Day 62: Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously (It’s Making You Miserable!)

Imagine that you’re dead.

There you are, in the coffin, or in an urn, your body reduced to a husk of meant-to-be’s. Everything you hoped and dreamed, all gone. Over. Pretty grim, eh?
Now think about how you spent your time on Earth. Did you live life to its fullest or did you die before you really had a chance to live?

Many of us die before we’re ready. We spend hours, months, years, engaged in activities which bleed life from us one miserable moment at a time

Looking down at your corpse, think about all the things you spent your time on – the silly grievances you couldn’t let go of, tilting at windmills you had no power over, trying to be something you weren’t to impress people who didn’t even matter.

All those hours wasted – just like your life.

Imagine you had lived life like you wanted, without worrying so much about what you had to do, who you had to impress, or what trinkets you needed to collect. Imagine if you actually enjoyed your life?

Fortunately, if you’re reading this, there’s still time to change. Time to stop taking yourself so seriously and enjoy your life!

Here are some tips below on how to stop taking yourself so seriously.

Don’t focus on the negative. We all have things in life which can hold us back – if we let them. Whether your problems are related to money, health, family, or anything else, there’s a strong chance that someone out there has it worse than you, yet they go on living. Some people even seem to thrive in the most adverse conditions! Why? Because they focus on the positive. Try to find the one good thing about your situation and focus on that. It might not be easy. If you’re out of work and struggling to keep your house, then no, there is no quick magic solution to turn things around by mere thought. The best you can do is stay strong while you fight to find your way and try and hold on to the good things which are left in your life. If someone with a life-threatening medical condition can find a reason to smile, surely most of us can!

Don’t try to change the unchangeable. There are some things we simply have no control over. Sometimes we are at the whims of others or bad circumstances, and we just have to ride them out. Don’t fight the tide or you will likely drown. Save your energies for the changes you can make to better your life. For instance, say you have a menial job. You have two choices – you can complain and gripe and make everyone around you miserable, or you can suck it up and do the best job you’re able. I’m not saying to accept your situation, and not try to change it. Do everything you can to change it! Go to school, work your way up the ladder, find something else you love. But in the meantime, try to make the most of your situation. You might be surprised that a positive attitude can change your success more than hard work alone.

Laugh. Let’s face it, humor is borne from bad situations. Look at any joke or funny story. There’s almost always something negative at the heart of it. Humor is a great way to deal with adversity and can even turn a negative into a positive. If you HAVE to complain about something, find the humor in it, and have a laugh! Science has shown that people who laugh tend to have less stress and live longer, happier lives than those who simply complain.

Be likable. Who would you rather talk to? Someone who is happy and positive or someone who brings you down and makes you feel hopeless, or worse, guilty about even your smallest successes? People enjoy being around happy people. If you’re not a happy person, try pretending that you are. There’s a good chance if you plaster a fake smile on your face, it will eventually be replaced by an authentic one.

Remember that you’re mortal. We only live once and we all will die. Once you accept that we all share the same fate and just how limited our time is, why would you choose to hang on to the negative? Why give negative situations and negative people power over your life? Do you really have that much time to waste? No, of course not! Don’t focus on the things you don’t have or people and activities which don’t add value to your life. Don’t wait to start living the life you want – live it now, while you still can!


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David Wright is a ghostwriter who is chronicling his year in self improvement at Project 30 Days starting in January.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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