Running in Circles

You probably know what you want to change in your life, but maybe you’re not open to change, or you’re stuck in a loop.

You want to change, but can’t seem to accomplish what you said you would, or you don’t know how to make it happen.

Maybe you do things, but it’s not working, and you don’t know what to do differently.

You might be too afraid because you know your own limitations, or it’s impossible because you would destroy everything you’ve built so far.

You’re running in circles. If only you could take action. You don’t feel like it though. You’re too tired. You’re afraid. You can’t. Your boss won’t let you. You have bills to pay. And you have 5 or 10 more very good reasons not to.

Changing something is a lot of work, and nobody feels like doing it. And there’s the difference between someone who’s running in circles, who feels stuck, and someone who does it anyway and makes things happen.

I know. The life you created makes you feel trapped and frustrated. You want something more.

The only antidote to running in circles is action. You’re in charge, and you can do the hard work to make your desires come true. Take action when you don’t feel like it, when you worry you can’t, and when everyone says you’re crazy.

Listen to that little twinge and stop running in circles.

The Next Avenue

When you comment on a post, your ideas sometimes meet with something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Like Mark said on “Can This Work for Me“:

I too am guilty of rationalizing away the solution all too often. And you nailed it! Because it takes me outside of my comfort zone. So I just give up and look for the next avenue.

You see, I read tons of books (and that’s the problem), but I get frustrated because I’m not retaining the information I’m reading. Science says we remember only 10% of what we read. Even so, with 10% of everything I’ve read, I should be pretty close to hitting Nirvana! I should be the happiest, fittest, healthiest, most organized person in the world!

Unfortunately, I’m far from having completed this feat. Which is a good thing in a way, because I can continue to grow, but it’s also frustrating because I feel like starting over and over again from ground zero.

My frustration is caused by my hunger for what Mark calls “the next avenue”. I read the book, implemented a few of the things the author prescribed, and then forget about what I’ve learned because I’m reading another great book, from which I take a few tricks to make my life better, and this loop just goes on.

There’s a lot of good information. My problem is I want to have the best information, and use it to grow into a better person. So I’m still chasing “the next avenue”.

One solution I found for this never ending chase is to re-read books that I find have the most life changing information.

Taking notes is tedious, but the rare time I did it, and went through them a few times were when I made the most progress.

Another solution is blogging. It has helped me retain more information and put it into action.

I guess it’s only a matter of getting into the habit of taking notes, re-reading, and blogging. But there’s always this teasing voice telling me, “what if this next book has what you’re looking for?”…

 

 

Doubts

It can be daunting to doubt your own thoughts and decisions, and other people’s actions and ideas. To doubt means to have feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something. Even when that something is proven by facts, science, and unfaulted logic.

When you chronically doubt yourself, you create a loop of low self-confidence that leads to more self-doubt. When you lack confidence in your own decision, it’s because you are afraid of making a mistake.

A great way to combat self-doubt is to experience the very thing you’re doubting. It’s in no case a quick fix, will surely take some time and efforts, and there will be plenty of challenges along the way because doubt is perceived as some kind of safety. You’ll have to remind yourself that it is okay to make mistakes because you’ll learn from them, and grow because you’ll have survive the experience.

The more experiences you create to battle your self-doubts, the more confidence you’ll build, which will also create a loop, a positive one that is.

In short, self-doubt is another fancy word for fear, and the only way to fight fear is to have the courage to face it.

 

Blame and Responsibility

There’s a huge difference between blame and responsibility. Blame doesn’t have acceptance connected to it, and it suggests that someone is at fault. What’s important to understand is that people who tend to blame will look for anything that is not in line with their rigid beliefs.

Blamers hold on to inflexible belief systems, and they feel threatened when you do things that question their small thinking.

When everyone agrees with one another on these belief systems instead of developing our thinking to consider new beliefs, we stay stuck in the inadequate belief model.

Being blamed for something makes you feel guilty. Instead of letting the feeling take hold of you, try to understand the other person’s belief, and chose to let go of the guilt by giving back what belongs to the blamer in a loving and caring way, and taking responsibility for what belongs to you.

Taking responsibility simply means you acknowledge you have not done the best you could. You know you’ve made a mistake, but you forgive yourself, and do everything you can to fix the mess you’ve made.

The compassion you use to taking responsibility gives you power, confidence, and lets you grow better beliefs. Your new beliefs will help you express positive intentions, and search for the best solution when a challenge is presented to you.

It’s hard to not blame other people, and when we do, it’s time to look at our own set of beliefs. Maybe they’re great beliefs, but they simply do not align with the other person’s beliefs. If that’s the case, understand the dichotomy, and share compassion with the person about her challenging and frustrating problem.

 

Can this Work for me?

