“We see the world not as it is, but as we are” – Albert Einstein
Hey, Max here from The Coaching Room. Thanks for checking out my 15 tips to a better life.
When I say “a better life”, I’m not referring to comparing your life to other people, the opinions of others or even your previous self. What I am referring to is to improve the quality of your life, for you now. These tips will be through the lens of developing your emotional intelligence using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
Once you’ve read it I hope that these tips provide you with some meaningful actions points to a better quality of your own life as they have helped me in mine.
The following 15 tips are designed to help you free yourself of the struggles that you may hold on to which actually deteriorate the quality of your life in a way that may not be obvious to mainstream understanding, on behalf of helping you let go and live a life that is full of vitality and spaciousness.
1. Give up on the pursuit of happiness
When I ask people what it is they really want, many of them respond with “I just want to be happy” and continuously look to find happiness through different experiences, people and the environment around them to ultimately try and find “happiness” outside of themselves. What they’re really holding onto is unhappiness, to know that they’re happy. The thing is we don’t have to wait for anything in the world for us to give ourselves permission to feel happiness because this is our birthright. The moment a disaster happens, where does our happiness go?
Giving your sense of happiness to the outside is a little crazy. But we do it. This happens, we feel happy. That happens, we feel angry. What we’re doing is tying our experience on the inside to the outside. This sounds like a “normal” way of being however as we develop our emotional intelligence we give our inside to the outside, less and less.
When you let go of chasing happiness like it’s outside of yourself then you can actually begin to experience much more of it in the moment, internally switching it on, and choosing to experience it without having to go anywhere to look for it outside of yourself.
2. Spend your most valuable currency wisely
Where are you’re spending your most valuable currency? There is more than 5 trillion dollars circulating on the global foreign exchange market on a daily basis, more than any one human being could spend in a lifetime. And yet, society at large trades time for money where so many people are in a career or job that they do not enjoy for a paycheck that pays the bills.
To a larger extent, what I’m talking about is spending your heart beats living in the past thinking about things that you cannot change, complaining about what is happening right now as you try and control your environment or worrying about the future as you try to plan out each and every scenario.
So the second tip to a better life is to develop your emotional intelligence and grow your capacity to spend your heartbeats doing what it is you want to do, what is actually important to you, speak your truth and be willing to pay the cost for that instead of wasting heartbeats, energy and vitality on things you cannot change or worrying about things that are actually unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
Your heart beats are finite, are you spending them wisely?
3. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your states, moment by moment.
As human beings, we don’t deal directly with reality; we deal with representations of it in mind. Your programming determines how you chose the filters and what you pay attention to which determines your maps of reality, your model of the world and how you experience different events through different states and behaviours.
There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states of mind. As response-able people, we can run our own brains. One of the most effective keys to achieving this is through using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to change your state, as you can learn to access specific resources on demand. States are the keys that either open or lock the door to the infinite reservoir of resources inside you.
You are the one who can change your own filters on reality to gain a different perspective on the world and therefore changing the experience of your life, moment by moment.
Do you have the capacity to choose our own emotional states, the ones that serve you?
4. Physical Suffering is a given. Psychological suffering is not.
We’re all going to age. It’s inevitable that our bodies will ache and for us to experience pain. We’re going to stub our toes, fall over, get hurt and eventually die. However, for psychologically healthy human beings – psychological suffering is not a given. It’s a choice. Let’s look at that for a moment.
Meaning is an inside job. It doesn’t exist out here in the world. You’ve never tripped over meaning someone has left on the floor because it doesn’t physically exist. Nothing means anything until you give it meaning. You are the meaning maker.
That being said, no one can drive you crazy, unless you give them the keys. If you really get that meaning is done on the inside then you’ll also understand that nothing outside of you, can bother you. So you’re the one who makes a situation difficult, or emotional, as you bother yourself with what’s going on. This is our delight and also our disaster.
Want to live a better life? Stop choosing to bother yourself psychologically because you have the choice not to.
5. Take responsibility for you.
Did you know that as a human being you have four powers? Two internal and two external powers. They are the power of thinking and feeling, speaking and behaving. That’s it. Your power ends at your toes and your nose. From my experience, if you take ownership of those instead of giving them away, you’ll experience freedom in that.
