How often have you felt that you skim the surface of your life, never quite getting to the core of who you are or experiencing life to the full? I’ve felt this myself. More recently though, I’ve found things beginning to shift and am writing about what’s been working for me, here and in future articles.
If you knew then what you know now
How often do you berate yourself for not doing what you would most like to do. How often have you looked back at your life and felt discontented with what you have done, or more to the point what you haven’t. Hindsight is a wonderful thing because it analyses life in a linear way, it massively summarises what you did and the sequence that you did it in – you did that, followed by the next step and so on. What hindsight misses out is that life just doesn’t work like that, day-to-day you are groping forward sometimes knowing what’s going to happen next (as far as you can) and sometimes not having a clue. Hindsight of course neatly makes sense of all this uncertainty and then points a finger at the patterns and gaps that are all wrapped up in being wise after the event. You did what you thought best or had the experience to do then and just did it. Be gently on yourself for any thoughts that arise around ‘I haven’t done enough in my life’ or ‘ I wish I had…’ – get used to simply experiencing life rather than analysing it.
Living rather than dreaming your way through life
Dreams and wishes are great…provided that you go after them. Easier said than done? Not necessarily, even something seemingly beyond your reach at the moment is achievable, if you do at least these three things: be specific about what you want, identify one action that will take you closer to your goal and begin that action today. Do something, however small, each day towards your goal. Having a purpose and being proactive will help you to make progress and motivate you to keep going. It’s then much more possible to participate in the life that you have been dreaming about all along.
Using all of your experiences positively
Of course we all experience challenges and some of these will feel like set backs. This is common when we are moving forward into unfamiliar territory. If you knew how to get something right first time then you would; see if you can now start to treat all apparent set backs as learning, trying again – armed with new understanding.
What’s possible if success is your only outcome?
Taking this one step further – if there were no such thing as failure, what does that give you permission to do? Stop for a moment, fetch a pen and paper and write down 3 things that you know that you can now attempt because there is no way that you can get it wrong? It’s amazingly liberating to know this; and the best bit is that if you keep encouraging yourself that each step you take is just more learning, over time you will believe this regularly. Here’s another way to define success – by embracing the idea of the ‘near win’ to help us move forward.
Choose your supporters wisely
Encouragement works wonders, whilst put-downs are devastating. Even a cautious ‘do you think you should’ can work to throw all sorts of doubt in the path of new exploration. Encouragement is a wonderful energy that helps us to stay uplifted even when we feel dispirited. The concerns of others, no matter how well meant, can sap our energy and make us feel less resilient, especially when we are in the early stages of doing something new or in different way. Surround yourself with encouraging people and only share your dreams with those who will be supportive of you and them.
Your life isn’t a dress rehearsal
A pity – and whilst it would be great to have another chance at life, it does have a habit of whizzing by at a rate of knots, picking up speed the older that we get. If you can picture yourself at the end of your life, looking back, what would you like to say that you did? This is a powerful exercise to do, bringing focus to what is really important right now.
Be grateful for what you have
It is possible to lose sight of what we do have, taking stock regularly of what is in your life, rather than just focusing on what isn’t, can be a useful way of remembering that our lives are richer than we might think. Keeping a Gratitude Journal can be one way of really bring what is good into focus as Oprah Winfrey can testify.
Living for the moment
It is easy not to be in the moment – worrying about the consequences of what has happened or might happen. Either way these distract us from the present moment and from enjoying the here and now. Eckhart Tolle (author of ‘The Power of Now‘) talks about trusting that you are always in the right place and that by being at home with yourself in the now, you will feel much more at peace, regardless of what is happening to or around you.
Whilst you’ve been reading this article that’s all you have been doing – being in the moment. All the best for your next present moment and the next.
Image credit: via http://alifetothemax.wordpress.com/Thank you.