This is not another ten reasons to make us feel like crap again. No, the exact opposite! If you want to exit the existence bubble and live a more productive life — a life with you as the captain — then engaging in these ten steps could serve you well. These steps are lived experiences to assist you to defeat Ferris Wheel Syndrome (going round in circles, rinse and repeat). We’ve all been there.
There are far too many Men living in a self-contained bubble of existence. They will do the bare minimum, yet expect great rewards. Their route to living happily is reality T.V. social media, 24/7 news, and sports. If they want to purchase the newest gadgets, latest clothing, or sports apparel, they will borrow money to get it — for fear of feeling left out. Their attitude towards education, personal development, and learning is, what would I want to do that for? Or, is this going to put food on the table? They work jobs just to cover bills, yet live a celebrity lifestyle through social media. This can lead to Mental Health Issues.
You might ask, what would you know about failing in life? There have been periods over parts of my adult life in which I have willingly participated in every one of these thoughts, actions, or behaviors. The outcome, piss poor decision making, is something I know very well. It’s why I need to communicate it to you.
1. The Power of So What
The exact opposite of What If, as this requires imagination, desire, and action. When you live your life from a position of So What (also known as “I don’t give a crap”), feelings of judgment, resentment, low self-worth, and anger will be part of your perspective on how you view the world. These feelings can be tackled through acquiring new habits, routines, and learning new skills. They do not have to determine your life outcomes. To break the routine that is making you feel unhappy, set times daily to use the phone, limit screen time, go outside, read a book, engage with friends, and try new things that build excitement and a sense of purpose.
2. The Power of Failure
Failure can lead to paralysis of the mind and body — but it doesn’t have to. We all fail at something throughout our lives. There would be no learning if we didn’t. Take a look around your community — there will be local shops, window cleaners, florists, hairstylists, beauty salons, car repair, restaurants, bars, and a dentist to name a few. Do you think these people let failure form part of their ability to take action? Of course, you don’t. If you live from a position of fear, you will generate failure at every juncture. Now, make a decision and go out and chase what you think about when you see happiness.
3. The Power of Humility
One of the most important traits in life is the power of humility. Even when you become successful you must learn to be humble. The art of being humble attracts other people to you, for all the right reasons. Life can hit you with an almighty kick in whatever part of the body generates the most pain. If you give into it and a “look at me” pose at every opportunity, you will alienate people wherever you go. There is real power in the acts of being humble, kind, and generous to your fellow man. Look at what skills, talents, and experiences you possess and share them to be of value to others.
4. The Power of Persistence
This is one of the core principles as set out in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think, and Grow Rich. If you are not persistent in your thoughts and actions, you will settle into the existence bubble. In simple terms, you will always take the easy option. Don’t waste your time on distractions; things that don’t provide a clear benefit to you. You need to set goals, targets and have a vision of what you want from life — then go chase it. The art of persistence lies in the doing. When you awake in the morning set your intentions for the day, and affirm to yourself that no challenge will stand in your path.
5. The Power of Purpose
Be careful about this one. Most people think their purpose is what they should continually chase in life. The problem with that is that they don’t know what their purpose is so don’t know how to chase it. To explore your purpose take some time and think about what your values, beliefs, and experiences tell you. Do you get angry about issues of inequality, poverty, rights, wealth, injustice, education, the government, parenting, or trolling online? There are values in every-one of us that help define part of our identity. Find what yours are and start learning how they can help you take steps to determine what you want to do with your life.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” (Nelson Mandela)
6. The Power of Nothing
How many distractions can you find daily to keep you from doing something? Let’s go through the main ones, and see how many you do: checking the phone every 5 minutes, even when involved in a conversation, daytime television. Alcohol consumption, news every hour, Netflix binge. Incessant social media scrolling, online shopping, lack of exercise, reaching for the junk out of sheer boredom. These are not going to break your habit of existing. No, but they will put your mental and physical health at risk. You choose. The best way to beat distractions is to limit your time spent engaging with them. Get into a habit of writing down or journaling what you do every day. Try it for one week. Review at the end of the week and start eliminating what’s not productive and of benefit to you. Then add activities, tasks, or hobbies that will benefit you.
7. The Power of Self Pity
You need to realize that life, no matter how hard, happens for us, not to us. If you let your struggles dominate your thoughts daily you will live in a state of why me? These thoughts will drive emotions and behaviors which are negative, leading you into poor mental health. Putting your body into forward motion helps generate actions that are beneficial to changing patterns of behavior, habits, and routines. You need to become self-aware and take care of yourself first. Do not get into a cycle of feeling sorry for yourself, as this will become automatic when you face a problem. It’s perfectly fine to live in the emotion of what happened to you. However, this should be used as a process to learn and heal. If you need medical assistance then go seek it
8. The Power of Belief/Or Lack of It
You mustn’t let beliefs you have about negative situations dictate your future. The ability to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, and reframe our thinking, is available to every one of us. How many times have you set and reinforced negative beliefs by thinking and speaking about them? This reinforces the belief that stops you from dealing with them. We run from a challenge if it’s too difficult. You need to get comfortable with the negative, so you can progress.
9. The Power of Listening
We all want to be heard, to matter, to have an opinion verified. However, we need to be conscious that trying to force your views on someone without listening to theirs is one of the biggest mistakes in life, personal and professional. In the Principles of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, he states “seek first to understand, then to be understood” You need to be in the moment to do that, not checking the television, phone, or looking out the window. When you are present, you start to gain clarity and become solution focused on problems that arise. It will also open up much better lines of understanding in personal/professional life.
10. The Power of Risk-Taking
Not to be mistaken for, take risks at every opportunity. It can be fearful stepping out into the unknown for the first time. You will have a thousand questions in your head giving you all the reasons why you should not. However, if you truly want to make an impact on your life, and those around you, you need to take risks, even if you fail. In failing, you learn what not to do, and get cushioned with forces of grit and determination for the next time. If you want to merely exist then risk-taking won’t be a part of your thinking.
You can’t find gold without chasing the rainbow.
There are so many quotes that discuss how you approach life, which I got sick of reading. So here’s my 2 cents worth, based on my own experiences. At the outset of this post, I stated that I had actively participated in every one of those negative and derailing actions or behaviors during my adult life. It’s part of growing up. However, once I acknowledged that they led to piss poor outcomes in every way imaginable I changed them, and so can you.
We can all be victims in circumstances out of our control. However, you need to examine what you do control and take action to change that situation. If your modus operandi is to observe and run commentary on other people’s lives; people who care not a jot about your opinions, then why do it? Just let this marinate, watching the news for 3 minutes increases your feelings of negativity by 27%. The word negative makes up a large part of what we consume daily. If you want to lead a full and productive life you need to identify what serves you and go after it. There will always be alibis and excuses. “Stop thinking about it, just do it.”
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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