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Raise your hand if you get caught in a battle of wanting to live the life you really want but feeling it’s so far out of reach there’s no point in trying.
I know this feeling. I’ve been there. Hell’s bells, I can still find myself there every now and then.
Life takes us down roads we hadn’t even thought to travel. We may share the path together and invite others to join us, but for the most part, the journey is ours and ours alone.
And while we can’t solve all our problems at once or foresee what new ones may appear in the future, we can recognize that each day gives new chances. Take them.
Stay inspired and attentive to what matters by launching each day with gratitude and tenacity, creating a state of mind that helps keep you focused on the vision of the life you really want.
Here are some micro-changes and inspirational questions to guide you on your way.
Re-examine these relationships
Taking time to examine some relationships can make enormous differences in life.
Changing perspectives changes experiences, so check out your relationships with people, current circumstances, time, and yourself. Unfortunately, it often feels like one or all create hurdles or blockages.
Sometimes that could be true. But maybe there’s a way to move around or over them.
Do these relationships work for you or against you? Take some time to discover how your relationship with time is helpful or not; how do you handle your current experiences? Should you change the way you view them?
How about you look at every relationship with new eyes and discover better ways to engage? Are you willing to examine these four relationships if the reward is the life you want?
Send good mental wishes
The mind is a powerful thing. And as the Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” This works in both directions because focusing on anything positive triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals.
A recent Stanford study revealed that it also benefits your brain and physical health. Why? Because when we feel kindness and compassion, we signal to our bodies and brains that we’re safe and all is well.
No wonder Tibetan monks who spend hours meditating on compassion are some of the world’s happiest people. So look for opportunities to feel kindness and compassion for others and act on those feelings. Then notice whether it makes you feel better, too.
Try it. Take a few moments each day to send good mental wishes to yourself or others and see if those moments bring with them an uplifted mood.
Find out who you are
There’s a personality self-test created by Ray Dalio renowned investor, and Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, designed to support people in learning about themselves. It’s free and is basically a series of agree or disagree responses to questions. It took about 30 minutes, but the results were eerily accurate, and it was well worth my time.
Understanding how much your ideas about yourself form what you do is often helpful. Adam Grant puts it best: “Accurate self-knowledge is the key to getting what you want out of life. PrinciplesYou applies your results to real-life situations, so you can see your tendencies in action and get the right guidance to help you achieve your goals.”
Here’s the link if you’re interested in a new way to discover more about yourself. Principlesyou.
Get a better handle on to-do lists
To-do lists can quickly become ridiculous and out of control.
Starting a day with a to-do list that would be impossible to finish in a week, let alone a day, is a set-up for feeling overwhelmed or a failure and is exhausting. That was me. And it applies to many.
Ask yourself what would happen if one or many of these tasks weren’t done. And you’ll find, at some point, you’ll end up with something that doesn’t get done, leaving extra time for something more joyful.
If you’re a victim of the idea that whatever you’re doing you need to be doing more change your perspective. Don’t waste your days on this, instead remind yourself that you’re doing what is best for you right now. And what is best for you may be different tomorrow, but it isn’t here yet.
Nourish yourself with some awe
What fills you up? Psychology professor Dacher Keltner of the University of California and co-founder of The Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley found from a recent study that awe experiences are linked with a decrease in chronic inflammation, the precursor to many of our modern diseases. So the message is clear: doses of awe equal greater well-being.
Awe doesn’t need to be something huge like a visit to the Grand Canyon; it can be experienced just as readily through music. And nature-related videos can stimulate wonder or taking a walk while paying attention to things you might never pay attention to, such as textures and weeds breaking through concrete, something you wouldn’t usually notice.
Try to pay attention to the things that fill you up daily, and once you’ve discovered those things, find ways to get them into your life regularly.
Consciously using your time
Oliver Burkeman, an author of Time Management for Mortals, tells us if we live to be eighty years old, we have about four thousand weeks on this planet. And our experience of being alive consists of nothing but the sum of everything we pay attention to. It’s a stark reminder far too often, time is wasted on things that don’t matter to us.
Knowing this can be liberating, allowing a choice, whenever possible, of where to put our attention.
If I were to start again, I would stop trying to cram my life with every new and shiny object that caught my eye and consciously choose to keep my attention on those things that mattered most: those that brought enlightenment, joy, and fulfillment.
How would you choose to best use your finite time? And what would you be prepared to sacrifice to experience it.?
Trust your future self
Coping well when dealing with a problem that seems unsolvable can be challenging for most of us. The mind turns it over and over, getting nowhere. The human brain is wired to focus on the negative to keep us safe, so regardless of how often something goes right, it’s the one thing that goes wrong that sticks in our minds.
If you’re working on a particularly frustrating, complex, or worrying problem, try telling yourself, “I haven’t found the solution yet, but I believe I will.” Then, you can relax enough to lessen how daunting dealing with this feels like.
Can you trust yourself enough to find the ideal solution in time and be okay with that?
It’s pretty easy to launch into the life you want to live. But if you seriously want to do this, be prepared to put in the time. Then, of course, you’ll have to use the battle you’ve been waging toward what you want and remove your attention from the idea that it’s out of your reach. But in the end, getting to the other side of the effort will make you wonder why you ever doubted yourself in the first place.
Encourage one another.