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21 Things to Remember in 2021

by Marcel Grabowiecki 2 months ago in quotes

Let's stick to what makes us feel good.

Picture and design by me.

As Albert Einstein himself said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." That, to me, slowly translates to- you can't start fresh with old habits. Getting rid of our bad habits is difficult and demands unforeseen courage and strength. Whatever your new year's resolutions are, or how you perceive a healthy lifestyle, here are some thoughts that inspire me to keep working on my wellness goals. I am sure they will motivate you too. (I have taken all the pictures used in the story.)

You don't need to be loved by everyone, relax.

No one ever in this world will manage to please everyone around them. It is impossible. Even the kindest, selfless, and most respectful people face words of hate and contempt. We tend to worry about upsetting people who wouldn't even text us to see if we're doing alright. It's exhausting to overthink all our conversations, reactions, and behavior. When you are having an awful day, you don't have to go to that party you agreed on going to before. Someone who cares about you will understand. Someone who doesn't will not. It's fine. Prioritizing yourself should not be anxiety wracking. No matter who you are, there will always be someone who disagrees with you, who is rude with no particular motivation or someone who doesn't like you for an odd reason.

Stop comparing yourself to people who are on a different journey than you.

If you see someone making it at a younger age than you, don't ever compare yourself to them. Every person is on a different journey. No two people in this world have it the same way. We all carry different life experiences, struggles, ideals. I know that sometimes it is hard to watch people getting/achieving what you are continuously working so hard for with no desired effect. You have to know, though, that your time is coming. Every single journey is individual. Comparison is only holding you back and putting you in your head. There are two types of being jealous. One is negative, where you think: "Ugh, why do they get this? I should be getting this. Screw them." It is so easy, though, to turn it into a positive one that would be something like: "Wow, I am so jealous right now for this person! But, I will work extra hard now to soon see myself achieve this! My time is coming." Option number 1 will put you down and send negative vibes. Number 2 will lift your spirit and encourage you! Work hard, be kind, be happy for others, persevere, and believe in yourself. Don't doubt yourself and second guess your choices just because people around you happen to be on a success streak. "The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself."- Maya Angelou.

What you tell yourself every day can either lift you or bring you down.

We attract what we think. If you often find yourself saying negative things in your mind, change the narrative. Appreciate little things, love yourself. If you catch yourself having a string of negative and depressing thoughts, switch. Think of 5 things that you are grateful for, think about one thing that made you smile today. The relationship every one of us has with our inner voice is crucial. It is up to us how we set the narrative. Be kind to yourself. At least once a day, speak out one thing you like about yourself. It can be "I love that I'm always on time." or "I'm so happy with how my hair looks." Instead of mentioning yet another thing that you're unhappy about, surprise yourself and change the game! The outcome can only be positive. Why not give it a go?

On our way to South of France, April 2018.

Don't beat yourself up for having a bad day. Tomorrow is a new one.

Breaking news, every day has 24 hours. We all have those "I had a bad day" moments when we feel like everything's falling apart and all we want to do is shut the room door and cry. And guess what, I feel like we all need these moments. It's okay to be a mess for one day. Let it all out, watch a sad film. Have an evening pity party for yourself by yourself. But the next morning, when you wake up, enjoy a new day. Don't bring any of the sad, exhausting energy back to the new. New day = new opportunities. One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. "Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." - Alice Earle.

Work is a great distraction.

When you threw yourself into the work, time flies. You are busy, productive, and distracted from anything you don't feel like dealing with at the moment. And by doing that you also earn some money simultaneously. Sounds pretty cool to me. Make sure you appreciate your job.

Pay attention to how people make you feel about yourself.

We all know people who can instantly drop our energy level from 100 to like 8.5. Their attitude and overall outlook on life feel pessimistic and draining. We don't want that in 2021. Surround yourself with more high-energy people who don't see the worst in everything and everyone. Some people feel like rays of sunshine. They don't even have to do anything specific, yet they shine. Make sure that people around you uplift your spirit, inspire, and motivate you.

Sunset, June 2020.

It's the little things.

Whether it's someone staying up late to talk to you, a friend getting you a coffee, or a cute dog next to you on the bus, really appreciate small things that make you smile. I love it when a train shows up at the station exactly when I need it. I admire a superb chai latte made by a barista. I am touched when someone randomly compliments me. It really is the little things. Notice them, and feel the gratitude.

Is what you're doing today getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?

Good question, right? Do you love your job? Or is it just an in-between chapter that you hope will help you get where you want to be? These are some important questions one has to consider. Are you setting yourself any goals? It always helps me to write down all the things I want to do or achieve in the next week/month/year. I figure out how I can do this and then work tirelessly to get it. Taking one small action every day is getting you closer to the goal.

There is always something to be grateful for.

Always. Gratitude is everything. It's so easy to take things for granted, so it's crucial to take a moment every day to speak out a few things that you're thankful for. It grounds you and makes you appreciate all that you have.

