You cannot become the person you want to be when you are focused on the behaviour of another person
Why did they do that/say that?
I wonder what they meant by that?
Why did they use that tone with me? They must be upset/angry/sad with me etc.
What do they think of me?
What are they thinking about the situation?
When I find myself in a situation where I am tangled up in a web of worry and restlessness based on one of these thoughts- I remind myself that what I am doing is focusing on the behaviour and thoughts of another person. These are two things that I have no control over, and quite frankly, is not my business.
When you focus on another persons behaviour, a couple things happen.
Firstly, you spend a lot of time, energy and emotions on something you cannot control. It’s needless emotional labour, and it tires you out.
Secondly, you forfeit your opportunity to be the person you want to be.
As soon as I notice I am feeling anxious about something, I ask myself “is this about the behaviour/thoughts of another person?” If yes, I step out of my stories, and ask myself “Who do I want to be in this situation? And what can I do/say/act that is in accordance with that?”
And I do that thing. This is my way out.
It is not whether or not you achieve your goal, it’s who you become on the way to achieving your goal
It’s how the process changes you. Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a part of it. After experiencing my first real sense of “failure” in the last couple years, it took a lot of soul searching to figure out how I want to think about failure and success.
I learned that failing means two things; it means that you tried something and it means that that try did not produce the outcome you expected.
The work that it took for that “try” is not erased. And if you were earnest in your pursuit, then that work would have changed you.
This mindset shift enables me to celebrate the process and the effort, and not the result.
Life is not promised & we don’t have a lot of time here
This is the foundation of it all.
I am very aware of my mortality. I know I am not invincible. I recognize deeply that every day is a gift. I know that just waking up and seeing the sunrise is such a spectacular moment. I know that the fact that my loved ones also woke up to greet the day, is a monumental thing. I know that the fact that I have 24 hours ahead of me to do what is most meaningful to me is an enormous freedom and privilege. I am grateful for my pain-free body that is able to walk, talk, run, dance, hear, see, and just be and exist in this world.
That is a lot to be grateful for, even just as a baseline.
I also know that even the longest life is pretty short.
And if life truly is so brief, then this moment is the most precious thing we have. This mindset allows me to live in a state of gratitude and intensity. I only want to do what is worthwhile and important. And I want gratitude to permeate everything I do.
It might seem a little intense or over the top to be so acutely aware of your mortality, but really – I consider it foolish not to be.
Don’t wait for a fresh start
Waiting for fresh starts is a guaranteed way to spend majority of your time waiting, and the occasional time doing something worthwhile. It is the enemy of consistency and progress. As a fresh start addict, I give myself plenty of fresh starts, so frequently that I spend much less time waiting, and more time doing. This gives rise to other similar strand of thought which is to: Start before you are ready. When you stop waiting for fresh starts, you naturally are forced to start before you are ready. You cannot put something better out there until you put something out there.
Oh and I also stopped waiting for an occasion to do, wear and use special things. If I have the option to make all my moments special, why wouldn’t I?
Learn to enjoy doing difficult things
I love how Robin Sharma refers to doing hard things as “bravery training.” It’s something I remind myself of a lot. Every time I do something that is a little bit out of my comfort zone, I grow exponentially. Not only in skill, but also in confidence and courage.
I am never afraid of being bad at something. If I was afraid of that, then I’d never try anything. I’m not afraid of being the worst in the room at something. If the something I am trying is something I that is important to me and something I want to get better at, then I am inspired to work at it and improve. If the thing I am trying is something I am not that interested in, then why would it matter to me that I am the worst at it?
Adopting the mindset shift made me start finding joy and value in the things that prior to this, I would have found unpleasant and hard.
I am not inferior or superior to anyone
All these labels, good and bad, better and worse, superior and inferior, are all man made and keep us caught in our ego stories. We can never truly connect to humanity as a whole when we see some people as good, some as bad, some as worthy, some as unworthy. Including ourselves!
We all enter the world in the same way, and we all exit in the same way.
It is true that we all have varying degrees of external abilities. What one person can do, I may not be able to do, and what I can do, someone else may not be able to do. But I believe that we all have the same internal potential. What we do with that, matters. And what people do with that so often depends on their circumstances and conditioning. Every one is at different stages of their evolution. Every one flows through different stages of awareness and self-awareness.
There is not superior or inferior. Just different levels of external capabilities.
There’s no good or bad. Just different levels of consciousness.
No matter what happens, I have the power to make it into something beautiful
“I am going to make everything around me beautiful, and that will be my life.” Elsie De Wolfe
This is what guides everything I do and everything I am. This is the “work” of the moment.
As you raise your child, your child raises you
When I was younger, I would dream about being a mother. I would think of all the things I would want to teach my children, all the wisdom I would want to impart.
Now, that I am actually a parent, I actually never think of what I could teach Reya! It seems like the least important of things I need to do for her. And I learn just as much from her as I can teach her, so it balances itself out.
Now, I see parenthood as a two-way exchange. A mutual growing and guiding.
I am as receptive to my daughter as she is to me. I don’t expect obedience. I don’t expect. I just witness, and try to be as supportive presence in her life as I can be. We figure a lot of things out together.
I know that there is nothing I have to teach her that I don’t have to learn first.
I also know that no matter her age or her experience, she brings value to my life. I take her seriously right now, at 2. I don’t need to wait till she’s an adult before I start respecting her. And I certainly don’t need to wait till she is “obedient” or lives life according to my expectations for me to respect and honour her,
I know that to raise a human being to their full potential, you must raise yourself to your full potential. I focus on raising myself into being a happy and peaceful human being. I know that my daughter is watching.
Just take the next right step
Living in an intelligent way always distills down to this. Just take the next right step. And if you don’t know what’s “right,” just take a conscious step.
Take simple ideas seriously
We’re always searching for a novel concept that we haven’t heard before. We think that if we haven’t heard about it, then it must be the solution we’ve been looking for. But the reality is that, we probably already know the answers. We probably already know all the advice and wisdom. It wont be new to us. But knowing something is different to practising it.
Often the advice or solutions are so simple, but rarely put into practice, so they never end up actually moving your forward.
We all have heard of the benefits of daily meditation. It usually tops most of the self-help lists on how to change your life. This is not new information. But do we practice it?
Meditating every day is a very simple idea. So simple. It requires absolutely nothing. No equipment, no tutorials, nothing. You just sit and be.
But we don’t take it seriously. We look for more complex ideas, concepts, practices – but even if we found it. we probably wouldn’t take that seriously either.
This mindset shift reminds me that the solutions are simple. And it’s my job to take those simple ideas seriously.
Other simple things: Daily exercise, warm honey water in the morning, no devices before bed, reading for 30 minutes every day. So simple! So rarely implemented!
Self reflection prompts:
✨ Think about a situation in your life that is troubling you. Who do you want to be in this situation?
✨ When was the last time you felt like you failed? How did you trying to achieve your goal change you as a person?
✨ If you had 5 years left to live, how would you spend it?
✨ What is something you keep putting off for a “fresh start?”
✨ What are you saving for a special occasion?
✨ When was the last time you were truly bad at something?
✨ What is a hard thing you have to do?
✨ When are you triggered to feel superior or inferior to someone? Why?
✨ What are 3 ways you can make the task you have to do a little more beautiful?
✨ What is something your child/partner/parent/friend taught you?
✨ What is the next right step?
✨ What is 1 simple idea you can commit to for the next 30 days?
Till next time,