“There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So, consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?” Dalai Lama

Here the Dali Lama not only offers wisdom certainly worth listening to, but poses an especially important question that almost all of us need to think a little more about; just what IS stopping us from living the way we would prefer to?

If you immediately answered money, that is really not the point here. Life is unfair to some individuals. Life is good for some people. Others, on the other hand, consider life to be fantastic. It all hinges on your point of view and how much accountability you take for your own growth and income.

But, regardless of our perspectives on life, we all want to experience each day to the fullest. It makes no difference if you are the richest or the poorest person alive. Whether you are the happiest or the saddest person on the planet, we all want to live life to the fullest.

The issue is that there are some factors that are preventing us from achieving this goal that our mind is concealing from us. It may be difficult to discover these things on your own, but you must do so if you want to not only exit, but also live; if you want to not only survive, but also thrive.

Here is a look at what I have found to be some of them.

Continually Trying to Please Everyone

There are numerous reasons why this is pointless. The most obvious is that you will never be happy pretending to be someone else because you’ll put yourself under a lot of stress trying to do so. When it is all said and done, you will still be unable to please everyone since different people have different expectations for you. What you want for yourself is the question you need to focus on answering.

The second reason is considerably more problematic when it comes to life-altering decisions such as job, business, or marriage. The individuals you are attempting to please will not have to deal with the consequences on a daily basis. They won’t have to bear the consequences of their poor decision. In fact, you may come to despise them for the poor choices you made in order to please them.

You will not ever, ever live life to the fullest if you attempt to please everyone all the time.

Waiting For Someone to Give You Permission

If you believe someone would refuse to give you permission to do something that is extremely important to you, don’t go to them for permission. Just go ahead and do it anyhow, and if necessary, apologize later. If it’s that important to you, then go ahead and do it. You must have the courage to speak up for yourself.

Waiting for Exactly the Right Time

The issue with waiting for the perfect moment is that it never arrives. Weeks, months, and even years will pass, and you will always find a reason to procrastinate. Then you will kick yourself for not starting sooner.

When you have the motivation, the ideal time is now. Happiness isn’t something you can find; it’s something you have to make.

Sure, things may not go as planned, but as another wise man, Mark Twain, once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be disappointed more by the things you didn’t do than by the things you do.”

Continually Comparing Yourself to Everyone Else

When you compare yourself to others, you run the risk of over-relaxing because you think you are doing so well. Or you can discover that the folks you are comparing yourself to are light years ahead of you, discouraging you.

Yes, you should be competing with someone; however, that person is the person you were yesterday, not someone else. You are already successful if you focus on being better today than were yesterday, and you do so every day.

Being So Afraid of Failure, You Don’t Do Something at All

Many people are terrified of failing because they believe it is a negative experience. But any failure provides experience, which is said to be the best teacher. It teaches you all you need to know in order to be successful, even if that is knowing what not to do and what to avoid.

Underestimating the Value of Educating Yourself

Going to school, university etc. is important, buy traditional means of education will not always help you very much when it comes to educating yourself about how to lead the life you want to. For help there, you might just have to look at the idea of educating yourself.

In school, you are not taught the concept of lifestyle design for complete freedom. Only by reading books (or listening to CDs) like Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek can you learn this.

The life-changing concept of goal setting is not taught in school. However, books like Goals may teach you a lot! Brian Tracy’s book teaches you how to get anything you want faster than you ever imagined.

Your parents may not teach you how to achieve financial independence (maybe because they aren’t financially independent themselves), but you can learn something similar from Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The point is that there are blogs, books, podcasts, and other resources out there that can spare you years of effort and learning the hard way, whether you are a doctor who wants to improve, a businessperson who wants to advance faster, or a person who simply wants to have a happy life.

Knowledge, as the saying goes, is power. And any time you spend online pursuing it is better spent than scrolling through your social media feeds (again.)