Tag Archives: self-awareness

Overwhelmed by Work:What’s Too Much?

  • Someday Lesson: Unless you know exactly how long your to-do list is you can’t make objective decisions about what to work on.

Valentin.Ottone on Flickr.comSince December is Planning Month on Someday Syndrome let’s tackle a Someday Challenge that’s planning related. Specifically let’s look at Angela’s problem with being overwhelmed with everything she has to do.

Angela suffers from I’ll Get Around To It Someday. She knows what she wants but can’t seem to find the time or energy to follow through. She says “Someday I’ll find the time and energy to fulfill my dreams.” The thing is she’s not very specific about what those dreams are. When looking one year into the future however, she’s much more specific saying that she will have implemented some of her programs, have produced the show she wrote and be able to support her children financially.

The problem is that she’s so overwhelmed by the normal anxieties of life that she can’t see clearly. It seems to be so much stuff that she’s paralyzed by all the stuff. She moved her office in-house so that she could work on things 24/7 but that hasn’t worked which isn’t surprising. Bringing the office into the home is likely to create more anxieties not fewer. Without a clear separation of work life and home life the stress and guilt of working or not working 24/7 multiples exponentially. Every moment at work outside of regular hours takes away from family time and every moment with the family is one less moment striving for the work-related dream.

In our go-go-go world this sense of paralysis is common and it’s something many people suffer from. It happens when you allow your to-do list to get longer and longer which results in panic and paralysis.

Angela mentions anxiety at all the day to day stuff. That especially happens when you keep it all in your head – it builds and each item seems unrelated to anything else. As well, as I said working on things 24/7 is not the best way to get things done. I take plenty of time off and I’m one of the more productive people I know. I focus on relaxing when I’m not working and when I do work I don’t fritter because I know I have time to relax later.

So what does Angela need? She needs a plan. She needs to know what she’s working on when. However, she can’t create that plan until she knows exactly what she wants to work on. Yes, in her one-year-in-the-future vision she hints at what she might work on now, but the ideas are still very abstract. They’re results, not actions.

When looking into the future, it’s important to focus on actions. Outcomes are great, but they don’t motivate well because they leave a gap between the current state and the future outcome. That gap can only get filled by action.

Taking Action

And what actions does Angela need to do? What actions do you need to focus on if you want to achieve your dreams? How can you choose any one thing when there the to-do is longer than a line up to buy U2 concert tickets?

You might just pick one random item and work on that. Or you might pick the top three things that have reached crisis mode.

Or you might take a bit of time to plan out your actions, which first requires some research.

In this case, research doesn’t mean going out and looking up information or talking to others. For this type of research you are going to interview yourself. Using a blank piece of paper or a new document on the computer, write down the numbers 1 to 100 (if you’re using paper, you might need two or three sheets). Now fill in all 100 slots with everything you do during the day – both work and non-work related. Don’t forget as well those things that you want to/feel you should get done but haven’t gotten around to yet.

Why? What will Angela get out of overwhelming herself even more? How will this exercise help you?

Right now Angela feels overwhelmed by all of her to-dos. These to-dos however are only in her head. Just like in last week’s Someday Challenge, Angela needs to clear her head of the overwhelm and getting it out on paper does just that. Plus by giving yourself a goal of 100 items you’ll likely have a hard time reaching the goal and you’ll realize that you don’t actually have as many things to do as you thought, taking off some of the pressure.

By emptying your head of your to-dos you’ll also be able to look at all the items objectively. When they sit in your head they all seem equally important and necessary.

What Next?

So now you have a list of items that you do (or want to do). How do you take this list of actions and turn them into a plan that works for you, gives you time to relax, and moves you towards your dream?

You prioritize, delegate and delete items from the list. You whittle it down until it fits into a schedule that’s manageable and comfortable.

And no, it’s not easy. In fact this sort of Someday Challenge paralyzes many people.

You need help. You need the outside objectively of someone who isn’t so intimately connected to the actions, someone who can help you decide priorities and what doesn’t really need to get done after all.

You can get that help by filling out a Personalized Someday Assessment. It takes only a few minutes and just might mean the difference between being overwhelmed and being happy.

