Tag Archives: Goals

A simple guide to feeling productive

I spend a lot of time trying to simplify things for myself. It’s actually kind of complicated, but sometimes I come up with something that is truly helpful.

The happiness I am looking for lately is in action. In progress; feeling like I’m getting somewhere. Arriving at a destination quickly is tempting, but sometimes it just feels so great to be in pursuit of something.

1. Spend as much time as you can doing or thinking things that make you feel like your bigger, higher, greater self. This will help you magnetize what you want. There are a few ways to do this. You can clear your energy field by relaxing, getting a massage, or meditating. You can indulge in dreaming about your desires by watching shows that inspire you, or reading books that give you ideas. And you can take action by doing doing yoga, cleaning, paying your bills, or by doing whatever you know you need to do to feel great, to feel like you’re living like the person you want to be.

2. Prepare for the opportunities you want to have. This requires focus, action and faith that it will pay off. It also requires that some mental clutter be cleared because here you are pushing against your boundaries. Hopefully, though, this will mostly be fun.

3. Always say thank you. Having idealized “the pursuit,” it’s easy to forget that that means being okay with not having what you want, yet. Being patient. Loving what you have right now, because that means more of #1, which means more attraction of what you want.

Have a great day.

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A formula for life, maybe?

I can’t shake my obsession with creating a formula for happiness using the law of attraction and other processes I have found useful, hoping it will simplify my life. Whether it’s doing that or complicating it, I can’t say.

 

Here are some guiding principles:

:: We know that we think, and then we attract more of what we feel, because of the actions we take when we feel. Circumstances–>Thoughts–>Feelings–>Actions–>Results.

:: We know that we must always do what feels good. 

:: We know that we must love the NOW, above all else, and be excited for the future.

:: Everything is done for, or to avoid, a feeling.

:: If something we want is attached to a negative feeling, we will repel it.

:: There is a point Z. To avoid overwhelm, we will not focus on that.

:: We must commit to the following process for it to work.

 

And here are the steps:

:: What do you not want?

:: What would be an upgrade (Point A)? What do you want?

:: Create a short painted picture for 6 months from now. Where are you in 6 months, ideally? Feel yourself there. Let it feel good.

:: Now, declutter your mind. What is stopping you from getting that? Why are you repelling it? What is stopping you from taking the steps that will get you there?

:: Why? Why? If you don’t know the answer, keep asking. If that doesn’t work, get someone else ask you. This is the moment to let yourself feel what you’ve been avoiding. Be brave, be willing. A feeling is fleeting. Bring awareness to it, and let it pass.

:: Where are the negative feelings in your body? Ask your body what it needs. Answer from its perspective, in the form of “I want you to know that…” Finish this sentence over and over for 30 seconds, non-stop.

:: Speak to your child self. Ask what it needs. If the child asks a question, answer the question as the child. Often there is release here, simply due to you acknowledging YOU.

:: Once you have the body’s or the child self’s thought, do a focus wheel. Find a slightly better-feeling thought, and then another.

:: Feel better. There should be less resistance to the painted picture (Point A). Re-list its major points.

:: Find the tiny, immediate actionable steps you can take to get there, which you can now take with less resistance and more joy.

:: Having decluttered and taken inspired action, be grateful and surround yourself with positivity in order to take more inspired action.

:: This should be a fun, clarifying exercise. Repeat when less-than-satisfying circumstances arise.

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Small achievements make big promises

I’m proud of myself:

I went for a bike ride this morning because the rising sun was sparkling

and because I wanted to.

Not because it’s Sunday and it might make me thinner.

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Choosing Your Motivation

It seems I’m on a mission to find the perfect career to satisfy both my generous and selfish inclinations. After reading posts about lightworkers and darkworkers on Steve Pavlina’s website, I though long and hard about, first of all, whether this theory even made sense to me (I think it does), and who I am at my core. I’m not sure, but I think right now my behaviour shows evidence of a mixed polarity. I have lightworker ideals but I have darkworker inclinations. He says that living with a mixed polarity is not very effective nor is it helpful, but that’s what most people do.

