“There are no conditions to which a man may not become accustomed, particularly if he sees that they are accepted by those about him.”
― Leo Tolstoy
Have you spent any time examining where you are in your life? What is your life like? Is it exciting, rewarding and joy filled? What is your life filled with? Have you just stopped for a moment to ask yourself “What is my life like?”
If you are just making ends meet and finding your day consumed with time-consuming activities that are not rewarding then you may be living in the neutral zone. You have the things that society says you should have. Those things require a drip feed of your monthly income. The phone, TV, house, food, insurance, car, and a myriad of other expenses raid your bank account each month. You do what you can do but at the end of the day it feels neutral. It’s not bad and it’s not good, it just is what life is. It’s not what you thought it would be like and at the same time it is what everyone else does, so it must be right.
Are you stuck in the neutral zone?
Some people are, many people are and life continues. Life becomes a treadmill to achieve which turns out to be a treadmill of advancing materialism and things. At some point people wonder if the walk on the treadmill of life has much meaning.
If you’re just getting by and are being consumed with the demands of life you might be in the neutral zone. It could be better.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
― Mark Twain
It’s a new year. It’s time to start something new. It’s time to ban excuse making. It’s time to take responsibility. It’s time to turn to a new page. It’s time to write a new chapter. It’s time to begin.
Most people don’t start something new. They don’t start because they are afraid.
Don’t take a risk, your boss may not approve.
Don’t exercise, it’s too hard to get started.
Don’t learn something new, it might mean not watching TV.
Don’t fail, it might ruin your self-esteem.
If you’re like most people you have a reason not to start something new. Challenge that reason. Force that reason to tell the truth. The truth is what ________________. Write down what that is.
Find a reason to start something new. You’re at the starting line of a new year. Make something new come from you. Let something new impact your thinking. Start something new today.
“If you walk 100 miles into the life you don’t want. Often, you must walk those same 100 miles to get out of that life. This is the answer to why the journey to fulfillment is often so difficult. However, if you can find a shortcut, a new path, you can get to the life you want much quicker. This is the premise of personal development, self-improvement and self-discovery..!”
― James A. Murphy
Best year ever?
What was your year like? Was it one you want to do over or do you want something different?
Whatever your year was like you can make the changes to make this coming year better. What one thing would make this new year of 2016 better for you?
Evaluate the state of your life what got better:
- Friends and Family
- Personal Growth
What did you want to be better? What were you willing to do about making those changes?
I want more ________________________.
I want less _________________________.
Your happiness is about the choices you make. You create your happiness by what you do or don’t do. Happiness is in your hands, mind and body. What do you want to do to make things better for you, better for others or better for the world?
“You have 365 new blank pages. What will you write on first blank page?”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Relax, reflect and look ahead
It’s close to the end of the year. It’s time to wrap up projects, personal projects as well as those professional projects. How many of your goals did you achieve?
This is the time to get things done and prepare for a new set of objectives for 2016. What did you do this year? What was remarkable about what you did? Did you even notice how you were doing over the past year or did it just fly by in a blur? What was the best part and what was the worst part?
It might have been an ugly year for you or it might have been the most spectacular year of your life, what did you learn? What do you want to do to make 2016 better?
What do you want to accomplish before the year ends?
For many people the last two weeks in the year is a time to recover and just relax. It is time to think about what is coming next and a time to start dreaming again. For some people this year was a hard year, challenging them in so many ways. Was your year challenging? Was it something you wanted to forget? If it was challenging then now is the time to just reflect and relax. It is time to reset expectations and a time to forge a new dream. What will you do?
What do you want next year to bring? Are you ready to begin?
“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
― Steve Maraboli
Follow the path to your dreams
“I’m just not that motivated” said one client.
What does that mean? What does it mean to not be motivated? Isn’t motivation a choice that you make? It almost sounds like there are no choices, no goals, or no actions that could be taken.
What do you do when you don’t feel motivated?
Dream. That would be the starting point for creating something worthwhile pursuing. It isn’t likely that waiting would help you get motivated. TV is certainly not a motivational tool. Spend some time writing down some things you would love to do. Dream BIG. Step outside the boundaries you have and dream about things that are just absolutely beyond what you know you can do today.
Write down those dreams. Then pick one of those dream ideas and just think about what it would take to make that dream a reality. What elements would be needed to make that dream a possibility? Money, Time, Knowledge, Experience, People, … What would you need to make that dream start to take shape?
Understand the gap between your dream and your current reality. What would need to change to enable you to pursue your dream? What are those big gaps? What can you do to close those gaps bit by bit?
Create a plan that enables you to realize your goal in small bite-sized chunks. Then take action. Do a little each day. Push through the resistance.
Don’t wait … motivate.
“The sparrows jumped before they knew how to fly, and they learned to fly only because they had jumped”
― Lauren Oliver
It’s easier not to. Growth doesn’t come from sitting in the same place doing the same thing you did yesterday. The chasm doesn’t shrink by waiting another day. Are you getting better at your craft? Are you preparing not just for tomorrow but for the next year, the next decade?
What stops you from making the leap? What stops you from preparing for your new future?
Fear … that little four letter word that inhibits action, that stops dreams, that kills desire and thwarts growth. The ingredients for success are well-known. Fear is the thing that stops people from mixing together the ingredients for their future success.
What do you want to change in your life? What will it take?
“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”
― Alysha Speer
What holds you back?
What would make your life better?
What stops you from having that better life?
Maybe a better life would be simply preparing a resume’ so that you could get a job that you really want to do. Cross the abyss and start today. Design the life you want to live rather than feel like there is no other career that would possibly offer you the work that you really want to do. The abyss is the fear that believing something else is possible really isn’t.
A relationship is desired and nothing ever starts. The abyss is the fear of rejection, the fear that someone would find out that you aren’t who you really want to be. Why not become the person you really want to be? Take a step, and then another and cross over the abyss and become the person you were meant to be.
For some people the word is “shame” and breaking through the wall of shame is like an abyss that is far to wide to cross. There is no bridge strong enough to hold you up until you reach the other side. Instead you hope that the shame will melt away and that you can find a harbor of contentment right where you are. Let the shame go and cross the bridge to the other side, let your life flourish.
What is the abyss you have in front of you? What would you do if the abyss wasn’t there? Where would you be if you crossed the abyss?