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A State of Self-Awareness: What Goals Do Your Actions Serve?

  • Someday Lesson: Without self-awareness, personal growth won’t happen.

Elizabeth/Table4Five on flickr.comMost people think that getting over procrastination involves a famous slogan that politely tells us to get off our collective asses and start working – just do it.

However, it’s not that simple. If you don’t know why you procrastinate or what goals, desires and fears are working in contradiction to one another, no amount of just doing it will produce any results. Since understanding comes from self-awareness, for the second exercise in the ebook I’ll Get Around To It Someday, I asked the Lab Rats to monitor themselves for a few days looking at what actions they took and what goals each of those actions served.

Now, when I say “goals” in this instance, I don’t mean the thought-out planned goals. I mean the unconscious outcomes that we bring about by letting our actions just happen without conscious choice.

For example, I know that I have a tendency to fritter when I really want to be highly focused and that frittering serves a goal of avoiding hard work. That’s a part of who I am and that avoidance is just as much a goal as getting a book published one day. You can see however, that these two goals contradict one another, but by being aware of them, I have learned how to manage them so that they don’t interfere with each other.

The Lab Rats, however, haven’t reached that point yet. They’re at the awareness stage and this week we look at what goals they drew out of the exercise.

The Wrong Maze

Before we get started though, a side note. I wasn’t sure how many of the Lab Rats would actually get through this particular maze I set them, so it came as no surprise that two people decided not to enter it. Nor did it surprise me who were the two non-maze-runners.

First was Helen, whose life is more or less how she wants it and is highly busy, tracking her workday down to the quarter hour. Shoehorning in another tracking project to her already busy schedule was just not going to happen. But that’s okay – in Helen’s case I’d ask her to stop a moment before starting any task or choosing any piece of food throughout the day. And that question is:

How does doing this make my life better?

By asking herself that question, she creates self-awareness for all her actions but doesn’t need to actually track it. And if she asks it for everything she does, it will become a habit and will help her stop making less-than-healthy choices.

Who else didn’t submit? Marie – the dissertation student who admitted last week to a full-on procrastination problem. Marie knows what the problem is: she’s self-sabotaging due to doubts about her future, but like most normal people, she has no interest in facing this self-sabotage. Asking Marie to track her actions for a week asks her to face her self-destructive behavior full-on and honestly that’s not going to happen either – nor will it be very effective in curing her of her procrastination. Much better to let it go for a week and continue on with other exercises, coming at the problem from a different angle.

Now let’s take a look at what (positive and negative) goals our other Lab Rats pursue on a day to day basis.

Johnny

Johnny would like to set his days as mornings for work and afternoons for planning his career. Unfortunately the career planning part holds a lot of uncertainty and fear, so he creates other activities to distract him from actually getting there.

His conflicting goals are as such:

  1. Find a career he’s passionate about.
  2. Avoid the huge knot of emotions the first goal generates.
  3. Get work done enough to feed the family.

Despite not really wanting to work at the last goal, the “feed the family” part is usually enough to get him moving on it even if he takes a long time to get around to it.

With the first one however, right now the protective avoidance keeps him from pursuing his passion. In his original notes to me Johnny confided that this sort of behavior happened regularly in the past – he would want very much to accomplish something but would procrastinate about it so much that he wouldn’t get it done.

Think of it as the little boy who has a crush on a little girl, but since he can’t deal with the overwhelming emotions concerning the girl, hits her and teases her instead of talking to her.

Joyce

In looking at the goals served in a typical day for Joyce, one major issue jumped out at me. Almost every single one of her goals serves obligations and not desires:

  1. Pets’ wellbeing
  2. Family’s wellbeing
  3. Son’s education
  4. Business obligations
  5. Networking
  6. Joyce’s education
  7. Obligation to her body’s pain
  8. Obligation to her nicotine habit
  9. Friend’s wellbeing
  10. Desire to write

Obviously Joyce cares about the well-being of those around her; but in a typical day, almost all of the activities she does for reasons other than personal desire. Yes, Joyce chooses to smoke, but after many years of doing so her body has created an obligation – if she wants to feel good during the day, she needs to smoke. The (unhealthy) obligation is to her body’s cravings.

