I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just feel sad and lonely. Down, dejected, and hopeless. Upon further reflection I remember what I should be doing to make myself feel better, but, now and again I rightly feel as though the energy it would take just isn’t worth it. At these times I assume that feeling the way I do is preferable, perhaps even beneficial to the alternative. I don’t feel like pushing myself to go to the gym or for a run, to participate in life at all. I’ve got to turn my attitude around, somehow.
Ambivalence is an insidious motivation destroyer. Mostly, life is great. There are one or two areas that I am less than satisfied with though. It’s fairly easy – most of the time – to merely slip my focus of thought from unhappy areas of life to satisfying experiences, and conclude that the status quo is working. Seems like the reasonable thing to do, right? The down-side of this approach is that circumstances just don’t change.
I recommend a personal development plan. Something should change and it’s unlikely to be life itself. We could change, if we want to. The effort that we put into discovering our purpose should help. But don’t let yourself think that you’ll think about it on the drive home tonight and come to a perfect conclusion. This is likely a life-long process of guess-work and refinement.
This is the first step of recovery. The starting place that will bring back self-confidence, clear thoughts, and healthy decision-making. Ultimately, ours’ is an ability to influence. Where strategy for life lives. Once we begin to think of ourselves in this way – as influencing ourselves and others – we then start looking at the emotional impact we’re having. The way we are influencing creates and atmosphere. At this very point, our lives begin to change.
Worry, and self-loathing will have to come second to this newly evolving power and responsibility you have regarding how you influence. It feels good already, just considering life from a new angle. You can’t allow yourself to feel hopeless and dejected. Others are depending upon you. Your emotional energy is what gets things done and lifts ourselves and others so they can achieve.
This way of attacking life should be something that is actively robust in my life, every day. Perhaps a great strategy isn’t even about “attacking” life, but about “building” or “cultivating” life.
But I’m one of those guys that just can’t have too many shirts, and so I make a lot of decisions spontaneously, impulsively. But what if I’m hoping to buy a new Lexus in the spring? Or I’m looking forward to a romantic vacation with my spouse on the Mexican Riviera this March. Well maybe I can have them all and perhaps I cannot. What’s directing life? Long-term strategy or impulse?
One thing is for sure, that whatever we want from life, if we don’t stop to plan and reflect upon our more long-term goals, we’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. Living life spontaneously, responding to the day to day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is. I may have a closet full of shirts, but I’m driving a 10-year-old Civic, plus I’m getting flabby around the waste and feeling miserable about life.
“Whenever I say “yes” to one thing, I’m saying “no” to something else. It’s unreasonable to think I can have it all.”
The more important something is to you, the more likely you will put undue pressure on yourself to achieve it, and fail. In these situations, I like to admit to myself how important achievement would be and to add a layer of thought to my strategy. Try to free myself up. A layer of calm relaxation. One that reminds me of two things. First, I have been successful in similar situations before; and second, that I have zero control in this situation to make this desire come true. So enjoy the process regardless of how things seem to be going.
Paul Azinger, PGA professional said that pressure changes how you feel. It changes how your arms feel and how your legs feel. I’ll add that this new feeling isn’t likely positive, and so we start thinking and feeling in negative ways, try harder, get frustrated and nothing moves in our favor. Pressure takes our feel away. We lose our intuition.
The fact is, we all strategize, even if at a subconscious level. Perhaps we should be more careful of how unconscious decisions are affecting our lives. Maybe also give “time for reflection” a modicum of respect by adding it to our weekly agenda. I’d like to remind us all – and especially myself – to consider creating regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. If we’re not slowing down, actively gaining control over or deliberately instituting positive goals, beliefs, and expectations into our psyche, maybe we’re really living a life of unconsidered habits, evolving in a way directed by our short-term urges, impulses, and not our well thought out plans. Be cautious, for one day your future may come calling, and you may not like what it has to say, or how you feel. That’s what I’m going through right this moment.
“So is there any good reason why we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increase our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?”
Let’s get things going in our favor. Let’s make things happen. Let’s change the direction of lives so that they’re unfolding in our direction. Let’s experience more joy, better connections. Let’s explore, feel proud of our lives and of what we’re creating and what we’re contributing. Because we cannot, not participate.
What if we both had all the time we needed to talk and reflect upon our own personal strategies?