These tips are reminders of stuff we have probably all covered at some stage, in some form. Nothing new. My thoughts in writing it, is more to look at how best to integrate them are they into our lives? That is where the magic lies! When we adapt certain practices into every day living, they compound! My emphasis is on daily (or more often than monthly anyway!).
It is these simple things that have certainly got me through the tough times. I hear myself often repeating them to friends and family so I thought I would share and remind us all!
Number 4 – Find Balance
I have been there many times – focused so much on productivity and achievement, but lacking the energy to get there. I haven’t taken the time for sleep, stillness, exercise and/or healthy eating and it impacts the rest of my life. Or my focus on work has been to the detriment of personal relationships.
I have also seen super successful people, who work out every day, and strive for perfection. They look from the outside to be happy, however, dig further and you often discover they are in fact deeply unhappy or struggling through relationships. I am sure you could think of many other examples or have your own stories of imbalance.
Robin Sharma talks about the 4 empires in the book – the 5am Club (a really good book BTW) – Heartset, Soulset, Mindset and Healthset. This is a great way of framing the Emotional, Spiritual, Mental and Physical dimensions of our life.
We certainly have ALL four and need to find the way to balance these – in some way, daily. For me, the secret is to build rituals that become habits of pleasure not obligation. It is about not feeling like a failure if something doesn’t happen, but enjoying the benefits when I do the things that make me feel great. This can be from morning mindfulness and exercise routines, to disciplines around continual learning and challenging myself.
What is the point of all the success and productivity, without contentment and happiness? Similarly what is the point of wealth without health?
Number 3 – Live in the Moment
How much energy do we waste worrying about what may never happen, or things that have already past and have NO impact on what is our life today?
Years ago, when multiple meetings filled my day, I used to attempt a reset to get everyone in the ‘now’. Everyone would arrive disheveled from the last meeting, still thinking on what came out of it, worried about the next meeting or on the growing task list left behind at their desks.
No-one is present and the focus is missing. I would literally stop the meeting, ask everyone to stand up and come back in, (leaving outside the past and the future). We would begin the meeting over – it works :).
Being truly present is focusing on what the other person is saying, enjoying the rewards of nature or breathing in peace. The massive bonus – being present ADDS energy – physically as well. It takes practice and I like even the simple rituals of :
- putting down the phone when talking (and making eye contact)
- turning the TV off over meals
- giving myself TIME to enjoy the simplest things, like when out walking, instead of rushing to return
- practicing meditation and allowing the mind to still
- asking people to wait a moment, so I can finish and focus
So many of us get caught up in how busy life is, and forget that “THESE are the good ole days” – best we enjoy them 🙂
Number 2 – Focus on what you want
What we focus on grows – So if we focus on the good stuff, that shall grow, and if we focus on the negative that too shall grow…it really is that simple and can be applied to everything!
My simplest example is when you (or your partner, child, friend, work colleague) starts with …I wont be able to.., I can’t…it will all be too expensive, nothing will work.. to somehow change the focus to… what IS possible? and thinking through options and what can be done, what will work, and moving the focus to what you want.
There are so many dimensions to this tip, which I think deserve another blog post, but off the top of my head, (and to remind me later) for me, this means:
- Changing any negative thoughts to ones that help me feel the way I want to feel
- Not just positive thinking but also taking action
- Setting intentions or visualising outcomes
- Remembering things happen for a reason
- Experiencing Synchronicity – Being in the zone just means stuff starts happening around you! All of a sudden you find the right people or ideas or places or tings.
This of course leads nicely into…
Number 1 – Gratitude
The simplest and without a doubt, THE most effective tool has to be appreciation for what we have, for nature, and the people and things in our lives. Anytime, anywhere, and in any mood, it really doesn’t matter HOW small, we can always come up with something to be thankful for.
And of course, the more we focus on these things we are grateful for, the more we see other things, and the richer our life becomes.
I love Danielle La Portes’ Planner – as a journal. It doesn’t have to be EVERY day, but it is a few times a week. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or my life story, but can be some days. It can be how I am feeling, what I have on, things to remember, or notes from things I am reading. I like the sections and layout of her planner and BTW the Desire Map method, is a wonderful way to start the year 🙂
One thing, I do write in there is a practice I started a few years back, called 4,2,1 …it is a simple fast way, for me to focus and journal – this came from Craig Beck -see here .
The 4,2,1, practice in brief:
- Write down 4 things you are grateful for. Anything – sometimes just a name, sometimes the reason why this makes you thankful.
- Name 2 people to send love to – often I just write down names of people I know who are struggling, or ill or just need some healing energy and love
- 1 intention (a small or large thing you want the universe to deliver – manifestation – just put it out there and leave it alone)
Side Note – Craig Beck is also the author of “Alcohol Lied to me” – an Audio series I listened to when I gave up drinking a few years back, and stuff I return to often and would highly recommend – but that’s another post! 🙂
Gratitude has to be my go-to for anything – feeling uncomfortable, reluctant to change, new situations, stress, sadness, fear and overwhelm. It is also equally vital for the good times; for remembering the beautiful people in my life, the amazing country I live in, all the surreal sunrises and unlimited opportunities presented to me. SO much to be thankful for and so easy to do.
I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitudeBrene Brown