimately it is you that has to look at your own situation, work out whether this is the life you want to live or whether you need to make some changes. If you do see that changes are necessary, go make them, show others what is possible rather than needing them to show you.

Thanks to Steve for the opportunity to post here.

Glen Allsopp moved to South Africa at the age of 18 where he didn’t know one single person. In that time he started a blog on Personal Development, and now aims to help people live the life they want to live.

15 thoughts on “6 Truths to Wake Up to Right Now”

  1. The first think in order to succeed is to really believe that you can do it. From all the notes mentioned above what scares me most is to get over fears and to face them. I’m still fighting with this fear :)

  2. Excellent post Glen

    A great book regarding transcending fear is “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.

    It is worth looking at where the fear is; often it is only thought-based and coming back to the present moment (which you can’t leave anyway whatever you try!) can be enough to realise that your fear is of the past or future; neither of which you can live in.

    You mentioned “only you can take action and make things happen” – these are very wise words! Chunking into manageable steps also helps; it can be overwhelming trying to tackle everything at once; mini successes build confidence and it is surprising how small steps can lead to big changes. My latest post on “Letting Go” may also help.

    A tip I can share with the word fail is to look at the L as an ‘L’ plate – embracing failures and mistakes as learning curves helps you see opportunities.

    Thanks for the post

  3. @Anelly – thanks fo the tip

    @Paul – thanks, I’ve heard of the book but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Glad you liked the post

    @Kim – yes I’ve seen that video, very inspiring! I’m happy you liked this :)

  4. Possessions can’t bring you happiness. The possibilities that came along with posessions, though, might. If there’s this sealed comic book that you own, you can open it and read it. You can keep it that way because you know one day it will be worth a lot. you can show it off to your friends. It’s the possibilities that’s awesome. If there’s a rule that you have to keep it under your bed, you cannot touch it or look at it, and you cannot tell anyone about it, it might as well be not there. Owning the object doesn’t make one happy. Owning the freedom and possibilities can make one happy, though.

  5. I loved this! These are things that took me 38 years to figure out, unfortunately many people never “get it”.
    I love what Glen said about possessions….it’s so true, if you have nobody to show off to who cares? I have also found a feeling of being let down when trying to fill the hole with “things”.
    And I can honestly say that I did not start really living until I let go of caring what people think.
    When I first moved into my neighborhood I tried to dress differently, act in a way that I thought would help me blend into suburbia better.
    It actually backfired and I am sure people didn’t know what to think of me.
    In the last 2 years I said f*** it, if they dont like me thats fine because I don’t like pretending to be someone else.
    Feel the fear and do it anyway, thats a great mantra!
    Thanks for posting this, I needed something uplifting because what is going on in the U.S has me very scared right now.
    Later!

  6. Fabi,

    What’s going on right now scares me too. But I am going to persist regardless of my fear. Today I was in a meeting with our CEO and he sounded very optimistic. I told him I appreciated his optimism, because things seemed so bleak. He said, what I am saying isn’t optimism, its reality, we are going to kick ass. He’s right, we will, we always have, and you will too Fabi!

  7. Good points re possessions; what helped me was detaching from the “need” to have them and investigating what difference it would really make to not have them. In other words, not making possessions a problem.

    I’ll share a Zen story that finally tipped it for me (short version from memory) with apologies to those who have heard it before:

    A traveller visited a Zen Master who lived in a small one-room apartment, with little more than a bed, small table and a book on the table. The visitor had two huge suitcases and asked the Zen master where all his possessions were. The Zen master looked at the suitcases and said “Where are yours?” The traveller said “Well, I’m just a visitor here” and the Zen master said “So am I”

  8. “Happiness isn’t Found in Possessions”

    This idea is very true, and there scientific research behind it now. Our happiness is set up in a way that keeps us striving, because if it wasn’t we’d get complacent. That’s potentially fine if you live in the modern west and can find a welfare state to mooch from, but not fine at all if you’re a caveman living in the wild – complacency can kill you!

    So we evolved to adapt to the environment we’re in, which includes our possessions and bank balance. What starts out as a luxury becomes a necessity. Just think, there was a time before central heating, hot water at the twist of a tap, when exotic fruits from far away lands weren’t available at the shop 5 minutes down the street! 1000 years ago this stuff would have been paradise, but we take it all for granted!

    Understanding this can lead to gratitude – and that is a place where you can find happiness. “It’s an important message….crucial, really” (quoting Patrick Bateman in American Psycho!) Just need to let more people know it!

  9. I like to believe that the best advice comes from those that have succeeded by it. I hate sifting through investment or business advice only to find that the adviser isn’t wealthy from his/her own plan, system, product, or service. And when he/she is, the question is if the advice is still viable for those taking it. So, we need to be at least as sharp evaluating advice as the adviser is in “marketing” it.

    If what I’ve said is true, this post teaches, better than I’ve seen written anywhere, the very first things we must learn, for ourselves, before we can buy into—and intelligently discriminate—advice from those marketing happiness.

    Just take 3 & 4 above, for example. It doesn’t matter what we want to accomplish, fear will defeat us. Fear of failing, criticism, ridicule, even fear of success. Yet, caution and prudence are survival mechanisms that increase our odds of . . . survival. But if you want to do more than survive, you have to up the risk of ruin. That’s why advice from those that have succeeded by it is critical to reduce those odds, while still taking big risk. Do your homework, confront fears, reduce risk.

    Now, Glen, let’s hear about bouncing back from failure, again and again.

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