You hear or read something that would be empowering if only you didn’t try to find a scenario where it didn’t work. Or, someone tells you exactly how you can change something you’ve been struggling with by sharing their stories, but noooo! It wouldn’t work for you, your situation is way too different.

You do this because your focus is not at the right place. You focus on the problem. You know the problem with rich and vivid details. You can explain it with precision. This habit keeps you from focusing your time and energy on what’s important: the lesson and the solution.

When you’re in the known, even if it’s painful, you feel secure. A solution would make you go into the unknown, so you fight it. You find the one reason why it wouldn’t work, you explain it in details, instead of just trying the solution. What’s the worst that could happen if you tried it? And an even better question would be, can this work for me?

I’ve done this too often. Sometimes, because my focus was on the problem, but other times because Mrs Ego was in the way. I thought that I could solve my problem by myself without anybody’s help. Instead of trying the other person’s solution, I would shake it off using all kinds of excuses.

Have you done this, and how do you fight the urge to discard a good solution or something empowering?

 

 

Excuses

Excuses are stories you tell yourself when you’ve failed at something and you want to feel better in the moment instead of feeling the pain from the failure. When you tell yourself excuses, you aren’t learning anything.

Yes, it’s hard to admit you made a mistake, but it’s making you grow so much more if you do. The realization and self-reflection that results from staying in the moment without making any excuses is the best way to make yourself grow into a better person.

When someone uses an excuse to explain why he/she failed, you might encourage them in their story. That’s probably because you don’t want them to feel ashamed for their mistake, and instead of exposing them out, you pretend to believe their lame story.

Helping someone to realize and learn from their mistake is a hard task. But if you are true to ourself, and you practice being in the moment when you screw up, you can guide that person in doing the same thing. You have empathy, and you know it hurts, so you’re more able to help that someone through realization and growth from their own mistakes.

Excuses exempt you from your responsibilities. They give you permission to behave badly, to make more mistakes, or to repeat the same mistake over and over.

When you make up excuses, you live in a parallel universe where reality is distorted to prevent you from feeling discomfort.

Assuming your mistakes will free you from guilt, make you stronger, and will always make you a respectable person. You’ll become more humble and real.

Everyone makes up stories about why they took this decision, or made that mistake. What’s yours? How can you turn it around to tell yourself the truth?

Your Dream Life

It might be easier than you think to make your dream life come true. You may believe you need millions of dollars, more time, or better health to achieve your desired life, but I’m sure that if you stop for a few minutes, and let your heart tell you what kind of life you really aspire to, you’d be surprised how easily accessible it is.

We make things bigger than they really are, and by doing that, we believe we can’t be, do, or have the things that make us light up. To counteract this false belief, I like to sit down regularly, and write about a simple day in my dream life. It helps me to make better choices, to have the courage to do bold things, and to make the appropriate sacrifices.

It’s also a good assessment of my current life vs my dream life. It emphasizes where the gaps are, so I can adjust my current life to have more of what my dream life is made of. It also shows me where the two lives unite, making me so much more grateful for everyone and everything I have right now.

Here’s a little excerpt from what I wrote this morning. This is not my first draft. Before it was perfect for me, I wrote lists of things I wanted in my life, I extensively tried to understand my core values, I deepened and acknowledge the stronger traits of my personality. I knew I hated it when things kept coming back in the many lists I created.

My dream is to wake up every morning to the sound of the birds singing, making coffee and drinking it while watching the amazing view outside of my home, and starting my day knowing I have no obligations but to make this day the most beautiful, passionate, and happy I can possibly can.

I’d then get dressed to go outside for a walk with my husband, letting my mind wander, listen and comment on the beauty of mother nature, and how grateful I am for who I became, and for everyone and everything I have I my life.

When we’d get back home, we’d have a healthy breakfast, talk about us, about what we aspire to be and do, look into each other’s eyes and say how much we love one another, as if there’d be no tomorrow.

Mornings are when I feel the most creative and energetic. I would unquestionably go straight to my studio, or pack my painting kit on my motorbike to explore my land, and find a nice place to paint. Each brush stroke would illuminate my eyes, make my heart race, and fill my soul with happiness.

In the afternoon, my choices of activities would vary between playing music with or without friends, go see friends or family members, cook healthy meals for days ahead, sell my paintings and everything that’s involved with that business, ride my motorbike or paint some more, exercise, learn new skills, and help someone who really needs it.

My evening would be relaxed. After a healthy dinner with my darling, we’d talk some more, make love, and I would read a great book before going to sleep.

Although I’ve let out many (personal and financial) details, you can get the essence of my dream life. It’s not complicated, it doesn’t cost millions of dollars, it promotes good health, strong relationships, and passion. It’s in perfect harmony with all my core values.

My brain has a clear image of my desires. It sees and analyzes all the opportunities that can make my dream life come true. All I have to do is listen, and act on the (electric) impulses, or messages, my brain sends me, making the gap between both lives get smaller every day.

