This is the second post in a three-part series FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE which I hope will inspire you to regain control, discover what matters, embrace change, and get back to living a life you love.
In the previous post STOP PLAYING THE BLAME GAME I shared how viewing our difficulties solely as the result of external circumstances could lead us to believe we have no control. Blaming outside forces for our inability to reach goals is not only unproductive, it can be destructive, particularly if we project our frustration or resentment onto other people. Making and relying on excuses prevents us from gaining insight into what we want and the reasons we are not getting it.
PART TWO: LET NOTHING DESTROY YOUR JOY
We need to go back to the beginning and define What We Want. This can be difficult because our instinct is to make a list of every little thing we wish was different in our lives. That is a trap, a distraction, and unrealistic. Instead, we need to look deep within and diagnose What Is Missing. What is that ONE thing that is not working or broken?
This. This is what we want.
Discovering the core want has two benefits:
- While it often seems we have many things to repair, there is usually a primary issue disrupting other areas and creating imbalance. Working to correct one can heal and improve others.
- If we dedicate our thoughts and energy on one topic, the focus becomes clearer, the task appears less daunting, and our success is more likely. We realize real change is possible. We can do this.
First, ASK and ANSWER the tough questions:
1) WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Think about what is missing. If you had unlimited free time, how would you spend it? On a hobby, travel, education, self-care, a goal, certain people? Write down everything you would do without the worry of a job, caring for others, home projects, etc. Once you see what your heart desires, rank them. What comes out on top? That is your Joy – pursue it.
2) WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK?
Determine what stands in the way. There is something preventing you from getting what you want – people, things/clutter, chores, self-esteem, fear, confidence, guilt, money. Yes, some things are out of your current control. There are people who need you and places you must be. Find the workable things you can simplify, delegate, prioritize, influence, or change.
3) WHAT ARE YOU HIDING BEHIND?
Be realistic but more importantly, be real. Pinpoint the excuses you use to procrastinate, distract, or even sabotage progress. Chronicle your actions for a week. Is it perfectionism, unnecessary tasks, perceived needs of others, your personality? You might be surprised to realize you waste a lot of time. Only when you accept your role and responsibility can you bring about change.
4) WHAT IS THE COST?
When we fail to nurture the person we want to be, we lose something. Frustration and resentment over not getting what we want can lead to broken relationships, poor health, risky behaviors, a lack of purpose, and a desperate search for peace. What do you pay for not doing what you want?
HONESTY is a requirement. When we believe we are stuck and just going through the motions, like our desires are not met, or that we are ignored, rejected, invisible to the outside world … THIS is when we must look inward and find out what lies at the heart of our frustration. Because that is precisely what frustration is: not getting what we want, expect, or need.
For me, it was an inability to make time to write effectively. I battled stress which led to emotional exhaustion which led to physical fatigue, procrastination, unrealistic expectations, and a life out of balance. I was letting go. In most instances letting go can be a positive move. The problem arises when we are constantly required to let go of the things that bring us joy in order to make room for things that do not. I got tired of putting off – my time, my aspirations, my dreams, my life.
LIFE IS NOT SOMETHING WE SHOULD EVER PUT OFF.
I challenge you to figure out what is missing and when you do, do everything in your power to reclaim it. Become committed to giving yourself more of what you want. Find a way. There is always a way.
Research multiple solutions
Develop a flexible plan
Delegate when possible
Let go of what does not matter
Prioritize what does matter
Determine the motivation
Take small steps and reward yourself with big happiness whenever you overcome one
CREATE A LIFE WITH YOU IN IT.
NEXT TIME: Tips for digging deeper.
Photo by Sandis Helvigs at Unsplash