Tag Archives | expectations

Don’t Believe Everything You Think…

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Most of the thoughts we have aren’t even our own. So why do we believe them?

We like to believe that we’re thinking for ourselves, but when we delve deeper we often find that many of our thoughts are really the thoughts of our societal and familial influences; advertising, media, education, parents, peers and partners.

And even when they are our own, they can be warped by fear, by preconceptions, by expectations, by surroundings, or by our feelings in the moment.

So when we have a thought, maybe we need to think about whether or not we should believe it.

And if it doesn’t feel right or true, just say “Next” and move onto the next thought – make no mistake they will continue to come without any intention on our part – until we arrive at a thought that feels right, that serves us. Not that indulges us, but that resonates, that rings true, and authentic.

This week try to sift or filter your thoughts and let the ones that truly aren’t yours to just float on by… 

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Changing Your View May Lead You to Solutions

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“The voyage of two landscapes lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.” -Proust

 

Seeing with new eyes involves viewing things with a clean slate. Drop pre-concieved ideas, discard past results and failures, release expectations and question assumptions and habits. It’s hard. It’s hard to let go of what we know, but it’s necessary if we truly want to open our minds to new and creative solutions.

Some quick, but important questions to consider…

How can I see with new eyes?

What do I need to see with new eyes?

Maybe everything…

Do I really want this career I’m in?

Do I really want the stress and pressure of being self-employed?

Am I being the person in this relationship that I really want to be?

Have I created the situation I’m in?

Am I’m making assumptions?

Am I placing the blame on someone else where I bear responsibility?

What are my expectations?

What do I truly want?

Is this healthy for me?

How could I think about this differently?

How might I act differently?

The answers just may surprise you if you take the time to honestly open your eyes in a new way…

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A Flexible Mind = A Successful Mind = A Happy Mind

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How flexible are you? Your mind, not just your body…

The DailyOm has this great explanation of mental flexibility and it struck me how inflexible I can be at times…actually most of the time…

Flexibility is the capacity to bend without breaking, as well as a continual willingness to change or be changed in order to accommodate new circumstances. People with flexible minds are open to shifting their course when necessary or useful; they are not overly attached to things going the way they had planned. This enables them to take advantage of opportunities that a more rigid person would miss out on. It can also make life a lot more fun. When we are flexible, we allow for situations we could not have planned, and so the world continues to surprise and delight us.

I tend to have rigid plans and rather specific expectations…and I find it very difficult to accept and appreciate new possibilities when the road swerves into the unknown. I certainly could do with a bit more flexibility and I am not alone.

It’s one of those things that really can’t be practiced, instead it has to be allowed. That makes it very scary. We don’t like things we can’t control, but ultimately our clinging to inflexibility is really what is controlling us and in leaning toward flexibility we will find freedom…and a lot less stress.

What about you? How flexible are you? And do you think that’s good or bad?

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A Better Life is Within Your Reach…The Mission Begins…

Let's Do This!What if someone told you that you could change the quality of your life just by making one small change each week. Would you do it? I mean who doesn’t want to have a better quality life – live better, work smarter, be happier and all that goes along with that.

Well, this year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, along with hopefully many of my “reader friends,” (yes, that’s you.) We’re kicking off a yearlong series of weekly mini-missions, (we’re all busy after-all,) broken down into manageable chunks – smarter choices, actions, steps we can take improve the quality of our lives one week at a time. Practical. Do-able. (If you’re thinking you’re life is already pretty good, I challenge you to raise the bar!)

Here’s the thing: I bet quite a few of us know what we need/want to do to have the lives we envision. We’ve heard the experts, read the tips, seen the studies, bought the books even, but we already have so much going on…and there’s just so much information and advice out there. It’s just too much…too much to take on.

The more we learn about goal achievement and change, the more we discover that our greatest odds of success are achieved when we make small incremental changes in our lives and build, build, build.

The problem is that for many of us that path to growth, (personal or professional,) seems too slow. I don’t know about you, but I can be very impatient, I want change NOW. But, that said, I think you and I are both smart enough to recognize that it’s wiser to use the strategy that works…even if it takes longer, than to find ourselves in the same place week after week, year after year…because significant change takes too much time and energy.

Let’s bite the bullet and get it done…week by week, bit by bit, we can make those small changes that are standing in the path of a Better Life…a Better You…and a Better Me.