Only her own schooling and her writing speak directly to her needs and often she reaches the end of the day too tired to write, so even that goal doesn’t get served.

In last week’s worksheet however, Joyce didn’t mention a lot of these obligations because they are things she chooses to do and wants to do – which is great – but they don’t serve her needs directly[?] – which is not so great.

As we move forward with Joyce we’ll look for ways for her to find more time for her private goals.

Michelle

Michelle tracked a whole week and discovered that her actions are completely governed by the needs, wants and reactions of others. It wasn’t a heartening realization for her, but an important one. It means that Michelle will likely make faster progress through subsequent mazes because a few small changes will likely produce rapid results.

An obstacle I do foresee for Michelle, however, is one that a commenter on a post last week discovered – that family doesn’t appreciate changes, even if the changes are better for everyone in the long run. Because of that Michelle will face a good deal of pushback from people who are used to how she is just as she is.

On a positive note, Michelle is so poised to make big changes in her life. Her comments show a high degree of self-awareness. She knows what she needs to change – she just hasn’t done it yet. Once the mazes give her a few decision-making and choice-making tools, she’ll just start plowing through the changes into the life she really wants.

Kristin

Like many people with nine-to-five jobs, Kristin spends very little time at work actually working. That often happens for people who work in a time-based business world. Instead of focusing on results, employers look at time put in at the office.

Looking at her schedule, Kristin felt ashamed for not getting more done, but acknowledged that this is the point of her signing up to be a Lab Rat – to implement the changes.

She also realized that some of her goals serve the needs of other people who may not even care if she helps their goal and may even prefer that she work towards her own goals first and not focus on the needs of others so much..

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Magical Time Management: The Real Way to Cope

DerrickT on flickr.comNine years ago, I was sitting in a small lecture theatre at Lancaster University, with a group of other young, naïve postgraduates. We were all young, fresh-faced and standing at the bottom of that mountain known as doctoral studies. To assist on our largely mysterious journey through academic research, we were put on various courses intended to give us guidance to help us survive. This would be not unlike Gandalf offering Frodo a few tips for navigating the smoking plains of Mordor on his quest to deposit the ring into that volcano.

So far, we had had three lectures in this series. The first was on time management. The second, organized by a tutor new to the course, gave us a talk on time management. Standing brightly before us, the woman from the Sociology department informed us that she would be giving us a 45 minute talk on… time management.

It still took me five and a half years to get my doctorate, given all that focus on effectively managing my time. I spent three years teaching undergraduates how to do things that in reality, they would never consider, like going to the library and actually being sober. I was a total nerd: a real expert as an undergraduate at planning my time and ensuring that I had plenty of time to research and write my essays.

We used to teach standard tips, like keeping a timetable, to-do lists and such. Whenever I sat in front of my students for our yearly session on “exam revision and time management”, I could see in those keen – or at least moderately compos mentis – faces the truth that there was no way they were going to actually do anything I suggested. I was reminded of Arnold Rimmer in the series Red Dwarf, and his beautifully painted revision timetables.

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about time management. It was harder when I worked full time, studied full time and also managed to write nine big fiction books over the course of about two years. I just put my head down and worked solidly, I recall. Writing fiction was a break from writing up my research and working. Perhaps the single most important thing I learned in all the years of study, work and writing was that time management is a very personal thing indeed.

You need, to start with, to know whether you’re a morning or a night person. It’s no good all these people saying you should get up at 5am if you’re the kind of person who goes to bed at that hour. We are naturally built to do different things depending on the time of day, and it isn’t the same for everybody. The most effective forms of time management are flexible, and take into account the fact that you have good days and bad days, hours when you’re going to be great for deep concentration and other times that are perfect for physical activity. Although if you work for somebody else, a lot of your day ends up being planned for you, fitting your own activities around that will depend on your own knowledge of yourself. I could have woken up at 5am to write my thesis every morning before work, but I’m at my most creative at night, so I worked late into the evening instead.

