Lock Down Your Life

28

MARCH, 2020

Vision

Getting Clear on What You Really Want from Life

While lockdown has created many challenges and difficulties, it has also provided an opportunity to reflect on what is really important for each one of us. We may be on track, we may be slightly off course, or we may be going in the completely wrong direction to what we really want. This unprecedented situation that we face can be a window of opportunity to focus on our heart’s desires, our dreams, our relationships, and our success and happiness in life. Having a clear vision gives momentum, hope, and purpose to guide our actions. As Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” When our vision is strong and comes from our hearts, we create energy for the necessary steps we will need to take to make it happen.  In the words of Steve Jobs, “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Say Yes to the Best and No to the Rest

Once we are clear about the kind of life we want, we can start to create a strategy to turn it into reality. We can build our resilience and generate a steely determination and professional approach to our work and toward our play. As Steven Pressfield states in his book The War of Art, we may have to dine ‘on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation’ in order to keep going on the road to our success. We can learn to say no to distractions if they impact our work time. This is vital for staying focussed on the outcome we desire. As legendary football coach Sir Alex Ferguson said, “Once you bid farewell to discipline you say goodbye to success.” Saying no can sometimes feel like a crime or a restriction on our freedom, and yet in truth, we are saying yes to ourselves and a high purpose – our happiness, contribution, or creative expression, and no to a lesser life. Aristotle proclaimed: “Through self-discipline comes freedom.” The art of saying no becomes easier when we start to master our usage of time. 

“ Through self-discipline comes freedom.” The art of saying no becomes easier when we start to master our usage of time.”

Become a Master of Time

Time is a finite resource and we are wise to manage it to our advantage. Setting unrealistic timelines can be just as demoralizing as procrastination or poor planning can be. It also generates unnecessary stress that can sabotage our health and efficiency. A successful strategy needs to include sufficient breaks to maintain our energy and focus, making time for our relationships and well-being. Utilizing our most creative and productive times of the day for our work, as best we can, helps us adapt to any unexpected challenges or interruptions. We can acquaint family, friends, and colleagues with our new schedules. It is wise to work only as long as our energy levels are strong. Tiredness can lead to irritability and a loss of focus. Taking a break or two, rather than carrying on regardless, helps ensure that the quality of our work is consistent. We are more likely to make a mistake and our health and relationships can suffer. Working effectively to our optimum time slots and energy levels can bring success and fulfillment closer.

Enjoy Your Small Achievements on the Way to a Big Goal

If you are only focussed on your outcome, you may miss out on lessons to be learned along the way. It is possible that the goal we set out to accomplish may not be the real gold that we gain from attempting to achieve it. We may be creating new habits and behaviors that will serve us well for the rest of our lives. Celebrating daily successes can be a lifehack as it helps remind us of what we are up to. It is amazing how much we get up to when we give it our attention. By being grateful for what we have and for all we accomplish can change our outlook on life. In the words of Robert Holden, “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.”

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.”

Breathe it In Tap It Out

Our bodies act as a reservoir for the emotions and memories that we experience day by day. They can hold traumas, fears, and self-limiting beliefs, as well as our joys, successes, and growth in life. Breathing in for a count of seven and out for a count of eleven is a fast way to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be further reduced using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) on ourselves, or under the guidance of a skilled practitioner. Meditation and mindfulness, together with somatic practices, such as EFT, help align our bodies and minds and increase our feelings of happiness and success, and our enjoyment of life.

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