This week, Life Training Online is reviewing Why Your Life Sucks (and what you can do about it), by Alan Cohen, the fourteenth of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

Continuing with the rest of this week’s review, let’s take a look at the final five reasons why your life sucks.

You Say Yes When You Mean No

This chapter is about the importance of congruency. Without it, your life sucks.

The congruency that Cohen is referring to here is that of your actions with your thoughts. So many people are dying a slow death every day because the life they are living on the outside does not match who they are on the inside. That’s the challenge in life, to bring into harmony your outer expression with your inner truth.

You Think You Have to Do it All Yourself

If you stop and take a look at all the responsibilities you have, you will notice that it wasn’t the universe that piled them on you. It was you.

Life sucks if you think everything depends on you. Independence is a good thing, but if you are overwhelmed with responsibility, you have taken on more than your fair share. You don’t need to control it all. Learn to let go and trust in others capabilities and unique talents — after all, nobody knows how to do everything. In fact nobody is supposed to do everything. Our society is built upon the contribution of its individual members. Understanding this fact will greatly enhance your life. Recognize that synergy is the most powerful form of leverage.

You Try to Fix Other People

No one wants to be fixed. They just want to be appreciated. Taking on the responsibility of everyone’s happiness is a losing battle. Your life will suck if you try to keep everybody happy all the time. Accept the fact that the only person you have the power to keep happy is yourself. Whether it’s your friends, family, spouse, or children, it is still ultimately their decision to be happy.

Now this doesn’t mean you can’t lend a hand. But instead of fixing them, help them to acknowledge their power to help themselves and not only they but you will be much better off.

You Starve Your Soul

I found this chapter to be very fitting to my weakness, which is the fact that I tend to overextend myself. As usual, lately I’ve been taking on way more than I can handle at this present moment and I see it’s starting to affect many other areas of my life that aren’t even directly related. Most importantly, I’m not taking the time for moments of quiet reflection and pondering.

This is what Cohen is referring to by starving one’s soul. Our lives become so busy that we forget to take time out for ourselves for renewal. Like a bow that’s been strung too long, we become less effective unless we deliberately take time out to relax.

When you recognize that your spirit is withering, stop and do whatever it takes for you to recharge yourself. Go out in nature (this is my favorite method), go to a spa, take a friend out for dinner, or find a nice quiet place for yourself and read a good book.

No amount of worldly success can make up for starving your internal self. Sure, you may be able to put up a good front and fool a few people, but if you’re hollow inside, nothing you set out to do will bring you that fulfillment you seek.

You Forget to Enjoy the Ride

This final point is in many ways a continuation of the previous one. In our constant doingness, we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy the moment. By constantly going, doing, and pushing you create a habit of mental excitement that results in the inability to turn your mind off. Here are two other ways you forget to enjoy the ride:

  1. You live in your head. Too many of us are caught up in the internal dialogue that’s going on in our heads that we miss all the wonderful things that are around us. The antidote is to “lose your mind and come to your senses.” (Ponder that one for a minute)
  2. You impale yourself on your goalposts While your goals are important, remember that none of them are worth sacrificing your happiness.

Why Your Life Sucks (and what you can do about it) is the fourteenth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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