Gaining Some Perspective
Stress is in the eye of the beholder. So what causes one person to be stressed and not another? The lens in which we see life through determines how we react to our environment. Do I feel the world is for me or against me? Am I presented with an obstacle or an opportunity? A sudden job loss can be looked at from 2 different perspectives. One person may say, “I’m such a loser I can’t even hold a crappy job”. Another person with the same job may say “I’m so glad I lost that job, now I can do what I want and pursue my passions” Every roadblock in our path can either be an opportunity to grow and be creative, or a block for us to get stuck.
Sometimes we find our life filled with the business of things we come to hate. Every week there seems to be no room for pleasure or fun. We have stuffed our schedules so full of “things to do” we don’t allow time to figure out what we Love to do. When was the last time you brainstormed on a piece of paper what your goals were? Took time to try a new hobby?
Right now I want you to pause and grab a piece of paper. On one side list off the things in your life that are stressful. Try to be as detailed as possible, maybe it’s the name of a person or a debt you have. After you get done with that list I want you to write on the other side things you love to do. You don’t have to be good at these things, but write things that make you come alive inside. Anything that makes you smile goes on your list of things you love. You can take as much time to do this activity as you need. If you are stuck, ask a spouse or friend to tell you some of the things you love and hate. Sometimes we need others to see into our lives.
Now I want you to get out your pencil and go to your stressed list. Look at the list and draw a line through anything on the list that you don’t have control over. This would be things like someones behavior, you can’t control other peoples behavior, just your own. Cross out anything that is out of your control. This could also include things that are on the news, government problems, weather, traffic jams, you get the idea. It is a waste of our energy when we stress over someone else’s problems or things that we have no control over. After you cross them out I want you to say “ I have no control over this issue and I’m going to let it go” You may not feel any different but say it out loud anyway!
Next I want you to go to your list of items you love. Pick an item on that list that your able to do this week. I know some items may be larger and require classes or maybe there is a lofty dream you have and that’s ok. For this week, I want you to circle something you can do this week. Even if it’s something small like take a walk, or call an old friend, go golfing, get some new music, just pick something you can do this week and circle it. Write it on your calendar if you have to, make it a point to do something you love. It could be snuggling with a spouse, playing ball with your kids, working on a project you didn’t have time to finish. Even if what you circle only takes 5 min. make sure you do it. We need to create habits of success and happiness in our lives. Think if every week you took time to explore your passions and dreams. How much farther could you have gotten by now! Don’t wait any longer to start!