Ok…here’s a transparency moment – There are some days when I feel less than great. Low, grouchy, fed-up, and bored are all words you could use to describe what I’m like on those days and I’m probably not the best company.
The thing is, days like those are part of the deal with being human – it’s not an elective. There will always be off days, and that’s okay.
But what happens when you get a whole string of those off-days, maybe lasting weeks, months or even years? Too many of us say that we’re in a rut, feel stuck, fed-up, or bored and admit that we don’t want things to be that way, but we don’t know what to do to change. That’s the problem, when you’re in a rut, you don’t have the energy or motivation to change things for the better, and it’s tough to find the insight or resources you need to make that jump.
Here are three things you can add to your life right now to climb, or better yet, leap, out of the rut and start to get something better for yourself.
Get Some Fun, Fulfillment and Freedom
The Three F’s – Fun, Fulfilment, and Freedom – encompass a lot of what people are looking for in life, and also contain the solutions to having, doing and being those things. Here are some definitions:
Fun – A source of enjoyment or pleasure; playful activity
Fulfillment – To bring into actuality; to complete; a feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires
Freedom – The capacity to exercise choice, free will; frankness or boldness; the absence of constraint in choice or action
Read those again. Those things are huge, deep, and broad, and are a lot simpler than we make them.
Where are you in relation to each of the Three F’s? How much of each do you have right now? How much of each do you want? Whatever gap there is, recognize that it can be closed, and that you can close it.
What would things be like if you were to close that gap? What would happen if you climbed a point or two on the Fun scale? What if you could add a point to your level of Fulfillment or Freedom? How would that feel? Pretty good, right? So what one thing can you do right now to help you get more?
By themselves each of the Three F’s are a powerful thing, and can really help to move you forward, enjoy where you are, and feel alive. But when the Three F’s come together . . .well, just hold on to your hat and keys.
Before long, you’ll be saying – “Rut? What rut?” 🙂 Woo Hoo!!
Frequently, I invite the readers of my blog and the listeners of my podcast to submit questions to me. No question is off limits. I answer questions about leadership, goal setting and achievement, life success, career growth, relationships, business, work/life balance-basically anything related your total life well-being. Each week I receive lots of questions and I personally answer each one.
Check out this question from one of my podcast listeners. ..
How can I do what’s right for me without hurting my family?
A few weeks ago, a reader named Rosie wrote saying,
“My family runs a business that has been in our family for generations. After college, I joined the company just like everyone expected. But now, I’m miserable. This is not what I want to do for the rest of my career. How do I do what I truly want in life without ruining the relationship with my family.” ~Rosie (Chicago, IL)
Surprisingly, I get this question or some form of it quite often. Whether it’s choosing a career path, finding a spouse, deciding what city to live in, or a whole host of other important life decisions – we’ve all faced times when we find ourselves juggling the expectations others. Trying to strike a balance between what we really want and what others want for us.
Can you relate to Rosie?
There are so many voices in your head telling you what you should do that you get paralyzed and making any kind of decision is nearly impossible.
You find yourself in situations that drain you – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically – all because you don’t want to be a disappointment or hurt someone’s feelings.
It’s a terrible place to be (yes, I’ve been there, too). Yet, if you want to have a happy and fulfilled life, sometimes you have to make decisions that others won’t agree with. And, it doesn’t have to be as difficult or as hurtful as you might imagine. You can make decisions that are right for you and still maintain healthy relationships.
When you are moving to the next level of your life, there are some relationships you can’t let go of. Instead of letting the relationships suffer, determine to nurture them with open and honest communication.
If you find that your most vital relationships are being strained by your growth, her’s what to do…
- Get crystal clear about what you do want. What are you moving into? What’s yoru goal/dram/vision? Take the time to develop a vivid, detailed image of what you want.
- Get clear about the reasons why you want it. This is perhaps the most important step. As you make your move to the next level of your life, you may encounter some resistance. Some of it may come from your family. And, some of it may come from you. After all, you’re doing something new and that can be scary. To avoid becoming stuck again, keep reminding yourself of why you’re making the move.
