I have been reading/listening to a lot of self-help and insightful books as of late trying to better my mental health and expand my view of what it means to be happy and how to achieve contentment.

(I’ll be talking about a few of these books soon in my ichau’s book club posts!)

On top of this, having worked a fair amount in the entertainment industry the last few months, and just by being around people, I have seen how sometimes complaining can just be a lack of empathy and compassion. Now, this is not to say you shouldn’t complain, we’re all human and have bad days, it can be a pleasant and necessary release! However, I feel like a lot of people find complaining easier than feeling empathy for other people, and therefore default to complaining before they even consider what another person is going through or trying to do.

If someone is working extremely hard, trying to juggle several jobs and responsibilities at once, and for some reason or other is late to tell you something in a professional or social manner, people are usually quick to judge and complain. Understandably, this person complaining probably has a lot of their own work going on, they may be having a hard time mentally or financially and this automatic response to huff and puff is totally plausible. However, the world is massive, you aren’t the centre of it and wouldn’t you wish to be understood rather than criticised?

Whilst being empathetic may be harder than complaining, it leaves you in a better mindset towards another person rather than leaving a lingering bitterness and self-centred mentality.

Now, like I said, we all have a right to complain, I mean my motto in life is ‘Shit happens and then you die’ which can be viewed two ways:

  1. The first, and probably not the best way to view it is that life is pretty terrible, bad things will happen and we’re all going to die eventually. I’ve definitely felt this way before, we all have, whether it be just a bad day or in a mental health capacity. However, life can give us more lemons than we have sugar to make lemonade.
  2. The second way to view it is that shit happens, be it good, or bad, but life trudges on and you have to accept that. Learn to love the stuff that happens, enjoy life and deal with the bad stuff it throws at you. You won’t always have good days, just the same as you won’t always have bad days.

What I like about this little life motto is that its flexible, you can say it positively and negatively, but it usually means the same thing. Taking this attitude towards life has really helped me look at my life differently and come to enjoy myself in the present where I can.

Back to being present. We all have goals, and goals are good! Striving to reach a goal can create a milestone in your life and a memory you’ll cherish forever. Striving for a goal can focus your mind and make you work the hardest you’ve ever worked. Goals are not bad, but when goals become the sole focus of your life, morphing into an unhealthy obsession, you forget to enjoy the present and can even actively despise it.

It’s so important to stop, take it in and appreciate the present. The future is yet to come and you have no idea where it will lead you. The past has happened and dwelling on it is never good. The present is the now, it’s happening now, so why not enjoy it? Obviously, you can’t actively enjoy every single day in your life, you would become the most insufferable peron! But taking a moment away from your goals, away from the dread of what the future holds to enjoy the present is so important to create more happy memories and be appreciative of what life has already given you.

A simple way to be more present in the now, and appreciate who, what and where you are is to consider the amount of people in the world. There is someone who, well, probably a lot of people out there who have it worse off that you or have a goal to be where you are in your life. Again, this empathy can lead to a better mindset and a more content mind.

This has been a very intense, interesting post but I felt it was important to talk about this. Be a cynical as you wish but it never hurts to have an open, empathetic mind towards everything you come across in life.

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