Perhaps the oddest thing about time is that the less you have, the more efficient you are. I wrote far more when I was balancing full time work and study with writing fiction. Of course, that couldn’t last because I wore myself out, but creating balance is essential. If you have hours of time every day where you can do anything, you’re likely to end up doing nothing. You get wrapped up in the idea that you have “plenty of time” and it’s more difficult to get on with things that need to be done.

I now run a business so I have a lot of control over my time. It’s perfect, but I know if I have no plan, I won’t do anything. So I schedule time around gym classes when I’m at home. Knowing myself well, I get things like the Amnar podcast done at the beginning of the week and edit in batches when I’m not with my business adviser or working on other things. The real magic behind time management, you see, is to know all about yourself, what motivates you and how and when you work best at what. And to change things around, any time you get bored.

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Sailing the Someday Ship: Andy Hayes Interview

For the last interview of National Clock Month, I’d like to introduce you to Andy, a Someday client who went from a job he hated to working for himself and being one of the leaders of the groundbreaking Location Independent Professionals Roundtable program. With (several) new businesses on the go, let’s take a look at how Andy handles the clock…

Andy HayesWho: Andy Hayes of Travel Online Partners and Sharing Travel Experiences
Andy is a travel industry entrepreneur, working with small businesses in travel and tourism to help them with online technologies at while also a prolific travel writer, published author, and editor of a popular travel website.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
Just one? 🙂

Before working full-time in the travel space I was working in a technology job inside a very large corporation and I was the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Days and nights became a real struggle and the issues I was having with not being satisfied at work started to bleed over into my personal life as well.

I pretty much went into meltdown, dreading getting up every morning to face the day. I was working on a few small writing projects which was my only glimmer of hope for the future. But I was stuck – frozen into position – so deep in an emotional well that I couldn’t see the forest from the trees. Pretty soon it felt like nothing in my life was going right – which in some ways was true, because I was letting the bad situation I was in control my every move.

It didn’t feel like a failure so much as it all just felt like “what’s the point?” I was very negative and not a pleasant person to be around!

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
At the time I didn’t know. I think in retrospect I had hoped that in those depths of despair would come clarity, or at least someone to come along and say “hey, what about this?” Which is kind of what happened…

Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
I didn’t – at least not on my own. I got help. With Alex providing a unbiased and clear outsider perspective, I got a huge push to start getting realistic and start doing something to change! It was a pretty fundamental shift of thinking for me – a touch as light as a feather but that’s all I needed to stop looking down at my feet and start looking up at a way out. I had to make a plan ASAP to leave the job I was in, no matter what. I ended up handing notice in about 2 months later.

It’s appropriate timing being Time Management month as it’s really taken a lot of exactly that – well-managed time – to make things happen in the speed that I wanted them to. I needed out, FAST. So I had to make every moment productive. I mean, I was still working a full time job I hated and yet wrote an entire book in three months that was published in August. Crazy. I couldn’t have done it without (emotional) help though.

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
I’m now well on my way to a successful small business owner, doing stuff that I love and working with people that I enjoy immensely. So I couldn’t be happier. Looking back on events that aren’t more than 6 months ago, it’s hard to believe I was the same person.

I remember the event very clearly that was when the shift happened. It was one of the Someday Syndrome exercises where I had to describe my future. I described it in detail but I’d also peppered it with a few blocks – things I thought would never happened. But once Alex asked some hard-hitting questions, that’s when the walls just came crumbling down. All of that negative energy started flowing and turned into positive energy to support positive change.

It’s still not easy, and again on the time management thing, at times I think I’m busier than I was before. When you decide to take your life into your own hands and live more, it comes with strings attached. You’ve got to take decisions and make things happen.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
I was obviously playing into the Someday My Ship Will Come In, but now I’m on board and sailing. However living your dreams can be a pretty busy experience, so I sometimes get overwhelmed with the detail and fall into the I’ll Get Around To It Someday trap, unable to prioritise and instead choose nothing. I have lots I want to achieve but never seem to give myself enough time to do it. A razor sharp organisational scheme is a must have. A tip for someday readers: From a good to do list, to lots of shiny email folders – whatever it is that you need, get it and use it.

Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
Well I’m still working with Alex to keep focus and get some perspective as I go through so much change. I’m trying to stay realistic so that I can make sure I’m doing what’s important and not just doing stuff because I don’t want to do something else. It’s hard because with such a radical life change you find yourself occasionally trying to do things based on the old paradigm, and I don’t want to end up back in “that space.”

Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
Don’t be afraid to get help. Help doesn’t mean your weak – it just means some outside perspective. Even strong people need that. Smart people thrive on feedback. You need someone who will be honest with you, though, and someone who will follow-up with you and challenge you to aim high.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
A good dose of patience for me is all I need, so I can have the clarity of mind to make sure I stay on track to my ideal future dreams.

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A Life You Can Believe In: Kicking The Boredom Habit

The following is another guest post by Jane Matthews.

jeremybarwick on flickr.comTo mark anti-boredom month, my last guest blog looked at how many of us tend to confuse tiredness with boredom. We think that it’s our lives-on-the-go that are exhausting us. When what’s really wearing us out is the effort of keeping ourselves going in lives we no longer really believe in.

We’re boring ourselves.

The remedy for exhaustion brought on by boredom, as the poet David Whyte says, is not rest but wholeheartedness. Following our passions, chasing our dreams and believing in our own potential for happiness and fulfilment.

But when boredom has become a lifelong habit – not only in our working lives, our homes, relationships and spare time but in our minds: our limited expectations (which we call being ‘realistic’), the way we have the same thoughts over and over again – how do we find the strength, the courage, the energy and yes, even the time, to shift it?

‘Life-changing’ is a claim we hear so often – especially from the stars of reality TV programmes – but the truth is that for most of us, genuine profound and lasting change is more likely to be an incremental process. We embark on a programme of review, exploration, personal growth and one day, a year or two down the line, we’re looking at the notes we made in an old journal and it sinks in : life has changed beyond all recognition and it wasn’t even painful.

So in that spirit of taking one small step after another until we get where we want to go, here are some small ways in which you can shake yourself up, shift that boredom cloud, and remind yourself how many possibilities are out there, just waiting for you to look up from your life…

Energy gains and energy drains

“Anything or anyone who does not bring you alive is too small for you.” from Sweet Darkness by David Whyte.

We’re back to David Whyte again for more wisdom on lives worth living. Grab a notepad and draw two columns. In the first, write down all the things, the responsibilities and the people that sap your energy. In the second, the things that bring you alive; that absorb you to the extent that you lose track of time.

Be honest. No-one has to see this. You’re allowed to admit you hate your well-paid job or you find playing with the children mind-numbing at times.

Do a mental audit of how much time in every week each column represents. And work out what you need to do less of and more of in order to bring them into better balance.

Win the lottery

I can’t give you the winning numbers, I’m afraid. But maybe, just possibly, you don’t actually need them.

Working out what we’d do if we suddenly won a massive amount of money can reveal a great deal about what’s missing in our lives and what it is we seek. The chances are your list will include a whole lot of ‘stuff’. But what lies behind the powerboat and the round-the-world-trip and the time-off-to-write-a-book? Is it adventure you’re after, or creative fulfilment, or a more authentic life?

And once you know that, what’s stopping you from seeking out those things in other ways now? I ask that question as someone whose lottery list included an item on leaving the marriage that I’d outgrown almost before the reception was over. It was salutary to realise that I was using lack of funds as an excuse for what was really stopping me: fear of being alone and of admitting I’d failed at something.

Ring the changes

This is one of my favourite ways of jolting myself out of automatic – though it can be a little alarming for those you live with.

By making lots of small, safe changes in your daily life you’re sending your inner self a powerful message that you’re ready and willing to consider bigger changes. For instance, start by sleeping on the other side of the bed from your usual spot. Choose a different chair at the dining table, a different route on your way to work, match two colours you’d never normally wear together, buy a fruit you’ve never tried before when you next go food shopping, you get the idea.

And once you get used to the idea that it’s OK to feel a little uncomfortable, you might even have fun experimenting with change.

Shift happens

If our minds, bodies and spirits are intrinsically connected, then what effect does dragging around all the detritus of life have on us? You know the stuff I mean: a bootload of things you never brought in after your last day out; kitchen cupboards, some of whose contents are five or more years past their use by date; hundreds of old files on your computer you’ve never got around to deleting.