Basically, lightworkers are committed to serving other people, and darkworkers are committing to serving themselves. You can read more here. Whether or not you identify with the theory, I think it’s useful to pretend you do, just to see where your mind goes and what new insights you discover. Then you can reframe those insights however you want.

Out of the two, I think I am drawn to the lightworker mindset. Steve encourages everyone to pick a polarity and to run with it in order to achieve any sort of success. I thought about whether or not I am being effective right now, and whether choosing a polarity would benefit me. I think it would, so perhaps I should adopt a lightworker mindset, at least for a while.

When I took the job at the office, working for an Aboriginal band, I thought that it might fulfill me because I am intelligent and the position I was offered would enable me to problem-solve for those who need it. There were two things I overlooked when making this decision. First, the job did not enable me to use my core strengths nor to build on and use the knowledge I already had. Second, it was full-time and required a constant outpour of work on my part–there was no time to reenergize, and I felt completely drained at the end of the day. It wasn’t a sustainable way of life for me, at all, because it did not enable me to refuel to the extent that I could continue giving.

I was frustrated because I believed in my company, but something was missing. I was running out of energy and becoming bitter. I had repressed my creativity and it was ready to gush out, probably in bad ways. So after I quit, I launched myself into creative endeavours–painting, photography, etc.

And now, I am extremely annoyed that I’m becoming bored. I know that I’m a creative person and I’m constantly coming up with ideas for projects, but I just don’t feel like following through with them. What the hell? Am I lazy?

I’m considering that maybe I’ve been hopping too often between the lightworker mindset and the darkworker mindset. Every time something doesn’t work, I try to define myself in a whole new way: first, I think “maybe I’m here to serve others,” and then when I burn out, I think “no, I’m here to be creative and happy.” Instead of trying to simply satisfy what might be a temporary need on the first path, I overfeed, and I become deficient in the opposite way. In a way, I guess, I’m testing out each mindset, but I don’t get anywhere because I don’t buy into either completely.

I did come up with one idea: I could start a business that would use my strengths, allow me to create and also provide significant value to those in need. But let me tell you, that is a hell of a puzzle to solve. All I’ve been sure of for the past few months is that I have to find an idea for that business, but I’ve still got nothing. So now I’ve got this lofty goal and every day I get nowhere. I’m confused and I don’t take action. I seem to have figured out what I want, but it’s still a head-in-the-clouds ideal. I need to know way more about the real world and its needs before I can even have the slightest idea what kind of business would work. It’s hard to admit that after all this soul-searching and research, this is as far as I’ve come, and I can’t see a way out.

It’s clear that I need to do some more exploring, but I’m tired of being at this stage, of acting for the sole purpose of “figuring stuff out.” I spend some days just imagining my future because it’s more fun than reality. I think everyone can identify with that; it’s kind of why we like movies and stories and stuff. Right now, my thought patterns are running in circles and I’m getting bored because it’s as though the current part of my own life story is taking too long. Then I remember that the best synonym for life is “confusion,” and that I will never be completely out of the exploration stage, so it’s something else that has to change. I’ll need to fall back in love with life, to put meaning into what I do. Confusion and exploration are still necessary, so how do I push through?

Perhaps my boredom is a result of having a goal that caters to both extremes, and is, as a result, foggy. According to Steve, following either path (lightworking or darkworking) leads to the same place (perhaps even a place similar to the imaginary business I had created), but in order to get there in this lifetime you must pick a way to get there. You must find a way to motivate yourself, make your inevitable mistakes, and refine your path.

Lightworkers and darkworkers are two groups of highly effective people, each defined by the way in which they motivate themselves: serving others, or serving themselves. If I accept this, then there are only two main ways to feel motivated. If there are only two, then I have to pick: which one excites me? If I let myself feel the excitement of lightworking, I will notice that I’ve lit a small spark–one that wasn’t there before. I now have something to work with.

What would the lightworker path look like? First of all, I could take immediate action, which is a huge plus, given my current situation. My first action would be to serve another person in whichever way I am able to (which excites me), and keep serving until I must refuel and do what I need to do to stay fulfilled. After I refuel, I can start again. This makes sense to me, and the simplicity in this approach gives me clarity.

