If the grass looks greener on the other side… Stop staring. Stop comparing. Stop complaining and start watering the grass you’re standing on.
It’s a well known fact that we tend to overestimate the benefits of things that don’t serve us – think that extra cookie or glass of vino, whatever your weakness is, and overestimate the cost of things that do serve us well – going for that exercise routine, making that presentation at work.
Carrots and sticks, the ones we chase and we run from – let’s focus on better choices.
Take a weakness that you’ve been ignoring, what price is waiting for you down the road? Time to refocus?
Take a block that you’ve been avoiding, again – what’s the price of continued ignorance? Time to push through the fear and do it anyway?
Ok, action time, stop chasing the carrots and running from the sticks!
Get real about benefits and costs!
The American psychologist James Hillman first proposed the “acorn theory” in his book entitled “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling”. He suggested that every individual already holds their potential inside themselves from birth, just as the acorn already holds the pattern for an oak tree. Each individual’s unique energy becomes actualized through their choices and actions in life once they answer their life calling, much like an acorn turns into an oak tree and matures when it finally blossoms. Without denying the existence of both nature and nurture in human development, let’s look at our own individual achievements, character, and aspirations and ask ourselves: “How am I responding to my inner acorn?”
Thank you to Valerie for sharing that amazing short video on Well Being in the previous post. Just love the structure, satisfying the conscious mind:
- Positive emotions
That got me thinking, time for the unconscious mind to play…
how can we develop these key areas to make life even more fulfilling?
In other words, how can we build on the best things in life?
How about posing one of these profound questions before you go to sleep and let the unconscious mind work on it, just watch out for the messages as it delivers the results!
Your insights please!
Can you aquire them? Should you select them according to perceived correctness?
No: everyone’s set of values are unique to them and, when honoured, serve as a valuable guide.
Kind of similar to you own personal navigation system, showing you the best way to go.
Not sure what yours are?
Then take a few minutes and try the following 2 mini exercises to get some insight.
Peak moments in time
Identify peak moments when life was at its most rewarding.
Focus specifically on ‘the moment’, not the details.
What was important about this moment?
What were the values being honoured in the moment?
What values were you living in this moment?
Think of a time you were willing to get into trouble.
Look at the feeling then flip it over to the opposite of the feeling to find the value.
Think of a time you were angry, frustrated or upset.
Look at the feeling then flip it to get the opposite of the feeling to find the value.
What do you think about this quote from a recent school reunion?
“There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.”
“One of these days is YESTERDAY, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed or erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.”
“The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise, and its poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.”
“This leaves only one day, TODAY. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities—Yesterday and Tomorrow—that we break down.”
“It is not the experience of Today that drives us mad, it is remorse and bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore… Live this one full TODAY.”
So, in the words of Malcolm Forbes, “never say die until you’re dead.”
It is difficult to be depressed and active at the same time. So let’s together get active and LIVE TODAY!
As my birthday approaches I think about what I’ve learned, allow me to share my thoughts:
Love the small pleasures of life. A jog in the evening light, a square of rich, dark chocolate with a strong coffee, a good book to enjoy after a productive day, a moment of quiet as the birds sing…
Want little and you are rich. You can have a lot of money and possessions, but if you are always looking for more, you are not as well off as she who has little but is satisfied. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.
Be grateful for the life you have. Every day is a gift, not to be full of deadlines but to be savoured and appreciated, spend time enjoying it, not devouring it.
See life as a garden, not a road. Where we go matters less than what we notice.
- get much more done in far less time
- eliminate the hassles of life once and for all
- feel better, not just emotionally but also physically
- become closer to others who matter
- make and keep more money
- be a true professional
- communicate more effectively
- get on the path and stay on it
- substantially increase the quality of your life
- become solution focussed, no more complaining about what’s wrong …… which ones are your reasons for choosing coaching today?
Last month at this point in time many of us were putting the finishing touches on our lists for the New Year, focusing upon goal-setting and trying to implement one step at a time. Now by the middle of February, many people are feeling overwhelmed and fatigued, unable to move ahead on their game plans.
So how about shifting perspective and start making “to be” lists before making “to do” lists? Each morning before beginning your daily activities, you can create your to be list and write down what you wish to express throughout the day. You could choose to be organized and efficient, spontaneous, compassionate, daring, reflective … the sky is the limit, and you hold the power to choose whatever is most appropriate for you in your own context.
After you have committed this to paper, next write down on another list what you wish to do as this person. Not only will this practice help you reconnect with your deeper values, but it will also produce positive emotions and renewed energy.
Going towards our highest ideals is key to maintaining motivation and enjoyment along the path in the journey of self-improvement!
In the compelling and powerful words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, often quoted as being the founder of the Positive Psychology movement, ‘Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transfer adversity into an enjoyable challenge.’
In his book FLOW, the psychology of optimal experience he tells incredible stories of how prisoners-of-war survive solitary confinement by creating mental challenges to control consciousness during unbelievable adversity. The more stressful the situation, the more important it is to define challenges to move towards.
What about you? When situations in life are somewhat out of your control what goals can you create to challenge yourself? Sign up for a 10km charity run, self-publish that e-book that’s inside of you, go down a dress size…
More words of wisdom from the man himself, ‘when adversity threatens to paralyze us, we need to reassert control by finding a new direction…, a direction that lies outside external forces.’
What goals can you put your attention on to counterbalance rising stress levels, discover happiness and improve the quality of your life?