That computer is a good example of the effect all this baggage has on us, as surely as all those downloads slow your processor to snail’s pace. So choose something to overhaul, and see what effect the clearout has on your own energy. I guarantee it will free up a little, that you can then put to much better use – on something you’re passionate about.

About Jane

Jane MatthewsJane Matthews is a writer, whose next book, The Best Year of Your Life, on how small changes can make a big difference will be published in 2010. She also runs personal development workshops in self esteem and Heal Your Life, Achieve Your Dreams. For details of these, and her other books, see www.smallbooks.co.uk. Check out her blog at http://someonenicer.wordpress.com. Or follow her on twitter @janematthews

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Starting Life Someday-Free: Bud Hennekes Interview

I love doing interviews with young people. Bud is just finishing high school and yet he has a better grasp on the whole Someday-Busting thing than many people twice his age. Of course, I felt the same way back at age 17, but I let fear block me from actually following through on any of my dreams. Reading Bud’s interview I doubt that Bud will allow himself to get blocked in the same way.

Bud Hennekes with his parentsWho: Bud Hennekes of A Boundless World
Bud is a person who’s passionate about living life to the fullest, awakening people to their true potential along the way.

Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals. Were you feeling stuck? Had you felt you failed? What wasn’t working in your life?
I stopped throwing myself pity parties long ago. When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school I ran cross country for my high school team. I was the king of pity parties.

Whenever I had a bad race I would always throw myself a pity party hoping that those around would feel sorry for me. I threw pity parties but no one came.

It took a while, but I eventually realized that pity parties did more harm than good. You see when you throw pity parties for yourself, you reinforce the negative thoughts that made you feel down in the first place. Never wallow in your own mistakes, rather accept them and move on.

Too often we put way to much pressure on ourselves consequently remain miserable. There’s no rule in life saying we can’t fail. There’s no rule in life saying we can’t come up short.

When you make a mistake accept that you made a mistake. When you feel bad accept that you feel bad. Don’t continually wallow in your own shortcomings, instead embrace each and every moment you have.

Even our lowest moments fulfill a need in us or express our desires. When you threw yourself that pity party, what did you hope to gain? What need did you fulfill?
When we throw pity parties for ourselves we are often under the illusion that this will make everything better. But in reality all pity parties do is prolong the recovery time it takes to return to our optimal state.

Pity parties accomplish nothing. It’s OK to feel bad. It’s OK to feel down.

It’s not OK to continually wallow in our own shortcomings for then we allow the negative emotions to dictate our life.

Feel your emotions and let them go.

When I regularly threw pity parties for myself I hoped that someone would come along and make me feel better. The truth is the only one who can truly make you feel better is yourself. Yes friends and family can lend you support ( I don’t know where I’d be without it.) but you are in control.

You don’t need to throw a pity party to feel better. All you need is redirect your thoughts. 🙂

Tell us what you did to break up the pity party. What actions did you decide to take? Did someone help you buoy your spirits? Push you along?
Whenever I am feeling down I try to accept my feeling rather than resist them. The more you resist your emotions the stronger they become.

We will all have moments in our life when we aren’t at our best but we must learn to be able to redirect our negative thoughts into a more positive manner.

The worst thing we can do is allow your negative emotions to become a part of you. When your feeling down it is essential that you seek encouragement from your friends and family. They want to help you.

I also spend a great amount of time searching for some motivational material. When your motivated you’d be surprised at how quickly your party ends.

Can you look back on that moment and tell us how you felt when you did decide to take action? What results came about from your decision to take charge and move on?
Whenever I fee like I’m about to throw a pity party for myself I close my eyes and take several deep breathes. I ask “why am I feeling like this?” This allows me to regain some control of my emotions.

Often times we act on impulse which prolongs the time we are feeling down.

When your feeling sad or depressed slow down. Take a moment to just be. Close your eyes and take several deep breathes. Simply doing so will have a tremendous effect on your mood.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m having a bad day, is to take out a piece of paper and write down all the things I”m grateful for. I learned this method from money of the most successful individuals today.

