Amanda Gore’s The Joy Project is always inspirational… I hope you enjoy this piece from her website:
It’s that time of year where everyone and their dog writes about the new year and what resolutions we are going to make! We review our lives and decide on what needs to be different. Or we get drunk and forget all about it and probably our names as well!
Despite my frivolity (after all it is still the silly season), it’s probably not a bad idea to have a little look at how we are living our lives and if we are happy with the way they are progressing. Or stagnating.
Michael Gerber in his book “The E Myth” suggests that people spend too much time working IN their businesses rather than working ON their businesses. I think the same philosophy applies to our lives. Most of us are so busy running around caught up IN our lives that we don’t take time to work ON our lives take time to work ON our lives.
So maybe New Year is a good time to slow down for five seconds and reflect on you and your life and your relationships.
How would you like your life to be?
What is it like right now?
What things can you do that make you feel good or energised or excited?
Which of those things do you do on a regular basis?
What things do you do that make you feel rotten, or drain your energy?
Think of five activities that make you feel good about yourself.
What sort of person are you?
Do you like yourself? (This is a ‘biggie’ question!)
What do you like about yourself? (Sometimes, it takes a little while to think about this, but you’ll always come up with something!)
What don’t you like about yourself? (This is easier. Humans are funny creatures because we find it incredibly easy to come up with 5,000 things we don’t like about ourselves in 30 seconds, yet we search for hours to identify our good characteristics. )
What can you do about changing those aspects you would rather not have?
All this stuff about ‘people never change’ is garbage! People can (and do) change. It’s called growing up and personal growth and development. It takes time, energy and effort to learn new skills; and under pressure we will probably revert to some of our old patterns of behaviour. But that’s all they are. Patterns – that we have learned, usually from our parents. So patterns can be unlearned and new ones learned.
One of the best ways of learning new behaviours is to ‘model’ or copy someone else’s behaviours that you admire. Yes, just copy. That’s the quickest and most powerful way human beings can learn.
Do something the way you would like to be able to do it and bingo! Your subconscious mind immediately has a grasp of how to behave like that. The trick is then to remember to practice the new behaviour.
How do you think elite athletes learn? They watch great performers; they mentally rehearse by imagining – seeing, hearing and feeling themselves perform perfectly – then they go out and physically practice.
So identify behaviours and traits you would like to change; make a committment to do so and then find someone (even if it’s on TV) who demonstrates the behaviours that you would rather have; and then copy that persons voice, posture, physical movements and any other ‘copyable’ characteristic! You’ll be amazed at how quickly you start to pick up the different behaviours. Of course, practice and keep practicing if you want these new behaviours to be long-lasting.
It may seem a little scary to embark on this journey of self exploration but there is a Leunig cartoon that is wonderful and encapsulates the benefits gained from the experience. The man is brilliant and the words to the cartoon go something like this…
“In my life I had accumulated many things in my head – too many things! I decided it was time for a good cleanup so I emptied my head and pushed it up in a big heap to sort it out. There it was .. everything that was me, all in a big jumbled heap. I walked around it. What a mess! Then suddenly I saw it in silhouette and realised what it was.. it was a heap… a simple heap! You don’t sort it out…you climb it… you climb it because it is there… Excitedly I clambered to the summit and raised a flag. I was now looking beyond everything that I knew.”
What a great way to think for 2013. And the rest of your life. Happy New Year!
Thank you Amanda