🌼11 ways to improve your life that are counterintuitive to most people
None of the ideas I’m about to share with you came from any self-help book.
(Ok, maybe a couple).
But it’s only through being immersed in the beautiful strangeness of life that these lessons can be felt, seen, and used to see the truth of them.
Funnily, none of these are ‘counterintuitive’ when you take a closer look…
1. The fewer risks you take, the more dangerous life becomes.
You already know in your gut why this is. Creating security for yourself is indeed essential.
But the real rewards come to those who are willing to stick their head above the seething masses.
If you seek to fit in, you will get what everyone else has: the illusion of security veiling a life of quiet desperation.
More than anything else, risk strengthens you — and strength will protect you.
2. The less you try to be confident, the more confident you become.
True natural confidence is that which arises in you without pressure.
When we try to be confident, we become self-conscious, which is the last thing you need to be and feel confident.
Confidence is an act of letting go.
3. You move faster when you slow down.
I’m a proponent of acting with a sense of urgency and relentless ferocity.
Results come to those willing to take massive amounts of action on a specific target.
However, to be fast doesn’t mean you rush. This puts you at a disadvantage. The real winners know the value of going slowly and calmly and allowing space for insight as they go.
They just don’t stop, and they aren’t burdened by the confusion that accompanies moving too fast.
That’s why they go faster than everyone else.
4. The less you try to fix yourself, the faster you ‘heal.’
It’s easy to get the sense, through most self-help ‘advice,’ that the pain and insecurity you feel in you require work — that you need ‘fixing.’
Many of us are locked in a life-long pursuit of something we can never attain.
Because, no matter what happened in your past, you are already whole, you’re already healed, and you already have everything you need.
As Paulo Coelho said, ‘to heal a wound, you must stop scratching it.’
5. Respect comes to those who need it least.
Have you ever noticed how people who actively try to garner respect give off an extremely unattractive vibe?
If you need respect, it’s because you have little reserved for yourself, and people can sense that a mile away.
Let go of this need, soften your intensity, and you will find yourself lifted by an invisible and life-affirming energy that people will fall in love with.
6. The more you resist, the harder life becomes.
It may seem like pushing back against what life brings gives you a sense of control and superiority.
But if you’re wondering why things aren’t going your way, your resistance likely sits at the root.
Judge less, and observe more with a curious, open mind.
Insight, passion and a continual flow of solutions reward those who accept reality for what it is and move forward regardless.
7. The more you try to protect yourself, the more you open yourself to pain.
I’m no stranger to betrayal and rejection.
My seemingly clever strategy in dealing with such pain was to try to protect myself and my poor little heart. My reserved attitude pushed more people away — the very thing I feared in the first place.
This made me even more vulnerable. Find the part of you strong enough to come face to face with criticism and rejection.
You close the door to everything you ever wanted when you’re protective.
8. The less you create, the more burned out you will be.
Many have ‘burnout’ confused. It is our overwhelming thoughts that fatigue us, not our actions.
Sure, sleep’s needed.
But it’s never that you’re working too hard that causes your stress. It’s your critical thinking about it all that exhausts you.
Judge less about your creations and just create more. You are immeasurably creative at your core.
You will find your energy rise through activity, and your soul deaden when you stop. You can do more.
9. The more you think, the less intelligent you become.
Thoughts are an invaluable tool. They help us envision exciting futures, and they aid us in building and planning things.
But there has never been a forced intelligent thought. Intelligence is always effortless. Either we ask good questions that prompt clear solutions, or we relax.
When our minds are still — perhaps while out for a walk — this is where true intelligence comes through. The more we try to force intelligence, the dumber we get.
10. The less you chase, the more you’ll attract.
If chasing the objects of our desires actually worked, we’d ALL be married to our hot-bodied soul-mates.
Attraction is counterintuitive.
Why? Because we believe attraction is based on our mother’s advice: If two nice, well-meaning people come into contact, they’ll attract one another.
Biological attraction thrives in perceived imbalance. I want what you have, and you want what I have, and those two things are always different.
Attraction is a transaction. A spiritual love, however, can eventually arise out of this strategic unity.
11. Happiness comes to those who stop searching for it.
A huge life lesson for me was when this finally clicked: the more I chase happiness, the more I reinforce the idea that I don’t have it.
This is the catch-22 of our neurotic time, and it’s comical when you finally see it.
Happiness is never conditional.
You have it right here, right now.
Regardless of how much you earn,
And how much you’re liked.
When you can see this,
There’s no chase.
You’re free to enjoy the game of life as it was meant to be.
This is what it means to live joyfully.
Do you want to be mentally stronger than most people?
If you enjoyed this, you will love my free illustrated booklet for you:
‘The 12 Habits of Mentally Strong People.’
🟢Contributed by Alex Mathers
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