Precious metals and jewels are generally not found on the surface. There is a lot of digging and excavation that has to happen to get to them. Then, there is additional shaving and cleaning and sifting that happens to finally get to a clear piece of material. It can be exhausting and excruciating but rewarding in the end.
When we become angry or lose hope or feel like we’re never going to be happy, we have to remember that we, too, have precious things on the inside. Somewhere, deep down in our soul, there are things we know are the most important to us, things we want to do, and the types of people we want to be around.
Maybe we’ve just settled over the years into what has become comfortable and those feelings have been buried.
We have to have the courage to dig down deep and unearth these feelings and expose who we really are.
They might end up becoming the jewels that bring us the rich life of happiness we’ve always been searching for.
How many times do we look at others and think these sorts of questions…
What’s their life like?
Why are they here?
What led them to this spot?
Are they really happy?
How often do we wonder what others are doing? How often does the curiosity peak?
It’s easy to imagine what others are going through and create stories to make our assumptions seem real.
But how often do we turn those questions back on ourselves?
How often do we pause and question where we are at?
It’s always easier to look away from our situation and judge, critique, and imagine how others’ lives are going.
The harder thing to do is let others live how they live and use that energy to focus on where we are hurting or where we are feeling anxiety and frustration in our current state. It’s hard to look in the mirror and judge the person looking back at us.
But, turning those questions back on ourselves can open up a new dimension of clarity and lead us on a clearer path toward better decisions and better answers to these questions.
Answers that, if we work to change for the better, ultimately make us happier day after day.
Greatness is hard for an individual person to conclude on their own. Although we might be able to lay out several areas that are worthy of the answer we can often skew the results with what we want to consider our “strengths” when they may not exactly be that. Ego gets in the way a lot.
If you want to know what you might be great at, ask your closest friends. Pick 3 for starters.
Ask them “if they had to pick the one thing they feel you are great at what would they choose?” This can be any number of things like writing, listening, compassion, organizing, etc. There are no wrong answers.
When you start to see patterns in your friend’s responses you can lean into their answers and start to discover where the truth lies.
We may not want to always admit or accept what others see as our great attributes but respecting the results of our close friends will get us on a path to happiness much quicker than going about it alone.
Try it and see how different their responses are from yours. You may save yourself a heck of a lot of time not going down the wrong path.
We all deal with stress in our own way and I’ve found that most of the “dealing” is rooted in childhood behaviors and situations that are not going away any time soon. There is hope though that you can change those behaviors and become a person who can deal with stress much better or whatever challenges you’d like to overcome.
I got to thinking about this with a work situation today when I was trying to get some information to a potential client and was waiting on others to finish their side of it before I could send it over.
In the past, I’d get anxious and be stressed out if things were taking a bit too long. I’d be checking emails or refreshing salesforce or whatever to help me cope and feel like I was at least checking and would be ready to pounce when needed. This was rooted in a lot of childhood issues I dealt with around wanting to make everything perfect because I was always fearful of being judged and not being good enough. I was always someone to go above and beyond in many situations especially when it was with people I didn’t know because of this need to make a good impression. Not a bad thing, I guess, but I’d get stressed and worry a lot. As I got older, this worry continued to transpire into my work and always having that fear of judgment in the back of my mind I’d bend over backward to get things done so quickly.
I still like to try and get things done quickly, that’s just how my personality is and I have a hard time sitting around when things aren’t complete. However, I recognized that it didn’t make any difference for (insert a given task) to be done 2 days earlier, for example, and therefore I became much better at prioritizing and staying patient.
What I have come to understand is that I need to prioritize very quickly the tasks coming across my desk and make lists / time stamps on when these need to be accomplished. If urgent, then let’s get it done but if not then don’t fret so much if it’s sitting there to do in a couple of days. This is where the patience comes in. One of my best traits I’ve learned as an adult and it transfers to many areas especially when dealing with stress and getting things done. It wasn’t always this way but as I prioritize things more clearly I don’t let my mind get cluttered anymore with focusing on it and I move on to the next important item.
The big step to make all of this possible was to address those feelings as a kid that I had to please others and look good in their eyes or I wouldn’t be worthy enough. Although I am continually working on this, I’ve all but conquered that tall mountain. My self-confidence is at a high level and I’ve come to grips that I’m not perfect and will never be. I’ve realized that if I am true to myself and the others around me that’s all that matters and I can hold my head high that I am living the life I want. Trust me, this took many years to work through and it’s a continuing process.
Here are the steps I’d go through and still do:
Sitting in thought and reflecting on my past
Have the self-awareness to recognize where I need to improve
Have the courage to make changes, slowly if necessary, to move in a better direction
Keep checking back in with myself and repeating this process to build a more solid foundation
There is no “easy” button, that’s for sure, but dealing with stress and anxiety and worry has been a big issue in the early part of my life and I made a commitment to change this, among other things. It took time and patience but I had a vision for where I wanted to go and trusted the process of getting better every day.
One last thought, I’d encourage a read of the book “Awareness” by Anthony De Mello as a starting point as it was a welcomed addition at the right time and helped a lot in these areas above.
I hope my story helps you in whatever areas you are trying to improve and please reach out if I can be a resource at all.
It’s a new year, a new decade, and a clean slate to get it all right this year. “This is going to be my year”, It seems is the type of thing we say to ourselves each orbit around the sun. Why will this year be any different? What have you learned in the past 12 months that will make you believe you can change?
We all have aspirations at one time or another to break outside of our comfort zones and explore new ideas or endeavors. Then fear sets in and the excuses start to flow on why we “Can’t” do it. Just like a butterfly that landed on your shoulder, it’s there for a second before the idea fleets from your mind. All too often, that isn’t the last time we think about it. It continues to pop up at random with no regard for the timing of it all and the longer it goes without being acted upon the fear generally turns into regret. A disappointment of what could have been. Arguably, one of the worst individual feelings one could have.
I have a hunch that as you are reading this there is something festering inside that you want to accomplish but for whatever reason, you haven’t taken the leap of faith yet. Whether it is the smallest action or the biggest idea we all know that overcoming the fear of starting can be quite challenging. Let’s try to get started on it before the chance of regret from not trying can even weasel its way in.
I think I have the key that will unlock that door for you. It might be quite literally the simplest action you can do but could end up being the hardest. Because it involves self-observation and accountability for your actions.
Think of all of the reasons or excuses you can come up with as to why you can’t get started. You can write them down or just think of a couple in your head. They probably seem legitimate and you may even be able to convince yourself there is some truth to them.
Now I’d like you to try something.
Simply change the “can’t” in the sentence to “won’t” and see how that sounds.
Here is an example:
I can’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
I won’t go to the gym because I don’t have time.
Which one stings a bit more and why?
“Won’t” does sound a whole heck of a lot worse because it’s a choice. Can’t is final. Can’t has some boundaries. Can’t is a line in the sand that we are not able to cross.
But won’t, that’s a different story. That’s personal. That’s a direct reflection on you as a person, what you prioritize, and how you want to live your life. You are making the conscious decision to not do whatever it is you want to do. You are standing in the way of it happening. You are your own worse accountability partner.
This simple exercise on reflection can fundamentally change your perspective on what you are trying to accomplish and get you in the right frame of mind to accomplish it. I’m not saying it’ll work out every time and you may find instances where you confirm that this isn’t the right path. It’s okay if that is the outcome. However, most of the time, it will allow you to take a deeper look in the mirror and help you gain perspective on why you are scared to do this in the first place and what you would really lose (if anything) from trying.
We all have fear and doubt. We all overcomplicate things. We all worry about stupid shit that is ridiculous and mostly meaningless.
It is the perspective shift that is needed in order to overcome these obstacles and start moving forward. Please keep it simple and believe that you can do it. Once you alter your perspective and start improving your mindset it can open up a lot of doors you never imagined possible.
Now get out there and crush 2020!
The Surprisingly Simple Way to Make Sure You Start In 2020Brian Ondrako2021-03-19T10:41:55-04:00
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