Over the course of this year we’ll tackle things like –  Health and Wellness( Fitness, Energy, Stress,) Money Management,( Earning, Saving, Financial Stewardship,) Developing the Potential of Your Mind,(Attitude, Shifting your Mindset, Expanding your Knowledge and Skills,) Cultivating more Positive and Meaningful Relationships, (Deeper Connections, Better Communication, Expanding your Social and Professional Networks,) Organization and Time Utilization (Focus, Organization, Action, Planning, Being Productive, Follow-thru,) Fulfilling Worklife, ( Success, Rewarding Career, Balance,) Responsible Living (Environment, Community, Contribution,) and Life Juice, (Joy, Happiness, Passion, Creativity, Fun, Gratitude, Meaning and Purpose.)

You don’t have to tackle them all of course. Pick and choose…take what you need…try what you like, but as with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. (I’ll be doing it right along with you and I can’t wait to compare notes…)

*Speaking of notes…Got ideas, problem areas or requests for what you’d like to see in upcoming weekly missions, feel free to drop me a line or post on our Facebook page. (Just joining us…Find all of the Better Life Mini-Missions here…)

Now, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, Danielle LaPorte…

Life’s Too Short, Let’s Do This

Mission #1:  Rest…Sleep…Zzzs… Let’s figure it out once and for all.

There’s a reason this appears on nearly every list of goals, resolutions, things to do, habits…because it’s the foundation of everything else we do in life…and most of us are still doing a terrible job of it.

It’s not just about getting more sleep (we’ve heard that before,) it’s about knowing the best sleep solution for us personally. The problem may very well be that we don’t really know how much sleep we need, or what sleep pattern works best for us, let alone how to get it.

This week take the time and effort to figure it out. Don’t make any other changes. Just experiment with how much sleep works best – make it a priority just for this week. The good news…not everyone needs the often-recommended 8 hours, many do just fine on less, and some actually need more. Moreover, it might not even be the amount of sleep; it might just be the pattern or timing.

Tactics to Try:

Go to bed 30 minutes early – you’d be surprised at what a difference it can make.

Squeeze in a 20-minute nap during lunch.

Shift your sleep pattern – For example, instead of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 6, try going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 5:00. You might be able to get more done in the early AM anyway.

Trouble falling asleep? Try some wind down tactics – do some yoga, stretching, meditate, read a boring book, whatever calms your mind.

You know the drill…avoid caffeine, alcohol, news, electronics, and work close to bedtime…

There are many over the counter sleep aids that might help – natural and pharmaceutical. This may be a temporary solution, especially if you’re going thru a stressful time.

If you’re truly suffering from insomnia or chronic poor quality sleep, this is the time to make an appointment to see your doctor. Prescription sleep aids should be a last resort…but that said…you have to sleep. And a sleep study may uncover an underlying issue.

Sleep really does affect everything from attitude to weight to productivity to brain function.

We are just now discovering that sleep deprivation actually shortens our life span!

Just experiment. You may actually not need to change your sleep habits as much as you think.

This will not be easy for me…and it may not be so easy for you. My days are filled and I imagine yours are as well…and when I do get down time, I really want to decompress and read (my favored leisure activity,) but in all honesty, I need the sleep more.

So let’s give a try…you and me…

What are your sleep issues? Obstacles? Do you know how much sleep you need? Can you remember a time when you felt well rested?

Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

(Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…)

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Why a Clean Sweep Just Might Be The Key To More…of Everything

Photo by Jesse Gardner

Some great year-end advice…

Every once in a while I get the urge to just dump everything…well almost everything… that I’m doing and clear the decks. Just sweep them clean. Create a blank slate on which to write our aspirations, goals and dreams. We get so tied up and bogged down in everything we have on our plates; projects, commitments, habits, that we have no room to breathe. No space to experiment. Not even the tiniest crack in our schedule to stop and think.

Do I truly care about the projects I’m involved in?

Why am I doing this again?

Do I really need to do that thing?

Here’s the harsh reality. If you haven’t made any progress on those goals you set earlier in the year, you need to question if they really matter.

Now take a deep breath and let them go. Make room for new goals, fresh ideas, creative projects.

What would you do if only you had the time?

It’s almost a new year, time for a fresh start.

Time for some house cleaning, both literally and figuratively.

Originally published December 2011, but relevant and worth a re-print while I enjoy some much needed down-time with my family.

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