A majority of my time lately has been spent on self-help and personal development.
I've been doing plenty of reflecting on my life lately and frankly, I realized a majority of it goes to worrying about minuscule things that truly have no purpose in my life nor need to ever care about. I believe the current society we are living inputs an extremely high amount of pressure on human beings, with a large part of that pressure being on women. As I grow older, I reflect on my life as a teenager and how much time was spent on worrying about my appearance and how I acted. I also spent an extremely large amount of time caring about what other people thought.
As a society, I believe we are basically set up to fail. We will never be pretty enough, slim enough, or strong enough in the eyes of these beauty commercials and fitness ads. This is how these companies are racking in the cash. That's where your way of thinking comes in, and knowing you have the power to change your entire perspective on life and what truly matters, which is happiness.
By now, you might've noticed that every photo in a magazine, commercial, movie, is filled with someone who is pretty darn beautiful and perfect looking. In movies, women are usually drawn out of films by the age of 30, yet men in their 60's are still getting movie roles. Beauty commercials are constantly telling us to get the hot new beauty product in order to become a “better you”. I am not against makeup, however, there is a large emphasis on buying these products to make you “look 20 years younger”, have a skinner looking face, etc.
This made me think. Why do I put such a high emphasis on what I look like and how I act when I am around others?
A considerable amount of thought went into pondering on the idea of blaming my thoughts and worries about my appearance solely on society. I simply could have blamed society for bombarding me with these beautiful women everywhere I look. Then I thought to myself, “Why to blame society on what I outwardly and inwardly do when I have the power to change my thoughts and actions?”
This way of thinking has changed me ever since. I can spend my life worrying and caring about the thoughts of others, or I can take care of myself to the best of my ability, while simultaneously being happy throughout the process.
I recently read an article that asked what older people wished they could've changed or what their regrets were as they reflected on their life. What was the number one regret?
The older folks admitted they spent too much time worrying and being upset over things that had no real value in their life. They believed they had spent too much time sulking in sadness and not trying hard enough to be happy. You might ask yourself, “Why try to be happy? Shouldn't happiness occur naturally?” Well, in some cases it does. For the most part, you need to work toward happiness and achieve a positive, healthy mentality first. We have the power to be happy all the time, despite our circumstances or limited resources. (I learned about this thoroughly in The Art of Happiness).
I owe an enormous amount of thanks to the authors that produced certain books, and the books that I continue to read that guide me to a more positive way of thinking. I recommend you check out the article I published earlier this week 7 Books To Become A Better and Happier You.
What other books would you recommend reading?