This morning I imagined what the 80 year old version of myself would tell me, if I asked her, “What do I do now?” “What should I focus on?”
What wisdom would she have, nearing the end of her life? What would she have focused on today?
She’d tell me to bike more, write more, film everything. Tell everyone I love how much I love them. Hug more, kiss more. Squeeze them tight. Use my creativity to connect with those I love and those I will love in the future. Arms and heart wide open, she would tell me to vulnerably step into the world and be me.
She’d tell me to fuck fear. Let go of the negative thoughts. Skin the skeptic. Look for the beauty in all. There are so many good people to love, sweet creatures to care for and wonderous places to inspire. Find them. Get out today and connect on purpose. Smile, it’s a great heart opener. It’s your super power. Laugh. Enjoy life to the fullest each moment. Find your tribe. Seek out those who inspire you and meet them with open arms. Exercise. Move your body. Play outdoors.
Seek what you want to find. Chase what makes your heart beat. What makes your heart pound out loud. Friends, food, books, music, work. Go out there and get it all.
Be thoughtful and intentional about everything you do. Your writing, your film, your drawing. Do it on purpose and with a purpose.
Think first, but don’t regret anything. Try not to hurt anyone, including yourself. No time for that. Problems will come and go. It always works out in the end. Stop getting so angry and frustrated. Sail through the storms. There is no time to waste.
Life is a banquet. There is so much to choose from. Taste it all.
Visit friends, follow the inspiring, touch and taste everything that draws you in – that pulls you closer. Feed your curiosity.
Let go of control. Just love.
There is only one thing I know for sure. I’m not getting this moment back. Nope. I am talking about this very single moment RIGHT NOW, this ONE. Yeah, it’s YOUR moment too. Nope it’s gone. . . forever, unless by chance I read it again or you read it again – and if we do, it’s just a memory.
All this angst about leaving a legacy. Creating a more purposeful life. Finding your so-called passion. Those are such big, big thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, it starts with adding more meaning to your little moments.
and becoming a little more self-aware with each one of these significant moments.
Luctor et Emergo (I struggle and emerge)
Ridiculously Messy Moments
Repeating this mantra softly to myself has helped me sail through the hours of overwhelming tasks in a day. It has stopped me from rushing and I hate rushing. Rushing just sucks. It makes life feel hasty. I want to savor life. Even the boring parts.
This idiom also applies to anything you do. It has helped me improve my days.
When properly learning something new
Any new skill that you are trying to learn should first be practiced slowly.
Performing any action too fast will have you sacrificing technique which will in turn slow your development. It will also limit the greatness you could have achieved.
I’m not sure when I adapted such a stressed out, hard-charging approach to life, but I did and it sucked and I am over it. I don’t regret much, but I do feel as if my fretful, grinding approach to work and life has exhausted me with very little more to show for it.
All that grind, all that toil, leading to very little added reward.
What a waste of energy.
Sure I feel successful, but I have over exerted my energy and worried my way to fatigue. The added busy motion, flying headlong into my days, pressing to get things done quickly, hasn’t adding anything of value to my life.
I could have had so much more fun enjoying the process.
So now I am on a mission to change the habits that have led me to feeling exhausted and sometimes even sick.
Make it Simple, But Significant
Everything is related to everything else. How stressed or angry you are, and how you interact with the world, is contingent in large part on your personality style,” says Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. “And that is going to have an enormous impact on your health.”
Good Riddance to the Strain, Struggle & Strife
Eliminating the Need to Over Exert my Energy
My plan is to transform my Type A personality to a self-healing nature that is more curious, secure, constructive, responsive, and conscientious. These traits translate to enthusiasm for life, emotional balance, and strong social relationships. Read more about how your personality traits effect your life here.
Barring any states of emergency that require immediate action, I ban all short and unreasonable deadlines. No more guarantees, pressure to promise results or setting up impossible goals.
I will only take on projects that I am exited to tackle and that I will enjoy completing.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t creatively challenge myself.
If there is anything I regret, it is having spent so many of my years moving through my days, huffing, puffing, red-faced to get the maximum out of every day.
I could have done it without the pain.
Rushing ruins the whole thing.
I want to move with more grace and elegance. I believe that with a calmer approach, much of my day can be effortless, enjoyable and effective.
- I will stop when I begin to feel stressed.
- Take more time to think.
- Look for ideas, not immediate answers.
- Make obstacles work in my favor.
- I won’t take the pleasure out of doing a great job because I am rushing through it.
More ways to eliminate the stress from your life.
JR x Blu
In 2007, JR collaborates with Italian artist Blu on a mural installation in Berlin.
Artist Nick Cave
A Life That Matters
(A Non Religious Funeral Reading)
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female, even your skin colour won’t matter.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Adding More Life to Our Years
How do you add more life to your years? How do we know if we are living to the max, giving the most we can give? Do we just go by feeling? Do we continue to list and review our accomplishments? Add more to our resume? Create a bucket list of things we want to do sometime in the future?
