It’s election day in the United States, and it’s the day millions of people will flock to the polls to cast their vote…and it’s a day that will go down in history. This is one of the most important presidential elections in history – and I mean all of history. It’s a big day, and I hope everyone with the ability to vote does just that before I get on with my story here.
Good advice is not hard to come by, but people who take good advice and recognize it for what it is does seem to be the problem. Perhaps the simple truth is that what’s good advice for one person simply doesn’t work the same way for another. For example, just last week I text my very sweet friend, Andre, who is a trainer. He isn’t my trainer, though sometimes I do workout with him because he trains my husband’s and my best friends. They’ve all been on me forever and always about how bad my squat form is. I hate squats. I do them, but I hate them. I can never get it right. It never feels right. Andre, Geremy, Corinna, all of them…they’ve spent forever trying to give me the best advice on how to do it right so it’s not a pain in my ass (I mean, squats are literally like a pain in the ass, but you know what I mean).
Last week, I was taking one of my OBE fitness classes (God, I love those classes) and the trainer mentioned that I need to keep my weight on my heels while doing squats.
That was the first time I’d heard that. It changed the game. Here I am with a professional trainer, two exceptionally fit friends, and not one person told me to put my weight in my heels. But, they did give me a load of other excellent advice…it just didn’t resonate. I immediately text Andre to tell him this groundbreaking information (that he graciously thanked me for sharing when I thought I could help him with future clients even though he already knew this advice). The moral of my story is that sometimes great advice works for one person but doesn’t work for another. It takes a slightly different perspective to work for another (that would be me, guys).
So, back to good advice. It’s not hard to come by, but it seems hard to focus on anymore. I see so much anger and so much frustration and so much ugliness anymore. I’ve had to turn off social media more than once. I’ve had to stop watching the news and reading the news. I’ve had to stop reading the comments on things (which is usually my favorite part of any article). I’ve had to take myself away from the reality the world tells me to live by and live in my own reality.
You guys, my own personal little world is a lot better than the actual world. You know why? Because I fill my own little bubble world with people who have kind, generous, gracious hearts. People who will make you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed. People who challenge you to be the best version of yourself. People who are unafraid to live big and live their best lives. People who fill you with joy and happiness and a full heart. People who think you are the most amazing person alive, but who will be the first to tell you (with love and a smartass attitude) when you’ve being ridiculous. People who inspire you and people who love hard. They are optimistic and fulfilled, they don’t compare or judge. They don’t blame anyone else for things. Best of all, though, I surround myself with people who might not always share my feelings and opinions, but who can sit down and listen to me when I want to talk about something and really hear what I’m trying to say. They don’t become defensive or make me feel stupid if my opinion differs from theirs. We can have differences, talk about them like mature adults, and still be best friends at the end of the day. I like my world.
It makes me want to share some advice with people who aren’t living in their best world. So many people are so filled with hate, envy, judgment, anger, and so many ugly emotions. It’s so disheartening to see people who will tear down another person because they don’t agree with them, and then turn around and praise another person for doing the exact same thing. It’s so disheartening to see people tell others that they are horrible people because of their beliefs simply because they are different than others.
As a proud republican, I don’t expect everyone else to vote the same way that I vote. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I don’t expect everyone to prioritize the things that I prioritize as important in my own life. However, that also doesn’t mean that I don’t support other issues – they may not be as important to me and my own life as certain issues, but I also don’t expect the things that I consider the most important issues to be the same things everyone else considers the most important issues. Unfortunately, we are living in a world where so many people have been raised to believe that their own opinion is the right opinion and anyone who disagrees is not a good person.
The truth of the matter is that opinions are just that. They are opinions. My opinion might differ from your opinion of what’s most important in life, but my life is also much different than the lives others are living. What is a reality for me might not be a reality for someone else, and that is all right.
I try to ignore the hatred and focus on those who get it. Those who know that you can think differently, live differently, and still respect one another. But, I do want to offer some advice. It’s not going to be the right advice for everyone, but it will – hopefully – be the best advice for some people. I just find that these reminders are so good for the soul and the heart.
Don’t be afraid to live big. It’s a beautiful thing. If something makes you happy or proud or is important to you, celebrate it and be proud of it, and shout it from the rooftops. It’s your life, and you should live it as boldly and big and beautifully as you want. If you’re happy about it, I’m happy for you (and if anyone is not happy for you, then they probably need to work on their own hearts a little). The point is that you shouldn’t minimize your life just because other people might not care or might not get it or because other people aren’t living the same life.
