Life after narcissistic abuse can be challenging because we have to discover the rules as we go. We have to rediscover ourselves and what we believe. So in that spirit, here's a starting point for all of us.
Some have even argued that is the goal of life: to figure out the rules.
Fortunately, billions of people have lived over the years, and at least a few of them have figured out a few things and passed them on. Having a few rules to use as a starting point will guide you towards a life that fulfills you.
Follow these strategies to get the most from life:
- Hard work trumps all. The world is full of stories of ordinary people that have accomplished extraordinary things. Find something that is meaningful and interesting to you and put all of your effort into that one thing and see where you end up.
- Let go of things that don’t serve you. Are you an executive now? It might be time to let go of those t-shirts with the beer logos. It’s not just possessions that you might consider jettisoning from your life. It’s also beliefs, hobbies, and negative relationships. Only keep the things and people that matter to you.
- Stay in touch with friends and family. Once we leave school and start working, most of us lose track of our school friends. Switch jobs, and you lose track of the people from the first job. All along the way, you see your extended family less and less. It’s not easy to find people that matter in your life, so stay in touch.
- Make your health a priority. A healthy body and mind support everything you want to do in life. Eat nutritious food, get enough sleep, and exercise.
- Avoid speaking in the heat of the moment. It has been scientifically proven that your ability to think rationally is compromised when you’re emotional. That’s why it’s so easy to say something you later regret. Take a moment and collect yourself before saying anything.
- End each day with evaluation. Ask yourself, “What did I do right today? What mistakes did I make?” Imagine if you could repeat your positive experiences and actions and get rid of the negative. Over time, it would be like compound interest for the quality of your life.
- Focus your time and energy on the things you can control. There’s no reason to waste your energy worrying about anything else. The weather, the behavior of others, and the quarterback of your favorite team are outside your realm of influence.
- Remember: Money doesn’t bring happiness. Money can remove many of the issues that can make life challenging. Money can also pay for a lot of fun. However, studies show that once you make enough to survive comfortably, more money doesn’t make you happier.
- Avoid extremes. Nearly any good thing becomes negative if taken too far. Going to a party once a month can be a positive thing. Going to a party three times a week probably isn’t. Working 40 hours a week is a positive thing. Working 100 hours a week generally is not. You can have too much of a good thing.
- Be open to new ideas and experiences. Life is very routine if you never do or think anything new. Be curious and experiment with your life. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Life has rules, and many of them aren’t entirely clear or logical. Part of the challenge of life is learning and applying the ideas and strategies that will bring you the results you desire.
There are many great books on life philosophy and living that can be helpful in your quest to understand life. Continue to educate yourself and develop your own set of rules that help you build a life you love.