“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
―Anne Sexton

This morning I was picking up a few grocery items at a local convenience store when an elderly man with a guide dog came in, went to the aisle with the greetings cards, picked up a card, held it up extremely close to his face, and struggled to read it.  Just as I was about to walk over to help him, a big, burly truck driver asked him if he needed assistance reading, and then proceeded to read him almost every single greeting card out loud until the elderly man smiled and said, “That’s perfect!  My wife will love that one!”

As the elderly man checked out at the register, I walked up to the truck driver and said, “I admire your kindness.”

“Thank you, sir,” he replied with a smile.  “Lately, I’ve just been letting my soul guide me.  It would have been much easier to let that man struggle, or let someone else help him, but my soul knows the easy things in life aren’t always the right things.”

“That’s honestly beautiful,” I said.

“Well, all of our souls are equally beautiful,” he quickly added.  “We just need to listen to what our souls want us to know more often.”

Don’t you just love that sentiment?

I’m sharing this story with you today because I think this man’s message is one we all need to be reminded of.

When it comes to living our lives, we spend too much of our time living as an egocentric avatar – overly attached to our perceived identity and societal opinions.  We have an ego, a personality, a history, cultural viewpoints and experiences that overpower the intuitive messages our soul is telling us.

But our soul is timeless, eternal and infinitely wise, and it needs to be listened to.  Our “intuition” is really just our soul whispering prudent insight into our ears, especially in busy, stressful or confusing times.

Here are 40 encouraging things your soul wants you to know:

  1. Some people talk with you in their free time, and some free their time to talk with you.  Today, and every day, you can be the latter to the people you love.
  2. The smallest act of kindness is always worth more than the grandest intention.
  3. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
  4. Sometimes you have to be kind to others, not because they’re nice, but because you are.
  5. If you want others to be happy, you can practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, you can practice compassion.
  6. When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
  7. It usually isn’t what you have or where you are or what you’re doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It’s how you think about it all.
  8. Happiness is not a reaction or a result.  It is a choice made in the moment.  Let it be yours.  (Read The Power of Now.)
  9. Much of what holds you back is the fact that you keep negative experiences of the past alive in your mind.  Let them GO!
  10. You may be tired, or disappointed, or annoyed, or uncomfortable.  No matter what, your best option right now is to move positively forward.
  11. It costs nothing to be positive.  And it changes things for the better.
  12. No matter how much time you feel you have wasted or lost, it’s never too late to make the very most of the moment you’re in right now.
  13. On particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through bad days is 100% so far.
  14. Your “I CAN” is more important than your IQ.
  15. Just focus on the step you’re taking now.  Honestly, that’s all life is – small steps that you take every day, and then one day when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some serious distance.
  16. You will not fail.  Either you get the result you desire, or you learn what works and what doesn’t for next time.
  17. Look at your problems as problems, and they will continue to hold you back.  See them instead as opportunities in disguise, and they will be.
  18. Consider the possibility that the little obstacles in your life are not obstacles at all, but stepping-stones.
  19. Success is not the absence of failure.  Success is what happens when you choose to take the next step and move on, beyond failure.
  20. It’s easy for people on the sidelines to doubt and judge you when they aren’t taking any risks themselves.  Don’t let them get to you.  They may call you crazy when you’re just getting started but they’ll label you a genius once you’ve succeeded.
  21. Don’t be afraid to provoke the status quo.  Maybe some of your ideas are crazy.  But crazy ideas are what shake the world.
  22. You can’t always wait for the ideal moment.  Sometimes you must dare to do it because life’s too short to regret and wonder what could’ve been.
  23. Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in your mind.  It’s difficult to follow your heart, but it’s a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop you.
  24. The minute you understand that you can be weird and mold life your own way, you allow yourself to shake off the erroneous notion that life is just there, and that you’re just going to exist in it, rather than embrace it, change it, improve it, and truly live it.
  25. Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect and attention that you should be showing yourself. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the Self-Love chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  26. Open yourself up.  Allow yourself to feel, to be mindful and authentic.  Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around yourself and experience every exquisite emotion, both good and bad.  This is real life.
  27. Eat like you love yourself.  Move like you love yourself.  Speak like you love yourself.  Live like you love yourself.  Today!
  28. The curious paradox of life is that when you accept yourself just as you are, right where you are, only then can you change and grow.
  29. Don’t let the idea of being rejected stop you from affirming what’s important to you.  The right people will respect you more and hold you in higher regard if you’re honest and rigorous about your principles and values.
  30. What you allow is what will continue.  It’s better to be lonely for a while than allow negative people and their opinions derail you from your destiny.
  31. Let people take you as you are, or not at all.  By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.  And this helps everyone who’s worth helping (including YOU).
  32. One of the very hardest parts of loving someone: You have to give things up for them.  And sometimes, you even have to give them up.
  33. Never force anything.  Give it your best shot, and then let it be.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.  Don’t hold yourself down with things you can’t control.  (Read Loving What Is.)
  34. Consider the fact that being wrong is OK, and then admit that you are wrong when you are.  Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it takes strength to admit it, but it makes you more humble and commendable.  And even more importantly, realize that when you’re wrong, you’re meant to be wrong so that you may outgrow the things you need to outgrow.
  35. Old worries are down payments on problems you may never have.  Let them go.  Today is always a new beginning; take a deep breath and begin again.
  36. There comes a time when you have to stop thinking about your mistakes and move on.  No regrets in life – just lessons that show you the way.
  37. Remember the good times, be strong during tough times, love always, laugh often, live honestly, and be thankful for each new day.
  38. If you are diligent and patient, everything you truly need in your life will come to you at the right time.
  39. Look at how far you’ve come.  You have made progress.  And now, imagine how far you can go.
  40. Everything will fall into place eventually.  Until then, learn what you can, laugh often, live for the moments, and know it’s all worthwhile.

Your turn…

Please share this post with others who you think may benefit from it, and also share your thoughts with us in the comments area below.  If you’re up to it, I’d love to know which of these reminders resonated the most with you.  Anything else to add?

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