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MAKING CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE

When every day feels like a rerun of yesterday, merely waking up in the morning can be a real drudge – and getting up virtually impossible.

The pain of tedium is not just debilitating:  if you let it continue for very long, it can lead to depression.  These days, more and more men are being made aware of the causes and symptoms of depression and the very real threat that it can pose.

I’ve been there myself and vouch for the fact that, were it not for the support I found at just the right moment from a friend, I wouldn’t be here today with my life changed:  a full and energised one, with a business that’s now being run by a team that it’s been my pleasure to get to know and a very precious family.

Are you familiar with tedium?  Do you feel as though you’re stuck in a rut that’s affecting every area of your life?  There is always an option to change it for the better.  It won’t happen overnight as you’ll need to take time with each step but it’s true that the sooner you take the first one, the sooner you’ll see the improvements.  You have only one life – and this is it.

Positive thinking can help; taking action is better.  Positive thinking will be able to lift your mood for a while and help you to come up with better ideas as to what you can do to change your circumstances.  But that’s as far as it goes.

Then, you need to act.  Change doesn’t happen on is own.

Get to it.

MOVING FORWARDS

We all make mistakes.  I’ve made some humdingers.  If Life has become tedious, there are five things you can do to change it.  That’s you – only you.  Others may be supportive but you’re the protagonist in your life story.  Here are five ways to make sure that your present does not resemble your past.

1)    DAYDREAM

It’s vital that you remind yourself repeatedly that you are creating your future.  While it’s a natural human trait to look back at what has gone before, it’s not helpful to stay stuck in the past.  If you spend too much time replaying scenes from your past, you need to catch yourself in the act and try daydreaming instead.  It takes just as much effort … and this way, you get to design what you want to have happen in the future rather than lament what happened in the past.

Sit in a comfortable place with a notebook and pen or a voice recorder and imagine yourself in a scene which plays out the way you want it to.

Allow yourself to notice sensorially what is going on around you … how bright is it?  What’s the temperature?  Who is with you?  Is it noisy or quiet?  Is there a lovely scent in the air?  Is somebody speaking?  What are they saying?

If you find it hard to start daydreaming, you’re not the only one.  It’s a childlike habit that the schooling system tried to knock out of you years ago; since    then, everyday pressures have done the rest.  You can usher back in with joy, though, as when you use it effectively it’s a very useful, childlike habit to have.

To kickstart your imagination, try one or two of these prompts:

  • Standing on a stage in a packed auditorium with three thousand people giving you a standing ovation
  •  Standing on a beach in a golden sunset, surrounded by your family and friends who are laughing and enjoying each other’s company
  • Sitting in the driver’s seat of the sportscar of your dreams on a Formula 1 racing track, the wheel in both of your hands and the vibration of the engine beneath and all around you as the tarmac stretches ahead of you, waiting for you to put your foot to the floor …

You get the idea.  You can come up with anything you want – usually, the more fun the better.

2)    FORGIVE OTHERS

This bit isn’t as much as fun as the previous one but it’s necessary all the same.

There’s never been a valid reason to drag shame or guilt from any of your past mistakes into your present and forwards into your future.  Weighing yourself down with superfluous deadweight only serves to slow you down; this is the time when you need to be travelling light.

The biggest deadweight you risk lugging around is unforgiveness.  That might sound like a charitable, ‘Holy Joe’ statement to make, but altruism really doesn’t have to come into it at all.  Quite simply, you need to let it go for your own sake, let alone anyone else’s.

Remember, letting somebody off the hook for something they’ve done or said to you doesn’t have to ‘feel’ like anything to begin with.  Forgiveness is a decision you make to drop the whole deal.  Forget it.  Move forwards and stop giving this other person the power to keep you stuck in your tedium rut.

3)    FORGIVE WHAT’S HAPPENED

Put it down to Fate, Bad Luck, Misadventure … if you truly don’t believe that you could have prevented your current unhappiness, then you need to forgive circumstance.

Again, it’s a decision, not a feeling.  You’ll feel better later … for now, though, decide that you’re going to let it go.  What are your options right now to change your circumstances?  If you look long enough and creatively enough (try the daydreaming exercise again), you’ll always find one.  Guaranteed.

You might also want to ask a friend to help you chat through it with you to find that elusive option.  Other people usually love an opportunity to help; you’ll have your chance to reciprocate one day!

4)    FORGIVE YOURSELF

What is your inner dialogue all about?  If that little voice inside your head is using words like “fool”, “toerag” and “crap” then you need to stand up to it.  Here’s a simple little trick that works effectively …

Take an elastic band and wear it around your wrist – one of those really skinny, rubbery ones with lots of stretch that flies for metres when you aim and fire it at a target.  Then, the next time you hear your inner voice yell “YOU IDIOT!”, stretch the band a good distance with your free hand and twang it.  Do this whenever you hear that little voice of uncalm and it’ll soon stop.  Replace the banter with kind words to yourself, reminding yourself how far you’ve come, that you’re on a journey still, that you are wonderfully put together and valuable to so many.

It might sound a bit ascetic but it works – and as soon as you’re able to catch that little voice in the act easily you can ditch the elastic band.

5)    PRIORITISE

What’s really important to you and why?  Is it serving your life and leading you to happiness or is it creating a growing sense of emptiness?

For a period in my career, I focused on quick fixes to make up for a stressful, unhappy job.  Spending sprees, an extra-marital affair, drinking binges and false friendships … I was building on shifting sand rather than rock and it led to my reaching the lowest point in my life.

You don’t have to reach a point of no return before you acknowledge what really matters to you and start nurturing it.  Deep down, you know what’s good for you.

Setting your priorities can be treated in the same way as goal setting:  identify the different areas of your life that demand your time, such as work, relationships, spiritual, fun, finance and so on and then brainstorm what you want to see happen for each of them.

Set timelines for the top three desires in each category and take at least one action on each before you leave the session.  Make a call, buy an educational course or book, choose a new investment opportunity and tell your financial advisor … whatever it is, take one step towards it.

AUTHENTIC LIVING

If you’re living a life that truly fits who you are and you’re being honest with yourself and others, tedium doesn’t stand a chance.  Your new, authentic life will take the place of the old and you’ll soar.

Revel in being gloriously imperfect. There is not one person out there who’s living the ‘perfect life’, no matter what their social media channels say.  When you can accept that you can’t be perfect, you’ll feel bold … it takes the pressure of you so that you can start to really have some fun.

The more fun you can have by being authentically you, the sooner you’ll discover that you’re full of joy.  A more permanent state of buoyancy and a lightness of being.

Goodbye, tedium.  Hello, joyfulness!  Waking up in the morning will be a new experience every day.  Getting up will be the easiest thing in the world.

Get to it – change your life.

 

 

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