The other day my 7 year old son came to me and said it hurt when he moved his leg in an unusual way. I looked at him, wondering why he would want to move his leg that way and replied, “Then don’t do it.” He seemed happy with the answer and walked away.
I immediately thought about how often we do things in our everyday lives that cause us pain and we continue to do them, usually without thinking about it.
This is one of the many ways we lead comfortably uncomfortable lives. We think it’s just “the way things are” without questioning anything. This is how we sleep walk through life.
Do any of the following sound familiar?:
- Saying yes to every other request people make of our time, knowing that we’re already over-scheduled and stressed.
- Living without a daily schedule or routine and wondering why we can’t get much accomplished and being frustrated about the whole situation.
- Spending money on things we want but don’t really need and wondering why we can’t make ends meet.
- Blaming the other person for our unhappiness in a relationship which only causes the relationship to further deteriorate.
- Eating and drinking crap and wondering why we have no energy or can’t lose weight.
- Allowing our monkey mind to convince us that we’re not good enough or don’t deserve a better life, forcing us to play small.
In order to add more happiness to our lives, we need to slow down and notice all the painful things we do to ourselves and consciously make different choices.
Frequently our monkey mind is there to tell us why a different choice may work for other people but it just wouldn’t work for us.
The monkey mind is also the master of limiting beliefs telling us why we’re not good enough for great things, why we don’t deserve happiness, why we can’t do things that others can. Obviously it’s all a bunch of BS but we let the monkey rule our lives all too often.
It doesn’t take long to look around and find people in situations much worse than our own who have made different decisions and taken different actions leading to the results we want or much better. Actively doing this is a great way to burst our bubble of resistance to change.
You are not your mind. Your mind is trying to keep you safe and any change seems like a threat, even if it really is in your best interest.
A different choice may initially seem painful but that pain comes from steering yourself out of the giant ruts you’ve created in your life. The deeper the rut, the harder the turn.
Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that could happen?
You might just bring a little (or a lot) more happiness into your life and move yourself closer to living your dreams.
For the remainder of the day today, notice what is causing pain in your life.
What are you frustrated, stressed or angry about?
Pick one thing and ask yourself what decisions you made to put yourself in that situation. You may not be able to control other people or situations but you made a choice to be where you are and act the way you do.
What thoughts are keeping you stuck? What will happen if you make a different choice?
Now make a new decision. A new choice.
What is one small thing you can do differently that might lead to a more favorable result?
If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, stop and make a different choice.
Where are you making a different choice in order to bring more happiness into your day and your life?
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Living intentionally means being present to the moment, living your values and ending up where you intended to be, living how you intended to live.
But there's no way to really do that unless you have thought about where you want to end up and how you want to live. It's the "how" part that we all seem to forget about.
In this list of 100 Things To Do Before You Die, you'll be challenged because you won't just be thinking about your adventures. You'll also be thinking about the ways you want to grow, learn and give. This gets you focused on the "how."
Go ahead and dive into this list, and if you want the full 100 Things, get them here at Wishing Well Coach, a blog for people who want to have more fun and do what they care about at work.
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