In the past, people believed that our essential qualities, like intelligence or talent, where traits fixed at birth. And consequently, many spent their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. Falsely believing that talent alone creates success -without effort. Until, a Stanford University Psychologist and Researcher, Carol Dweck came along and proved that they were wrong.
Since childhood HOPE, always hunting for the excellent up ahead, has always been part of my life.
That said, I remember a season when things took an altogether darker turn. I found myself a prisoner of a toxic relationship that left me feeling life was hopeless. It happened gradually, and I didn't notice until one day I found myself utterly stuck and helpless. As if, there was no way to get me out of the situation and live a happy life.
Ever had one of those seasons when not even the cold your nursing can drag you down. How is that even possible??
Truth is we all want to feel alive, satisfied & that we’re living our best lives -right?
But here’s the rub, what exactly do we mean when we say “alive”.
Alert? Active? Vigorous? Enthusiastic? Bubbly? Perky? Ready for action?
Here’s the thing when we describe being “alive”, lying on a sun lounger in paradise isn’t typically part of that description. Which begs the question are we wasting our time and money when our entire focus and work efforts become about the next big trip?
Perhaps that’s the kicker when we want to improve our sense of being “alive” because from it's description aliveness means we’re going to have to do something with vigour and that sounds more like work than relaxing on a desert island.
Like you I don’t want to settle for less than my best life. And I hope that some of that life means being able to travel and tick things off my bucket list. But what happens in-between the bucket list ticks when what lies ahead requires more effort, and no doubt more hassles. Should we just grin and bear or is there another perspective?
We know our physical bodies respond and adapt to weight and resistance work by growing more muscle. If we want to increase our sense of aliveness, then it makes sense that we need to learn to manage and improve our capacity to deal with more activity and adapt to its demands.
Today, my cold symptoms rage, a critical assessment looms, my business & side-hustle need attention. There's a recipe to be typed. Triathlon training to get done. That unfinished article needs to make landfall. And my kids are home for the holidays, while the house remains in disarray due to renovation work.
It's tempting to bury myself in travel brochures and escape to paradise, but here's why I don't believe it's the answer if you aim to feel 100% alive.
Right now, hard work & hassle is where it’s at for me. But the massive benefits are that by being active, chipping away at tasks, keeping a vigorous focus, being enthusiastic & perky in approach, my life is becoming that description of being “alive”. And honestly, I feel it. Not the fleeting contentment of lying on the beach, but a more profound sense of knowing what it means to be alive.
What about you, what are your hard work and hassles giving you?
You know the feeling when you wish that loudmouth would just pipe down.
Sometimes, the difference between success and inaction is as simple as overcoming the little voice in your head that says “you can’t”.
Imagine, you are just about to start out on a new and exciting project. You’re poised with excitement, and you’re just about to get things underway. Precisely at that moment, that point in time, your mind starts to express fears. “What if I fail?” “What if I’ve not got what it takes?, “What if…?” You’re spooked, like a panicky animal fighting itself. Will you continue or throw in the towel?
That voice that says, “you can’t” is what moves you from action to procrastination.
So how can you overcome these self-doubts and get on with living your best life?
The first step is to recognise there are two voices, the one that resists your best self and tells you that “you can’t” and the one that encourages that “you can”.
Here’s the thing, for many of us the “you can” is a soft and gentle, whisper, while the negative voice is a loudmouth.
What could happen in your future if you told that loudmouth to pipe down?
Five women got lost in a vast forest. They tried to find their way out. The 1st woman said, “I will follow my intuition & go left.”
The 2nd woman said, “I will go right. I have a strong feeling about this.”
The 3rd woman said, “I think I will walk back the same path we came. This should be the safest option.”
The 4th woman said, “I think we should keep walking ahead so I will go straight. I am sure this forest will end & I will find a village or farm & ask directions.
The 5th woman said, “I don’t know what to do. I think I will climb up this tree & take a better look around before I make up my mind.
So the 5th woman did. While she was climbing the others scattered in their own direction.
The 5th woman could now see from above the shortest way to the village & thought that the others should not have chosen their paths.
She was wrong, though.
Each woman chose her path & gained a different experience.
The woman who went left found the long path that led her to town. The woman who went right fought a wolf pack & learned she was strong & capable. The woman who went back met other hikers & made new friends. The woman who went straight, found the farm, was invited to stay for dinner before leaving for the village.
Do the right thing, make the best choice and let the chips fall where they may.
What would change in your life if you decided to stand by your own decision?
A young boy and his father were walking a forest track. They came across a large tree branch on the ground. The boy asked,
“If I try, do you think I could move that branch?”
His father replied,
“I’m sure you can if you use all your strength.”
The boy tried his best to lift, pull and push the branch, but it would not budge. He was not strong enough.
Disappointed, he said,
“You were wrong, Dad. I can’t move it.”
“Try again,” replied his father.
Again, the boy tried hard to lift, pull and push the branch. But still, the tree branch did not move.
“Dad, I cannot do it.” said the boy.
Finally, his father said,
“Son, I advised you to use all your strength. You didn’t. You didn’t ask for help.”