Fix Your Heart
Remember when the pandemic started and people were being forced to stay home and inside for weeks – some people in some states and some countries have been inside their homes for months at a time without leaving – and the world was changing? I remember reading some arbitrary article that popped up on my timeline on Facebook about a celebrity or an influencer complaining about being stuck at home nonstop for weeks – they were talking about missing things, and places, and people, etc. I also remember reading the comments, and I was horrified.
The comments were overwhelmingly negative talking about how celebrities and ‘rich’ people don’t get to complain about quarantining in their big house with their big pool and their big yard because some people don’t have the luxury of quarantining in a big house, and they’re stuck in a small house or apartment. So. What. I’m not typically a fan of people who complain all the time, but let’s be real here. You can dislike being stuck at home in a cramped studio apartment just as much as you can dislike being stuck at home in a mansion on the beach in paradise.
The world was changing, lives were put on hold, people miss their families, kids are annoying sometimes, and staring at the same four walls – no matter how far apart they may be – sucks. So, let’s stop telling people their feelings are ‘wrong’ because they are have more than you do. Get over yourself. The simple fact of the matter is that you need to fix your heart. If you find yourself having thoughts and feelings like that, you need to fix your heart. What makes you feel like this? Fix it. Why are you bitter? Fix it. Is it because you don’t have what other people have? Fix it. You have every single opportunity in the world to fix your life and make it what you want, but only if you’re willing to fix your heart, do the work, and be patient while you work hard. End of discussion.
It’s not hard. I mean, sometimes, it’s hard. Sometimes, people make you angry. They drive slow in the left lane and you can’t get around them. It’s hard to be nice when people do that. I get it. But, it’s not that hard, as a rule, to just be a nice person. Smile. Be nice.
Don’t Shrink Yourself
Never, ever shrink to fit into someone else’s life. If you’re too big for them to fit into their life as you are, you aren’t meant to be there. Shine, my friend. Be you. Have your opinions, say what’s on your heart, and be yourself. Don’t make yourself smaller to fit in with someone you may have outgrown. If you ever feel the need to change your opinion or not be your bold, beautiful self so that you can be friendly or fit in with someone, that is not your someone, my friend. That is not your someone. Call me. I’ll be your someone. I like people who are big and bold and proud of it.
I don’t think many people prioritize the way they should. I think the world has collectively told people that they should prioritize things a certain way, and that’s simply not true. Being busy is not a goal. Never being home is not a goal. Having plans every single weekend without a break to just relax is not a goal. Doing too much is not a goal. Always working is not a goal.
Making time for your loved ones is a goal. Making time to exercise is a goal. Making time to take care of you is a goal. Making time to be present and enjoy life is a goal. Making time to do the things that bring you joy is a goal. Working hard and playing harder is a goal. Your goals are your goals, whatever they are. Make priorities out of the things that matter the most, and don’t worry if they don’t fit the ‘norm’ or the ‘mold’ anymore. Who wants to be just like everyone else to the point of sheer exhaustion, anyway?
Laugh More than You Complain
If, at the end of the day, you have laughed more than you have complained, you are living a good life. Don’t forget that or take that for granted. If you aren’t laughing as much as you are complaining, it’s time to start figuring out where to make healthy changes in your life so you can live happy.
Whatever you are, whoever you are, whatever you believe, whatever you want, whatever makes you happy and smile and feel good – own it. If you don’t own who you are, you aren’t being your authentic self. Own it.
Do Good Things
The one surefire way to feel good in life is to be good in life. Give back. You don’t have to give money or items or anything grand. Giving your time is just as important and just as meaningful. When you give back to the world, you get what you put into it. Do good things. Be a good person. Respect others, agree to disagree, and learn to live and let live. The great thing about life is that we all get to be whomever we want to be, and we get to do this life on our own.
Don’t Worry About Anyone Else
Trust me when I tell you that no one else is worried about you. And, if they are worried about how you’re living your life, they’re not focused on living their own. It’s a vicious cycle. Worry about yourself, and you’ll see such a dramatic improvement in your life. Imagine making your life decisions based on what makes you feel good and not what looks good or what other people think looks good. Imagine how happy you’ll be living your life, your way, on your terms. Now, go do it.
The world is such a beautiful place if you stop focusing on all the things you don’t like. Try to make that a habit. Try to change your thoughts, and try to remember that bashing other people and being a negative complainer or a judgmental person is uncool. You can have your thoughts and opinions without worrying about what anyone else is doing in their lives, and you can live a very happy life.
Today is a day that will go down in history. Whatever happens, remember that you can be the difference you want to see in the world. When you make a difference in even one life, that person will then go on to make a difference in the life of another. And that person will do the same. Imagine what one small act of kindness or grace can do, and then go do it.