After A Kick-In-The-Teeth Year, Here’s How You Can Start Turning Things Around

This year has been a real kick in the teeth. It’s been nothing but unrelenting bad news for many people. This doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to it and give up hope. Now that we’re heading into the new year, start thinking differently.

You may have noticed that you’ve become a little bit more negative. Feeling discouraged or moderately depressed is a reasonable and natural response when the world seems to continually conspire against you. Digging out of this hole will take time, but you owe it to yourself to try. Here are some motivational suggestions to help you power through these tough times and succeed in your job search, career and life.

We all know that this has been a rough year. No one is going to be interested in your problems, as they have plenty of their own. Complaining will fall on deaf ears. The odds are high that the person who is listening to your laments is far worse off than you. The cold hard truth is that life is unfair. It’s too short and, oftentimes, unnecessarily difficult. We all die at the end. Instead of bemoaning your fate, accept what you can’t change and take immediate actions to change what you can control.

You may have chosen the wrong college and major. For some reason, you never caught the big break or found a nurturing mentor. It’s easy to second guess all of the decisions you’ve made in your life. There’s no benefit in doing that. Stop berating yourself over all of the things you should have done. Focus on what you need to do next. Many super successful people hit their stride later in life. Think of your career as a marathon-not a sprint. There is plenty of time to be the best version of yourself.

Find a job and career that is the right fit for you. Don’t pursue or remain in a profession only because it makes your parents happy or is viewed as a high-status job that will impress the people around you. You don’t want to look back with regret in your old age and say you should have done what you really wanted.

You’ll be much happier with a job and career that closely aligns with your core values and suits your skills, temperament and abilities. This may sound superficial, but you have to make sure that you can also earn a living at it. Otherwise, you won’t be happy for long.

It’s smart to do all of the hard work and put in the hours when you’re young and have energy. The older versions of yourself, four-plus decades later, will heartily thank you for the early efforts that paid off in the long run. Try to avoid comparing yourself to incredibly successful people. It will cause you to be jealous and lead to grave disappointment, as your achievements can never match Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. The one comparison made should be between the person you are today against the person you were yesterday.

Appreciate what you have rather than what you lack. Work toward what you truly desire, derive meaning from and a sense of purpose. Appreciate the journey. Take in the beauty that surrounds you. Live in the moment without always worrying about tomorrow, next week or the following month. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Almost everything is mostly small stuff when viewed over a long enough time horizon.

Evaluate what you’re doing on a daily basis to ensure that you’re using your time and energy wisely on meaningful and fruitful endeavors. If you recognize that you’ve headed in a direction that runs counter to your goals or violates your principles, pump the breaks and change direction.

Turn off the autopilot and take hold of the steering wheel. Do the things you love because life is too short and precious to spend it on work that makes you miserable. Discover your passion and purpose in work and life.

Remember to listen to people. You already know what you know. There are some really smart people in all walks of life that you can learn from. Stay open to feedback and constructive criticism. This shouldn’t be taken personally, so don’t permit it to hurt your feelings. If the advice is sound, implement it and thank the person for their input.

Choose to be positive. It’s just as easy as being negative, but healthier and people will like you more. Stay away from gossipers, rumor mongers and don’t speak negatively about people behind their backs. Be honest with people-or at least don’t lie to them. Try your best to be empathetic, understanding, caring and compassionate. You never really know what someone else is going through.

Treat yourself as you would your best friend. You wouldn’t rudely point out all of the failings of your pal and expect them to remain friends with you. Show mercy on yourself when you fail. Giving yourself some slack and compassion. It will help build up your confidence and happiness, which will lead to success. There is too much energy expended to hold grudges. Forgive those who may have done you wrong in the past, as you’re better off with more friends and fewer enemies.

Walk away from toxic relationships. Seek out and spend your valuable time with supportive, loving, caring and empathetic people. Find friends and co-workers who are also positive-thinking and have a growth-oriented mindset. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Regularly review and evaluate your work and life to ensure you are on the right path. Your goals may change as you grow personally and professionally. Strive to be the best at what you do. Set big, scary goals for yourself. Explore your limits and blow past them. Keep an open mind for new opportunities. Push back against procrastination, as it is a time-sucking enemy of your plans. Keep learning, reading and improving your mind. Stop sticking to routines and comfort zones. Try new things and get yourself out there. The year 2021 will be your best year!

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