I think to some extent we all want to improve our lives. We all want things to be better. A better career, more money, less weight, more adventures, loving relationships. Right? I don’t know if I have met anyone who doesn’t want some improvement somewhere in their lives. So what’s the problem?
I think what’s difficult is the change that is required to improve. That’s where we get stuck.
It’s really hard to change you, but it’s much easier to change your patterns.
Patterns, habits, ruts. Whatever you want to call them, these are the ways in which we typically face the day and approach everything we do. Today’s post is about altering the way we behave to rapidly improve the way we live.
- Understanding that the Foundation of Stress is Fear.
We many not want to admit it, but anything we are stressed about usually stems from fear. Think about it. Stress at work may be the result of fear of losing our jobs. Stress at home may be about fear of speaking our minds and rocking the boat.
Facing our fears and creating safety nets and back up plans will usually help reduce our stress. If you are stressed about your job than perhaps it’s time to update your resume, build your skill set, take on technology. If your relationships have you stressed perhaps it’s time for the talk, therapy, trying something new or changing the way you communicate.
2. Getting Others to Really Listen
So much stress in our relationships can come from not being heard. You can improve your communication skills and ultimately get others to listen to you when you first understand that people aren’t listening to what you have to say, they are listening for what they want to hear. The faster you give them what they want, the quicker you have them. – Nancy Halpern, Leadership Coach
Don’t communicate for the sake of talking. Be more thoughtful and think about who you are talking to and what their fears may be first. Instead of trying to muscle your message down their throat, think about what the other is fearing and the results you want from the message.
Empathy is the current that connects us all.
3. Managing Your Perceptions & Understanding What is Possible
Transforming your life also begins with managing your perceptions. I truly believe we lie to ourselves daily. We think things are so much easier than they really are and that we are so much more effective than we truly are. You cannot live naively in a fantasy world and just believe your way to a better life. Whatever “better” looks like for you – more money, more free time, more peace-of-mind, more friends. Real change begins with understanding what is actually possible.
1. Understand what is possible for you.
2.Prioritize what you think is truly important to change.
3. Construct how you will go about creating what you want.
And then fiercely, with a plan and with energy, but also with flexibility and an open mind, begin the steps to improve your circumstances.
4. Designing a Life That Works for You. The Step-by-Step Plan
Reality check. Do not deal with the world the way you wish it was, deal with it the way it is right now. In order to design the life you want, you first have to fully accept the way it is right now. Truth is, your situation might be quite bad, but. . .
Although self-doubt can feel very real, it has little bearing on what is or isn’t possible.
Start with what you’ve got. Hold on to your strengths, grab what’s good and build from there. Reality is your friend and the foundation for success. Inspired by Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way
5. Self-Awareness Leads to Success
Pay damn close attention to the stories you play inside your head. Those scenarios that scare you. That negative self-narrative can be massively destructive (I’m not smart enough, not athletic enough, not strong enough, not liked-enough. . .) or massively empowering (I am a life long learner and a student of life, I build my mental and physical strength daily with practice, I meet life head on and take challenges on the chin and I let kindness lead the way, as I become the friend I want to have.)
Changing Your Story, Changes Your Life
Changing your thoughts, changes your story
Changing your story, changes your behavior
Changing your behavior, changes your relationships
Changing your relationships, changes your life
6. Turning Expectation into Appreciation
Everything at our finger tips. Google this, download that. Plug into this, link to that, tag, search and find. Everything we need is an instant away. It is no wonder we expect so much with so much available to us. This sets high expectations for getting what we need whenever we want it in an instant. The downside of immediate gratification is that it doesn’t always show up.
Instead of expecting things to always go your way,
start appreciating what you already have.
7. Raise the Bar on What Suffering Feels Like
Sure it is easy to get frustrated when your website doesn’t load fast enough or you haven’t met sales goals for the day or you had a blow up with your partner. Most of it is all BS, not important and nothing that will ruin your life for good. But in the moment, oh how we can explode.
The only real problems are health problems. Everything else, especially if money can solve it, is not suffering. Aim to suffer less.
8. All Problems need Energy to Live
When you remember what problems are really serious than you just wont give the daily challenges the same amount of energy. All problems big or small need your time and attention to live. I don’t recommend ignoring problems all together, because sometimes left ignored, small problems can turn into big ones. Just keep it in perspective and get into solution. Expect little problems. Keep some time on the calendar each day to put out those little fires before they flare up. Just don’t let them flare you up.
9. Problems are Easier to Solve in a Better State of Mind
When your head heats up and your mood turns to a mild rage because of a problem that’s really just an expected challenge, the best weapon is to slow down. Cool off. Take a few breaths before you start to think. A boiling brain will not build a better way. To be cool and collected is a more elegant way to live.
10. Show Up with All You’ve Got
When we show up with everything we have, we give it our best shot. This is what we have to give the world. To be fully present in a conversation, at our jobs, in our roles. We remain ready, willing and able to serve. To serve is to care and to care is to love.
Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. Love is energy and energy takes effort.
Go ahead. Make the effort.
Ryan Holiday, Author of The Obstacle is the Way interviewed by London Real
The Obstacle is the Way, one of the best self-performance books to date. A must read.
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