So, how is your life? Are you happy with how it’s going or do you wish some things were different? Do you know anyone who is happy with how their life is going?
I don’t know about you, but nearly everyone I talk to thinks that their life could be better. Some people think that their life totally sucks while others feel that it could be better in certain ways. I must admit, I’ve been in both these places but, right now, my life is going OK. Who knows how long that will last but for now, it’s doing OK.
So, I’ve got another question for you; if you’re not happy with your life, what would you change about it? Are you prepared to make some changes?
You see, until you know where things are going wrong and how you want things to be, nothing can change. You need to know what’s broken before you can fix it. When I first did the following exercise, I realized that not everything was as bad as it seemed; I was letting the bad stuff taint my view of every area of my life.
The first part of this exercise involves setting aside a block of time, preferably when and where you won’t be interrupted. Everyone is different but start with an hour; you can always go back to it if you need more time. Equip yourself with paper and pen, water (this could be thirsty work) and your favorite music playing in the background or complete quiet if you prefer.
Let your mind wander over the different areas of your life; jot down thoughts and feelings as they come to you. Examine how you feel about your work, home, family, relationships; what you eat, drink, play, drive; how you spend your free time; things that don’t seem fair or right; things that make you smile or angry or sad. The more notes you make, the more things you will think of to write down. Don’t edit anything; just let your thoughts and feelings flow freely.
When your brain stops coming up with new stuff, put down your pen and take a few minutes to calm and collect yourself. Drink some cold water. Now, read over what you have written down. As you go over your notes, you might come up with extra stuff to write down; you might find that some thoughts were not accurate; you might even cross some things out. Continue to let it flow until you feel you have an accurate resume of how your life is, at the present moment; maybe you might even start to get some ideas of how you would like it to change.
When I did this exercise, I was surprised how very tired I was when I finally stopped writing. This was because I had just dumped all my concerns, worries, fears, stresses and hates, all at the same time. I tell you, I felt pounds lighter. I also found I felt better able to look carefully at each area of my life and see the real picture there, rather than how my stressed brain had been interpreting things that were happening in my life.
Now start a fresh piece of paper and write a heading for each area of your life. List the things you don’t like in that area, the things you would like to change and the things that are going well. Against each point, write any thoughts that come up as to how you might change things for the better. As you work through every area of your life, you may start to see a pattern emerging and may even be able to cross-reference different points. This is what happened for me; I found that if I changed A in my work life it would make B in my family life seem better.
Don’t be worried if you don’t immediately come up with any ideas for how to change things for the better; you have set your mind on the right track and you’ll be surprised at what you think of in the next few days and weeks. You may also be surprised at what opportunities present themselves in the next little while; you have started on the road to make your life better and solutions will start to appear around you.
So you now have a list of areas that you want to change. Some things will be able to be addressed immediately, others may need time and there are certain to be some things that you cannot change in your life. You may have to accept some things that you cannot change and it is important that you do so. It might be possible to limit the negative effect these things have on your life but continuing to fight against something you cannot change is just a waste of energy and will adversely affect all areas of your life.
Start with a couple of small changes in your life; don’t try and change everything at once. Allow time for the first few changes to take affect before moving on to something else. As your life starts to change for the better, you might need to re-evaluate where you are and how things are going overall. One small tweak in your life can have a ripple effect over everything else.
This exercise is going to present you with some challenges. How you view these challenges will determine how you deal with them. A challenge can be seen as an opportunity or a problem; see each one as an opportunity to change your life for the better rather than a problem to be overcome. You are much more likely to find a solution if you see it as an opportunity; this is the positive approach.
It has been said that how you see your life is how your life will be. If all you see are problems, your view of life will be negative and problematic. If you see challenges, your life will be full of amazing opportunities to make changes and create a better life for yourself.
So, like I asked already, how is your life? Do you need to make some changes?