When you are at rock bottom there is only one way to go, and that is up. I take that back, you can always dig a hole to China, but who has the energy or the time, so let’s just assume that you can only go up. Life is always about improvement and empowerment and all that jazz, and because the coach in me doesn’t just shrivel up and die just because I can’t get a client, these types of posts still seem to come up.
My brother was telling me the other day that he had three job offers to choose from. Each had their good points and each had their bad, just like all jobs, but what made his mind up was that the one he took, he had no hesitation about whether or not it was the right place for him, while the other two he was analyzing them to death. He kept telling me that his outlook was positive and that he decided that he was going to remain positive and positive things would happen.
You know, that whole Law of Attraction thing and that whole Secret thing? It is said that it really does work, just like a vision board. Well, if my brother can read Deepak Chopra and get something out of it, then I figure I best put on a happy medium face and try to keep up, right? What’s better than a little brother and sister friendly competition?
So, I got to thinking about ways to improve my life and I came up with a list. This isn’t a new list or even an improved list, but it is a list, and who knows, maybe it will help one or another of you as well in a time of crisis management.
10 Ways to Improve Your Life
- Do one thing at a time. We can’t do everything at the same time and we can’t be all things to all people, so when you are in stress mode, just do one thing at a time, because frankly, you can’t handle much more than that anyway!
- Know the problem. This is really big. How can you come up with a master plan for a solution if you don’t know what the problem is? Before you go flying off in a thousand directions, stop and breath and get a good handle on the exact problem that needs to be solved and tackle it one thing at a time (yes, refer back to number 1).
- Learn to listen. I don’t mean to other people either, not that you won’t get good advice, because you will, but to your own body and mind. Listen to when your body tells you it is time to rest, eat and cry. Listen to your children when they are telling you they need to hear you laugh and see you smile. Listen to the birds and the wind in the trees. Listen to your heart beating at night. Listen to your children breathing. Listen to the things that matter.
- Distinguish sense from nonsense. When you are in crisis mode nonsense is not time well spent, so it is time to figure out how to cut out the nonsense and just focus on what makes sense in your life. Life is too short to deal with the nonsense.
- Learn to ask questions. Life might have handed you a bunch of lemons right now, but you can’t turn them into lemonade margaritas unless you learn how to make those margaritas, so ask questions and learn. Questions are the cornerstone of learning and starting our climb back up to the top, so start to ask, after all, why IS the sky blue??
- Accept change as inevitable. Ahhhh, now this one just totally sucks, right? We all know that change is inevitable, but to actually accept it and roll with it is another story altogether. Keep calm and carry on, folks, accept it because life is like that…. inevitable.
- Admit mistakes. Another one. Who wants to do that? Not me. But, I find that the older I get, the more mistakes I make and the easier it is to own up to the mistakes I am making, and you know what, it’s a relief to admit to them. I couldn’t tell you why, except for the fact that I am not perfect, and why should I pretend to be? In fact, why should any of us pretend to be perfect?
- Say it simple. Simple is always best. Hasn’t it been said that the average person thinks like a third grader or something like that? So, say it as simply as possible. For instance… I am through with your crap. I think that is pretty simple, don’t you?
- Be calm. Another force of nature that is not always easy to master, but here’s the cold hard truth, the person that remains calm and in control wins every single time. Have you ever sat there calmly while the person you are dealing with is losing control? I have, and I just watch and think about how that used to be me and not only is it unattractive, but ineffective. It’s exhausting to watch them waste all that energy, and I am so grateful that I can maintain now, so trust me, master this one, you won’t regret it.
- Smile. Sometimes this is the toughest one of all. I know there are days when I can hardly get that frown to turn upside down and some days I don’t think the edges of my mouth will ever turn up again, but then I see my kids do something or say something or I read someone’s blog that makes me laugh or I accomplish something and take a tiny step forward, and I realize that smile is still there, even though it might be buried most of the time. Even if you can only bring it out occasionally right now, still shine that light out when you can, because eventually you will be able to shine it out to the world more and more and soon it will be on your face without you even realizing it. Smile; because it will be okay… it has to be.