I remember specifically one day I took out the piece of paper and I couldn’t think of ANYTHING I was grateful for, so I wrote down “I’m thankful for being able to breathe.”

This really hit me as just the gift of breathing is something to be thankful for.

Sure life is often far from perfect but when you really think about it, it’s great to be alive.

Everyone has a Someday problem hiding deep inside, even little ones. What variety of the Someday Syndrome do you currently harbor? What would you like to achieve but haven’t yet?
One of my major flaws is that I continually put off happiness. “When this is done I’ll be happy” I often say yet in reality I’m simply succumbing to the happiness illusion.

The key to being happy is to be experience the moment now. I have improved in this area tremendously over the years but I still have a ways to go. As I continue to put effort into living in the moment I have found myself to be much more happier. Happiness isn’t experienced tomorrow but rather right now.

Examining your Someday Syndrome problem, what are you currently doing to resolve it and eliminate it from your life?
Right now I’m making it my highest priority to do the things I love. All too often people fill their lives with people and things they can’t stand, then they wonder why they are miserable.

It is my belief that life is meant to be enjoyed. When I fill my days with things I love, living becomes effortless. When I choose to fill my day with things I dread life becomes a chore.

Obviously there will be things you don’t necessarily enjoy, yet it is important to make a conscious effort to keep those things to a minimum.

Many people suffer the same problems you do. You’re not alone, and neither are they. What would you tell people in your situation right now to help them avoid what you’re going through?
One of the greatest problems of today’s world is we all think we are alone. The reality is that we are all connected. I am aware that may come off as a bit new age but that is a belief I have been happy to adopt.

Too often we think that our problems are unique when in fact people have been through the exact situation you have.

When we realize that our problems are not unique it becomes easier to deal with them. If you are in a place in your life where you don’t want to be, there are people out there who want to help you. Realize that you are not alone.

Be grateful. Be happy. Time heals all pain.

If you could ask for one thing, right now, to help you overcome your Someday Syndrome, what type of help would you ask for?
I would just like to know that all the effort I’m putting in to making this world a better place will pay off. Too be honest I know without a doubt that it will, but there’s always that part in the back of your mind saying ” What if?”

While there is a chance it won’t I don’t have the time or energy to waste on playing the what if game. As long as I continue to put forth my best effort in helping humanity for the better my vision will manifest. Sure I may not know the exact path but I will reach my goals.

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Do you double-standard yourself to death?

  • Someday Lesson: Failure often comes from judging ourselves more harshly than we judge others.

Recently my head has been all chaotic trying to understand selling and marketing. As much as I love doing this blog, and helping people, if I’m going to continue, the blog needs to the basis of an income-generating business.

However, I’ve always felt icky about selling, like I’m pushing rampant consumerism on people.

Fortunately I have some great mentors in this. James from Men with Pens and Naomi from IttyBiz have provided awesome advice (Naomi’s advice will appear next week here on the blog—stay tuned).

This ickiness over selling has caused a whole lot of procrastination and been a major source of Someday Syndrome for me. I don’t get around to making the blog an income generator because it would mean facing something I’m uncomfortable with and Someday Syndrome infections always like to stay comfortable.

Taking my own advice, however, includes facing the fear directly and studying why I feel icky about selling. I’ve realized it’s all about how I look at services I buy versus my own services.

I happily pay James to do copywriting because I’m not good at it and don’t want to take the time to learn to be good at it. I am very good, however, at figuring out how to cure Someday Syndrome. But instead of seeing an opportunity to help others the way James helps me, I believe that if it’s easy for me, it should be easy for others. Selling the benefits of my Someday-busting skills, therefore, would be taking advantage of people.

Fortunately I’ve come to see the obvious double-standard I’m applying to myself.

And now I can picture the services I will start offering very soon as not icky selling, but as necessary services for people who don’t have my skill sets and don’t want to or don’t have the time to spend years learning them.

Weekend thought: What self-limiting double-standard are you applying to yourself?


P.S. Over on Cath Lawson’s blog she asks if your business is your life. For me the answer is a resounding no and here’s a slide show demonstrating a little bit of the life I have outside of the business.

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