“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” – Edmund Burke.

We are capable of great things, but there is always that one person who tries to belittle us and criticize us baselessly to bring us down. If such people are ignored, it reflects a high level of maturity on our part. But when their words are taken into consideration and accepted, they become anchors to our progress.

Such toxic relationships need to be avoided at all costs. After letting such a person have too much influence in my life, I decided to take a 10-day meditation hike under Mother Nature’s care to cleanse myself and start over. Meditation is a sure way of relieving yourself. It calms your mind, and because your brain secretes many neurotransmitters in charge of happiness and stress, meditation can literally make you feel happier. This is why I went to a mountain range about 100 km from my town to think over everything.

I remember how in the initial days of my meditation retreat, I felt so helpless, so negative. Memories of my failures plagued me. Over time, though, things became better. I began to see the positives in each situation and I started to see myself in a better light. Now I could look at the future with a more optimistic outlook. As the influence of the negative people – the anchors – in my life drained away from me, I felt a new, mature realization dawning upon me. I was changing.

There is nothing more important in life than health, happiness, and well-being. As soon as I decided upon this, I interpreted what it meant to be ALIVE. And I typed that in capitals because it is more than a word; it is an acronym.

A – Applaud yourself.

L – Love yourself.

I – Invigorate yourself.

V – Vision yourself.

E – Endorse yourself.

Applaud yourself – You must feel comfortable under your own skin. You are who you are, and you are perfect for that. Try maintaining a gratitude journal where you write down all things that you are grateful for. When you go through it another day, you can feel the positivity flow through you. Self-confidence makes you feel comfortable in your own body.

Love yourself – Love yourself every day. Be your own critic, but don’t go hard on yourself. If you make a mistake, turn it into a stepping stone.

Invigorate yourself – Always be open to new ideas, new experiences, and new people. Immerse yourself in a world of creativity and imagination.

Vision yourself – Aim for the stars; if you miss you’ll at least hit the moon. Never refrain from taking risks; it’s an inseparable ingredient of living a meaningful life. When you try something new, write about it and innovate further: there is no limit to human intellect.

Enjoy yourself – Make yourself your best friend. Enjoy your company. Sing heartily, dance recklessly, cook deliciously, and travel extensively – the key to happiness lies within you.

Cherish the little things in life, because years from now when you look back, you will realize that the little things were actually the big things. Take risks, and if you fail, don’t be disheartened. Life is a cruel teacher – she’ll test you first and give you the lesson later. So, never give up.

Above all, live. Watch the sunrise with a loved one, take a long hike, discover new places once a month, put too much sugar in your coffee once a while, never miss a chance to jump on a trampoline, skip some steps when you climb up and down a staircase, don’t walk when you can run, don’t overlook the small joys in life while chasing the big ones. Because the smaller joys are what become your memories.

Photo Source: johnhain