I feel heartbroken even if my heart has not been broken – at least not these days. I had a fall out with a close member of my family. And I’ve tried to numb myself from feeling bad by binge-watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix. I deliberately took a temporary break from my life, doing just the minimum necessary work to keep things afloat.
I think it’s quite a good method of numbing yourself when you feel bad.
Now, of course, you can’t stay in that mode for too long, but it felt comforting to be able to do that and to give myself this break, knowing it’s only temporary, and that I will get back to my life and when I will, the pain will be less painful.
Every time I accomplished something, I made a silent commitment to myself. A secret decision that I will go for it. And it was all the motivation I needed.
I didn’t tell anyone about it; I didn’t announce the world. And I don’t remember writing it down, either.
That determined inner commitment is more important than any goal system, calendar, application or coach.
The tools are helpful if the commitment exists. Just the tools alone, are a waste of time.
Sometimes you notice there is a certain type of situation that is always repeating itself in your life and the result is not quite the one you want. Or a not so good circumstance lasts for too long.
When you are in the middle of one of these scenarios, the tendency is to think that life is not fair, the stars are badly aligned, and there’s nothing you can do. Or, even if you have a suspicion that part of the fault might be yours, you convince yourself that there’s nothing you could possibly do, anyway.
But situations like these are signs.
Signs that life, or God, is trying to tell you something.
And your assignment is to recalibrate the way you view an area of life.
This recalibration is not easy.
You need to dig deep into your beliefs. And to be brutally honest with yourself. So honest, as if it’s not about yourself. But it is. And that’s what makes this assessment difficult.
It feels like a remolding of your soul. It can be painful. But if you do it, you get yourself out of the circle. You get to not only move on, but you also get accustomed to the teaching style of life, the framework of its lessons.
The next time a lesson comes around, it will take you less time to understand – as long as you are willing to learn.
I tried something new this week. I checked my schedule for the next week and made my must do list for the next week on Friday after work, instead of leaving it to Sunday. And I feel great about it. Like I have the whole weekend to myself. I feel free. Completely free.
Even writing it felt good. Not like making a to-do list for work but like preparing for the start of a relaxing retreat. Never tried this before but will definitely do it again. Same time next week.
I’ve missed writing here. In the meantime, I’ve tweaked my site like crazy. I wanted to have a perfect looking website before I fully engage myself in blogging. – This is the perfectionist in me and looks like she brought her brother, the procrastinator. I want to do my best to ignore them.
This whole “I need this and that before I start working on what I really want to do” is just a trick of the mind. We try to find logical arguments why we don’t start or continue doing something new.
But what we do is that we trick ourselves out of what we want because we try to avoid discomfort.
Every time you start something new, you feel a level of discomfort. That new thing has the potential to become second nature to you if you continue on the path.
Not everything you try becomes second nature. Some things turn out to just not be your “thing.”
The challenge, then, is to recognize what’s worth continuing with, despite the discomfort of change, and what’s not worth it. And it all comes down to what you truly want. Do you want it enough to overcome the discomfort of the new beginning?
I read a book called “Self Discipline in 10 Days” and I wanted to write a short recap of the ideas I found most useful in it.
This book is actually about goals and the mindset to reach them. I would have called it “How to Reach Your Goals” or something like that. I think it would have been more popular if it had another title. People are usually not attracted to the idea of self-discipline. I’m definitely one who’s not, and I don’t think I would have thought of reading it. I only did it because a psychologist recommended it to me.
But let’s dig into the content. It’s written using simple, casual language, as the author himself puts it: “all psychobabble and jargon have been skimmed off.”
The main idea throughout the book is that there is a hidden subconscious part of our mind that doesn’t want us to do the things that we decide on the conscious level. The author calls this part of us Mr. Hyde. I’m not a big fan of imagining myself as having two parts of me. It resembles split personality to me, and I prefer a more integrative view of the human being and personality. But I know that there are hidden parts of our mind and subconscious beliefs that drive us and that sometimes we are not aware of them. I think that what the book is trying to help us do is to bring the subconscious beliefs to the surface. The exercises prompt you to pay attention to and write down the things you say to yourself – he calls it “self-talk.” And he’s giving some tools to replace the negative self-talk and the subconscious beliefs that keep us stuck with positive ones. Some of these tools are: visualization, rewarding yourself for little steps towards your goal, affirmations – called “Vitaminds” in the book, creating an action plan for each goal you want to achieve.
A new idea I discovered in this book that I didn’t find anywhere else is to go through pre-goal stages (decision and preparation stage) before starting to work on a goal.
I found the exercise for the decision stage very useful: to write down the benefits and the drawbacks of pursuing and achieving a goal.
Another interesting tip in the book is to write next to each item on your to-do list an estimate of how long you think it will take you to complete it.
I think this book can be really useful. It has great insights about what goes on in the mind when you decide you want to achieve something and you have to take action towards it constantly and on a long-term. But you have to dig deep into the exercises, with self-honesty and courage. And, of course, you have to do the work required for each stage of the goal.