Loving Yourself

Drop Out of Popularity Contests

Don’t waste your time in life trying to get everyone to like you.  Additionally, don’t worry about trying to keep those who like you now to remain liking you—just do you.  You will find that you will live a happier life when you’re more concerned with doing things that please you.  When you devote too much time to attempting to figure out what is going to satisfy every single person around you, then you will lose who you are in all of those efforts to please everyone.  You cannot be all things to everyone.  In no way does this piece advocate for you to be a selfish person, it just acknowledges you have to take time for yourself to enjoy the things you love to do.  You have to appreciate yourself.

When you periodically do things that are totally for yourself, this does not make you a selfish person—it makes you a person who understands that you cannot truly know how to be happy for someone else until you’ve made yourself happy.  Don’t depend on other people to make you happy.  You have the ability within yourself to make yourself happy.  When you depend on other people to be happy, then you’re going to face a significant number of disappoints in life.  You may never be truly happy when you wait on others to create true happiness within you.

True happiness originates within yourself.  Yes, others can and will help your happiness to mature but don’t let others be the foundation of your happiness.  If other people are the foundation of your happiness, it will inevitably crumble.

Too many people are far too focused on how they can get everyone to like them.  You must understand that everyone will not like you.  Some people will not like you without any rationale—don’t try to force them to like you because you won’t win them over.  It’s better to have one or two good or great friends than to hang around a thousand people who you’ve fooled yourself that they’re your friends just so you can tout you have such a large number of friends.  It certainly does not seem like you’re attempting to truly please yourself when you do this type of thing.

Participating in popularity contests will leave you exhausted, empty, disappointed, and unhappy.

Live in your own spotlight!

Have enough confidence in yourself to believe you can do whatever you desire to do.  When people tell you that you cannot do something, transfer their negativity into positive energy.  You don’t have to settle for doing the popular things that will gain you instant approval from people who are looking for microwave success.  You have to know that if the path to success you have carefully planned takes years and not days, that you’re going to reach your goals and you’re no lesser of a success story than those who were fortunate to achieve success in a shorter period of time.  For those who achieve success in a shorter period of time than you, please be sure that they’re truly successful and not putting on a visage of success.

Worry about yourself sometimes.  Stop looking for approval from other people.  People who win popularity contests really lose tremendously in the game of life.

Enjoy life.  Be stress free.  Live free!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Read the Expiration Date: Some Friendships Need to End

Have you ever just become so exhausted with a friendship that you have to keep wondering why you are torturing yourself by remaining friends?  If you are constantly having more unpleasant days in a friendship than positive days, then you need to consider allowing that friendship to end.  Although all friendships will experience some conflicts, you should not have to have a serious battle with your friends every month.  When you have to go to war with your friends every month, then you have all of the evidence you need to end this friendship.  Seriously, why waste your time dealing with these too frequent burdens that your friends cause for you?  If people are truly your friends, you’re going to gain more positive things from them than negative things.

When we give someone the title of “friend,” it seems like many of us begin to allow an individual to take advantage of us because we idolize the title too much instead of truly assessing the relationship with the person we have given the title.  It does not matter how long or short a period of time you have been friends with a person he or she is not too great for you to not engage in a meaningful evaluation of his or her worth in your life.  While it may seem easier to get rid of those friends you have known only a short period of time, it can be much more of a challenge for you to terminate friendships with people you have known longer.  The truth is you just have to accept the reality that some friendships you have maintained for a long period of time might need to end for your (and their) benefit.

Although everyone needs a friend, you should not allow a friend to cause you constant pain.  When a friend becomes more of a burden than a help for you, then you know that this person is no longer your friend.

If a person is truly your friend, you will be able to value his or her words.  A true friend will not tell you lies just to get what he or she wants.  A true friend is not deceitful.  We have to learn that we cannot call everyone a friend.  Moreover, we have to learn that we cannot keep maintaining old friendships that have really become burdens.  When we try to avoid the truth about friendships that have turned into burdens, then we can overlook those friends who have really become our enemies.

Don’t let anyone take advantage of you.  We are most vulnerable to being taken advantage of by those we call our friends.  It is important for you to know that those who you call your friends can take advantage of you just like anyone else can.  While this reality can be quite hurtful, this is the reason why we have to begin to engage in close assessments of our friendships and eliminate those friendships that are not producing positive benefits for us.

Please don’t allow the fact that you have been in a long friendship with someone to keep you from letting the friendship expire.  You must face the truth that some long friendships need to be terminated because over the years things and people change, leading to those friendships not being based on what they originally were founded on.  When you are conducting your close evaluation of your current friendships, think about the things that developed those friendships.  Are those things still there or have they changed in some substantive way?  By seriously wrestling with this question in your assessment of your friendships, you may realize that the reason that your friendships no longer seem like friendships is the things that started those friendships are no longer present or have changed in such a significant way.

Would you continue to take medicine for an illness that your doctor has informed you that you no longer have?  Of course, you would not.  Well, why continue friendships that no longer maintain the original things they were founded on?

Do you have friends that ask you to do something for them always but when you ask them to do something for you they always have an excuse about why they cannot do what you asked?  You may have never considered this before, but these kinds of friends can lead you to having real health problems.  These kinds of friends can consume too much of your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental energy.  It is not selfish to ask and expect your friends to do what you ask of them from time to time, especially those friends who always ask you to do something for them and you always do it for them.

Make a wise decision for yourself today and end those friendships that are not good for you.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Stop Being Free

One of the realities of life that you may not want to confront but you must is sometimes you have to give people exactly what they want.  Along the same lines, you must sometimes ask people for exactly what you want.  From time to time, it’s vital to show people that you will stop doing things for them when they are unwilling to do things for you.  People will want you to go all out the way for them, but when you ask them to do something for you, there are always excuses and artificial justifications for why they cannot do exactly what you ask of them.

Let people know that you will withhold your giving to them when they are never willing to do exactly what you ask of them.  Don’t be afraid to ask people for exactly what you want.  Stop sugarcoating your requests—just ask for what you want, how you want it, and when you want it!

People need to know that you are made of something.  Stop just letting them get all of you for free.  If you truly believe that you are valuable, then, from time to time, start getting something in exchange for the things you do for people.  In no way am I suggesting that you should ask people for something in return for everything you do for them.  What I am saying, however, is to occasionally request people to do something for you in return for what you do for them.  Please know that you are not being selfish when you occasionally request for people to do something in return for what you do for them.

You have to learn to be fairer to yourself.

If people try to give you a significant amount of resistance to your requests for them to do something in return for what you do for them, then simply don’t do what they want you to do for them.  Sometimes people learn the most from tough love.  Tough love can cause people to do the critical self-examinations they so desperately need to do.

The bible informs us that people are worthy of their service.  Therefore, think about this each time you ask someone to do something for you.

Of course, we need more people across the world to become more selfless.  This does not mean that we need more people across the world to be more foolish in their giving, however.  When people love and respect you enough, they will know (without being told) that they need to honor your requests for them to do something in return for what they request you to do.

Sometimes you have to let people suffer before they will realize that they need to treat you better.  As the bible evinces, suffering brings about correction.  We are surrounded by so many people who need correction.  Far too many people are too consumed with what they want and need that they never consider the desires and needs of other people.  Don’t love yourself so much that you cannot use your eyes and heart to discern what you can do to meet the longings and needs of others.

Stop being free!  Put a price tag on yourself sometimes.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison