Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Permanent Habit Changes (PHC) Doing The Things That Matter

Everyone wants the feel-good, quick-fix, get-it-done-yesterday pill. I want one too. Often. 

However, here's the problem: Even if we had the pill the immediate issue would be resolved but our fortitude in dealing with said issue will have been cast aside. The reason some things in life are more difficult than others is because life is trying to teach us a lesson at that particular moment and unless we train our emotional infrastructure to deal with a particular load, we are doing ourselves a disservice by seeking instant gratification. Furthermore, life will continue to teach us the same lesson until we get it. If you are noticing patterns of various issues in your life, I guarantee those patterns will continue until you change the actions taken when dealing with those issues.

Toddlers cannot walk with grace and ease, they struggle, and in doing so develop the heavy-duty muscles that will serve them their entire lives. If you find you are dealing with a particular issue repeatedly in life, this is a sign that you haven't learned your lesson yet. I don't know what that lesson is. Only you can tell and in order to decipher the universal messages of success or stagnation, you've got to get attuned with what's working AND what's not working. Most people can quickly and definitively work out what's not working. Period. Notice, I didn't say "success or failure." Often the terms are deemed opposites. They are not. Failure leads to success. Success is rarely sustained without failure.

In order for us to get aligned with our lives and have elements of our lives run smoothly, we must engage what IS working. There are some things you are doing right. Focus on those. Study them. See why they are working? Are you able to give more time and energy to those elements? Consider spending 10 minutes a day writing down what's working in your life. Are you healthy? Breathing? Not living in a country where war is at the door? Consider yourself blessed and start counting how many times life just keeps giving you things without you ever having to ask for them.

There are portions of our lives often out of balance, and that's a good thing. 

I worry about people who try to constantly get their lives "in balance." Those of you who are hoping to one day get in balance can take a opportunity to answer this question: What happens to water when it is balanced? Stagnant water goes stale. Perhaps the solution then is to not seek this mystical creature of balance and attempt to harmonize ourselves with the bits of our lives. Sometimes your relationships are in perfect working order, and your finances are down. Other times you have your work life sorted but your spiritual life is out of whack. How do you know which of these elements is harmoniously working or causing you anguish? 

We must analyze our habits and our selves to see what we repeatedly do. How often are we on automatic pilot? Only by tracking our lives can we begin to see the patterns of behavior that lead to the results we have in our lives. Tracking is crucial part of growing up and be willing to take responsibility of one's own life. This means being accountable for the good things as well. Very quickly people will deconstruct themselves and consider "everything a mess," when in fact, only 1-2 elements need attention and realignment.
More importantly, focusing on what's not working perpetuates the "what's not working." Why not make an effort to feel good about what's happening in your life? I am sure there is at least one good thing to feel good about. If you focus on this, and begin a gratitude journal where you list 5 things you are grateful for each day, you WILL notice a difference. Your attention will shift and you will begin to see how you can affect change in the areas of your life that require a different strategy.

Everyone can say "this is broken;" very few people will tell you to focus on the repair or look at everything else that works. Even more so, what about tracking the habits of your life? What about wanting to go from point A to point B? How do we shift the mindset that shifts the action that shifts the results? 

Through small, almost minuscule but permanent habit changes.

Everyone wants to change the world. No one wants to take the time to change the habits they have developed that are at the cause of their current quality of life. If you don't like where you are in life, move. You are not a tree. Consider tracking you life and color-coding the various elements, distinguishing one from another and allowing to more easily track where your time (energy) is going. To find out more about deliberately planning your life, sign up here with Thinker Extraordinaire, LLC. None of us are born knowing how to set up our lives on purpose. Most western cultures scoff at those who are disciplined in their planning, marginalizing these people as "extreme", at best. Why? If a normal human being decided to wake up 2 hours earlier than normal every morning to plan their life, people might think that person odd. If Jason Statham does it, all of a sudden "It's OK, he's a professional actor" and the "eccentric" now is embraced someone who works to maintain professionalism. I am the owner of Thinker Extraordinaire, LLC. I started this business from the ground up and here we are 8 years later and perhaps we are doing something right. I know, because I track my success. This is my planner, a red, Filofax Deskfax.