Unstick Your Life

The first quarter of 2018 is over, which means it’s time to review your progress. Are you fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions or did you ditch them already? Is it looking likely you won’t accomplish anything noteworthy for another year?

paper-3042645_1280

You see, this is something that happens every year. On the first day, everyone is excited and looking forward to what they can achieve. Then, slowly by slowly, the wheels on the train start coming off. You are stuck and right back in your usual pattern of going through the motions.

Luckily, there’s a way you can unstick your life. Keep reading to find out what the problem is and what you can do to fix it.

Reasons Why People Get Stuck in Life

Only about nine percent of people feel they achieved their resolutions. This goes to show how much people either veer off course or get stuck in their current life path.

people-2568886_1280

Unfortunately, a side effect of this is it leads to stress, discontent, and sadness. It may make you feel like a failure. And if it was something really important you needed to do, your self-esteem and respect may take a big hit.

There are a couple of reasons why people get stuck in life. These include vague goals, procrastinating, poor attitude, and taking on too many projects. You may also be managing your time poorly or letting others discourage you from your goals.

All these reasons serve to create the perception you did nothing all year. Yet, sometimes, people end up accomplishing other things they didn’t plan for. Even so, failure to follow through on your stated goals means you ended up away from your life path.

As John Robert Wooden, multiple NCAA championship title-winning coach, once said, “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”

Steps to Get Your Life and Goals Moving Forward

Since time won’t stop anytime soon, it’s up to us to get our lives and goals moving forward. Otherwise, we’ll get to old age, look back, and realize the great opportunities we wasted.

Here are some steps to help you unstick your life and start achieving your goals:

1. Find Your Purpose

Many people struggle with the idea of finding their purpose. What they don’t realize is they don’t need to sit around brainstorming to find it. That’s why some have ended up with a written purpose that doesn’t match their true nature.

Try this instead; Go out and take action in many of the things you love doing. You’ll find there’s one thing sticking out to you. It will be something you’d be happy to do even if you didn’t get paid (though everyone needs to get paid to survive).

girl-2940655_1280

Your purpose will be something inspiring. It will get you out of bed very early. It will leave you longing for each new morning to arrive faster because you have unfinished work.

2. Deal With Burnout

One reason for the lack of progress in work, relationships, and life is burnout. It lurks within you crippling your desire to get anything done. It stifles your creativity, reduces your enthusiasm, and makes you feel tired all the time.

The problem is people don’t realize they are burned out until it’s too late. Their work suffers, their relationships strain, and their goals become a distant memory. They are just going through the motions.

emotions-2180352_1280

We are meant to enjoy life despite its ups and downs. To do this, though, you need to take good care of your body. Thus, take a break once in a while to rejuvenate. Eat well, practice a healthy lifestyle, and get a balance between work and play.

3. Make Actionable Plans

A key element missing from most resolutions is the “How”. While people write what they want to achieve and why, they forget to write how they’ll get it done. As such, they end up stuck because they don’t know what the best approach is.

Instead, write down actionable plans. Do you want to lose weight? Fine, why do you want to lose it? Okay, how do you plan to lose it? Will you run, eat better diets, wear slimming clothes, or work out at the gym? How many times do you plan to do these things? How will you track your progress or measure your results?

climbing-to-the-top-2125149_1920

This process is crucial to getting you moving forward. Your brain will be asking what the next step is and generating an answer. This will give you momentum to achieve things in other areas as well.

The more you do, the more motivated you’ll be to get more done. This motivation will energize you every morning and you’ll be checking your list to see what you need to do.

4. Manage Your Time Better

Time management is another Achilles heel of most underachievers. It seems like the day always ends before you’ve done anything of note. Yet, during the day, you were the busiest person alive.

How does this happen?

Well, it goes back to the nature of your goals. They are only a statement on a piece of paper. They are not actionable. As such, you go through the day like a ship without a sail. You are going where the wind blows.

stopwatch-2061848_1920

Many overachievers give a simple solution to this issue. They urge people to choose three things to achieve that day and work on those. This gives you a target you can hone in on throughout the day. You won’t be swayed by the usual distractions such as social media or chatty co-workers.

You should have a detailed system for achieving those three goals. Outline the needed actions and achieve them one-by-one.

