Maybe in some way, you are like me.........
Every day I used to wake up caught in the grip of a anxiety attack. Usually it was because I was worried that I didn't have enough clients and wouldn't be able to pay my bills and obligations. As a Realtor, I spent days, hours and months running the tires of my car hoping and praying that the next trip to show a property would lead to a sale that would close. Looking back I realize now just how much time I wasted worrying that I wasn't doing enough, doubting my sales abilities, and beating myself up over others negative actions. On top of my Realtor stress I also had a night job to pick up the slack and a mom whose health was failing due to Alzheimers Disease. I was too busy to enjoy life, sick and tired, and at my wits end. I had to make some changes so I started my quest for a better way and my journey to a happier, more balanced me. I studied qith some amazing mentors and combed through hundreds of books, audio modules and programs. I worked until I found just the right one that resonated with me.
I wasn't able to quit my second job right away but since it was quiet during the wee hours of the morning, I leveraged that time to study. And study I did! I read, listened and studied. I practiced and learned through trial and error. I am still learning and tweeking and improving daily but thus far I have compiled at list of 10 things that will, if your practice them until they become habit, help you be happier, more well-balanced individual.
1. While it's ok to save for the future and be prepared somewhat (like having fire alarms installed and insurance paid and in place) understand that all the preparation in the world does not and has never guarenteed that you will have that future you are stressing over. We allow our minds to stress so much worrying about the what-ifs and how-do-I aspects of life that we forget to enjoy the ONLY day that we truly knowingly have- TODAY! STOP IT! Today can't wait because it will not be here tomorrow. Make time to celebrate your life as it is today.
2. Your fears are not more important that your dreams! Think about this. How many things do you put off because "you can't or won't do" because the thought of doing that something scares you? You are letting the "what ifs" and the " I can'ts or shouldn'ts" steal your dreams and that just isn't right. YOU ARE ENOUGH for everything you desire. Don't let that F-word (fear) waste your time and block your dreams. STOP IT!
3. Do not worry about others opinions. You are only responsible for what you say or do. You cannot control what others think or say so don't take things personally. Not everything is about you. We don't always know why others say or act the way they do so don't own their actions, own your own.
4. When you are upset with someone and in danger of complaining-STOP IT! Say something positive instead- even if you don't mean it!! Make this a habit.
5. Follow your natural instinct to smile and be happy. Some of us may have forgotten what it feels like to smile and be happy, but with practice it will become natural again. For times when smiling might be difficult, take a step back and think of something that makes you smile. We all have something that made us laugh or smile at some time. Find your silly, happy thoughts again and use them!
6. Give thanks and practice abundance. Stop thinking and acting from a scarcity perspective. Abundance breeds more abundance. Gratitude multiplies blessings for the one who is giving the gratitude. It is easy to see what you don't have because it causes us fear and pain. That gets your full attention. You can counteract this with some persistance and practice. Instead of saying or thinking about what you do not have or what you need, take a hard look at all you have and say thank you. (i.e.Thank you for the car that gets me to work, the roof over my head, my family etc.)
7. Most people think that their thoughts are important when in fact it is only when we still our mind that we can best hear that small voice we really need to hear. All those negative thoughts that keep coming up in your mind are really just "thought farts." As crude as you might think this sounds, if you don't have conversations with your farts why have conversation with some mental or emotional bubbles that are coming to the surface for release? The bulk of our daily thoughts are negative, reoccuring preprogrammed habits. Whenever one of these thoughts comes up at that ever inconvienant time, simply say "cancel" "pass"or "thank you for sharing" and think a positive thought to counteract it. When practiced enough, this will reset your mind. It will train you to be more aware of your thoughts and help you overcome the ones that do not serve your better good.
8. Be yourself!! Normal is relative to the a persons experience and perspective. I think normal is really very boring. What is normal to some can seem really odd to others. So why prematurely age yourself trying to keep up with the norm when you can celebrate who you are by being your "authentic" you. Don't remember who your authnetic self is? Step up and create your own reality. Train others how to treat you. Be kind and compassionate but they don't own your life and you don't own theirs. Define your own normal and be happy with who you are.
9. Simplify your life. I will blog more about this subject later because it is really quite important. Actions can be accomplished one step at a time. But so often during these singullar steps we get distracted and next thing we know we our once purposeful single steps become staggering to meet expectations which becomes running to keep up. At some point when we realize whats happened, we find that we are doing our best to keep up with what can be best described as a cross between a dead-run and double- dutch skip rope act! We are old, exhausted and wonder where life has gone. Simplify by starting with your clutter. Start with your bedroom and clear out the things that no longer serve you. Be brutal and honest. If you havent used it in 15 years or it is still in its original package five years later, then get rid of it. You can't miss what you didn't use. Once you are happy with your bedroom, move to the next until your home makes you happy again. Next simplify your days. Stop making a list to do that is longer than what can be done. Write down everything you want to do. Then prioritize. Cross off things that can wait and bring the things to the top that are truly important. Focus 100% on getting task #1 done. Once that task is completely done, move to the next task. Don't be afraid to delegate and ask for help. Why is it we think that all tasks are solely ours to do? Let others be responsible as well. Be sure to include something fun or relaxing to do each day on your list.
10. Be, Do, Teach. Learning helps us grow. Just like our body needs exercise, our brain needs exercise as well. Our daily job may put our brain to the test but there's nothing more satisfying than learning something that makes YOU happy. You are the author of your story and if you can put a great twist in your story with some new knowledge then life won't ever be boring. Put aside time everyday to learn. If you tend to get stuck in traffic during your daily commute download audios to get your daily learning curve. If you need some quiet, me time, then invest in a kindle or books. Take your quiet time in a reading spot that is peaceful to you. What's even more amazing about the learning process is the benefit you will see when you not only learn it, but then you implement it into your life and then when others ask you what you doing, you teach them to as well. Life is amazingly satisfying when we can make a difference in others lives. Like Mahatma Gandhi said " you must be the change you want to see in the world."
When I review this small list of 10 actions, I realized that there is so much more that could be added. I think one of the most important pieces of advice I got was DO WHAT YOU LOVE!! Of course you may have to suppliment your income with your regular job until what you love kicks in a bit but why waste time working to make someone else money while you barely make ends meet. Don't get me wrong, many people love what they do and live happy lives without the change. But if the 9-5 isnt working for you, consider making a change!! Do not let fear stop you. The biggest thing to remember is that you really are the author in your life. Bad things will happen but it is completely up to you how you choose to react to them. You can live a life half-empty or you can live a full life. You can choose to never see the great things in your life by covering them with all the things you do not have. Choose to see the best of every situation and thereby lessen the pain of the lessons and changes we must go through in life. Celebrate abundance or celebrate lack, the choice is yours to make.