I have always been (and still am) a planner and goal-setter. I aim high, work hard, and always look to make life better. I used to believe that my life will be better when….
The problem was there was always another “when.”
One day I began to wonder, Why do some people seem happy no matter what happens to them, while others are miserable despite all they have?
While it is important to always be improving yourself and your environment, if you are waiting for those improvements before you allow yourself to feel happy and fulfilled, your peace will always be subject to your circumstances.
Meaning, you could be waiting a long time, and there is nothing you can do about how long your particular wait may be, as you simply don’t have control over your circumstances.
There is a better way: Point your focus toward the things you actually have control over.
No matter how challenging your circumstances or how far you are from reaching your ideal life, these are 6 steps will truly make life better.
- Determine how you define a ‘better life.’ How many of us go through life trying to live up to the expectations of others? Or simply following what everyone else is doing? Take the time to really determine what makes life better to you. Maybe it’s alone time, perhaps it’s quality of life. Whatever it is, set the standard and then live up to it.
- Be thankful. 1Thess 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God does have a plan for you, and he desires you to live an abundant life, but sometimes he needs to see if you are thankful for what you already have. Plant the seeds of thankfulness in your heart, and watch how your entire outlook—and your life—changes.
- Don’t give in to your feelings. Thank God we have feelings to indicate what’s going on in our minds! But feelings aren’t facts and you don’t need to trust them, or worse—be driven by them. Remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to your emotions (and refrain from making rash decisions) and you’ll begin to truly make life better.
- Replace a negative mindset. A negative mindset is a poison, but everyone will get caught in its deadly trap from time to time. When you give in to the thoughts that lead down a rabbit trail of negativity, it contaminates every area of your life. Perhaps you already know that it’s near impossible to just stop thinking negative thoughts. That’s because negative thoughts need to be replaced. Swap out your doubts, fears, complaints and criticisms with more positive affirmations and God’s word, and watch your world turn around.
- Forgive. Want to truly make life better – Forgive! Who are you holding an offense against? It could be someone from 20 years ago or 2 hours ago. Maybe it’s even yourself. Holding onto unforgiveness has never—I repeat, never—made a situation better. Unforgiveness is like a cancer that eats away at you until every happy, healthy cell is consumed. Cut the ties, and set the people you’re holding a grudge against loose, it’s only holding you back.
- Get out of your own way. I see more people trying to remain in control of their situation than I care to count. The problem with this struggle for control is it leaves little to no room for God. Psalm 37:23 says: “The Lord directs the steps of the godly.” God will direct your steps…if you let him. Is it time to step out of the driver’s seat and let God take you places you’ve never dreamed possible?
Jesus came so that we could have life and have it in abundance. There is much more to this life than the dream chasing and goal setting we have succumbed to. Follow these 6 steps and regardless of your circumstances, you will truly make life better.