5. Never Give Up

Another obstacle to fulfilling your goals is giving up when the pressures of life hit you hard. Your boss could be the one hindering your progress. Or, it could be forces beyond your control.

This is where many people stop. They lift up their hands and say, “I tried”. That’s the wrong attitude. You must want to achieve your goal at all costs. The only way to want it that badly is by understanding why the goal is important to you.

achieve-1822503_1920

Make a plan of action with your “why” in mind. Find solutions for every obstruction. Can you talk to someone else? Is there a different approach?

Start small and build momentum. Every small goal you achieve will lead you to the big one. And if obstacles and people put you down, never give up!!!

6. Get an Accountability Partner

It’s easier to achieve your goals when you have someone backing you up. Whether it’s in the gym or on any other issue in life, you need an accountability partner. This should be someone who cares for you and wants to see you succeed.

adventure-1807524_1920

If that’s not possible, hire a personal life coach. They can help remind you what you are working toward. They’ll also light a fire inside you when you start procrastinating. As you continue doing things you don’t like, you’ll discover you are moving closer to your goals every day.

Begin Moving Your Life Forward Again

Applying the steps above will help you start moving your life forward again. Get clear on your goals, make them actionable, and start doing a bit at a time. Stop procrastinating and choose what you’ll accomplish each day.

success-3195027_1920

 

Within no time, you’ll find your resolutions and any other goals are almost complete. Unstick your life and achieve your dreams.

“Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

Advertisements

Burnout Will Ruin Your Life – Here’s What You Should Do

Have you ever sat somewhere feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued? If you were not ill, you were probably suffering from Burnout.

Burnout is a job killing, life-sapping state that hits you when you least expect it. The Mayo Clinic adds that job burnout also includes doubts about your competence and your work value. You lack the motivation to do anything and everything seems overwhelming. It’s like a heavy weight on your shoulders that no one else can see.

alone-62253_1280

According to workplacefairness.org, some American companies give their employees some time off to prevent burnout and to improve employee morale. Other companies are making it mandatory for their employees to take their vacation days because they know that a burnt out employee will be an unproductive employee.

What are the Symptoms of Burnout?

While there are many ideas why burnout occurs, I believe the simple way to summarise these ideas is to label the cause as a sense of defeat in multiple situations, that is, at work, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Examples of such situations as outlined by HelpGuide.org include loss of control, doing boring or unchallenging work, procrastinating, work-life imbalance, and unclear or demanding job expectations.

woman-1733891_1280

Once these situations get out of hand, you find yourself suffering from symptoms such as:

  • Chronic exhaustion and stress
  • Lack of motivation to do anything
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Frustration and Irritability
  • Unproductive and inefficient work
  • A weakened immune system due to overwhelming stress
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of apathy, hopelessness, and loneliness

Having these symptoms especially over an extended period will ruin your life. You have to do something to start feeling better, enjoying life again and feeling that you are making a difference in life and at work.

Tips to Help You Overcome Burnout

Realising that your life has lost its sparkle is the first step to getting better. The next question becomes, “What steps can I take to get out of this funk?”

There are several things you can do:

  • Take a Vacation

Dropping everything you are doing and taking a trip can do wonders for your health and your outlook on life. When you are exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally, it’s like you are stuck in a rut. Going somewhere new helps you get perspective on what is going on in your life and the steps you can take to fix it. Just relaxing on a beach somewhere can be cathartic.

Spending some time outdoors is also beneficial because the sun is good for your health. According to Harvard Health, the sun gives you Vitamin D, which counteracts seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as winter depression.

girl-429380_1280

  • Talk to a Trusted Friend

A problem shared is a problem half-solved. Talking to someone helps you get out of your head, where you have been so focused on your problems that you couldn’t see the solutions. Talking makes your mind start thinking about new ideas for your life. It is also always comforting to know someone cares enough about you to be willing to listen to your problems.

  • Balance your Work and your Life

Working relentlessly without taking the time to talk to your friends and family can sap your joy for life. In a TED Talk by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, he concluded that their 75-year old study on what makes a good life is by building good relationships.

Once you start making time from work to go see your kids in a play or to meet and make new friends, you will start feeling happier and more connected to the world around you. Many of the people suffering from depression have no one to talk to and no support system to help them bounce back from whatever problems they are facing in life. Don’t let that happen to you.

