10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life

Written by Adrian Savage

  1. Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.
  2. Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.
  3. Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.
  4. Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?
  5. Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.
  6. Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.
  7. Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.
  8. Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.
  9. Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.
  10. Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part-usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.

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103 thoughts on “10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life

  1. KAW

    Your comment for number 10 was a nice thought but scientifically untrue. Researchers have been studying personality for decades and have determined personality traits are stable across time and situations. For more on this refere to the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality.

  2. aldo

    Nice post, I think you’ve missed the point a little Kaw. The FFM of personality has nothing to do with number 10 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dave

    Very Kabbalist list here. Especially 1-7, and maybe 10.
    I’m no expert on that, but if you like this list, you might as well get over your aversion to Madonna and check out Kabbalah.

  4. Gloria

    I figured all this stuff out on my own at a very young age, then I forgot about it all. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Your Mom

    Good attempt at making weak people feel better about themselves. If you have to get someone to tell you these things, you probably have no self-esteem or motivation to fix them.

  6. Chris

    1, 4, 7 and 10 are very debatable, if not completely incorrect.

    10. Plato (relying solely on logic and observation) and Myers and Briggs (utilizing Jungian psychology) came to VERY similar conclusions about the different personality types of people, despite using different methods and being separated by over two millennia. Smart money is on the conclusions being, for the most part, valid. We should not deny our personality; we should be aware of it and embrace it. We are not all alike, and we have different inherent strengths and weaknesses when it comes to social interaction. Self-denial of those differences can and likely will lead to potentially major problems in life.
    Also worth noting is the fact that some personality “disorders” are more common with people born in certain months. While I disagree with Astrology’s explanations of personalities, there is evidence of links between time of birth and personality.

    7. You’re throwing the baby out with the bath water here. While numbers can be, and often are, used to mislead people, Mathematics is the most logical and concise language in the history of mankind. Even the personality types mentioned above can be accurately reflected through (non-discrete) binary mathematics. People are often too eager to dismiss what they don’t understand instead of seeking understanding.

    4. Having known several world class athletes, a few of which actually being the absolute best in the world at what they do, I can assure you that ignoring your inner critic will at best allow you a life of mediocrity, and at worst set you up for failure. It is typically self criticism of less than outstanding performances that motivates the elite to push themselves beyond being among the best to being the best. Do you believe Michael Jordan ignored his inner critic? No one but ourself is going to push us to be better than “good enough.”

    1. When all is said and done, the only thing that matters in life is being happy. Everything else are merely details. Our emotions are our compass so that we know when we have gone astray. Ignoring them just makes it more difficult to experience happiness.

  7. seth

    Don’t you just hate it when you have to come up with one of those ’10-item-list’ when all you have is one? Still, kudos for repeating the same 10 times while keeping it moderately interesting

    [maybe quick-linking different audiences to different wordings ๐Ÿ™‚ would be nice]

  8. Mario

    These statement could be a nice counter to paralyzing self examination and fear of other’s opinions but i think they repesent the other extreme of behavior if you follow them to the letter. They almost seem like the mantras of a sociopath who cares nothing about other people and is totally disconnected with oneself. What? No planning, no conscience, no self-examination or an understanding that you have obligations to others and that sometimes people’s opinions do matter, as does yours? This is how we sometimes learn. Somebody prominent, who i won’t name and who’s made a complete mess of some country, appears to share many of the above qualities.

  9. Sithean

    I was going to post something positive until I saw that you essentially ganked the information and tried to pass it off as your own. You only posted the true author’s name when you were called on it.

    Shame on you. Slacker.

  10. admin Post author

    To Sithean:
    1. Findding the best article everyday is hard work.I’m not slacker.
    2. Every articles I have add the author’s name and url.
    3. I don’t know why this post I forgot and I said sorry to everyone.
    4. Thanks for your reply.

  11. Cereal Killer

    OMG, you’re so right. I’m going to stop my inner critic, stop feeling guilty, and stop worrying what others think. I’m just going to keep on molesting and killing as many children as I can.

  12. Lukas

    already very sceptic while reading the first one.
    ok we should not always think so much about how we feel. but when you do think about it sometime, you might be able to do things differently in the future which will make you feel better!

  13. Fida

    Whoa, you have problems. Life is about connecting to others, being happy, and giving due credit to your emotions and to the fact that humans are social beings that need love, companionship and support. It is precisely ideas like yours that have resulted in the terrible isolation and loneliness that people live in today. A world in which we people don’t care about each other, no one has time to really appreciate and help others, and everyone is caught up in their own selfish needs, with the certain result that everyone lives and dies, essentially, alone. Tell me what is normal about kids not talking to their parents, people having to go to shrinks for help, and people dying on their own in apartments without anyone knowing for weeks? When did it all go so terribly wrong? With messed up ideas like yours.

  14. lori

    I couldn’t get past the first sentence without becoming enraged!
    Of course you should care about how you feel – if you run over a cat while driving and feel happy – get help. If you fail at something that you worked really hard at mastering – it’s okay to feel dissapointed. The only points that I believe can help you become “a better person” are 7 and 9.

    Emotions are part of your moral compass – learn to use it wisely!

  15. Roberta

    I notice that a lot of people don’t understand the nature of this post. If it doesn’t resonate with you, then move on. It’s not saying ignore your feelings; rather, it’s advising certain people to not be so super conscious of theirs. This is directed at people who are subconsciously driven by emotion and guilt… if that’s not you, then this doesn’t apply. No need to bash this post, though. It helped me a lot.

  16. Lindsey

    seth is right. The same thing was repeated 10 times. A good idea is there, but this is a very poorly written article.

  17. Sudeep Chatterjee


    Otherwise, at least I would’nt even try to!, beacause if that was the issue , then is there any need to prove or SHOW-it-OFF. I just would,nt need to, because nobody would understand.



  18. mecrispy

    Very interesting and informative post, its real time help for those who are quite depressed due to over burden problems of daily life, one of my friend working as an sales executive in a web hosting compnay, is depressed from last couple of weeks, due to less number of sales and some family issues. I am just gona refer this page to him. Any ways nice sharing.

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