Best of all, I’m already living many elements of my dream life. This reassures me;  I don’t live in the future, and I savour the present moment.

Does your brain know what kind of life you really want? And are you listening?

How to Get What you Want in 5 Secondes

Ok, maybe not in 5 seconds, but I really want you to read this. It can change your life.


This week, I’ve watched a Ted Talk that inspired me so much, I want to share it with you. It’s called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over from Mel Robbins.

It always bugged me that even tho we had all the information (blogs, books), the networks (social medias), the circumstances (welcome the 21st century) to change our lives, and change the world, we still didn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand why.

Mel says it’s because we say we’re FINE. We’ve convince ourselves that we’re fine not having/being what we want.

She also says that we snooze off all our fantastic ideas that pops-up in our head all day long. The same way we hit the snooze button in the morning when we don’t want to get our of bed.

One more reason why we don’t do what we have to do to change is that motivation isn’t happening; we’re never going to feel like doing something hard. Changing requires a truck load of energy, and the only way to go is to FORCE ourselves into action.

Her trick to outsmart our brain to make us into the extraordinary being we out to be is the 5 second rule.

The moment you feel an impulse to act on a goal, start counting backward from five (5-4-3-2-1), and physically move immediately. Write down the email, walk to that girl and say hello, pick up the phone and make the call, get dressed and go to the gym.

It works with bad habits that you want to change too.

The concept isn’t new, it’s just framed differently from what you’ve already experienced… Remember… You’ve got to your knee in cold water, in a lake or a river, and you can’t get yourself to dive in, so what do you do if you don’t want to look like a pussy? You count 1-2-3-go!!! And you dive 😛

Mel explains why and how the 5 second rule works, and she also wrote a book about her nifty little trick that will be out on February 28th.

Have you heard about the 5 second rule before? Have you used it without knowing (please share examples)?


P.S.: I hope you had a laugh at the picture, and that you returned the grimace!

Don’t Rely Solely on Motivation

Because motivation is unreliable, you shouldn’t base your success strategies on it. Yes, it can sometimes help you get your ass off to the gym, or make you work on your side project. The problem is if you depend on motivation to get things done, or to accomplish your goals, you might end up achieving nothing because you have no control over when it’s going to hit you.

Motivation is simply a desire to do something. Often, when motivation strikes, you hit Google for instant gratification and an overload of information instead of working on a simple task that would bring you closer to success. Indeed, doing only 10 push ups is 100% better than watching 10 videos about the best workout in the world.

What about getting motivation from a reward, an external source? Looks like this is a poor route to take because as soon as the reward is removed from the equation, performance decreases.

A reward can also shift your focus from the task to the motivator (reward) when you need to use more brain power. Therefor, it reduces your accomplishments. However, it can work great for very simple or repetitive tasks where you don’t need to think.

If an external source of motivation won’t get you to do what you want to do, it’s time to take a look inside yourself, tap into this abundant resource some call drive, passion, self-discipline, or self-motivation. You can build strong self-discipline by starting small. You’ll still get a reward, but the reward will be your accomplishment. Progress, and the simple act of completing something are going to be your awesome rewards.

Are you a motivation addict? I know I used to be until I understood the simple distinction between external motivation and self-motivation. I can now rely on motivation to start something (see the big picture), and use self-motivation to accomplish my goal.

Thanks for reading, and take care!

Have Fewer Rules

Rules are an important component of our society. There’s the written rules. Those rules are in the books of law of every country. There’s also socially accepted implicit rules. Those are the rules you follow when you’re in public spaces, at your friend’s house, or with your family. And then, there’s your own personal set of rules, they’re your creations based on your values.

The written rules are reinforced by the law enforcement, and there are specific punishments for each broken rule.

Although, there’s no one appointed to the job of making sure the socially accepted implicit rules are followed, you’ll know when you’ve broken one as you’ll get punished by society in some form.

One of the best punishments -and my favourite too- is to ignore the bad behaviour. In most cases, when someone breaks a social rule, it’s to get attention. Pay no attention to the behaviour, and the person will feel stupid, and won’t break the rule any time soon.

Your personal rules are reinforced by you, of course. You create your own set of punishments when you don’t follow your own rules. Shame, blame, and calling yourself stupid are some of the most popular. As with most types of punishment, it’s not very effective. If punishment was all it took to make us follow the rules, there would be no crime, and we would all be perfect beings.

What if we had fewer personal and close relative rules? Instead of playing law enforcement with our kids, we could give them values. Instead of having conflict over a trivial rule we set with our significant other, we could passionately love each other. And instead of declaring war to our parents, sisters, or brothers over some meaningless rule, we could have the best time of our lives together.

The more rules we have, the greater the chance they are going to be broken. And if we set too many rules, we become rigid, vulnerable, and brittle.

What are some rules that aren’t important that you could let go?