  • Start Exercising and Eating well

An often-unstated means of combating many physical, mental, and emotional problems is through exercising. Working out releases chemicals called endorphins into your system. These chemicals reduce stress and make you feel good and positive about your life.

The second part of this is eating well. When your body is not getting the essential nutrients obtained from a balanced diet, you will not be operating at an optimal level. Your body will also be under undue stress, which can weaken the immune system and lead to illnesses such as heart disease. Malnutrition causes fatigue, which, in turn, affects how productive you will be.

  • Rethink Your Goals and Your Life

Sometimes our lack of motivation in whatever we are doing comes from the fact that it is not what we are supposed to be doing. It’s not the thing that excites you so much that you forget you haven’t eaten anything. Therefore, you have to find your purpose in life. Look for whatever it is that makes you happy; something that you are willing to learn to be great at doing, and that helps you meet all your basic needs.

If you are doing something you don’t love, it will take all your physical, mental, and emotional strength. Moreover, at some point, you will feel overwhelmed and exhausted; that you can’t take it anymore.

There is no need to live such a life. You can make a difference in how you have been living. Do it today!

Start Living Your Bucket List Today!

Bucket lists – somewhat sad depending on how you look at them.

You see, in our culture right now, many people only begin to work their lists when it’s too late. A doctor announces that you have a few months to live and, all of a sudden, things that were at the back of your mind suddenly become important.

Frankly, that’s the sad part.

before I die

Most people are not living. They are deferring their lives to some future unknown date when they expect to be miraculously free to live…finally! Apparently, they will be free from work, free from their responsibilities to their spouses, free from their responsibilities to their children, and free from everything that has been (allegedly) standing in their way all this time.

“I want to travel the world.”

“I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.”

“I want to spend more time with my kids.”

“I want to start my side business.”

“I want to go sailing.”

“I want to see the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.”

Oh, the lists are endless…

Most people will never get even half of them done.

British Playwright James M. Barrie once said, “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”

Just look at the yearly resolutions. Many people end the year with the same list they had at the beginning. Things will never change unless you make that decision.

A New Approach to Living

live-your-dream-2045928_1280

When YOLO (You Only Live Once) started trending, it carried a negative connotation of people who don’t realise the extent of responsibility in life. Was it just something young people say? For example, can the head of an organisation with employees who depend on him/her go out to live his/her life or do they have to conform to a scripted life so that everybody under their leadership gets something for their families to eat?

Perhaps, there is another way to look at this. A better way. Why can’t the boss live and still create a great business that meets the needs of employees and customers? Why does it have to be an either-or proposition?

The above predicament is why there have been numerous discussions about life-work balance in the last few years. People know they are missing many things because they have to work to get the pay cheque. For example, some parents barely see their kids. They either leave for work early or get home late when the kids are already asleep. Their children’s entire childhood is passing right before their eyes and they can do nothing about it.

Our cultures create the expectation that you have to work very hard and save up some money so that you can do everything you ever wanted once you retire from your job. That’s sad.

There is a lot of living that people are missing. The time to live is NOW. The time to hold your loved ones is NOW. The time to be quit that dead-end job is NOW. The time to start doing something you’ve always wanted to do is NOW. The time to take risks is NOW. Do everything NOW. You don’t know what awaits you tomorrow.

Someone who postponed going jogging every day is now in a wheelchair. Someone who always wanted to sing has been diagnosed with throat cancer. The person who never took the time to enjoy their surroundings is now blind. Several people in different parts of the world have just suffered a stroke and their lives are changed forever. How long do you plan to wait before you start living?

Effects of Living

adult-1807500_1280

This is what living will do for you:

  1. Make you Happy

You will be smiling from ear to ear and you will have a great positive energy about you. You will create great memories with your friends and family. You will be healthier than many other people in the world will. For years, researchers have shown there is a link between negative emotions and poor health. Having a positive outlook on life (e.g. being happy, optimistic, enthusiastic etc) makes a great difference to your health.

