Five on Friday: Take Control of Your Life


A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.
-Oscar Wilde

When was the last time you asked yourself “What am I doing with my life?” Not rhetorically, not sarcastically, and not in self-deprecation, but as an open and honest exploration into the realm of self-awareness. There is undeniable value in knowing who you are, what you want, and how to get it, and those insights can often only be found through thoughtful introspection.

So take some time away from the live-fast-die-young #YOLO culture that is so common these days to figure out what you want out of your life, both personally and professionally, and what steps you have to take to get there—it’s a lot easier to get somewhere once you know where you’re going.

Get to Know Yourself

When you start to evaluate your life, it helps to start from a place of understanding—understanding of your strengths, your weaknesses, your goals, and your priorities. It will allow you to move forward with a purpose and give you a foundation to turn to come decision time. To that end, here is a series of 35 questions that will purportedly change your life.

Managing Reality vs. Expectations

If happiness is equal to reality minus expectations (meaning that the more your reality exceeds your expectations, the happier you’ll be), then has Generation Y been set up for a life of disappointment? Having been told since childhood that anything is possible, Gen Y-ers are now facing a hostile job market and the harsh reality that their lofty ideas of success just aren’t as easily attainable as they thought (or were led to believe) that they were. The takeaway here is that while it’s good to have goals, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of what it will take to achieve them.

Don’t Give Up Easily

The road to success is neither clearly defined nor easy to walk—it requires taking risks and doing things that other people are not willing to do. Here is an interesting list of things that successful people do, and some of them are quite unexpected.

But Know When It’s Time to Move On

There’s something to be said for a relentless ambition and refusal to quit on your dreams, but there’s also wisdom in knowing when it’s time to approach your dreams from a different angle. If you ever find yourself walking that fine line and wondering on which side you should fall, evaluating your situation using these 7 indicators is a good place to start.

Just Create Your Own Happiness

When all else fails, just make yourself happy. Don’t wait passively for an outside force to lift your spirits—take a proactive approach and create your own happiness. Studies have shown that fake smiles and laughter may be as beneficial as the real things when it comes to improving your mood, and little things like a short walk around the block can help make everything seem better.

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