When the barista at Starbucks prepares your order incorrectly, you get annoyed. When you call your mom back thirty seconds after you missed her call—and she magically disappears—you get frustrated beyond repair. When your math teachers mess up a concept, it’s time to bang your head against a wall.
The truth is that everybody makes mistakes, and it’s easy to criticize those who make mistakes often. I’m not going to pick on specific people and their faults—instead, I’m going to pick on everyone. Despite our many differences, we still have a lot in common; for starters, we all dwell on this big, beautiful planet. Also, as humans, we can still have similar tendencies or some of the same bad habits.
Today, no matter how beautiful and splendid you are, you’re going down. I know you have some bad habits—and I’m going to help you battle them. I compiled a universal list of toxic things we should all stop doing to improve ourselves, right alongside the act of reading lists on how to behave (seriously!)
1. Looking back.
You screwed up. You picked the ugly purple bag to be “spunky” instead of the rose gold one. No, don’t fight with the lady at the Michael Kors counter when she explains that your receipt is expired (for the fourth time). Don’t go home and cry about it.
Don’t replay the moments in your head—just get over it by embracing the situation. You must realize that everything happens for a reason and you must learn when it is time to move on.
2. Not having time.
You wanted to learn something new: how to play ukulele with your toes, how to origami a paper tiger, or pay taxes. But there simply “isn’t time”… LIES—there is always time! We simply squander it by checking Instagram every four minutes, engaging in far too many poke wars on Facebook, or staring at our zits in the bathroom mirror for thirty minutes every afternoon.
Time is precious, so don’t count the minutes, make the minutes count!
3. Waiting for the right time.
I’ve been waiting to “start over” for a long while. For example, I’ve been wanting to start a YouTube channel. I pushed it back several times: from when I got my braces off to when I got my nose pierced. No matter how many changes I made, there was always something else needing to happen in order for the “right time” to occur. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I wanted to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.
Remember, if you’re waiting for the right time, you might end up waiting your whole life.
4. Not putting yourself first.
This is tough for many to realize, but you are your own biggest cheerleader. When times get rough, you have to pick yourself up. When you’re sad, you wipe your own tears. When you get a promotion, you buy yourself a chocolate turtle cake.
After everything you’ve been through, why not put your own comfort and happiness above others? Remember: when you keep yourself happy, those around you will also be happy.
5. Lying to yourself.
Speaking of you, you deserve honesty. If you promised yourself to go to the gym, don’t lie and convince yourself that dancing to Beyonce’s “Formation” during traffic for a Snapchat video burns just as many calories.
By lying to yourself, you simply set yourself up for failure—and that helps no one. Be realistic and be honest with yourself; you’ll be less disappointed when it’s time to face the facts.
6. Being ungrateful.
Just because tickets to Shahrukh Khan’s newest film sold out, doesn’t mean you should spend the night tweeting about how upset you are. The world is not over!
Sometimes we get so wrapped up with certain things, we forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. At the end of the day, we are surrounded by people who love us, clean water, a warm home, and the ability to watch the stars. Be grateful for all that you have today—sometimes, that is enough.
You are always bursting with creative ideas and magic, but none of them are ever carried out. By procrastinating, you reduce the quality of your work and increase the amount of stress that comes with all-nighters and extraneous shots of espresso.
Instead of putting everything off—from laundry to test notes—try to finish tasks as soon as you remember them. This way you’ll be able to have time to digest information and live with the satisfaction that you’re a grown woman/man with responsibility.
8. Being jealous.
To be fair, being jealous is an uncontrollable action. Personally, I get jealous a lot—especially of celebrities, friends, and peers in academics, social circles, and extracurriculars. As hard as it to convince to yourself otherwise, being jealous is a waste of time. You must realize that everyone is different and that we all have different talents, personalities, and gifts. Some have discovered these, and others are still figuring things out. Everybody has their own journey, and some are farther along the road than others.
With that in mind, strive forward and know that you can achieve all that you can dream—that is, if you stop doing these eight things.