We often won’t address our problems because of what it would take to fix them
am usually up early, around 5 a.m., when the world is still quiet. It allows for some time to meditate and wonder about things. On this particular morning, I picked up a book and read for a few minutes until I came to a passage that made me wonder why I was feeling lonely and maybe even a little sad.
The feeling brought with it some realization of my always-present and intense need to share what I have learned. And the way that seems most enjoyable to me is by telling stories and then relating them to the present situation. I crave that look in someone’s eyes when they really get and appreciate my message; I can just feel it when the connection happens. In today’s socially distanced world, the difficulty of finding someone willing to come face to face, who wants to listen and in turn share their own story is far more difficult. Thus my dilemma.
I often wonder why people choose to struggle when the answers they need are right in front of them. Such is too often our plight because we are too wrapped up in ourselves to look around. So, as I thought about my situation, I realized just how blessed I am to have this venue, and how thankful I am for you taking the time to read and view our website. My challenge is to continue to learn and improve my writing and online storytelling process. The very concept of my journey is to lift myself up to new levels and share that process in hopes that you will join me on the journey. And the objective here is to not let this unprecedented change in the world upset our progress toward being the best we can be.
I have often said, we teach best what we most need, and perhaps struggle hardest, to learn. The answers to all of my questions are always right in front of me, yet often they seem to escape me. Why? I hate the thought of failing so badly that often I get too wrapped up in trying to beat a problem into submission instead of simply asking for help. I feel trapped in the cycle, afraid to look at alternate solutions. Could it be true that we create our own problems that only we can solve, thus becoming our own hero? Or that we are so busy trying to figure out our response that we fail to really listen? There is certainly room for some serious introspection here.
The word addicted, when applied to most people, results in responses of anger or denial. Regardless of their situation people will argue they are not out of control, while the very nature of their response belies the truth. As I examined myself, it became clear that to some degree we are all addicted to our routines and when forced to change we often rebel with negative behavior.
To admit that we need to change means that we must admit that our behavioral pattern is flawed, and none of us wants to admit that, especially out loud. And that is why so many people in need of help will never seek it out. The very idea of that kind of admission is so repugnant they can’t even conceive of how to begin to change. Why that is seems simple—no one wants to be labeled as “crazy,” and only crazy people have to seek counseling. That’s what we believe, regardless of the truth. It certainly doesn’t make sense. Just as we go to the dentist for a toothache, we should be just as quick to seek help when we get out of sorts mentally. I have many friends who are counselors or life coaches, and they all report an increase in their clients suffering from depression and poor life choices. They’re overeating, drinking to excess, avoiding exercise, all due to the interruption of their social process. And their mental health professionals are all diligently trying their best to help.
What I would guide you to avoid in a counselor or coach is someone who continually points you to revisit your problems and doesn’t offer guidance towards a positive solution. My emphasis there is continually. Certainly we may need to have our issues pointed out to us, but whatever happened in the past, however horrific that was, is exactly that, the past. We must take from that the lesson it was meant to give us and move forward as best we can. For those choosing to define themselves as stronger for the experience, I applaud you. For those who haven’t, don’t give up. There is always hope.
I have found much healing in the concept of balance. Many years ago I listened to a presentation by Skip Ross. His story was so filled with great information that it truly changed my life. First, there was the concept of balance in six areas of life: business, home, social, physical, mental, and spiritual. Ignore any one of these areas, he said, and life would be exponentially more difficult. Throughout the last 30 years or so that seems to ring true; every time I ignore one of the essential areas of life I just don’t operate at 100%.
Now, in the midst of a pandemic, many if not all of us find that at least some of these areas of our lives have been forcefully changed. If your work was classified as non-essential and your business shut down, you’ve been forced to stay home, stripped of social interaction, unable to go to the gym, without fellowship at church and depressed by all of these changes.