According to a Harvard Magazine article written by Sara Rimer in 2011, Associate Professor Laura Kubzansky from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) said, “It looks like there is a benefit of positive mental health that goes beyond the fact that you’re not depressed.” She also added, “Everyone needs to find a way to be in the moment to find a restorative state that allows them to put down their burdens.”

  1. Help you Grow

The more you do, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you grow. The more you grow, the better you will be at making decisions that will affect your life. Some people are stuck in jobs they don’t like but a trip away from the office gives them a new perspective of what they would want to do in their lives.

  1. Give you Perspective

When you are not living, you tend to have a narrow view of the world. When you push your boundaries, your skills, or your experiences, you get a sense of what’s important to you and how you should react to things that are out of your control.

There is an African saying that says, “If you think you have problems, go visit a hospital and you’ll see people with bigger problems.” (Paraphrase). The idea behind this saying is to give you a perspective of what you are going through.

  1. It will Inspire you

Living is inspiring. You find yourself wanting to do more things; trying new things. Every day you wake up energised because you look forward to what the day might bring. That’s usually not the case with depressed people. They can barely get out of bed. They have nothing to look forward to. They don’t have hope for the future. They are so miserable that they push everyone they love away.

You will find that when you are inspired to live your life to the fullest, other people gravitate toward you. Many opportunities will also start presenting themselves in your life. You might even end up changing careers if that’s something you were thinking about.

  1. Fill you with Love

The most important thing in life is love. When you start living fully, you will draw love into your life and spread love to others. It will be a perfect cycle. Many people in the world are desperate for love, but you will be overflowing with it. That’s what you get when you start living.

So what are you waiting for? Make your bucket list today. Do not wait until you are about to die before doing something about it. Start living your bucket list TODAY.

 

Have Faith in People

In January 2016, someone shared their problems with me and while it was not clear to them at first, this process of openness and self-reflection helped them realise that life was worth living. The more we spoke, the more he realised that we should never allow failure to push us around; to make us give up.

Life was never meant to be easy. It was also never meant to be lived alone.

pretty-351884_1280

Sometimes we keep our problems from people because we don’t believe they care enough about us. We lose the opportunity to create a much deeper relationship with those who might know or understand what we are going through.

Herman Melville once said, “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”

Yet in our culture now, there is a lot more social isolationism than was the case in the past. While new technologies have helped us connect with people in distant lands, it seems that people are lonelier than ever before.

There are those who do not have faith in people because getting to know someone involves an element of risk.

What if they reject you?

What if they hurt you?

What if they betray you?

As such, some people are choosing to believe – either consciously or subconsciously – that forming a connection with someone and sharing their life story with them is not worth the risk.

Danger of Loneliness and Social Isolationism

The Oxford online dictionary defines a companion as “A person who shares the experiences of another, especially when these are unpleasant or unwelcome.”

man-1156543_1280

According to the American Psychological Association, Social Psychologist Shelly Turkle, PhD., says in her book ‘Alone Together’ that social media relationships “…can provide the ILLUSION of companionship without the demands of friendship, without the demands of intimacy.”

In the end, everybody ultimately needs someone. There has to be a real connection, though, not just a number of social media followers. A captain needs a co-captain. A president needs a vice president. Spouses need each other. This is why many people are falling into the trap of loneliness. They find themselves feeling all alone, like no one in the world cares about them. As such, they retreat deeper and deeper into the depths of loneliness and depression.

Perhaps we are so bogged down in our own lives that we fail to look up and see what others are going through. Perhaps, at other times, we fail to see that the conversation we are postponing at a particular moment could be pivotal to another’s life. It happens ALL THE TIME.

You see it whenever someone commits suicide, the family and friends are always left asking the same questions:

“Is there something I could have done to prevent this?”

“Maybe I could have spent a little more time with them.”

“Perhaps I should have listened more instead of talking all the time.”

“How did I miss the signs?”

“Why didn’t they come to me for help?”

Great friends make a great support system. Notice, for example, how many celebrities fail in their careers or turn to drug and alcohol abuse because no one helps them cope with their fame.

Without taking a leap of faith, you never know whether a person has your best interests at heart. There are very amazing people out there. Watching the news, you might feel like everyone only cares about themselves. Stories about jealousy, murder, theft, and violence are pervasive in our news media. Yet, if you look beyond this, the beauty of the human race continues to shine through.

