I wish everybody a peaceful Christmas holiday. May it be filled with plenty of time spent with people who mean the most to you.
Distractions loom at every corner of our lives. There is barely any moment anymore when we are not bombarded by interruption marketers and tons of visual pollution. TV, our online world, our “smart” phones, and the newest domain – our cars are getting Wi-Fi hotspots. They all are jam packed with distractions.
All this clutter means clutter in your head. Clutter and chatter leads to you thinking you got a lot done at the end of a day when in fact you only made incremental progress. Instead of feeling elated you feel frustrated. This distraction is costly.
One key area you can make a huge difference almost instantaneously is how you use your e-mail and the Internet.
So you don’t believe me how much distractions cost you? Are you up for a challenge? Prove me wrong and for ten days journal how much time you spend on your daily tasks. After ten days read and reflect upon your journal entries. You will be amazed how much time you are spending on e-mail and Internet. Do not let these distractions run and ruin your life.
A clenched fist cannot give, but it also cannot receive. Anger lurks in many corners of our days. Think of our commute. How many road rage incidents have you come across lately? How many times have people at work let you down or simply are after you? How many friends and perhaps even family member are trying their best to aggravate you to no end? Then there is the current divisive political climate, gun control discussion, world crisis, and so much more. Isn’t it hard to deal with the shear volume of issues crashing down on us sometimes? Do you catch yourself clenching your teeth and even your fists?
Ever wonder what this does to you long term? Hate begets more hate and hate makes you irritates. It escalates in variety and severity. The so called downward spiral can spin out of control easily. That is all because your heart, soul, and intellect have closed shop. You no longer have you hands or mind open to receive the rich gifts that life has prepared for us. Your fists are also not helping for you to give. With no contributions to others and a greater purpose you limit what you can receive from others.
Next time you get all tensed up ponder if you are ok with granting someone or something this kind of power over you. Because, that is what happens here; it all starts with anger. Hate and anger are the tangible manifestation of you handing over control of your destiny to others. How would you feel about that? If an angry thought does not work for you just throw it out. Take a breather and ponder what works better for you. Then act on this much better thought and your world is about to improve.
Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer
Think of a person that has changed or impacted your life the most. This person saw something in you that he or she believed in you more than you did. His/ her encouragement led to a much enriched life journey for you.
Does this person know what kind of impact their belief had in you? My call to action is to get in touch with this person immediately. Let her/ him know how you feel and appreciate what he/she did.
Next, follow this train of thought and create a ripple effect. Give of yourself. Help out a person who struggles through life. If you want to read up on what that could look like, Jeff Goins’ book “Wrecked” could help set the stage for you.
My person is my best friend Holger who helped me through some great difficulty when I was 17 and enduring the hardship of apprenticeship. My mom and dad did not have problems with alcohol – they had problems without alcohol. They were alcoholics. The home life was a royal mess, and we did not even have money to buy heating oil for about two winters.
Girl friend? Hah, did not have the guts and the heart much less the energy getting entangled with more issues. I was bullied extensively during the first year of my job apprenticeship. Whenever I could I would drink heavily. Shame galore – living in a small village in Germany was not a walk in the park when you are being put into the same category as your dad. Dad is an idiot = son must be an idiot also. That was a simple equation that came with some “interesting” ramifications. Life was miserable.
One particularly bad night I had come back from a party with co-workers, drunk and depressed. I bumped into Holger at a block party and he saw the heap of a mess that was me. He listened and helped me get my bearing again. Day by day and thought-by-thought. We became lifelong friends, but as of late we can no longer stay in contact all that much as we live in totally different places. Thanks for all you did my friend during the darkest time of my life! Life improved soon thereafter once I realized that I was still in control of my thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts – they are not me! Once I stopped my own pity party life improved beyond measure.
Do you know someone who picked you up from the floor and put you back on your feet? How about a teacher or coach? This special person may not even remember you. It does not matter. Make sure you tell him that you love him and that you appreciate everything that he did for you. Do it fast, because life can change with an blink of an eye*.