Everyone feels suffocated by the pressures of life at some point. Defeated by circumstances that seem out of their control. Burdened by endless responsibilities nipping at their heels. Maybe this is you, right now. Wanting to curl back up in bed, hide under your covers, and face the day some other day. Like maybe next week, or next month, or next year.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
You can wake up every morning ready to face the day. Ready to confront any challenges that come your way. Ready to steer your life in the direction of your dreams.
In three easy steps, you can conquer life like a champion!
1. Evaluate your Because
Some things will occur which will alter the course of your life, whether temporarily or permanently, that you will have no control over. In these moments it can be easy to become weighed down by the overwhelming defeat of feeling powerless. The purpose of evaluating your because is to take your power back.
Popular opinion seems to convey that we have little control over our circumstances, merely control over our reaction to our circumstances. I disagree, and you should too. Our actions and reactions significantly help to paint the picture of our circumstances.
Yes, a distracted driver who plows into you on the expressway may splash an unexpected black paint line across your life. But it is you who has the option to turn that black streak into a bird flying free across the sky. It is you who can stand back and look at how beautiful that painting is, even if you didn’t originally plan to have a bird in it. You are the artist and your actions and reactions are merely the paintbrush.
Evaluating your because helps you to stop focusing on the uncontrollable and see the many aspects of life that are under your control. It helps you to get that power back. To realize how truly limitless your options are.
You are not a dead leaf drifting about aimlessly wherever the wind may take you. You are a sailboat, with the available options to direct yourself to the destination of your choosing.
2. Analyze your Why
After we battle the notion of powerlessness we can become equally overwhelmed by the realization of the limitless options before us. Analyzing our why helps to defeat this level of overwhelm by understanding why you are choosing what you have been choosing and opening yourself to the best option available to you.
Have you ever felt like you were too close to your problems to see a clear solution? That you can easily give upstanding advice to others but lack the viewpoint necessary to apply that same wisdom to your own life?
Sometimes we can become so submerged by the painting, by our circumstances, that we forget that we are the artist. That we hold the paintbrush.
Analyzing your why helps you to take a step back from your painting and see it more clearly. To see our actions and reactions for what they are and to honestly evaluate why we are choosing to act or react in that way. Analyzing your why also help us to see if our actions and reactions are creating the natural consequences that we desire and if they are bringing us closer or further away from our ‘ultimate’ life.
To properly sail your boat, you must first understand how it operates. To properly steer your life, you must first understand how you operate.
3. Paint your Picture
We know that we have a choice in where we go, we know how to use our actions and reactions to get us to where we want to go, but… where do we want to go?
I spend a few minutes each day fantasizing about my “ultimate” life. Rather than scrolling Facebook, uploading selfies to Instagram, or mindlessly watching the newest sitcom on Netflix, I lounge on my porch overlooking the peacefulness of my backyard and envisioning the details of life as I want it to be. I do this frequently, as it is a very relaxing activity, and it keeps my end goal fresh in my mind at all times.
Painting a picture of your ultimate life and ultimate being/self gives you a reference point to make decisions with ease. It becomes your compass steering you towards the best decision for you.
It has been said that the human brain is only capable of making a specific amount of decisions in a given day. While I am slightly skeptical of the science behind this claim, I do have to admit that in the past I have easily become overwhelmed by the feeling of “always having to figure shit out.” I have found that by painting your picture, thus creating a reference point to direct your decisions, you can more efficiently and successfully decide without unnecessarily burning through your ‘decision energy’.
A canvass will remain empty without an idea of what to paint. A sailor will float in circles without a map. A life will be directionless without a destination.
To better get to where you want, you have to know where you intend to go.
Creating a life that you are excited to wake up to is as easy as 1, 2, 3;
- Evaluate: Take back control. Know what your available choices are.
- Analyze: Understand your why. Select the best choice for you.
- Paint: Create your map. Keep your end goal fresh in mind.
It will not be an effortless journey, but you too can lead a life that you are excited to live.