January 13, 2012

When You Hate Your Life, Do This To Turn Things Around …

It’s another day. You are lying in bed looking at the ceiling wondering why you are in the same place that you were in yesterday. Not physically (same bed, same apartment). But you are in the same relationship you were in yesterday. You are in the same financial situation. You are in the same job, earning the same amount of money working with the same people. It was the beginning of a new week/year and you vowed to make a change. But here you are. Lying in bed. And nothing has changed. And you are beating your head against the wall wondering “Why can’t I stop doing nothing”

I’ve been there brothers and sisters. And I believe the answer that most people would give is: It is easy.

To do what you are used to doing takes very little effort. You are on autopilot. When you are on autopilot you are running around in a daze. Life is a series of waves that you have set yourself up in. And if you keep doing nothing the waves will keep pushing you around.

If you want to change your circumstances, it is a different story. Now you can put your arms out and change direction any time you want. But that requires effort and work.

So here is my gift for you today:

Three Simple Steps to live “Stop Doing Nothing”:

The goal today is to start simple and small. No massive actions lists or overhauls. Big changes come from small changes.

1. Analyze a single day of your life to see which parts bring you the most joy or pain. Make a list of three of them.

Here is a sample list of life areas which need review on a regular basis: health, friends, work, social, hobbies, family. Look at these and pick out an activity in each of these areas to find one or two things that fill you with joy. On the flipside you can also analyze these areas and pick out the three things that bring you the most pain, frustration, envy, hate, anger, or depression. Be honest with yourself.

2. Look at these three things and ask yourself how you can do more of the good ones and less of the bad.

This is the hardest part of this exercise and will require deep soul-searching. Doing more of the good things is the easiest part of it. But doing less of the bad may require some major overhauls in your life. You may have to break off an intimate relationship. You may have to stop hanging around with friends who do not lift you up and inspire you to better yourself. You may have to quit your job. One of your issues may be health and you may have to overhaul your diet or enroll in an exercise program.  And you may have to cutoff family members. Please look deep inside your problems and address the reality of your sadness or laziness. Most people address the surface issues but rarely take a hard look at themselves to see what really makes them happy or sad.

3. Put this list in several prominent places where you’ll see it multiple times every day.

Once you have a good list of three things that you want to do more or less of, write or type these on a single white piece of paper. Make several copies. Then put this is list in places where you’ll see it multiple times a day. If you only make a list on your computer then you have to actively open the file or look at the image every day. That is not good enough. You need to see this list when you wake up, are getting ready for work, are getting something to eat and when you are driving to work.  You should also put a copy close to where to where you have your focus all day long. That may be in your cubicle, next to your computer monitor or as the screensaver on your smartphone.

Start taking an active role in planning and running your life.

Do not let things run on autopilot because you will end up in places you don’t want to be.  Actively managing your life will get further faster. I promise.

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