What are “life strategies”? Volumes have been written on life strategies. Life strategies are mentally healthy coping and survival skills for this challenge we call “life.” And the majority of wisdom can be distilled into these five life strategies.
Life Strategy #1:Stop being busy. Coordinate. Calculate the time investment before you say yes to that next project. Choose your commitments carefully. It isn’t healthy to have too much to do or be busy all of the time. Plan some unplanned time. Make time for meditation, rest and relaxation. Budget your time to incorporate down time and time for reflection.
LIfe Strategy #2: Purge your clutter. De-clutter your closets, basement and your life. What is clutter? Clutter refers to anything that is no longer useful. I’ve got some out-grown clothing. I’m working to lose weight, but by the time I lose the weight, the clothing will be out of style. These clothes have lost their purpose. They are clutter. And as you purge your closet, purge your life of clutter, too. Get rid of out worn, unhealthy practices. Those coping skills that worked to get you through a tough time may not be healthy anymore. Got some habits you’ve outgrown? Quit. A relationship you formed to fill a gap no longer works? Move on. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Live simply.
Life Strategy #3: Be content. Stop wanting so much, buying too much, spending too much and shopping too much. Material possessions do not fill inner needs. Wanting more leads to dissatisfaction with your life and yourself. The more you have, the more you have to be responsible for. The book of Proverbs says, “Thieves never worry the poor man.” I am learning to consider very carefully what excess cargo I allow into my life. Bloom where you are planted. Plan, but be okay with your life if some things don’t work out. Don’t overlook the real forest for the imagined trees. It’s like the old expression, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” Accept where you are right now at this moment and make the most of it.
Life Strategy #4: Make peace with others. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all mankind. This is a biblical quote that echoes the wisdom of all sacred texts. Call it zen, karma, a 12-step program, peace or shalom; the idea is to maintain healthy relationships by practicing love. Live and let live. Play nice. Be fair. Do to others what you would have then do to you.
Life Strategy #5: Like yourself. Stop taking yourself and your efforts for granted. Stop minimizing what you give.
It is impossible to be it all, do it all, have it all and have peace of mind as well. Something has to give. Stop trying to be perfect or you will be perfectly miserable. Live one day at a time. At the end of the day, don’t look at what you didn’t accomplish. Look at what you did accomplish. And take note of the little things you did: visiting with a senior citizen, reading to your child, helping with homework or sweeping the floor.