You must have heard the saying “life is not hard.” The one-time street sensation, Barry Jhay, dedicated one of his hit songs ‘Aiye’ to talk about this philosophy. Indeed, life is not hard. Unfortunately, many of us make life harder than it seems. In the process, we lose our peace of mind.
I was like this until much recently.
Since childhood, I’ve always been a sensitive person. It worsened as I grew up because I started seeing humans in their true nature. As a child, I assumed everyone was as open-minded as I was. I erroneously thought that all humans were sensitive like me. People should know well enough to respect other people’s feelings and not hurt others, right? I expected people to love me selflessly, just as I did them. This was one of the fallacies that I held dear at heart.
However, adulthood often destroys your childhood fantasies by surprising us in ways that we don’t expect. I was a victim of such destruction. I experienced betrayal from people who I thought would always have my back. I received envy, backbites, and backlashes from supposed friends. At some point, people used me.
Soon, I started losing faith in humanity and started taking life too seriously. Slowly, I transitioned into a person who took things to heart at the slightest moment. I permitted people to hurt my feelings. I chose life as a battle and not a journey.
All this changed after my birthday this year. After reflecting on a lot of things, I discovered that I was too sensitive for my own good. Extreme sensitivity, overly trusting people, among other flaws made my life harder than it seems. It was then I took the bold step that I was going to make life so much easier than I lived before.
I started by reading an article that gave tips on how to make life easier. Since then, I have studied more books on peace of mind and applied these tips to my life. My life has never been this peaceful and I’ve learned to take life easy and be drama-free.
So what are the tips for making life easier and attaining peace of mind?
Align your expectations of people with their personalities
I have a weird confession. I see people as plants. Now, before you judge me for this, imagine this scenario. In a garden, there are two plants – the Hibiscus and Fern. The first plant, Hibiscus, due to constant watering, develops buds that bloom into beautiful flowers. On the other hand, no matter how you water Fern, there will never be flowers in its lifetime. Humans are like these plants too (no hard feeling).
Now, imagine the people in your life as these two plants and imagine yourself as a gardener. As a gardener, if you come to terms with the fact that Ferns don’t grow despite your efforts, you make peace with their nature. Similarly, you should treat your relationship with people this way.
Every person you meet in life is not the same. People aren’t always going to meet your ideal expectations. Before you form an expectation of a person, first understand their nature. Based on your first few interactions with a new friend or acquaintance, classify them into the Hibiscus or fern category. Stop demanding equal expectations from everyone. If your romantic partner is short-tempered, don’t expect that he/she will always react calmly in bad situations. If you know that your best friend is fond of not expressing gratitude, don’t expect him/her to expressly appreciate your efforts to assist him/her. For those who love their space so much, stop expecting them to constantly check on you. The moment you categorize everyone in your life based on their behavior and ‘nature’, life becomes simpler, you attain peace of mind, you reduce disappointments and unnecessary heartbreak.
“Accept the fact that some people didn’t intend to let you down. Their best is just less than you expected” – Thema Davis.
A person who owes never rests. He/she will frequently have restless nights because they struggle with the thoughts of how to pay back their debts. While some people find it easy to pay back their debt, not everyone is a Lannister. Outstanding debt makes you restless. If there is a habit that has helped me to date, it’s the habit of not buying non-necessities and always budgeting. You should apply this approach if you want a more relaxed life too.
Not only does debt overflow, but it might also become a burden that would affect other aspects of your life. I get that the country is hard, your family or dependents need to feed and you have to support your business as a businessman/woman. However, you should try to avoid borrowing at all costs. Outstanding debt only makes you a slave to the lender.
Don’t be an extreme optimist or pessimist – maintain a realistic balance
It is great to be optimistic, but don’t be extremely optimistic. Being too positive about life leaves you hurt and discouraged when things don’t go your way.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t be cynical about life. Yes, you’ve experienced your share of setbacks and disappointments, but life is not as evil or as hard as you think. Reduce your pessimism.
Balance this up by maintaining a realistic view of life. While you are being optimistic, be realistic about your expectations too. Accept that life will never go exactly according to how you plan. So, approach situations with hope and an expectation that you would experience difficulty along the way. With this mindset, problems won’t discourage you easily. Rather than spending time worrying about problems, spend that time solving the problem.
Additional tip: If someone replies you with a ‘k’, for the love of God, don’t respond. Your life becomes easier when you chat with people who put in the same efforts as much as you do.