It’s inevitable, you know.
One day you realize that everything you’ve been trying hasn’t worked. You’ve read the books, gone to the seminars and retreats. Maybe you’ve tried to work through your issues with friends and family members. You’ve journaled and even done all the exercises in all the programs you’ve bought (which only about 2% of people who buy programs actually do).
Maybe things have changed a little (or maybe not). But you still feel stuck in the same issue, swimming in circles and getting very tired.
The question is, what are you going to do about it?
You might be tempted to keep doing more of what you’ve been doing, hoping that this time it will be different. But don’t. That’s what I used to do, and I created more problems than I got rid of. Several times, my “improvements” produced even worse results than I was getting before. I couldn’t believe it.
It took a while, but eventually I learned that just because you’re doing something different doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. If you want to turn your life around, you can’t just change what you think is wrong. You have to base your improvements on objective evidence, timeless wisdom, and advice from experts.
Study What’s Working (and What’s Not)
All too often, we decide our approach is wrong because of how our life looks to us. We don’t feel as happy as we think other people are. We’re not as successful financially, emotionally and in relationships as others. We feel that our lives are lacking because of what we think our lives should look like.
Because it looks that way to us, we believe that it must be that way, and therefore, we have to change it.
The truth: no matter how successful you are, something in your life will always look wrong to you. If you allow it to distract you, you can spend your entire life chasing little, nitpicky problems, and you’ll never get to the big, hairy monstrosities that really deserve your attention.
How do you know what those monstrosities are? Easy: you look at the results in your life. Before making any changes, you should consider:
■ Past results – What have you done in the past that worked? Why? What hasn’t worked? Why?
■ Reactions – What have you done that others notice?
■ Relationships – How has what you’ve done affected your relationships? How do others describe you?
■ Feelings – Where do you feel the most stress and resistance in your body and in your life?
Study these long enough, and you’ll probably begin to see patterns of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re like me, you’ll also be surprised by how much time you’re wasting on stuff that doesn’t work and how precious little time you’re spending on stuff that does.
Easy fix though, right? Start doing what works, and stop doing what doesn’t work. It’ll turn your life around faster than anything else.
Base Your Changes on Timeless Wisdom
Of course, you can’t learn everything you need to know from looking at these results. That’s merely the low hanging fruit. At some point, you’ll want to find out what has worked for others and then try a similar approach for yourself.
Reading all the personal development advice is a good start, but you should also look outside that arena. Some of the most useful insights you’ll discover will come from books and articles that have absolutely nothing to do with personal development.
Sometimes reading fiction, fables and poetry can open your mind to new ways of seeing things. Many fiction writers are geniuses at assessing the human condition and creating ways to transform lives.
Do yourself a favor and learn from them.
Stop Trying to Figure It Out On Your Own
It has taken me most of my 44 years to figure out how to be happy. I tried and failed, tried again and failed again, looking for so many people, things and experiences to make me happy. My relationships never lasted. Everything in my life seemed temporary.
And then, finally, I got it. I felt like someone handed me the key to the magic door. Funny thing was, the key was sitting right in front of me all the time. It was like I didn’t want to see it until someone pointed it out to me.
What happened this time around?
I stopped trying to figure it out on my own. I worked with someone who had achieved much of what I wanted in life. Most importantly, I was open to their advice and mentoring.
He looked at my past, pointed out some of my mistakes, and helped me refine my ideas for a new life. It totally changed the way I thought about my life and happiness. Without my mentor’s help, I’m don’t think I’d be the Shiny, Happy Puppy I am now, or happy at all for that matter.
The truth is that sometimes we don’t see what we’re doing wrong, and we need someone else to point it out to us. It’s usually embarrassingly obvious when we see it, but we never would have noticed, if not for an expert offering us another perspective.
Of course, not everyone can afford to hire a mentor for long periods of time. So what should you do then?
Well, I hope I don’t regret this, but let me throw out an idea.
Get on the Phone with Me for 30 Minutes for FREE
You know that whole idea of giving back? Well, I figure I haven’t done enough of that lately. So, I came up with this idea:
Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to do 3 telephone consultations. I’ll get on the phone with you for 30 minutes, and you can tell me what’s troubling you about your life. I’ll then give you advice specific to your exact situation.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m going to do it absolutely for free?
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your biggest frustration right now. I’ll contact you by email, have you complete a brief questionnaire, and then we’ll schedule a time to chat.
Good then. Together, we’ll have your life un-screwed up in no time. So start writing that comment!
Congratulations to LynzM, Linda and Mary Carol for winning the free mentoring sessions! I’m really looking forward to them!
Learn how I manage three little kids, a husband, job, writing and taking care of myself - all with mindfulness. Check out my latest guest appearance: a podcast interview at Manifested Happiness: How To Be Mindful When You're Too Busy
Life is all about choices. You can choose how you approach life and all that it throws at you. Check out the latest course from End the Grind's Joe Wilner: Becoming Unstoppable. Learn how to respond to failure and use it to your advantage, grow stronger through adversity, live with more passion and purpose and grow your confidence and self-esteem.
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The Mindful Body program includes many ideas that you can use every day to avoid gaining extra weight while keeping your energy and spirits high. It’s also a great gift to share with the special people in your life.