What can we do right now to add more life to the moment in front of us?
We might listen to our heart more. Perhaps address the “psychic” pain of every day life and make adjustments to our day. Change what we don’t like about our living.
Perhaps we stop saying yes out of habit or obligation and start to consider what we really want to contribute during our lifetime. Volunteer maybe? Start a blog perhaps? Train for the marathon? Save up for the excursion?
Or better yet, maybe we wake the hell up. We stop sleep walking through life. No more numbing the brain with another glass of wine after dinner or taking the same route to work each morning. Perhaps we establish a healthy morning ritual to renew our sense of aliveness.
Could it be we create a new purpose. Develop a mantra to make people smile. Yeah, maybe that’s a purpose in life.
- Tackle the world’s bigger problems. Become an agent for change.
- Learn something new, every day. There are so many free ways to learn.
- Do something selfless, make things easier for someone else.
- Or maybe only respond to things that make us say Hell Yes! and say no to the rest.
This post ponders the idea of turning sour feelings. a.k.a. – a shitty state-of-mind – – into persevering resoluteness.
I am thinking about the alchemy of emotions. Turning fear into fascination; frustration into fortitude, pain into power and anxiety into assurance.
It’s about turning my life around. Drilling deep into my psyche to pull through life with courage and conviction.
What I believe to be True
When we do things thoughtfully we have a better chance at transforming for the better.
Think about it. . .How numb have we made ourselves to our heart felt emotions?
When we are thoughtful we consider more possibilities. New ways of doing the same old things. Even the possibility of doing things differently. Disregarding old habits. Doing less of the busy and more of the productive. Challenging the status quo. Removing the habitual actions we have done in the past that no longer serves us well today.
New decisions lead us to a new destiny. A better, more balanced life.
Beware of Bad Decisions
Unfortunately, even smart people make bad decisions when they are in a lousy state of mind.
Good decisions come from clearing the head and pondering the problems. Becoming curious about why we are so dissatisfied with our lives.
What needs to change about our thinking?
Real change, sustainable change comes from deliberate choices. What new choices can we make today?
Problems are reversible when we get to the root of the cause.
I want to change. . . .
Feeling Rushed & Overwhelmed
I despise the feeling of racing through my day. Moving so fast, juggling so much, attempting to “get it all done”. That rushed and over whelmed feeling leaves me discouraged and disappointed.
Realistically predict the amount of time something will take me to do and add 60 minutes to that as a cushion. Build in some thinking time. Breathable time. Note to self: Realize life is a process, not just a checklist. It’s my pace, my life. If I can, I will always do it on and in my own time.
Slow down, stay as organized as I can, surf the waves instead of fighting the tide, so that I get the work done and not drown in a sea of distraction. No matter who is pushing me to move faster.
Feeling Tired & Exhausted
Serving others, really helping those you care for is our true purpose. I believe it is the most important thing we can be doing. To be of service. However, becoming a slave (persona non-grata) to everyone’s whim is simply enabling and demeaning to myself.
I choose to review every request for help I get today. I will no longer run myself into the ground for anyone or anything. I will take breaks throughout the day. I am not a puppet, I pull my own strings. Oh, and I rest at the end of the day. Sometimes in between projects too.
Feeling Insecure & Helpless
One of my best traits is that I am always learning something new, discovering new ways to do my job, developing more skills and increasing my worth. One of the worst things I do is say I can do something before I have mastered the skill. Yup, I do that and it is wrong. This lets people down. I over promise and under deliver.
I will never overestimate my talent or skills again. I will practice and become better, while only taking on paid projects that I know I can manage and execute. I will be very careful to accept money for something I am still learning. I commit to asking plenty of questions and never saying I understand something, until I truly do.
Feeling So, So Scattered
I am the dive right in type and I believe this is a good character trait to have, but I must learn to evaluate the waters before I jump in to the next project or relationship.
I promise to consider the possibility that I might not have the time to add anything else on my plate. I must have a plan before I attack. I must really look at what needs to be accomplished and not blindly beginning doing the task at hand.
Feeling Frighteningly Frustrated
Why do I rush? Who is pushing me to move any faster? Is it the warped sense of time that this global interactivity thrusts upon us? Must everything be done in an instant?
Hell to the hasty and heedless. No more rushing. It is time to calm my heart’s dark waters. I will take pauses, collect from deep thoughts and breathe deeply through it all. Especially the most difficult projects.
Feeling Like a Victim
Okay, I will own it. When I am in a lousy state I tend to repel those around me. I bark at people. I speak to them like they are inferior. This in turn has them on the defensive and they return the favor. They bark back. It becomes one big ugly dog fight.
