“Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”
― Anaïs Nin
Your thoughts shape your world. That world can be your world of work, community, family or your personal growth. The circle defines your world, the limits of your experiences, talents, abilities and values grows slowly and for some not much at all. Expanding your circle enables you to grow and generate more options for your life.
Some would call expanding the circle (outside of the box thinking) as the set of skills that are needed to thrive in an uncertain world. If you feel that your growth is blocked or inhibited think about expanding your circle.
Expanding the circle may require that you invest in yourself and even working with someone who can ask you questions you wouldn’t normally ask yourself.
What can do you do to add more value?
What things limit you today?
What is the most challenging aspect of your life now?
What is it costing you to stay the way you are?
What would it take to live outside the circle you are in right now?
What do you think would be different if you could step outside of your circle?
What stops you from stepping outside your circle?
Think about those questions. Examine those questions and write down your answers. Just merely reading those questions will do little to expand your own thoughts or drive changes in your life. Step outside your comfort zone (the circle you live in). Challenge yourself – challenge your thoughts and your actions. Do it now.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston S. Churchill
What is success?
What does success for you look like? Have you taken the time to define what success is for you? It could be success at home, at work, in the community or success as a friend. What is your measure for success in life?
Perhaps it starts with the idea of your personal vision. What are you working towards? What are your goals? Are those goals motivating you to higher levels of personal and professional performance?
You can think of success in terms of your personal brand, what you stand for and who you are. Does your personal brand shine? When I work with people who are looking for a new career path many of them have no idea of what their personal brand is. If they are asked how they are viewed by others many just don’t know. If they are asked what their key contribution was they aren’t really sure. If your personal brand is a success then what does it look like? How do you describe it?
How is your life making a difference? It doesn’t have to be some monumental outcome, but there should be something that you’ve done that has made a difference. What have you done that has made a difference? Think about it.
If you feel you have reached some level of success, are you content? Are you at peace with where you are in life? If not, why not? If yes, then why? What has success enabled you to feel or do?
What has been your greatest success? What will be your next success?
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”
What kind of power do you have?
How do you use your power?
First we have to define what power is? Is power the ability to carry out a goal despite resistance? Do you have the power to achieve your goals or do you experience some form of resistance from others or from other things? Do you have the power to influence? How did you answer those questions?
Getting out of bed in the morning means having power over self. Perhaps you have to face the temptation and desire to stay in bed. When you don’t find that activation energy to get out of bed it seems that the bed has more power than you do.
Do you have power over your habits? Do you find it easy to change the way you behave and act? Do you find it easy to change how you eat, exercise, sleep or relate to others? What would you want to change? Where would you like power that you don’t have power now?
Where does power show up at your work? Do you have equal power with others or do you feel you have less or perhaps more power than others do? If you do have power then how do you use that power? What kind of power do you have? Do you have control over outcomes?
What does your power look like? Is it power over others? Is it power through others? Is it power with others?
How do you use your power? Do you use it to create more value? Do you use it to control others? Do you use it to empower others?
Think about how you use your power. Think about how others see your power and how it impacts them. What would you like to change?
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
Did you find happiness today?
Do you know what happiness is?
What would make you happier?
A better job.
A better relationship.
A better purpose.
A better life.
A better car.
An easier job.
What is it for you? What would really make you happier?
What is stopping you from being happier?
Have you thought about what changes would need to be made to enable you to be happier?
If you have, then when will you start?
If not, when will you think about your own happiness.
Life is too short to be living in misery.
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
― Elizabeth Edwards
What if you had lost your job, were recovering from a major medical issue, were without a place to call home and saddled with a ton of debt? How would you be feeling? It would probably feel pretty depressing. There are people who are facing all of those things at the same time and are still able to move forward.
The Wall Street Journal showcased Sheryl Sandberg’s journey through difficult times and Sheryl said this,
“The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are,” Ms. Sandberg said. “You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”
The path forward for Sheryl was in writing down what she was grateful for. Just a few things that made a positive difference in the day made a positive difference in her life.
It is of course far easier to blame others and become a victim in difficult times. It is easier to withdraw and seek the comfort of a variety of distractions in an attempt to have the emotional pain and stress go away. The problem is the pain doesn’t just go away by finding ways to ignore the pain. The pain goes away when the pain is confronted and challenged. The pain goes away when positive action is taken and when what can be appreciated about each day is really appreciated.
Are you facing challenging times? Are you suffering and wishing for a way out?
Emotional resilience through gratitude, taking time to pause and just breathe some deep breaths for a few minutes, to exercise and move is a way through difficult times.
Take the time to practice taking charge of your emotions. Your body will thank you and your mind will thank you.
“If you think something is missing in your life, it is probably YOU…”
― Robert Holden
Have you ever had that feeling that something is missing in your life? Have you taken the time to find it?
For some people life is a struggle. It’s not that it has to be a struggle it is just the way they believe things are. I’ve heard, “I just can’t do this kind of work.”, and they lament the very fact that the work is challenging instead of looking at how they could make those challenges smaller. They could learn more or dig into the material that they don’t understand and find ways to learn the material. In other words they could chose to attack work rather than letting work attack them.
“I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do.” and I’ll guess that you’ve uttered those words when the amount of things in life just seem overwhelming. The list of things to do just keeps growing and it is starting to crowd out what you really want to do. I’ll ask those people, “what do you really want to be doing? or what is most important to be done now.” After a few minutes a list of important things becomes visible and the unimportant things also become visible. From there it is a choice – “what do you want to do with what you have on the list?” Prioritization and making sure that the list of things to do are the things that matter most. Figure that out and there is time for you.
Are you struggling? Not just having a difficult time but really struggling to be your best self. What are you doing about it? What is missing in your life?
For some people it is motivation and they aren’t finding the energy to do something. When you’re not motivated what do you do about it? What keeps you in the game?
Do you have problems just getting started on something? Is it easier to wait, for another few minutes, hours and then days? Pretty soon that project, that idea, or inspiration just falls into the heap of the undone and unnoticed.
Where are you? Do you have all the things in life that you want to have? What’s missing?