How to live your life peacefully and without tension?

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Published: 27th June 2012
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Every day is a new beginning. But in life, sometimes you have to stop before you can truly begin. So starting today…
Stop caring about everyone’s opinion of you.
For the most part, what other people think and say about you doesn’t matter. When I was younger I let the opinions of my high school and early college peers influence my decisions. And at times they steered me away from ideas and goals I strongly believed in. I realize now, many years later, that this was a foolish way to live, especially when I consider that nearly all of these people whose opinions I cared so much about are no longer a part of my life.
Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way. What they think and say about you isn’t important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.
Stop caring about being politically correct.
I had a discussion with a friend yesterday about censorship and how speaking a certain way simply to please others contributes to the loss of one’s true inner voice. During the discussion I watched him closely, and I could actually pinpoint the heated moment when he was about to give me a piece of his mind, but stopped himself. It was so obvious! So I called him out on it. “You just censored yourself, didn’t you?” He laughed and nodded.
Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head. It’s always there watching you. It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers, bosses and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line. And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think his opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths. But the watchdog’s views are not truths, they’re just opinions – forceful opinions that have the potential to completely brainwash you of your own opinions if you aren’t careful.
Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches. He can’t actually control you. He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain.
No, you should not start randomly cussing and acting like a fool. But you must say what you need to say when you need to say it. If it isn’t politically correct, so what.
Don’t censor yourself. Speak the truth. Your truth.
Stop caring about looking a certain way.
There is no right way to dress or right way to wear your hair. No, I’m not saying to you should dress like a clown simply to rebel either. Everyone who purposely tries to look different ends up looking the same.
Be you, just the way you are, in the unique way only you know how. Wear clothes and styles you feel comfortable wearing. Dress the way YOU dress.
You’re a one of a kind. Trying to look like someone else is a waste of your own beauty. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.
Stop caring about what everyone else wants for you.
Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your dreams, people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will usually give you awful advice. It’s not because they have evil intentions. It’s because they don’t understand the big picture – what your dreams, passions and life goals mean to you. They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk.
So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.
As our friend Steve Jobs says:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Stop caring about the boundaries others set up.
No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible. Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea or dream as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares. When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them. Instead, forget that they exist. They will only waste your time and energy.
Try what you want to try. Go where you want to go. Follow your own intuition. Don’t accept false choices. Don’t let others put a cage around you. Definitely don’t listen to the watchdog.
Whenever somebody discredits you and tells you that you can’t do something, keep in mind that they are speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations. Ignore them and press on.
Stop caring about what everyone else has.
When you catch yourself comparing yourself to a colleague, neighbor, friend, or someone famous, stop! Realize that you are different, with different strengths – strengths these other people don’t possess. Take a moment to reflect on all the awesome abilities you have and to be grateful for all the good things in your life.
The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life — a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you might have a new destination in mind.

Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker, and avid blogger who’s wisdom can be found on Dr. Puff is the creator of the weekly Meditation for Health Podcast, available at Additionally, he has a weekly podcast that explores the world of Happiness, available at

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