Part 1 of 3 Parts
Life is what happens to us while we are deciding what we want to do with our life.
We may be wise to design a plan that will free us up to “happen to life” instead of the other way around. When we know we need to be doing something different we most certainly will be confronted by all the reasons why we think we can’t. They are reasons why disguised as excuses. They are, in reality, one and the same.
There are only results or reasons why. The reasons why are called excuses. The reasons why are the excuses many of us use to justify our choice to do nothing but talk about doing something different.
Talk’s cheap. If we really know we need to be doing something different, then we need to do something completely out of character, at least for most of us. . . we need to do something different. The something different is this: this time we need to do something about it. Look into all of the possibilities. Taking this first, major step is the first step towards doing even bigger things better.
The first step almost always feels like the biggest step. You have to take it while you are still afraid. Your intention must be to have fun at your destination. There is something magical about having fun. I have seldom had feelings of fear while having fun; the kind of fear that stops you in your tracks and keeps you from doing what you know you must do. It seems to go away. Poof!
Your feelings about change are very real. They are perfectly normal. It’s scary. A choice to change can cause anxiety; fear of what we think might happen. Never allow your feelings to force you into the paralysis of doing nothing. The exercise of inquiry alone can yield amazing results. It can lead you down many paths. The options are endless.
Thinking about questions you’ve never asked yourself before can tell you a lot about who you are now and can stimulate the answers you already know, yet are afraid to accept since you began to feel the need to do something different. You may even discover that you are already doing what you need to be doing.
Choice demands personal inquiry. It requires self-discovery.
The decision process – that time when you really take an honest look at how things might be if you would only do something different – often is that time when you analyze things to death. You become so confused you want to give up in despair. Listen to your heart. It will tell you, “Never. Never give up!” It also knows “what to do.” Listen to it.
Decide to do, even when you are not sure it’s the right thing, and feel your self-esteem soar; feel some of your insecurities quickly begin to fade. It feels good to be in control again. We often fail to remember that we are always in charge. We have choice. Life does our bidding.
Most of us complain that life isn’t going where we want it to or that life dealt us a bad hand. Not true. Life follows our lead; it heeds our direction. When we don’t like what life gives us as lessons, we often complain. A life burdened with complaint has no freedom to discover “what to do.” Complaining about life is an energy drain.
Living life creates energy. Living life with gusto is even better. You never again need be concerned about charging your battery. Gusto is it’s own self-supercharger. Give yourself fully and with gusto to life and life will give itself fully and with gusto to you. Life feeds on the energy you put into it to making it better.
We sometimes fail to understand that each life lesson is repeated until it is learned. When we don’t get it the first time, life gives it to us again and again and again and again and again until it is learned.
When life gives us a lesson, we need to slow down a little and see what life is slowing us down for. Just what is it I need to learn from this experience? For what good purpose am I experiencing what is going on right now? When you look for the good that is coming to you from your present experience, you will find it.
When we focus on being and doing whatever it takes to have our life be better, we not only accomplish a better way of doing and being for ourselves, life also is better for the ones we love; those we are in relationships with. We are easier to be with. We are more fun to do things with.
When we change. . . we give permission to others around us to change. It is not possible to change others. To others, the empowerment for change is often unspoken; it is communicated in the changes they consciously or unconsciously notice in us.
Have you considered the possibility that you don’t really need to be doing anything different or new? What if what you are doing now is what you are supposed to be doing? Think about it.
Who says you need to do anything new anyway? Maybe you do and maybe you don’t. Sometimes we experience feelings of discomfort about our choices. Discomfort with those with whom we work; with the work we are doing or whatever. We haven’t quite put ourselves fully into our present calling so we become bored or uncomfortable with what we do.
Some of us can’t imagine ourselves doing anything else because we aren’t really sure we can do anything else. And if we could, what would that be? What to do? What to do?
You have a choice. If you think what you do now is boring, do something to put an end to the boredom. If you think what you are doing now is boring, wait till you get to what you decide to do. It won’t be any different. You created the boredom. Now, create an atmosphere of excitement around your work. Have some fun doing it. . . even if you don’t want to. Especially if you don’t want to.
Boredom dissipates when excitement shows up. Always do the best you can. Put your whole self into what you do. When you are excited about what you do, you do a better job; you are free to notice other things; the kind of things that are equally important to living life to its fullest. You can pay attention better. You communicate better. You contribute more. You can really be with people, instead of dreading being there.
Make a list of benefits you receive from being excited about what you are presently doing. Learn to be okay with where you are, while you are there. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay there.
Being okay with where you are may help you to know that with all the confusion you have created in wondering about “what to do;” when you finally discover what you need to be doing, you may be unable to concentrate fully on the new work to be done because your current level of confusion shows up as boredom, discomfort and dissatisfaction and is still with you.
Being excited about what you do now, even though you feel the need to be doing something else, helps you prepare mentally for being even more excited about what’s next.
Being content with where you are may also assist you in understanding that unless you can be happy where you are, you may be unable to find happiness elsewhere. If you are looking for something new because you are unhappy with what you are now doing, you may be looking for the right thing to do for the wrong reason.
When you put energy into something to make it better, you receive energy from it. You don’t have to pour a lot of energy into being happy. You simply decide to be happy. It helps to think about happy things. You need to learn to be happy where you are, so you can be happy when you get to where you are going.
Even if you have feelings of unhappiness, discomfort or boredom right now, how do you really know that you need to be doing something else? These feelings are very real. They are worth an in-depth inquiry as to what it is that causes you to feel that way.
Be honest with yourself. If you really want to get to the bottom of things, you must tell the truth to yourself. Self-inquiry is no time to sleeze-out.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple
In choosing a new direction, don’t cop-out! Decide to choose something you love to do! Life is to short to do something you do not love to do. Do what you love. You may miss out on the opportunity to contribute to others by not doing what you love.
When you love what you do, you are more excited about doing it and are more free to share what you have to offer to others. You must love what you do or is the thing you do worth doing?
To not choose “what to do” or to continue to only talk about “what to do,” when you know you need to move on is not taking care of you. It is not attending to your own needs.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.
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