The moment someone says to you “you make me angry” is the moment they are giving their power of feeling away to you and their external environment. They are now under responsible for themselves. The thing with under responsibility is that it facilitates over responsibility, where and if you take on that anger as something you have caused in the other person you are being over-responsible for them, as if you own their power of feeling. This can be a continuous cycle where, once you’re over responsible for them, paradoxically you can also be under responsible for yourself.
Want to live a better life? Stop giving your powers away and take response-ability for you. When this happens, you can lean into the capacity to respond to another person instead of taking responsibility for them. In this way, there is less of a RE-action to their anger, for example and take ownership of you which is one of the highest levels of emotional intelligence
6. Stop seeing your value as conditional.
You are 14 billion years of evolution in the making. As a human being, your value is given. It is unconditional. I’ve written 15 tips on valuing yourself more fully if you’d like to check it out.
Valuing self and others is an evaluation, judgment and attitude that influence our emotional states and behaviours. Seeing value as conditional is a learned habitual higher-level belief that we operate from with regards to constructed understandings about our own value and dignity.
As children, we’ve learned that our value is conditional based upon any number of things usually determined by our parents, culture and society such as looks, money, strength, intelligence, education, status or what we do. Then we learn to constantly concern and comparing ourselves in relation to others to determine our own sense of value.
Most of the people I talk with who compare themselves to others do so either as a motivation strategy to improve themselves or to make themselves feel better about their sense of value by perceiving someone else as having lower value. Either way, this is predicated on the assumption that your value is conditional upon other people and is a fruitless attempt that will only result in feelings of extremely high value on some days and equally low value on other days.
7. What’s motivating?
Generally speaking, there are two main types of motivational strategies. One is away from pain and the other is towards pleasure.
The problem with a motivational strategy away from pain will result in moving away from what you don’t want, whether that is from an unsatisfying job, relationship or level of health until it is no longer painful. Then motivation will dwindle and before you know it, you’re moving back towards what you don’t want.
The motivational strategy towards pleasure will result in moving to what is desirable and pleasurable. While this sounds like it could be a good thing, what tends to happen is the closer you get to it, the less desirable it seems and the energy to move falls off as we look for the next thing.
Want to live a better life? Realize that you don’t need motivation to do something that you’ve chosen to do. If you still need to motivate yourself to do something, then why are you doing it? This leads us to our next tip…'
8. Learning to truly say “No”
From a young age, many of us have our “no” stamped out of us by our parents, teachers and other caretakers. It can be one of the first words we learn as children as we get a sense of our own power to say no to things. We express what is true for us as children and we get “don’t you dare say no to me!”
Then we can potentially carry this into our adult lives, afraid of saying “no” because of what it might say about us, or because we haven’t given ourselves permission to do so. What can tend to happen is then saying yes to all these different things that we don’t want to do and now we have the capacity to overwhelm ourselves by the endless amount of tasks that we’ve said yes to when actually, we want to say no.
The thing is, how can you truly say yes to something that is important to you if you don’t have permission to say no. It’s like having the fastest car in the world without any brakes. How fast would you go?
9. There is no truth, only perspective.
Human beings don’t actually deal with reality itself, but a representation or abstraction of reality in mind. So my experience is a matter of perspective, and it’s true for me. What is true for me isn’t necessarily true for you. It’s like sharing the same meal and I say that was the most delicious meal I’ve ever had, and you say actually it was the worst. Who’s right?
And yet we find the need to argue and prove other people wrong, that our perspectives are truer than theirs. It’s a simple example but look at how wars were fought over religion because of different perspectives that were argued as truth.
Somebody tries to offend you, says nasty things about you or questions your value? It cannot be objectively true because it is simply their perspective, of you – so actually it has nothing to do with you.
