Sometimes my friends ask me why am I always so frustrated and uptight.
I always felt it was a stupid question as the obvious answer was that I'm busy with work and sometimes I get overwhelmed.
It's normal right?
Work and money, two things that always get us down.
But then I realized I had it wrong all along.
Does this happen to you? Whatever your answer is, it may be happening to you more than you think.
A meeting with a starving artist
Last year I met a dancer at his apartment in San Franciso.
He was a passionate performer. He dances, does improv comedy and various shows. And in order to have that lifestyle, he works several part time jobs on the side while living on his friend's couch.
In terms of materialistic success, he was far from it.
But he was extremely happy.
I asked him, "How do you lead this lifestyle and be so happy at the same time?" as I was wondering, surely the realities of life must set in now and then?
He answered, "Just work hard, do what you love, and don't judge".
And it hit me.
No, he wasn't accusing me of judging. He was telling me not to judge others.
We don't have freedom in our mind and life because we judge others
When it comes to judging, it's usually about how we should never perceive someone's character based on his outer appearance.
And then we try to be the better person by thinking they're all good people, that the cover alone is never enough to show its content.
But yet, a lot of us cannot fully let go of judging, giving ourselves excuses like, "It's only human to be do so, "I can't help the way I feel!" or "Stereotypes exist for a reason, and I'm just watching out for myself".
Watching out for yourself, being human or "normal" or not, your thoughts on the people around you may have a profound effect on yourself.
You may not how big this effect is and how much potential you're losing out on for yourself.
Let's see how.
#1 Judging only wastes your time and energy
No, it isn't about creating a perception to "watch out for yourself" or because you can't help it due to "human nature".
It's just a waste of time.
That amount of energy spent on someone else, whom you barely know could be used for yourself to achieve further clarity.
So focus on that. Use your time and energy for yourself. Think about yourself only and see how you can improve your life.
What others do with their time and life is none of your business.
#2 Let go of labels
When you judge people, you form a perception by labelling or categorizing them.
Then you come up with all sorts of details on how their lifestyle must be like.
And thus when you do that, you automatically label yourself, mostly because you want to "belong".
Let it go.
There're over seven billion people on this planet, and everyone was brought differently. Add in the mix of their genes and nature, and you can't even begin to comprehend why they act the way they do.
Throw away this idea of labels. Realize how big life is. Realize how much you have ahead of you!
Then live the life you want.
#3 Who you hang out with is how you think
There's this quote, "You're the average of the five people you hang out with the most".
And I believe in that.
How you act, think and behave is largely because of the people around you.
Many people disregard this fact, thinking that one's character is mostly up to them.
That's true to some extent, but the people around you actually dictates who you are on a large scale.
Never underestimate this.
If you want to change your thoughts about people, life and yourself, start hanging out with positive people.
Surround yourself with people who can lift you up. It'll happen naturally.
People can decide who you are
And I don't just mean how they can judge you or label you.
We're all human, trying to lead a happy life.
We're always bounded by each other in the sense we'd have to deal with people in this life no matter what.
That's how our life changes.
It's totally up to you on how you want to treat people, and think about people for your own life.
People have a lot of power over you, but you can wield that power.
So do it well.
Just for Change Your Thoughts readers
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