Sometimes in situations like this it seems like we are stuck. We are the ox hooked up to the proverbial honey wagon of our life, and when we perceive our lives as nothing more than a load of poop, then we are off-mission. That is why it is so important that we take time each and every day to be grateful for what we have and for who we are.
So perhaps we need a formula to help us get back on track. Again, Skip Ross offered a solution, the formula for dynamic living: DL=(GGE+PS)xPSI. This is how it goes: Dynamic Living is equal to your God Given Equipment plus the Principles of Success times your Positive Self Image. In order to lift ourselves out of this virus funk, we need to follow a formula that makes our lives fulfilling and valuable. We are all essential, regardless of how the politicians have classified our work.
Taking care of your God-given equipment is essential. Your body and mind are your tools in this life to achieve your goals. I am not going to get into this here because we all know when we are living a healthy lifestyle.
What are the principles of success? First, give and you shall receive, simple as that, and the more you give the more you receive. Second, exclude unnecessary things from your life. By getting rid of what you don’t want, you will make room for what you do want. Third is the principle of creation: focus on and really decide what you do want in your life and eliminate any ambiguity. Fourth, visualize the outcome of your desire. The universe can only give you what you want if you are crystal clear. Fifth, command it into existence. Not only do you need to know and have a clear picture in your mind, you have to speak it clearly. Sixth, do it now, don’t hesitate or make excuses, take action. Seventh, be clear about your faith in the process. Doubting what is happening is like living in a cloud; the path is obscured by your lack of faith. Eighth, be totally enthusiastic, put 1000 percent into everything you do. Ninth, have self-discipline. Do it when it needs to be done, whether you want to or not. Last, be tenaciously persistent. Have an attitude of I will no matter what.
I would encourage you start with some positive affirmations about yourself and life. It can be as simple as saying ‘today I am going to be my very best at everything I do.’ Most life coaches would agree this is one of the fundamentals of success. But don’t stop there. Make a list of all six areas of life and set out something you will do that day to help keep them balanced. And ask for guidance in whatever way works best for you. I personally choose to pray after meditating. I find meditation helps open my ability to receive the information I need for that day. When you start making good choices and picturing your life as positive, great things will start to happen.
There is no question that we all have problems of one sort or the other, but we are never given a problem without the opportunity to glean from it the gift that we really need. In fact, I believe we draw to us the very problems we have because we need the gift that solving them offers. The important thing is how we choose to approach the solution. We as a society have many common problems but most people choose to ignore them as the solutions are too inconvenient to bother with. We can watch a documentary about how plastic is killing our oceans and then fail to recycle, because the problem is not visible in our immediate world and the solution is not convenient. Shame on all of us who simply and arrogantly choose to ignore how our actions affect the planet.
And that leads us back to our current situation, the Covid-19 viral pandemic. There is no question that we are deep in the weeds on this one and it is nowhere near over. From top to bottom our leadership has left much to be desired in how this has been handled. Virtually none of our politicians have the knowledge or experience to deal with a health crisis of this magnitude and, for God’s sake, what has happened to common sense? I have heard so many say they are not willing to wear a mask, that they are not afraid. And for the record, I don’t believe most masks offer much protection for the wearer against any virus unless they are properly fitted n-95 medical grade masks, and even then the skeptic in me questions their effectiveness. What they do accomplish is to limit the spread if you are a carrier, and there are people who are asymptomatic walking around spreading the virus unknowingly. Being considerate of someone other than yourself is never a bad idea.
For me this situation has changed so much. It has given us time to think about how we can change ourselves. Almost everyone I know has restructured their life due to the virus in one way or another. That also applies to most of the businesses I am in contact with. We as a society are reforming our lives, moving away from what was and accepting what is the new normal. Hopefully as part of that reformation, we can all be a little less self-absorbed and take more accountability for the value of our freedoms. We need reform in many areas, including our political system, and that will take all of us finding the time to care about the wellness of our society as a whole.