The importance of gratitude following the pandemic
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Life is a beautiful thing, but it can also have its challenges. And in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there have definitely been indications of hurdles that people experienced.

Even when the going gets rough and things seem unattainable, it's important to try and avoid doing things just because they feel OK at the moment as you may regret later on down the road.

What exactly should you try to avoid? The answers are easier than you realise.

Below are 13 things that you should refrain from doing in life.

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1. Lie to yourself

You can trick yourself into believing something, but that usually has an expiration date.

You know the times you told yourself you don’t really care about a relationship or a dream job when in all truth you really do? Or when you told yourself it’s okay to walk away from something difficult even when you know you will probably regret it years later?

Maybe it’s time to take yourself more seriously and be honest with yourself. Why? Because that is the most important relationship you will ever have.

So roll up your sleeves, ask yourself the difficult questions, and then decide how to do what really matters.

2. Say “I can’t” to everything that looks difficult

Don’t let fear guide you through life.

Next time you feel like saying, “I can’t,” replace it with “Why not?” There is something really powerful when we leave a little space open for possibilities, instead of shutting the door in our own face.

It’s better to ask ourselves where the resistance is coming from, rather than give in to it immediately without a fight.

It’s a subtle change in attitude towards ourselves than can have a tremendous impact in our lives.

3. Have zero goals to aspire to

Man on top of a cliff.Picture: iStock

If you’re drifting through life without having any specific goal in mind of what you’d like to do in the future, then you’re not being respectful of your own time on this planet.

Why have goals? It’s a great way to stay focused on what is truly important to you, and it gives everything you do more meaning.

How can you define your goals? Ask yourself, where do you see yourself in the future, who do you want to become, what would be an ideal lifestyle for you?

Then write down your top three goals, map out what you need to do every day so that you can reach them, and create a weekly or monthly schedule so that you can work every day towards achieving them.

4. Depend on other people for constant love, attention, or entertainment

Don't use other people to get your momentary emotional "fix.” Why? Because you will become helpless when they don’t have time for you or are no longer around.

Instead, build your emotional structure so that you can provide for yourself.

Don't look for entertainment elsewhere; find things that are fun that you can do on your own. Live your life in such a way that you like yourself; it's imperative to maintain happiness.

And above all, believe in yourself and that your traits and abilities provide value to others.

5. Obsess about other people’s things or words

It’s easy to get sucked into the latest updates from your Facebook or Instagram friends. Try to take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt.

Chances are it’s not their reality; it’s the version of their reality they want you to see.

Instead, focus on what you have going for you in your life.

Practice gratitudefor the little things, stay true to your goals and don’t accept all advice that you get from everyone, because advice is an autobiography that comes with the life experiences of others. Use your critical thinking skills and your best judgment before you act.

6. Dwell on your mistakes

There’s a big difference between learning from and dwelling on mistakes. Consider this: you either learn to fail or fail to learn.

Making mistakes is a normal part of life. It’s how you approach them that matters.

Try a different strategy of viewing your past by forgiving yourself for mistakes that you made. Reflect on them, learn from them, but don't hold on to them.

This applies to your relationships, career, education, and other areas of your life in which you feel you didn’t achieve what you wanted or underperformed in some way.

By changing how you relate to mistakes, you will give yourself more freedom to manage your future more successfully.

7. Spend what you don’t have

If you didn’t earn it yet, don’t spend your money by giving in to momentary desires of what you think you need.

Chances are, the moment will pass but your bills will remain (and increase with interest).

Be smart about money by keeping a log of your monthly expenses and then estimating how much you have left over after you've paid your bills, food, and other expenses. Then set aside a certain percentage of your paycheck to be automatically routed into a savings account.

Even if it’s a small amount, it will add up over time without you even noticing.

8. Assume that your current job will last a long time

Woman appearing to be stressed.Picture: iStock


Why? Because you never know.

If you’ve been working for some time now or you’re just starting a new job, try setting aside some money from each paycheck so that you can cover all your bills and expenses for 3 months.

If you are able to save up this amount more quickly, then continue until you have enough money you could live off for 6 months.

Regardless of where you live, the economy, job market, or just life, in general, can bring you something unexpected; the best way to deal with it is if you prepare in advance as much as you can.

9. Forget to live by your moral code

What is your moral code?

You already possess it: it’s a combination of how you were raised, your cultural values, your religion, your spiritual practice, what you believe to be just, and some personal rules you’ve created for yourself along the way.

Nurture an awareness of your moral code so that it guides you through life. Let it help you make decisions, both big and small, about your career, partner, circle of friends, personal goals that are important to you.

Try your best to be true in everything you say, think, and do.

10. Neglect your health

You should always strive to be as healthy as you can be; physically, mentally and emotionally. Don't hesitate to get your yearly check-ups at your doctor or plan a visit when something doesn't feel right.

Invest in yourself and feel good!

11. Forget who helped you when things got rough

True friends are those who assist you when you are in need. Remember them; they are the ones you want to keep forever.A stranger may occasionally assist you with something, or a professor may support you with a project. But always remember these simple gestures. Be appreciative, and reciprocate them.

12. Take yourself way too seriously

It’s a positive thing to have a great sense of humour. Whether it’s a dark sense of humor, a dry sense of humor, whatever you want; just hold on to it like it's your life. A good sense of humor will help you get through the hardest days.

13. Blame others for the problems you have

Accept full responsibility for your thoughts, actions, desires, and words. Nobody has the power to compel you to do anything. You have complete control over how you feel and react, and you are solely responsible for the consequence.

An earlier version of this article appeared on Quora.

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