Want to live a better life? Stop treating perspectives as if they are objectively true. A part of developing emotional intelligence is the capacity to hold multiple perspectives at any given time and therefore hold a clearer representation of reality. And yes, that is my perspective :)
10. Awareness of Habits
You can experience a better quality of life as you bring awareness to how you stop yourself from living the life you want. Maybe it’s the excuses you tell yourself, maybe it’s the habits that you hold onto that get in the way of you achieving your full potential. If you’re able to bring your attention and awareness to the habituated thinking patterns that filter in and filter out how you view reality to the extent that they run you and determine how you experience reality and therefore, the quality of your life, you can begin to be free of them.
The good news is awareness is curative. It’s like shining a light into a dark room so that you can see what’s going on. Once you see it, then you can choose to do something differently. You may hold some habits so close which are so deeply ingrained that it can be quite difficult to see them, like forgetting that you’re wearing your glasses as you look for them.
You can’t change what you’re not aware of. That is where NLP and Coaching can be very beneficial to a person who is ready to see – having a skilled coach who is able to see, hear and feedback your higher level habitual thinking patterns that run outside awareness, so that you can bring them front and center in your awareness.
11. Intention and Mind Reading
If your intent isn’t clear to you, whatever gets your attention will win. If you are not intentional you are attending to your life and will be more susceptible to experiencing overwhelm and anxiety, subject to the environment around you. If you are really clear about what you are about, what’s important to you, what you intend - then nothing can distract you, unless you choose otherwise.
If you’re ready to use NLP for your own emotional intelligence and personal development then set your intentions - if you intend, you become. Intentionality builds meaning; your meaning drives your performance. Just by having and holding intent doesn’t mean that things will magically work out for you.
When you’re holding intent you're more open to seeing opportunity and responding in new ways rather than habitual ways. The intent you hold about what you do will direct your attention and energize you accordingly, filtering what you pay attention to as a frame of reference which governs what you do.
12. Integrate the darkness that is you.
This tip is one of the fastest ways to a better quality of life, but it doesn’t tend to land so well with some people. Integrating your shadow or your darkness enables a human being to put their struggle down about others, which is the struggle you experience in the face of others.
So the things that you really don’t like about other people are actually the things that you reject within yourself, a part of you that you’ve disowned. An example of this is being bothered and not liking people who are judgmental, not seeing that the behaviour of doing so is judgmental in itself. How mean is it to call someone mean?
This is a form of projection, the things we reject and disown about ourselves, and we project onto other people. How else do we know to look for behaviour that we find so repulsive? It’s you that you’re seeing!
As you integrate your darkness you allow other people to be as they are and therefore, freeing you to be as you are. Developing your emotional intelligence, this tip is a necessary stage of development, to be okay as you are, your dark side and your light side.
13. Community of like-minded people.
Surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded people can be one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve the quality of your life (up until a point).
If you hang out with 9 people who are oriented towards life and freedom, chances are you’ll become the 10th. It works the other way around as well… hang out with 9 people who are pessimistic and close-minded; you have a high chance to become the 10th.
This is what we’re building within The Coaching Room. A community of like-minded people who are passionate about developing their emotional intelligence, using NLP to run their own brains, living a life of freedom and fullness, where people are choosing to put their psychological suffering down and stop picking it up, for a better quality of life.
Want to live a better life? Join our community or build one around you who inspire you to step into your potential more fully.
14. Be the model of change you want to see in the world.
Given that it is outside of your powers to change the world or anyone around you, if you want to live a better life, it starts with you. When you can begin to embody what it is you want to see in the world, as you become freer in your existence what tends to happen is that the environment has less and less influence over you, as you begin to have more influence over the environment.
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
That is not to say you can control reality and make it bend to your will. To hold the belief that you can is a lack of humility and will only lead to more suffering.
15. Live a choice based life.
The final tip towards a better life is to live a choice based life. There is a quote by Kevyn Aucoin which sums up what these 15 tips for a better life have been pointing to.
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”
So, I hope you have enjoyed reading through this article. My question is, what will you choose to do with it? You can simply read the tips above or you can begin to put them into action by integrating them in your way of being as you develop your emotional intelligence. In so doing, you have the opportunity to change your reality, your results and your life! If you want to take this to the next level, I encourage you to join us on our next NLP Program and make a commitment to achieve a better quality of life, for you.