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Football Fabulosa: Four maxims to bring in new year

Football Fabulosa is at the end of the regular season and this week I wanted to do something a little bit different and more personal. Oh, I know it’s not entirely the end of football season since there is still another week of NFL action and there are many college bowl games left to be played. However, the year 2013 is rapidly coming to an end and you might be thinking about making some New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, how about making some lifestyle changes that could make your life a lot happier, healthier and more successful.

A few years ago I quit making resolutions and instead starting formulating a series of personal maxims. Initially, I would take them out from time to time throughout to refresh my memory and see how I’m doing. Eventually, they became ingrained and a part of me. They apply in pretty much everything I do and they stand the test of time. Plus, it eliminated the pressure of formulating all those resolutions that never work. Let’s face it, they tend to reappear don’t they? When you live by a set of maxims they become ingrained and it naturally leads you to make better life decisions. So, what are my own personal maxims? Here, without drum roll or further ado, they are in no particular order.

You don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to

My own personal favorite and the one I believe has had the most life changing impact on me. I used to be very reactive. In truth I still am but far less than I was in the past. I can say without reservation my life is a billion times better since I stopped reacting and started letting some things go. It’s so true that you never know what someone is going through and when someone acts negatively toward you isn’t usually about you. It’s about them and their situation.

Pause and ask yourself if it makes the situation better to react in kind. Are you reading the situation correctly? Will participating in this fight, if that is what is brewing, resolve the situation? What long term effects will your response have on whatever relationship you have with that person? Does it add to the debate or discussion? How you choose to respond, if at all, will oftentimes drive how the situation goes. Choose a positive attitude and approach until you are convinced otherwise. If the situation cannot be resolved in a positive manner then choose to walk away.

Taking the high road in any difficult situation is hard. When confronted by someone who is looking for a fight or who is responding negatively toward you the natural inclination is to respond defensively and negatively. It’s a reflexive thing but it’s not necessarily a good thing. If you can defuse a negative situation it’s always in your best interests to do so. Plus, long term you end up feeling much better about how you responded. The situation usually ends much better as well.

This isn’t to say you don’t defend yourself. Sometimes it’s necessary to do it. You won’t always know when and how either, but stopping to ask yourself the questions above will usually lead you to a better result. You will become a better communicator too. If you screw it up, and you will, then see maxim number two below.

Love yourself through it all

You are going to make mistakes. Sometimes, you are going to screw up royally. It happens and it’s life. It’s how you respond to those situations that define you. It takes a lot of self love to rise above some situations but it’s worth it always.

Part of learning to love yourself involves truly understanding yourself. I took up the habit of mediation a few years ago and I find it invaluable in this area. Learn to confront yourself honestly and deeply. Ask yourself the tough questions. Spend some time with yourself alone with no distractions. Be honest with yourself and if you find that you really screwed up then forgive yourself and take whatever action you need to resolve it and move on. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Learn from them and do your best to apply those lessons toward future situations.

It’s easy to beat yourself up over a mistake you made, but it’s hardly beneficial or productive. Instead, meditate on the situation and ask yourself why it happened. Explore all the ways you could have changed things and decide which end result you prefer above all others. Then, make mental notes on how you would have handled the situation. Do your best to apply those notes when faced with similar situations.

Before long, you will start to see more results that fit the life you want rather than regretful situations in your past. You will start to recognize the patterns that led you astray. I think you will find that almost always a bad decision is the result of a selfish decision. Be mindful of others and what they are saying or feeling goes a long way in helping you make better decisions. This is also my clever way of moving on the the next maxim and taking you with me.

Get over yourself

Life isn’t fair and things aren’t always about you. In fact, things are rarely about you. Once you learn and accept this one fact you automatically tend to make better decisions. Your reactions and interactions with people will change. You will find your stress level is greatly reduced. Don’t make everything about you and see how people start responding to you.

I bet you find that your interactions with people go a lot smoother. I bet you also find you interact more positively with others and that you tend to attract more positive people. Your world will open up to a larger range of people and possibilities. You will start to attract opportunities otherwise unavailable to you.

You won’t always get what you want. Again, life isn’t fair. You will however cope better with disappointment. You will learn the value of hard work and persistence. You will learn the value of gratitude when good things happen. You will learn to take the good with the bad. Life is full of successes and failures and you need both to keep balance. Balance is necessary to a healthy life. Speaking of balance, that leads me to the next section and my final maxim.

All things in moderation

A lot of people will make a resolution to lose weight and very few will actually find success. Oh, they might lose a few pounds and temporarily keep them off, but that resolution will usually keep appearing. Instead of making a resolution why not make a life style change? Learn to practice moderation in all things and see how so many resolutions become a thing of the past.

Perhaps you want to save money? Instead of buying all the newest and latest things why not wait until the price goes down or when you truly do need to replace something? You don’t have to own the latest fad, gadget or big thing. Practice moderation in spending habits and see how your finances improve.

In truth, moderation in all things will restore a lot of balance to your life. I’m not just talking about material things either. We often tend to overdo it in a lot of areas. Ever meet someone new and all you do is focus on that one person to the exclusion of everyone else in your life? I think we have all done it and it’s not healthy. It ruins things and prevents healthy relationships. All healthy relationships need balance and only through moderation will you find it.

Following these maxims didn’t make my life perfect by any means. It did ¬†improve my life very dramatically. I’m happier and far less stressed avoiding unnecessary conflicts. I now avoid those people who thrive on conflict and negativity and learn to recognize them faster. It has saved me from wasting time with those who bring it. My life is far better for it. I practice moderation and my life has found great balance. I am far healthier and happier.

I can’t claim credit for these four maxims, but I can tell you that they work. I hope you find them helpful and that they work for you too. I wish everyone out there a very happy New Year and wishing you all much peace, happiness, success and love in 2014.

From Sharona with Love – Football Fabulosa’s Four maxims to bring in a new year

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