I promise to stop taking on the world. Not everything is my problem to solve. I speak my truth more assertively and clearly without dictating or treating others unkindly. Sure I point out the elephant in the room but without embarrassing anyone. I will remember, it pays to be more patient.
Feeling Super Guilty
Us alpha types, we just like to stay ambitious. We have so much to do – to accomplish. Then soon come the distractions once again. The texts, tweets, Facebook messages and phone calls. The favors asked. In an endless loop of “I don’t have time for this!” I begin to feel guilty. I get confused about doing the right thing vs doing the “what I want to do thing.” Oh I hate disappointing others.
I leave room for interruptions. I prioritize helping those that I know need me. I question how important their requests might be. I help by empowering, not by doing it for them. I understand my responsibilities with each role I have in life. Mom, marketer, wife, daughter, writer, creator, friend – while giving my 100% imperfect effort to each role.
You know, I am a bigger believer in that we know who we should and should not get involved with – but we continue to make the same mistakes over and over. We give people second and third chances. We continue to pick the worst friends, business partners, clients. People that let us down.
I hold my standards higher. I listen to my instinct the first time around and I promise to be realistic about the people I am getting involved with.
Feeling Sad and Down
Luckily my regression to the mean is happy. Not happy in a ceremonious and demonstrative way, but in a satisfied way. I am not a high maintenance human. I require little to keep me satiated. However, sometimes, when I feel a pity party coming on, I can go places dark.
Move more and laugh more, while getting out of my own way. I make a thoughtful decision to have more fun with problems.
If we are truly living, then we are immersed in a life of learning and growing as human beings.
As we are growing, we are in a continual cycle of aspiring, succeeding or failing. With wisdom we realize these positions are transitory. Quote from The Ego is the Enemy.
Personally, depending on which “part” of my life that I observe, I am currently in all three cycles all at once.
Aspiring, Succeeding, Failing
I am aspiring to launch and build my business, I am succeeding at helping my parents navigate their battle with cancer and I am failing at sustaining a relationship with my brother.
I am aspiring to find the best way to help my parents without enabling them, I am succeeding at keeping up with my own health and fitness routine and I am failing at prioritizing my time at work each day. I over estimate what time I really have and over promise to those clients I want to please.
What helps me during cycles of failure, is to be my own best coach. Just like a coach who faces a loosing team, I champion myself through difficult moments of exasperation by reminding myself of who I am and what I am capable of. I promise to face each moment with my highest standards.
On Being My Own Best Coach and maximizing my own potential.
I remember and I realize . . .
- the impact of my attitude on my life.
- to believe in myself.
- I am never given more than I can handle.
- I don’t have all the answers right now.
- to remain solution focused.
- to ask questions and ask for help. I investigate and research those that have been here before me. I look for guidance.
- I should listen for answers and rely on others who can help.
- I need to make corrections. Corrections in my work, my attitude and my behavior.
- that God is working with me every day. Guiding me to do my best. I am not in this alone.
- I have done more difficult things before and I have made it through, successfully.
- I remember that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
I love listening in between the lines. Especially to smart people. People like performance coach, Tony Robbins. Evan Carmichael edited an all day Tony coach session that you can watch here. I am watching about ten minutes a day every morning and taking copious notes.
Inspired by Tony’s tenacious approach, I created this surefire success equation to get anything you want. Anything. A raise at work, a new startup business off the ground, shed the last ten pounds, you name it. Anything you want.
- Know what you want and believe you can have it.
- Know what it takes to get what you want. If you don’t know, find out. Ask the people who have what you want what it took to get it. What did they have to do to achieve the results. How long did it take? How much work did they do each day?
- Ask yourself the question, what is absolutely certain, 100% necessary, in order for me to get what I want. What must I do in order to get the results I want.
- Make the list of what you absolutely must do and get to work.
- Do the work. Do it daily. Check off the list. And then review your results. Be sure you are getting closer to getting what you want. If you are not getting results, get REAL with yourself. What are you not doing? What are you doing wrong? Where do you need help? New skills?
- Ask yourself, can I do any of these tasks, the actual work, better. Not faster, not quicker, but better. Are there any tools to help me perform the work better? Any professionals out there who can coach you? If there are, then find the tools, find the people. Use the tools. Hire the people.
- When you do get what you want, appreciate it. Be grateful for the work it took to get there.
What type of mindset does it take to win? To outperform and produce stellar results.
It’s not just practice that produces results. It’s perfect mindful practice. Practice combined with absolute certainty that you will achieve whatever you set out to do. You burn the boats.
Tip Sheet for #6
Absolute certainty that makes you tap into your full potential that has you take massive action which in turn produces remarkable results that reinforces your belief in your absolute certainty.
This is what it takes to get what you want.
And using failure as a tool.
Don’t choke at the free throw line. Be absolutely certain in your mind that you know without a doubt that you will achieve the results you want.