Happiness requires that we’re not constantly “spinning our wheels” and doing the same wrong things over and over. There is a saying – usually attributed to AA – that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Most people, myself included, agree with this statement. Yet surprisingly most people, myself included, have done this very thing. Yes, more than once.
When I keep doing the same behaviours, but expect different results, usually at least two things are happening. The first is that I am not living in the Now (see my last post) so I’m not conscious and present with myself. The other thing that is always happening is I am lying to myself about something….even if the lie is that I don’t know what else to do. If you find yourself spinning your wheels and frustrated with your life, stop and take a deep breath and an even deeper pause. More activity is not going to help. Take a breath before you get to the breaking point, and make a date with yourself to explore what you are doing every day to block happiness from yourself. To help you get started, here are a few things to consider stopping and eliminating from your thoughts and from your life.
1). Stop Focusing On What You Don’t Want To Happen: Spend your time focusing on what you DO want to happen. This sound ridiculously simple, but most people focus their thoughts on things that they don’t want to happen. Every morning when you get up, picture what you DO want to manifest in your life….the big picture. Then, throughout your day, remind yourself of this picture and take at least one small step towards this every day. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every success story. Keep the thoughts of what you DON’T want out of this picture.
2). Stop Spending Time With the Wrong People: Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the life out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make some space for you. You should not have to fight for a spot. If someone wants you in their life, they won’t criticize, belittle, or judge you. Walk away from these people! Do not jostle for a position in someone’s life who continuously overlooks your worth. Spend your precious time with people who leave you smiling, not crying.
3). Stop Holding Grudges: Stop living with hate in your heart. This is poisoning you. I promise you, you will end up hurting yourself far more than the people you hate. Forgive these people, and remember that forgiveness is not weak. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay with me.” It is saying, “I am not going to let what you did to me ruin any more of my present moments.” If you cannot forgive and lay down the heavy burden of your grudges, you will let the person ruin your happiness forever. That, my dears, is giving someone a whole lot of power over your life and happiness. Liberate yourself! (If you need to forgive yourself, give yourself this gift and know you will do better next time. Then, move one!)
4). Stop Blaming Others For Your Problems: The extent to which you achieve your dreams depends upon the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. You are denying responsibility for your life when you blame others – and giving them huge power of your life.
5). Stop Doing the Same Things Over and Over Without Taking a Break: You cannot be at your best when you are tired, fatigued, and burned out. The time to take a deep, slow breath is the exactly when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what your are doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. At times, you need to take a step back to see things clearly.
6). Stop Trying to Be Someone You’re Not: It is often a big challenge to be yourself in a world that seems to want to make you like everyone else. Be yourself anyway. Those with the least confidence in who they are may criticize or judge you, but you really don’t want these people in your life anyway. Don’t press yourself into a mold so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will be drawn to you and like you for who you are.
Maybe you can think of other things that you need to stop doing. If you keep doing the “wrong” things – those things that burn you out, cause resentment, make you like yourself less, then there is far less space to allow the right things into your mind, heart, and life. Practice, starting today, to make room for these right things by eliminating one “wrong” thing at a time from your life.