One crazy example I noticed was that despite robbers pretending there has been a road accident so you can pull over to help and get carjacked, people continue falling for it because we all desire to help others.

Are You Someone People Can Have Faith In?

picnic-1208229_1280

The people in your support system should have the following characteristics:

  • They are great listeners.
  • They care about you.
  • They try to see things through your perspective.
  • They are there when you call.
  • They are eager to see you prevail over any problems.
  • They are people you can trust to keep your secrets.

Having such a committed group of people in your corner will help you overcome whatever circumstances life throws at you. Nevertheless, you can’t focus on only what you get from the relationship. This is why networking doesn’t work for some business professionals. They care so much about what they are going to get from a partnership that they forget about what they are bringing to the table. You want to have someone you can lean on. However, are you the type of person that other people can lean on?

The R U OK? Movement says that in order to become someone that other people can turn to when they have problems, you have to go beyond the answer, “I am fine.” Once you start taking this approach, you start becoming a source of support. You also get to grow because you start developing a perspective of what is important in your own life. The next time you have a problem, guess who will be eager to help you get through it?

With all this in mind, it is time to start seeing the world through the prism that people are inherently good and they are ready to help you, especially if you ask for it. Being alone is a choice. Have faith in people and reach out. They will respond positively to you. Though some people might reject you or dismiss your problems, you will eventually find someone who sticks closer than a brother does. They will do their best to help you get to the end of your journey.

As an old Tibetan proverb says, “As I helped him up the hill, lo, I found myself at the top.”

 

 

Take Stock of your Life In order to Move Forward and Succeed

All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose. – Brian Tracy

men-1245982_1280

On January 1, 2017, I made the resolution that I would read two books every month. March is already with us now and I’ve only read a book and a quarter out of four. While it’s good I’ve at least done something, I know I could have done better than that. Unsurprisingly, this ‘resolution thing’ is a problem that a many people are experiencing.

How many resolutions have you accomplished so far? Are you even on the path toward achieving the goals you set for this year?

According to a survey carried out by the Statistic Brain Research Institute on new year’s day this year, only 9.2% of 1,562 respondents reported feeling successful in achieving their resolutions. Forty-eight point four percent reported having infrequent success, while 42.4% said they failed each year in accomplishing their goals.

Feeling Stuck in Life

runner-555074_1280

Sometimes you can start feeling stuck and it seems unlikely that you will accomplish your goals. Everybody goes through this at times. However, successful people experience this feeling very rarely due to one reason: Purpose.

Thousands of books have been dedicated to this word yet many fail to find this key part of their lives. People with a purpose have a vision and a plan for their future that is so motivating that you can just see them walking with a spring in their step. It’s (supposed to be) that simple.

Unfortunately, many people live uninspired lives full of either failure or moderate success.

Failing to succeed affects people mentally. It breeds insecurities and fear of taking action in other areas of life. It creates a great sense of shame, which can rob an individual of their self-esteem and confidence. Once an individual begins retreating into the recesses of their mind, they discover where a broken mind resides, pulling in its victim further into pain, regret, shame, and depression.

The social structure of society pushes individuals to try to be better than others; either to show the outcomes of self-actualization or to create the perception that their lives are better than others are. Case in point, when people are on social media, all the pictures point to an amazing life the individual is experiencing that is supposed to be better than of their followers.

If a person feels that they are a failure and begin to drown themselves in their sorrows, it is only a matter of time before depression takes root. The classic early signs of depression according to the NHS Choices UK are:

  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Lacking motivation and interest
  • Continuous moodiness and sadness

Others can be:

  • Avoiding public interaction because of the belief they are looking down on you
  • Failing to apply personal hygiene because you no longer see the point
  • Living in a space that is untidy and unclean
  • Having suicidal thoughts because you think the world will be better off without you or that no one will miss you when you are gone.

Without a support system, it is easy to spiral into a life of drug and substance abuse because it has become too painful to face the reality of your life. Some people label themselves as being “depressed” thereby getting access to anti-depressant drugs, which can have a negative effect on their mental health if misdiagnosed.

