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 Kiss of Serenity

Serenity is the antonym of anxiety. It’s a state of peacefulness, where the mind and the body are untroubled. If you’ve ever experienced serenity, you know how good it feels, and I bet you’d like to get in this state much more often.

If we look at what causes anxiety most of the time, we might be able to reverse engineer it, and feel the bliss of serenity instead. When we’re anxious, it’s because we’re out of control, we’re disorganized, we’re not prepared, and we’re not taking action.

The Goal is Serenity

From my experience, I know that when I’m anxious, it’s already too late. There are techniques that can ease the anxiety– breathing, meditating, focus on the task at hand –but the goal is serenity, not to feel less anxious.

To take control of our lives, our projects, or our work, we might need to get more things on auto-pilot. That’s where habits come in handy. Good, strong habits free up you mind to let you make better decisions.

Everybody has habits. If someone says they don’t, they simply don’t realize that they have a routine. Instead of creating the habits they want for a better life, they’re letting themselves be ruled by whatever good or bad habits that would form naturally.

Getting organized is so much easier with habits. When everything is in order, and has a structure, it facilitates our lives. No more searching of your keys. No more buying stuff you already have, but have no clue where it might be hidden. No more stress because you think you’ve lost that super important report you must present in five minutes.

Being prepared for an interview, for an exam, or for a big event frees us to deal with the unexpected with all our grace. It gives us the opportunity to show our real values and character strengths. Our mind is calm, and it can deal with anything anyone throws at it.

Actions can create habits. Actions can make you feel in control. Actions are what separate successes from failures. You already know that the tiniest actions can create a giant snowball. You’ll be hard to stop once you start moving.

Have you lost your keys, your important report, and felt so anxious you started shaking from the inside? And on the contrary, have you done it so gracefully that you felt the kiss of serenity on your forehead?


Being Selfish and the Serenity Prayer

I feel I’ve been so selfish all those years. Learning all those meaningful, life changing things, and not sharing them with you for fear of being labeled as bizarre. I am bizarre, and so are you. Now that we’re even, I will share one of the meaningful, life changing habits that I have.

It’s not sexy, it’s not classy, it’s not even complicated, but it’s extremely powerful.

It’s the Serenity Prayer, which goes like this:

God*, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

I have a pink post-it on a cupboard door in my bathroom. Every time I go brush my teeth and floss, I read it in my head. Every time I wash my hands after doing what we do in the bathroom, I read it in my head.

Sometimes, it’s just words on a post-it, without direct, related meaning in my life, but other times, it takes on a strong meaning because I’m going through things I would rather not have to deal with. And so the serenity prayer has helped me accept the things I cannot change, given me the courage to make the changes, and take actions when it was right to do so.

It took me about 1:24 min. to write it, and post-it on the cupboard door in my bathroom.

*Yes, the first word is God. This word can take the meaning you want. It can be Boudah, Yahveh, the Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, or your subconscious mind. Whatever you want it to be. Don’t freak about it.

Do you have one like these?