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“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.” ―Margaret Atwood
Have you ever found yourself in a rut where nothing seems to be advancing in your life? You wake up each with discouragement induced brain fog. No matter how hard you try you feel like your life is just spinning its wheels. Somedays you feel like a hamster going round and round, but not getting anywhere in particular. Sometimes it feels like the hamster wheel comes to an abrupt stop and you fall off and end up staring at the ceiling wondering to yourself “Is this all there is”?
There are different kinds of ruts. Maybe you are in a relationship rut. Maybe your dating life seems about as exciting as watching wet paint dry. Maybe your marriage needs some refreshing. Maybe you feel “stuck” in a job that does not inspire you, but you go in day after day because it pays the bills. We have all been there. Ruts just bring us down or put us into an automatic pilot mode.
Some of us just want something to change, but we have no idea how that will happen. We are looking for that magic bullet, that magic wand to just wave us out of the doldrums of our life and into a new life of something meaningful, something where we feel we are actually going somewhere and doing something of importance.
Time For A Change?
So, what can we do to change things? Is there any hope for us?. Well, actually there is. We can climb out of this “depth of despair”, as Anne of Green Gables famously and dramatically called her difficult life situations. We can see our life in new ways. We can choose to use a different mirror. We can change our circumstances to some degree, but what we do have control over is how we feel about our circumstances.
It sounds easier said than done to change how we feel and sometimes we just need a little help from the outside. Have you ever noticed that just getting out among people or activities can change your perspective? Activity can lift our spirits and make us feel more energized. when we feel that our lives are routine, dull or not going anywhere, sometimes all it takes is new experiences to help us think differently.
We can show our brains all kinds of new things: new experiences, new ways of seeing things. We can take ourselves to new places, even within our own city. Why not be a tourist in your own town? Learn some new history. Take a night tour of your town. Why not go visit houses for sale just to dream a bit? Go for a tour. Why not? Go “shopping” and try on new clothes (ones you can’t normally afford). Go to a travel agency and get brochures of places you would like to visit and plan a trip 9even if you are not actually going there). Just imagine what it might be like. It is just about stretching our minds and imagining for fun.
New Information Helps
New (and good) information, whether from new books or speaking with other people can help us to see things in a new light. Often when we only listen to ourselves, we end up believing ourselves about our situation. We end up spinning negative versions of reality over an over. Usually, what we think and tell ourselves is not even true.
Any computer analyst will tell you that the output is dependant on the input. If good data goes in, then there will be good output on the other end. How do we get better input? Well, we need to change what information we are allowing into our mind. The fact is, the information we have received up until now is largely what has brought us to where we are in life. We need to get new and better information and throw out the baggage we have been used to, including the suitcases.
Whether it comes to changing your health, your fitness level or anything else in life, new information and new associations will change things for you. Get around new people who are going in the direction you want to go. If you want to improve your health or fitness, wouldn’t it make sense to get around people who are pursuing health goals? Now, of course, this doesn’t mean get rid of your friends and family; It just means associating with people who think differently and are getting the results you want.
Decide To Change
Once you decide and are geared to make a change, it needs to become a habit. A habit takes 63 days (roughly just over 2 months) to solidify. so don’t give up. Stay on the path. Stay in your lane.
Find your motivation. Most of us have a 2-week motivation to go to work (paycheck to paycheck) and that is what keeps us going to work each day. It’s time to find a new motivation, one that comes from you, rather than a boss, whether it is a desire to change a situation you are tired of, or whether you are chasing a dream. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Ask for guidance from people who can help you. And most importantly, stay away from the “whiners and complainers” – they will only discourage you.
Finish What You Start
As Winston Churchill said: “Never give up.” Don’t get distracted or give in to discouragement (even from yourself). Be kind to yourself and take your new path in small steps. Every day, do something that is moving you forward toward your goal, whether it is reading a new book or talking with someone who can help you. Don’t sabotage the progress you have made by compromising or slacking off (a bit). And remember, the couch is not the best place to find motivated people.
No matter what, time will pass. Time is a relentless thief that will steal your time away from you when you are not looking. We need to redeem the time and make the most of the time we have to do what only we can do. Don’t let time take away the precious moments you could have used to change things in your life.
You Are Not Here By Accident
None of us was born to just pay the bills and try to get by. We are worth so much more than that. We have so much to offer the world, but how will the world know what we have to offer if we don’t even know ourselves because we never believed we could do more and be more?
The economic world we live in loves for us is to stimulate the economy, pay our taxes and be “good” citizens. While none of these are wrong, we have greater contributions to make and a bigger impact to have on the world. There are people whose lives we can change and places we can discover. There are new inventions to create and books we can write.
Be bold, be courageous. Don’t hold back from doing what only you can do. Have questions bigger than your answers. Always go deeper than what you know and remember that in the end, we will never know it all.
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Diana Lynne loves to travel, pursue self-improvement and debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca