Life is hard. But it is simple.
We, humans, tend to make it complicated.
Why? Because we blindly follow our fears. We follow shame, guilt, anxiety, embarrassment, even when they’re not justified. We follow all those negative emotions. Or more precisely, we’re trying to avoid them at all costs.
But this is a very short term strategy.
What matters is not just what you feel. What matters is also what you do. And you better do the right thing. Not just for others, but also for yourself.
When you decide to do what is right, boundaries become very clear. You know which decision to make. You know how to answer. You know where to focus your time and energy. Your heart.
Still, life is hard.
The truth is that life is never going to be without problems. And it’s a good thing. Because if life is smooth, you’ll be bored to death.
When you have no money, then you need to get money. When you have money, then you need to get love. When you have love, then you need to build something. When you’ve built something, then you need to touch people.
You just elevate your problems. You just have better problems. You just have more meaningful problems.
This is life. A never ending struggle.
But again, this is a good thing, if you’re smart enough.
You can learn a lot along the way. Reflect, get your own feedback, do what makes sense to you. You’ll grow higher.
It is not complicated. But also not easy.
I’m now 34, and that is one of the main conclusion I’ve been reaching after living more (or less) consciously for the past decade.
Before I started reflecting, I would seem to be longing for a life of bliss, without any issue, any rejection, any pain. Just full happiness. Or at least what I thought was happiness. But it never happened.
And the reality is that it is not meant to happen.
Whatever your status in life, whatever the number of friends you have, the number of zeros in your bank account, life is about struggles, and is about learning to overcome those struggles, and becoming a bigger and better person in the process. Knowing yourself better, treating yourself better, treating others better, with more respect, with more acceptance, with compassion but also boundaries, deciding what is important and what is not. Lots of things to learn.
If you look at life as a series of struggles to avoid or get rid as soon as possible, then you’re not gonna enjoy the ride.
Every issue is here to teach you something, and if the same issue happens over and over, that means that you haven’t been learning. You haven’t been attentive. You haven’t been reflective.
How is Life Simple?
When you know how to draw strict boundaries, when you know yourself enough to decide whether a feeling is useful or not, whether a feeling makes sense or not, when you stop just following anything that comes to you (feelings or thoughts), then you are able to reach that simple life.
Many of us don’t tell straightforwardly what we think about someone to that someone, whether positive or negative. Many of us don’t say straightforwardly what we feel about someone to that someone, whether positive or negative.
We barely tell someone: “What you did really hurt me, and I don’t find this acceptable.” We barely tell someone: “I really like you. I admire who you are and what you do, and I respect you a lot.”
We spend a lot of energy trying to find covert ways to pass our messages, while the simplest, healthiest and most straightforward way is the best.
There’s another whole series of behaviors, mindsets and beliefs. But again, they are not easy. They prevent you from ruminating over past mistakes, but they need your courage. They stop you from worrying about the future, but they require your hard work. They make things decisive and clear, but they’re uncomfortable.
Yes, life is simple.
It requires reflection. It requires will. It requires honesty, towards ourselves, and towards others. It requires taking responsibility for one’s own life, one’s own emotions, one’s own actions, and not blaming others for them. It requires owning ourselves, who we are, what we want, what we feel, what we think, what we need.
It requires knowing what we value. And it requires stepping forward. Taking action. Standing up for ourselves. Expressing who we are in this world. Whatever people think.
It requires daring greatly.
Life really is simple. We make it complicated, because we want it easy. But life is hard. And believe me, this is a good thing.
Once you accept this, it all gets way simpler. Not easier, but simpler. High self-esteem. Confidence. Respect. Love. Acceptance. Compassion. Peace. Even when the shit storm hits you strong in the face. No more fog.
More pragmatic details coming soon.
Update: Part I available here.