“He who doesn't accept the conditions of life sells his soul.” ~Charles Baudelaire.

There are ten no-cause things I have found some people needlessly beat themselves up over. It just makes more sense to accept reality as it is with these particular things and move on to greener pastures worth mowing and watering.

1. Stop short-changing yourself for whatever seems to be the justification because there isn’t any. Everybody deserves abundance, well-being and a good life. If your ship hasn’t come in or no one is knocking at your door, build one right away (a ship or a door). You don’t really have to have patience in waiting for your abundance to show up on your doorstep; but rather you just have to be patient in learning something important in your failures and mistakes—especially the common injunction against personally deserving rewards for your efforts. The best place to start is to expect them because you usually get what you expect. If you don’t like what you get, what do you expect?

2. It is okay to be “realistic” and slightly negative on your way to being idealistically optimistic about both the good and bad things that happen to you in life. Being all positive and happy all the time doesn’t happen all at once. Such overnight success is many years in the making! Really all you have to do is lean in the right direction until you finally fall into the right place. This is where patience comes in handy and that is always something worth practicing when you don’t have anything else to do, needing the patience to grow the patience.

3. Give up trying to please other people or to make them happy. All you can really do is displease other people or make them unhappy. And worse yet, if someone has to do something for you to be happy, guess what? It’s not going to happen, feel bad about it as you may. You are wasting your time waiting. The only being you can possibly please who is worth the effort is God. And when you fail enough at that and get wise from it, you will realize such a major event can only happen when you finally learn how to truly please yourself by making your best effort to become your best self and help others to do that too, forgetting everything else along the way.

4. You can’t control how your brain thinks or heart feels, but you can control how your mouth and hands work. Half of life is learning what you can control (very few things) and what you can’t control (most things); the other half involves exercising responsible freedom to make the right choices to control the right things (like your mouth and hands). Unfortunately two many people get lost somewhere in between the process and completely forget their objective, because by then the swamp is full of alligators.

5. Similar to number three above, you can’t really manage the affairs of others no matter how bad the seem to need managing (the failure just frustrates you) until you learn the little secret of self-management and by then you won’t have a desire to worry about other people, because you will have enough to do to start doing all the things you haven’t been doing that you could be doing. Productivity has a way of taking advantage of wasted time and effort.

6. Don’t fret over failure. It is rarely fatal, just painful. You will likely experience failure or disappointment in 70% of the things you attempt, and so if you have at least a 50-50 temperature, you are way ahead of the curve on this one. And if not, every failure probably has at least two valuable lessons to learn that can double your success rate moving forward. And the past really doesn’t matter because you are here in the present and not there in the past. What are you worried about?

7. Forget about going faster to get more things done. That’s the main problem. You can’t get anything done going 1000 mph because everything is a blur and you end up making a lot of messes and really not getting much of anything done well. To be a better time manager, you have to slow down, do less of the unimportant things and more of the important ones, and rethink your whole idea of time to take more advantage of its fluid, psychological nature, rather than the conventional image of fixed, mechanical sequences of 10:01 to 10:02. The you have more time to get more done and you will probably be standing still.

8. It is nice if your partner and you are in sync and on the same wave length or life cycle of thinking, feeling and values, but too much of that can be boring and not worth fretting over when its not there. Besides, it can be tempting for one or both of you to stir the pot just to see what might happen. But like tip-toeing to the edge of the cliff just to see how far you can go without falling off or sticking your head under water to see how long you can held your breath, you can lose consciousness in stirring the pot and forget what you were trying to do. Why bother?

9. There are just some things in life that are both unbearable and unacceptable. Those are the things you try to accept (because you eventually get the point that you can’t do a darn thing to change them for the better), but can’t accept, until you accept that you can’t accept your inability to be accepting about these particular problems. And then if you make it through to this level of thinking about thinking, as if by magic—poof…they lose their hold of you and you wonder what you were trying to do or were worrying about. But you do get the point: The power of acceptance is nuclear but very hard to harness.

10. If you really want to beat yourself up, either:

a. Wait for something worthwhile to beat yourself up over—like being recklessly irresponsible, negligent, lazy or insensitive for an extended period of time, rather than just on a temporary hiatus from being too healthy, or

b. Not paying closer attention to what you put in your mouth and body, or

c. Go ahead and beat yourself up for beating yourself up needlessly, as a stress management tool.

All somewhat humorous but yet serious business!

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, Reality Repair, and Reality Repair Rx. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or bcottringer@pssp.net