It might seem really simple, but there were a lot of limiting beliefs I had to work through, such as feeling guilty even for the “refuelling” part. I now know how necessary that part is.

More important than a goal is the reason for your goal. If the reason is unclear or diluted, then how can you expect to take bold, decisive action? The reason you put food in your mouth (action) isn’t just because you’ve decided not to die (goal), but it’s because you value your life (reason). Imagine what would happen if you weren’t sure if you valued your life, or you hopped back and forth between yes and no. You’d probably be inconsistent in feeding yourself, and get very sick. On the other hand, if you knew you didn’t value your life (though I hope this is never the case!), you’d probably find a faster, much more efficient way to end it. Bold action and faster achievement of goals in both the first and last scenarios.

You must know why you act; otherwise, either your motivation to achieve will be weak and you’ll get distracted, or you’ll end up achieving things you don’t actually want.

Choosing a polarization gives you a reason. If you find your reason for acting, then why would you not?

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Congratulating Yourself

I’m really, really hard on myself. Harder than I realize most of the time, I think. I was at the gym the other day, and I watched this very muscular guy do some kind of exercise. I started imagining him as someone who was just beginning to get into working out, and I thought that there must have been a reason for it. Maybe he was fat, or maybe really skinny. In either case, he found the motivation to get from there to where he is today, even though he started from a place he obviously wanted to get away from.

I find fitness goals depressing if I don’t allow myself to be happy with the small successes, such as actually getting myself to the gym. There are no immediate results after a workout (in terms of physical appearance), so in order to keep going, I have to find something else to be happy about. I know the goal is worth it, and I’m on the right path, but it’s a long one — I have to find a way to enjoy my time on it, even if I’m still 5-10 pounds overweight. I guess the endorphins help with that, but even so, it was hard at first. I still have some work to do in keeping my motivation up for attaining fitness goals, but I rarely believe that I will never be able to reach them. I’ve conditioned myself to be “okay” with the fitness aspect of my life, and this is because I know how to motivate myself: patting myself on the back constantly. Similarly, the muscle guy no doubt found and finds his motivation in his self-congratulations after every workout, as well.

It never occurred to me that it could be the same for many, if not all, other goals. If I constantly told myself I was fat and not capable of changing, I would never go to the gym. Ever. This is a behaviour that would be in direct conflict with achieving my goals. Why should I be allowed to be this hard on myself when it comes to other areas of my life?

I guess part of the reason it might be easier to keep fitness in check is because though results are slow to appear, they eventually do, and they’re easily recognizable because they always look the same. There’s also only one factor involved in getting there: exercising. If you’re not getting more fit, you’re not exercising enough. If you’re not exercising, there’s no way you can hope to get fit. Also, there’s no place for luck or randomness; you don’t expect it, you don’t depend on it, you don’t wait for it. Single variable equation. You do something, something happens. You don’t, it won’t.

However, I’d argue that other types of goals follow basically the same pattern. First of all, though results are sometimes invisible, they are there — they’re just better felt than seen. For example, if you’re working out, you’re getting stronger. No matter how strong you are, the situations you find yourself in will always either be manageable or not. The goal is to have the majority of your situations become ones you can handle, so you aim to become stronger. If you find yourself having an easier time than before in some area of your life, you’re probably on the right track. If you find yourself in difficult situations most of the time, it could mean your training program isn’t effective. As an alternative interpretation, you could just be making some wrong decisions and ending up in places that don’t make it easy for you to congratulate yourself for what you’ve accomplished. You’re living beyond your ability; you’re choosing weights that are too heavy to train with.

So let’s say you’re setting social goals for yourself, pushing yourself to achieve them and you find you’re not getting good results. Maybe it’s because you’re making bad decisions in your career, for example, and meeting the wrong people. It doesn’t necessarily mean your social skills haven’t improved in previous situations, it just means you’re not equipped to handle these particular ones, and maybe they are even too difficult for you to learn from. You’re unhappy, unable to be productive, unable to see any results to congratulate yourself for, unable to motivate yourself. Is there something you notice you might be able to work on to improve your situation? If yes, then do it; maybe the weights aren’t too heavy, after all. If not, go find other situations.

