Life is hard. Especially when you feel like you don’t have control over the outcome. The day to day grind can break you down and desensitize you until one day you realize with a jolt, “This is not what I want!”
I follow these principles when I find myself paralyzed:
- Set an expectation or goal
- Be forward moving (demonstrate intention and effort)
- Take a risk
- Learn from mistakes and reflect
- Apply new information
- Acknowledge any progress or improvement (no matter how small)
I also keep a weekly log (different from my journal) that answers these questions:
- What did I do well this week?
- What did I learn this week?
- What (behavior/attitude) would I like to work on or change for next week?
Other questions that I frequently ponder are:
- What do I want to contribute to the world?
- What am I doing right now? Why those things?
- How are these things helping me reach my goal? (It’s important to remember that just because something isn’t directly related to your goal, doesn’t mean it is irrelevant. For instance, getting a manicure once a week might seem frivolous, but if it helps put you into the right frame of mind so you can go out and conquer the world, then it was worth it!)
- Who am I connected with right now? Why them?
- Is there anyone else I want to reach out to? Who would it be? Why? How will I do this?
Below, I’ve compiled a short collection of ideas, quotations, and exercises that may help you create motion and lead to a more fulfilling life, one that you forge from developing your own joys and values. Life is going to happen regardless, but you do have power. If you don’t like something, change it! (*I’ve noted the sources I can remember. Others I had written in my journals for years. The original authors’ names are lost to me.)
Questions for consideration:
What do you want your life to look like? (What role will family, friends, work, pleasure play in this vision?)
What can you not NOT do?
What is holding you back? (And what are you willing to let go of?)
How do you want to spend your days?
- List your passions (everything you love). These are not your goals, but rather, how you live your life. My life is ideal when I am _________.
- Compare the items and determine which is most important. Identify the top 5 passions.
- Rate on a scale of 1-10 how fully are you living that passion today?
- Set markers so you know when you ARE living your passion (and choose in favor of your passion when you have a choice).
- Face fear and pay attention to what you have already accomplished.
List all the things you “should” do. Then identify why you haven’t done them yet. Is there a pattern holding you back from doing these things? What is it? If you want to change the pattern, what can you do?
List all the things you want to do. Then identify why you haven’t done them yet. Is there a pattern holding you back from doing the things that bring you joy? What is it? What can you do to change it?
From Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
There are three main avenues on which one arrives at the meaning in life: by creating work/doing a deed, by experiencing something/encountering someone, love. Experiencing can be as valuable as achieving.
Live as if you are living for a second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.
From You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
The subconscious mind accepts whatever we choose to believe. We choose our thoughts (and our thoughts become our reality).
From The Holy Thief by Rav Mark Borovitz
We can’t rely on others and we can’t blame others.
There is a difference between essential pain and voluntary suffering.
Addiction is a hole in your soul.
From Eat, Drink, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert
“What’s your word?”
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
From As in Heaven, So on Earth by Rabbi Ezriel Tauber
Attain congruence between what we believe and the way we act.
Eat, but know what to eat, how to eat, and why you are eating.
From The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey Jr.
Don’t make too many commitments.
Strive for continuous improvement.
To raise the level of performance, you not only need to strengthen the driving forces, you also need to remove the restraining forces.