7 Things You Need to Know to Live Your Best Life and Make a Better World

Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

By Maria Stenvinkel | Tiny Buddha

You know those “moments of truths”?

When what you hear, or come to realize, turns your world around. When one or several things turn out to be exactly what you needed to hear at the exact right time. Ba-boom.


For the past couple of years, I’ve had several ah-ha moments that have made my life better. Here are seven of those realizations. Some were harsh to come to terms with (like #1), while others brought me the greatest relief and hallelujah moment (like #7).

Read them, ponder them, and let them move in with you. See if they can alter your life and perhaps amp up your awesomeness even more.

1. You’re 100 percent responsible for your life.

First time I heard this I got a tiny bit uncomfortable, to say the least. Did that mean I had to take responsibility for everything? Even areas in my life where I had felt mistreated, misunderstood, and clearly had my reasons as to why things weren’t ideal? Like my financial situation and why I wasn’t working with something I love.

At first, I didn’t like the idea of taking full responsibility for everything. But, then it hit me: If I want to own the solution, I have to first own the problem. This doesn’t mean that what someone else did to us was okay; it just means that we accept what happened (because, let’s face it, it did happen) and then take responsibility for how we let it affect our life onward.

We can’t change a situation in our life that we don’t take full responsibility for, because that means that the power sits with someone or something else. Excuses, blames, and reasons might cushy-comfort us for a while, but it won’t change the game.

Try this: Look at one area of your life that you’re not fully satisfied with. Then, choose to take 100 percent responsibility for it, no matter what has happened or how things are now. (If you find it difficult to start, just imagine that you do it for two minutes).

Taking responsibility means taking your power back to where it belongs: to you.


2. The thing that annoys you about others is a reflection of you.

What really pisses you off about others? What frustrates you and makes you go through the roof? Yeah, that’s all a mirror of you.

Realizing this for me gave me so many ah-ha moments (after I passed my denial phase). For example, I was frustrated with one person who always interrupted me and others. Why wasn’t she capable of listening? Why did she always have to interrupt people half way through?

As you might have guessed, this was also something I did. (Now I’m aware, so hopefully I don’t do it as much anymore.) Realizing this was powerful. Not only could I reveal sides of myself I wanted to work on, it also allowed me to practice compassion instead of judgment with others' behavior. Win-win!

Look at things that annoy you about others and then turn the focus toward yourself. What’s the message here? How can you grow and develop from it?

3. What you admire about others is a quality you long to express.

Here’s a simple exercise that can reveal some pretty cool things about yourself. Who do you admire? What qualities in them do you look up to?

What you admire in others—or perhaps secretly envy—is also a mirror. It shows what qualities or desires that longs to be expressed in you.

If you admire Oprah’s way of connecting with people, know that you also have that ability. If you admire Richard Branson’s bravery and positive outlook on life, know that these also exist within you.

I always get really inspired when I see someone talking in front of other people, while looking really relaxed. So, I figured that this was a side of myself that wanted to play out more.

Since then, a friend and I started organizing workshops in Stockholm so we could practice speaking in front of others. Now, those events are a place to meet and connect with others who also wants to grow, learn, and create their ideal life.

Think about someone you look up to and become specific in terms of what you love about them. Then see if you’re currently expressing this quality. If not, what can you do to start expressing it more? Take small steps forward to play with those qualities.

4. You can’t drive out darkness with darkness.

In today’s world we’re constantly exposed to attacks, shootings, and other tragedies. It’s everywhere—in the newspaper, on TV, and social media. We can’t ignore it, but what we can do it decide how to deal with it.

Either we can react to these situations with the first impulse that comes up, or choose to consciously respond to them. Those are our two options. But, here’s the thing: We cannot react to frustrating, fearful, or stressful situations with frustration, fear, and stress and expect a position outcome.

If we’ve learned one thing throughout history, it’s this: War feeds more war. Anger triggers more anger. Fear leads to more fear. We cannot drive out darkness with darkness—only light can do that.

This applies to all situations, big and small. So, next time someone cuts you in traffic or arrives late, try to step into their shoes. Maybe they were in a hurry. Maybe their partner had just broken up with them. Maybe they’re having a really crappy day.

Or next time you hear about a terrorist attack, send love to those affected, and love in action by helping in whatever small way you can. After you’ve processed what happened, try to even send healing energy to the person who did it. Who knows what this person has gone through, or what their mental state is like? Who knows his pain, threats, and beliefs about this world?

Hate, anger, and resentment only create separation between us and others. They don’t lead to a better world; they lead to more pain, for all of us.

What we all need right now isn’t greater separation; it’s greater connection. So focus on giving light where there’s darkness. Put love where you can’t find it.

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