By Kathy Gates
1. You can be nice and still say no. Nobody wants to
be around a crabby Yes-sayer, anyway. If you say
Yes when you want to say No, you will find yourself
unhappily going through the motions of life, giving
control of your time, energy and spirit to anyone who
asks for it. Free yourself by learning to quietly assert
2. Don't surrender your OK-ness to other people's
opinions. While what your parents think of you, or
what your kids think of you, or even what your
friends think of you is important, what you think of
yourself and your choices and actions is just as
important, if not more so. You can't control what
other people think, only what you are.
3. It's OK to ask for what you want and need. Think
about how frustrating it is when someone wants you
to be a mind-reader. Extend the same courtesy to
them, and ask concisely, ask clearly, ask kindly, but
4. It's OK to be different. Everybody doesn't like
chocolate (unbelievable!), and everybody won't like
you. That's ok. You don't like everybody, do you?
Be yourself. If you don't enjoy the person you are,
find out why and start working on becoming a person
you do enjoy. Then others will enjoy you too -
including your difference.
5. It's Ok to change your mind. It's true, some of
life's choices have consequences that can't be taken
back. But it's never a good idea to continue a
mistake. Just because you committed to something -
like a degree in a field that no longer interests you, or
a car note that's out of your reach -- be willing to say
you messed up.
6. "Shoulds" are not always good. The "shoulds" in
our lives sometimes masquerade as true
responsibilities, which they may not actually be.
Take a good long look at the "shoulds" in your life.
Try replacing them with "I want..". "I want to visit
my Dad each weekend, but sometimes I need to spend
that extra time with my children." "I want to cook a
healthy home-made meal for my family each night,
but sometimes it's just not practical." By taking the
"should" out of the sentence, you are now able to see
that you're not a bad person and aren't shirking
responsibility. You are simply making another choice
7. You don't have to get married to live happily ever
after. Yes, a partner in life is a wonderful thing to
have, but if you're still looking for happiness in
another person, you'll be sorely disappointed.
8. Just because it's the "right way", doesn't mean it
works. Does harping on your hubby to load the
dishwasher a certain way because it's the "right way"
help your quest to have a better relationship? Not
likely. If it's causing problems, no matter how
"right" you think you are, you won't get what you
want out of the relationship until it works for
9. It's easy to demand things from others. Not so
easy to demand things from yourself. If you're
looking for something better, the first thing to do is
raise your standards - change what you demand of
10 Success isn't about money. Success in life is
living it on your own terms - whatever you define
that to be - and being perfectly happy with that.
Being successful is an individual definition --not
media hype --and it's easier than you think. Focus on
what's important to you, and on the people that are
important to you, and you will naturally,
automatically, create a life that you love to live. And
that's the best definition of success that there is.