Second of all, I believe that most of what you get in life is proportional to what you give. I guess there exists something called “luck,” and sure, you could get famous overnight by some mysterious working of the universe, but usually not. You have to find a way to keep giving, in order to keep getting, and no one else can give you the kind of support and encouragement that you can give yourself. Some goals might be harder for you to attain than they would be for others; some people have a talent for being social, creative, sporty, whatever. But lack of talent shouldn’t stop you — you might be missing out on some serious life. You just have to keep congratulating yourself for the small successes, in whatever form they appear. Growth is happiness!

I’ve never been very good at giving myself a cookie. I mean, too many cookies is bad because you’d start to overlook the work that needs to be done, but I’m so unforgiving that I often experience crippling despair and then I’m of no use to anyone. I need to figure out a way to keep my productivity up. I think this list is a good way to keep myself in check, to remind myself of what I want to accomplish and what I do accomplish. But there are many steps between wanting to accomplish something and accomplishing something, and there’s no one to push me to keep stepping except myself. How will I do this?

I’ve decided to write about at least one success a day for a week, regardless of how small. Writing about it will force me to think about it for more than a second, which is what usually happens, and having it written will give me something to refer to when I’m feeling down.

Today I’m going to congratulate myself for my bravery the other night when I walked into that bar alone. It might seem insignificant to someone else, but it was very satisfying for me. I’d been wanting to try it for a long time in order to assess the bar scene’s friend-making potential. And it worked! Every time I eliminate a fear, it makes life just a little bit more accessible.

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Where Heartbreak Leads

I read an article by Steve Pavlina that talked about different kinds of motivation: towards and away-from. I’d never really thought about it too much before then, but I realized that I undeniably make the most progress after I’ve been severely hurt. I go through a period of deep confusion, but after that passes, everything is so much clearer than it was before the trauma.

I’ve always been better at eliminating from my life what I don’t like than at chasing my dreams. The stronger I feel a bad emotion, the easier I can find which way is the opposite direction. While submerged in those emotions, I feel like I have nothing to lose, so I take more risks. The positive emotions I feel about my goals are associated mostly with fabrications, so it’s hard to feel a real directional pull toward my dreams. I’m working on changing this (working hard), but right now, I feel the away-from motivation very strongly. Even if the outcome of the risk-taking is bad, I always feel at least a little bit better; I feel brave, and satisfied that I’ve crossed something off my list of things to try.

After a terrible night of ex-boyfriends and new girlfriends (both should be singular, if you know what I mean), nothing felt like a worse idea than going home to sleep. I literally marched past the entrance to my apartment building and into the nearest pub. It turned out to be an Irish pub, and there was live music, and I was very grateful for both of those things. I sat at the bar, close to where there seemed to be more commotion because maybe that meant someone was more likely to talk to me. My goal was just to have a beer and not force myself to talk to anyone if I felt it was too hard. One step at a time; walking in was difficult enough for me! Plus, I was genuinely enjoying myself, a beer in hand, music in my ears, surrounded by people and no one to impress.

However, a question I actually wanted the answer to materialized itself in my noggin. There was a guy playing acoustic guitar, and since I’d been wanting to perform at open mic nights, I asked the guy next to me if that’s what tonight was. He looked at the bartender and they both started laughing. Apparently it wasn’t, and they thought it was funny that they were being asked this question for the second time. I had a good chat with the guy for a while, he was nice. We talked about careers and he suggested I work in a bar to get in the know about the music scene (and I’m actually considering doing so). He was friends with all the staff, with whom he was playing some sort of dice game. I had just been invited to play in the next round when the guitarist finished his set and put down his instrument. I had been wanting to ask him the title of one of the songs he played (turned out to be “Thirteen” by Elliott Smith), so I went over to talk to him. We ended up having a great conversation about music, life and love, and he added me to Facebook. I bought another beer.

I can’t ask for a better outcome than making a friend (well, I guess a friend and a half). A musical friend, no less! I also got positive comments about my personality from both people. Bonus!

I’ll be doing this again. If you think you’re missing out on something, you probably are, even if it’s just a learning experience. Push through the fear!

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