How to Move Forward in Life

sunlight-166733_1280

  1. Spot the problem

Whether it is in your job, exercising, eating healthy, or being more kind, whatever it is that you are frustrated about not accomplishing requires that you first spot the problem. The solution you come up with will take you to the next level of growth and accomplishment. It will also prevent you from feeling sorry for yourself.

  1. Find your purpose or vision

Recently I was reading about a successful musician and discovered that he dropped out of school in order to sing full-time. While it’s not advisable to copy him, his actions let us know the criteria for our purpose or vision.

Here are the criteria: If you have something you love doing, you are good at doing it, would give everything up to do it and it provides a solution to a problem the public has (and it is not illegal/immoral/unethical) then that can become your purpose in life.

You then need to have a vision of how you want to be in the future. In the case of the musician, his vision could be to become a legend in the music industry with multiple classic songs. With that in mind, he can then work toward achieving that goal, which brings us to the next point.

  1. Chart a new course for your life

The only thing one can do is look at the mistakes and achievements of the past, and chart a new course in order to achieve their overall vision. This sense of purpose will have a positive effect on mental health because every day you wake up inspired to reach a goal you have envisioned for yourself.

  1. Don’t wallow in self-pity for too long

Sometimes life pushes us too hard and we want to curl up in the corner listening to depressing music that matches our mood. However, as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “To live is to suffer; to survive, is to find some form of meaning in the suffering.”

It’s okay to allow yourself to feel all the range of emotions, both negative and positive. Nevertheless, you should not dwell in this doom and gloom mentality. Inspire positive moods through action and seek out that which makes you happy. You don’t live forever so you have to try at least to be happy while you are here.

  1. Forgive Yourself

I’ve often heard this statement made and it never seems to register because I don’t think people (including myself) truly realise that they have been judging themselves harshly for past mistakes. Realise that life has no script; therefore, it is inevitable that you will make the wrong decision. Sometimes that decision can be very costly as well.

As you will eventually come to realise, holding on to these mistakes, failures, and the guilt that comes with it, is of no use to you. You have to move on. The only way to do that is to acknowledge it, learn from it, and let it go. Once you forgive yourself, you will be able to move forward, make new mistakes, and grow.

Doing all these things will help you get in the right mindset to achieve your goals and to change your present life for the better. Understand why your resolutions are important to you and plan out exactly how you can accomplish every one of them. As for me, I’m heading off to read my first book for the new month. I’m confident I will also read the second book because I know why I’m reading and I have a plan of how to go about it.

What about you?

Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. – Ayn Rand

Do You Have ‘Bounce Back’ Ability?

I was recently surprised by someone’s actions. One day they were sad, not psyched up to do anything – either feeling lazy or just unwilling to get out of bed; then the next day they were buzzing around full of energy.

It might not be a remarkable feat since many people do that and have done that before. What piqued my curiosity is how some people are able to pick themselves up while others wallow in their sadness till it trickles into other areas of their lives. Next thing you know, they are sucking the joy out of an engaging conversation or they are complaining about how life has been unfair to them.

Which person are you: the one that wallows or the one that picks themselves up? Where do these positive people get this bounce back ability and how can you get this trait today?

trampoline-71548_1280

Life is full of roses…and thorns!

I have said it before, life can be difficult. You hear all these motivation gurus say that the world is your mirror and if you are being negative then you will attract negative stuff into your life. In truth, life just happens. Even the most positive people get unexpected curveballs in their lives.

For instance, you get a phone call from the office telling you to come and pick up your stuff because you’ve been laid off. Then they insult you by saying it’s not that you were doing a bad job, it’s just the economy is in shambles. How do you respond to that? What if you have a family and they were counting on that pay check? What if you had just taken a loan and now you don’t have the income to pay it back? What if you had a medical condition and being employed helped you tap into the health insurance cover your employer provided. Where do you get the money now?

While all this is hypothetical, there are people who have gone through such problems; probably even worse. It is in stories such as these that you discover whether you have a bounce back ability or not. Some people lie down and complain about the problems they are facing. They go around looking for an audience to hear their sob stories. In time, they refine their stories to the point that deep down they enjoy sharing it. Other people try to get back up as quickly as possible.

Here is how you can bounce back:

  1. Don’t let yourself wallow

I’ve read before that if you are feeling sad you should allow yourself to feel sad and that it will eventually ebb away. Some of us look for every excuse to listen to our favourite sad songs. The musicians just seem to understand exactly what we are going through. But isn’t life too short to spend it being sad? Wouldn’t you rather be smiling?