Treat yourself.

Whether it's a bubble waffle or a fancy frappuccino, go for it and treat yourself. Again, it's the little things. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. For one, it can be a slice of toast with butter (me), for somebody else, yet another not necessarily necessary Amazon Prime delivery (also me). It's not about going crazy with anything, more appreciating little moments and rewarding ourselves for the work well done, passed exam, finishing a book, or a successful meeting.

Rosé and madeleines, Aix-en-Provance, 2018.

Reading too much news is no bueno.

Isn't reading the news just exhausting these days? Yes, yes, it is. Naturally, we all want to know what is going on in the world. But we have to keep in mind how destructive news media can also be. It is a fact that about 90 percent of the news we read about/listen to every day is negative news. Wow, right? Bad news will always sell better. Sad but true. So, keep that in mind when you scroll through Twitter, seeing yet another pessimistic announcement.

Good films make your life better.

I lack the vocabulary to explain how drastically movies have changed my life. Whether it's your favorite cheesy comedy or a suspenseful thriller, do yourself a favor and have a movie night. Movies help us escape reality, currently clearly an overwhelming reality. How fun were the days when DVD rental companies existed? The whole experience of choosing a film, preparing for a movie night, buying snacks. It was always so therapeutic. Access to films these days is effortlessly easy. You can literally choose to watch anything you want, any time. So, enjoy it.


My least favorite thing, yet professionally mastered by myself. Overthinking can be so draining. It makes you create scenarios in your mind that are nowhere close to reality. It can work positively, but negative thoughts tend to overpower our inner reflections. What really helps me is changing the narrative. Whenever I think of some ridiculous and negative thoughts, I say to myself: you are so dramatic, let it go! or will you chill for a second? That helps to ground me. It's also usually a sign that I'm hungry or in a rush. Have a distance to yourself and your conceptions.

Sunset, August 2020.

Drink that water.

As you're reading this now, get yourself a glass of water. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work well. It also gives your skin that extra glow and makes you feel better. Hydration is super cool in 2021. Dehydration is so 2020.

Be inspired by beauty everywhere.

Media platforms are successfully convincing everyone that our world is one hot mess. And you know what, it's pretty accurate. But, there are still so many beautiful things all around us. I get inspired every day by different things, a walk in the park, a poem, someone's stunning outfit. There is still so much to awe about, and you can find solace in so many things. Get inspired by all the places you still want to visit or the people who bring you hope. The world is crazy yet still gorgeously astonishing if you look close enough.

The degree of presence.

We often forget to make the best of the present moment. For instance, concert audiences recording almost every single moment on their phones. They end up watching their favorite artist yet again on the screen while they literally sing in front of them. Posting it later on your social media seems more rewarding these days than the actual event the recordings have captured. Isn't it ironic? We go for lunch with our loved ones, and instead of being fully engaged in the conversation, we tend to worry about what's to come later in the day, what else we have to prepare, do. We are all busy and planning many things ahead but let's try finding stillness and switching off unnecessary thoughts when we do something that should give us pleasure.

Marseille, France 2018.

Your ambition is gold.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."- Mark Twain. Your ambition drives you as it should. It's good to be aspiring and eager. Don't let anyone convince you that being ambitious is a negative thing. It is not.

Thank yourself for how far you've come.

Well done you! 2020 has been some crazy year. Now, look at you reading this in 2021. You've already achieved much more than you think. You're on the right track. Keep enjoying the journey and all its wild moments. As Vincent Van Gogh said: "Normality is a paved road: It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it." Appreciate yourself and be easy on your imperfections.

Avoid the temptation to make choices that are familiar but no longer serve you.

Familiar = safe. Everything that we know feels secure, but all the great things come to you when you get outside your comfort zone. Making choices that don't serve who you want to become keeps you stuck. Saying no to tantalizing options that no longer make you happy will free you.

Sunset, September 2020.

Focus on what's within your control.

People will always have something to say about what you're doing, so who cares. There is stuff going on in the world that you can't do much about. There's no point in worrying about every single thing that's wrong out there. Don't put extra pressure on yourself. Some things are just out of our control, so it's best to let it go and focus on what we can change, do, and improve.

"Better an oops than a what if."- Beau Taplin

As human beings, we tend to think of all the ifs and buts. We make choices that give us safety. We overanalyze all the risks that may occur. But do you know what's worse than a failure? It's not even trying. We learn from our mistakes, so there are no failures, only lessons.

A stunning sky, summer 2020.

I hope some of these thoughts will inspire you. Remember, "The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. Be patient and stay the course"- Fabienne Fredrickson.

All changes take time. Good things are coming your way. Make the best of 2021. Any time is right to start fresh.

Marcel Grabowiecki
Marcel Grabowiecki
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Marcel Grabowiecki

Look at you doing what you once thought you couldn't do.

Actor / Writer

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