- Have an honest conversation with your family. This may be the most frightening part, but completing the first two steps will make the conversation much easier. The key is to be honest and direct. Let your family know that you’re making changes to make you better, not to hurt them. Tell them what you’d really like to be doing and why.
- Don’t leave your loved ones out. Include them in your growth process. Reassure them that you are not leaving them behind. Invite them to join you on the journey.
Associations bring about assimilation. Birds of a feather flock together. I’m sure you’ve heard these sayings at least once in your life. But, have you ever considered what they mean in relation to the levels of health, wealth, and happiness you have in your life?
Jim Rohn, America’s foremost business philosopher, was famous for saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Think about the five people you spend the most time with…do you all enjoy the same things? Do you all have the same level of happiness? Even if you are in different careers, do you all have just about the same level of income? Do you all read the same types of books or watch the same television shows? Are your relationships with your significant others similar? Chances are, you answered “yes” to most of those questions.
The reason – your thoughts, beliefs, habits, actions, and character are shaped most by the people you spend the most time with. Like Les Brown says, “If you hang around with 9 broke people, chances are you’ll be number 10″
Now ask yourself, “Is that okay?” Are you satisfied with having the same kind of income, success, relationships, and spiritual life your friends and colleagues have? If so, GREAT!
However, if your relationships are not providing the support and challenge you need to achieve the levels of success you desire in your life, then it may be time for you to make some changes. Here are three choices you can make in your current relationships:
Let Go – This is very hard to do and it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. However, there are some relationships that are too toxic to continue. You must let go of these relationships before they poison your entire life.
Place Limitations – There are some people you can’t let go of. However, you don’t have to allow them to be major influences in your life anymore. Begin to limit the time you spend with them. For instance, if you’ve previously spent hours on the phone gossiping with a certain friend and realize that this is taking up time you could be using to take action toward your goals, limit the number of times you talk to that person each week. You can also limit the things you discuss. Instead of discussing gossip, discuss your plans for the future, good things that have happened recently, or a good book you’re reading.
Upgrade – Begin to enhance and expand your relationships with positive and successful people. Make it a priority to spend the majority of your time with people who are excelling in various areas of life (health, wealth, relationships, spiritual growth, etc.).
Focus on expanding your positive relationships. Spend at least 2 hours this week in the company of people who challenge you to stretch and operate in excellence. This could mean attending a personal development seminar, going to a new Bible study class, taking your mentor to lunch, or attending the monthly meeting of your professional association.
The excitement was almost too much for her to bear.
All of those beautifully wrapped boxes under the Christmas tree. Wrapped with bright red and green paper and tied with shiny gold ribbons. Her eyes sparkled as she picked up one of the boxes and carefully unwrapped the package, not wanting to tear the beautiful paper.
As she opened the box, she thought about all the possibilities of what could be inside. Maybe it was a new doll with long curly hair. Or, maybe it was a new dress. Maybe….
But, as she opened the box, her excitement faded. There was nothing inside. It was empty.
That may be the feeling you have about your life right now.
On the outside, it looks pretty good. You have spent most of your life pursuing what you thought would make you happy only to obtain it and realize there is nothing there.
Solomon summed it up like this, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11, NIV)
Do your goals seem meaningless and unfulfilling?
Have you accomplished something in a certain area of your life only to realize it’s not what you really want?
I’ve been there.
After spending three years in law school and a whole summer studying to pass the bar exam, I stood before a judge taking an oath to enter a profession I had no desire for. It wasn’t that the goal of being an attorney wasn’t a noble one…it just wasn’t for me.
However, I continued down the path of being an attorney for a while. (After all, I put in lots of time, money, and hard work.)
But, when I finally got tired of going in the wrong direction, I made a U-turn. And, I’m so glad I did.
Sadly, so many people never do.
Most people spend their whole lives heading in the wrong direction.
Don’t let that be YOU.
Take an honest look at what you have been pursuing in your life. Is it something you really want? Will accomplishing it bring your joy and fulfillment?
Answer this question — what do I really want?