Recently, I’ve discovered this principle that while feelings cause actions, actions can also cause feelings. For instance, if you are sad (feeling) you are likely to listen to sad music (action). However, if you listen to uplifting music (action) you are going to be happier (feeling). Try it out.

Writers and people in other creative professions understand this concept well. If you don’t feel like writing, you will stare at your Microsoft Word for hours. But if you decide to start writing something anyway, you will start feeling psyched up to write even more than you had originally planned and the words will keep flowing.

  1. Take out the emotion and understand your problem

Simply put, you can’t fight against what you don’t understand. For those who’ve had a big problem such as being fired unexpectedly, it usually comes as a hammer blow. Your emotions are all over the place. What’s worse, fear starts to kick in spinning all types of tales about your imminent demise. It is a bad place to be mentally.

If you can somehow strip away all the emotions you are feeling and confront your problem with solutions in mind, you will be able to come to terms with your situation.

For instance, if you’ve lost your job, here are some ideas of what you can do:

  • Figure out what you are good at e.g. perhaps this is your chance to become a freelancer in writing, a consultant, a businessman, a salesman, develop a product from home etc.
  • If your quality of work led to you being fired, come up with ideas on how to tackle that problem so that it doesn’t threaten your next job.
  • Could you go back to school to improve your credentials?
  • Had you been planning to take a break from work to go on a sabbatical or extended holiday?
  • Do you have a connected network that can help you get a new job?

These are all ideas that can take the emotion out and help you focus on solutions.

  1. Go for counselling

There is a stigma around seeking support through counselling sessions no matter what problem you are facing.

Counselling should not always be used as a last resort.

It helps you get out of your head and see your problems from a different perspective. You get to speak to someone who is concerned about your well-being and wants to see you get back on your feet again. Most importantly, you get to share your thoughts and fears in a non-judgemental environment. Going for counselling can help you bounce back sooner than you would have if you did it alone.

Plus, it doesn’t always have to be a professional counsellor. Maybe you have someone who cares for you and always gives you an ear when you need advice. Seek them out and share with them. As I always say, be there for others also. If you see someone who you think is struggling with a problem, reach out to them and offer to help them find solutions.

boxers-919232_1280

  1. Take it on the Chin

Unfortunately, the more you go through negative situations and come out of them ‘alive’, you build character which helps you every time you face adversity. Bounce back ability is a learned trait.

What happened the first time you fell off your bike? You had to get up and try again till you finally got it. That is true of life. You will face different tough situations and each time you will have to decide whether you will shy away or you will take on the problem head on. The more you face your demons, the greater your bounce back ability will become.

  1. Have faith

I am reminded of the story of the origin of the Christian song ‘It is well with my soul’. This man put his family on a ship and was going to meet up with them later but then received word that the ship had capsized. What a devastating moment! But do you know what happened when his ship got to the spot where his family had died? He wept for them and wrote “It is well; it is well with my soul”. You can imagine all the pain he felt at that moment. Yet he spoke from a point of faith that everything will be okay.

It would be a lie if I said that you won’t have scars; that you won’t face overwhelming battles. That is just part of life. The key is to have faith that everything will be okay in the end. As motivational speaker Les Brown says, “It is much easier to have faith when everything is going well.” But it is in those moments when you are afraid, when you are in pain, when you are beaten down that you have to find a way to have faith. Once you lay hold of it and believe in a positive outcome, you are able to cope with whatever you are facing.

All these tips will help you as you develop your bounce back ability. Just remember, even fighters who are champions get hit from time to time. The only difference is they keep coming back over and over again until their problem (the other fighter) is defeated. You can bounce back as well!

 

Your Life on Earth

In recent times, I have been constantly talking about how your life is precious and why you should never consider giving up even when the pressures of life keep stressing you.

daisy-75190_1280

The BBC website has a great interactive feature that shows how much the world has changed since the time you were born. It is an interesting interactive segment that you should go and check out using this link: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141016-your-life-on-earth.

We are all part of a great Earth Story and our lives are “connected by invisible threads”.

Enjoy that great feature!