For most anyone breaching the age of thirty or more, this truth has become apparent.
I distinctly recall how badly I wanted to grow up when I was a kid.
I would dream about all the things I’d do when I was grown. Considerable time was spent planning all the details of how I’d conquer my world.
Do you remember that time of your life?
But then we grow up, time seems to accelerate.
We learn, often the hard way, that life doesn’t always roll out the red carpet for us. Friends move away. Lovers wander off. We get down sized and laid off. Quite literally, shit happens.
Please forgive my vernacular.
Before we know it, we’re half way through our twenties, then we’re thirty, and time never seems to slow down.
There’s the career, the family, raising the kids…and the monthly bills that seem like you just paid them yesterday. And, it can often seem that just when we survive one crisis, another presents itself, whether hail pounds our car, or the air conditioner goes on the fritz.
And in the process, the life we intended is often not what we are living.
Dreams get shoved to the back burner. Sometimes they die a slow suffocation, other times they go completely up in smoldering flames.
We conform. Adapting to the expectations that are laid upon us. Getting the right hair cut, covering the tattoo. Dressing for the occasion, or the employer’s expectation. Over the years, we get stuck in the endless cycle, the 9 to 5 (or 9 to 9!), 5 days of exhaustion, followed by what should be 2 days of rest (but often get spent taking care of everything we couldn’t during the week). And as we look in the mirror expecting to see that youthful twinkle, we see instead the first hint of grey, the wrinkle on the forehead, the glazed and tired look in the eyes…
By mid-life, we think back to the “glory days” and we sometimes catch ourselves wishing we could return, because life just doesn’t resemble those dreams we so delicately fabricated in our imagination all those years ago.
We never did quite figure out what we wanted to be when we grew up, and hell, we’ve changed careers twice already. So what now?
We darn sure thought we’d have it better than we do. We figured life by now would be this exciting, epic story that would be the envy of that high school bully that used to taunt us. We’d have proven that cross teacher she was wrong…we would amount to something.
Surely our best days weren’t the touchdown we got in highschool, or the prom dress that everyone raved about.
Does any of this sound familiar?
So, where are you in your journey right now? And, if you had to score your life on its merits, how would you do?
Have you figured out how to navigate life yet?
Can you respond to a crisis without breaking a sweat?
Are you prepared to finally achieve those dreams? Can you retire? Or take the next big step?
Or, hey, maybe you did achieve something big. Maybe you won that award. Or wrote that novel. Or starred in that movie. Or got that position.
And yet, you’re sitting there, right now, reading this…
Are you still basking in the glory. Or did you discover that beyond that pinnacle, life continued, and now it’s yesterday’s news.
Anyone that will tell you they have it all figured out, probably has more to deal with than you do.
And we all know there are plenty of people out there that make it all look so grand in the public eye, and yet, just got really good at creating illusions.
But I will share with you, how I’ve managed to survive some pretty nasty situations, met some pretty insurmountable odds, lost it all, and rose to a greater degree of success again.
I worked out a little system, initially for myself. Then when I saw it kept me afloat and heading in the right direction, I shared it.
Life pretty much comes down to choices and probabilities…so make no mistake, this isn’t the holy grail. But it has served me well.
I look at life and each decision I make through a series of filters. We can call them filters, or psychological principles…
But each of these tools, when used properly, help to keep your head in the game, your footing relatively stable, and I dare say improve the odds for an outcome you’ll appreciate.
And these filters or principles, are for me, so internalized that I can run through them almost instantly without having to think about them anymore.
They all start with simple questions…so here we go.
With whatever you’re dealing with right now… and whatever end result you’re wanting to realize…
Are your habits leading you toward or away from the results you want to achieve?
Which habits are hindering you, which are helping you?
Can you change your habits to better suit the outcome you’re looking for?
Are you focused on the tasks that will get you there? Do you make forward momentum a priority?
What is your mindset? Are you in the right frame of mind, the correct character to achieve what you’re wanting in this scenario?
You may have heard the slogan, “What would Jesus do?” Let’s take that in a slightly different direction…
What would a hero/heroine do in this situation? What would a magician do? What would a lover do? What would a ruler do?
Would a hero or heroine get the end result you want, or would a magician be more likely?
Who do you know that has experience that you don’t, that could improve your odds? Can they help you? Do you need advice, or someone to actually take care of some aspect of this situation?
Do you feel any reluctance to do what’s needed in this situation? If so, why? Did something happen in the past that is holding you back from pushing full steam ahead?
Have you placed any restrictions on yourself, or have anything in your lifestyle that will hinder or prevent the outcomes you want to realize?
Can these be changed?
By running through these questions, which happen to be the right questions to ask…you will initiate the right thinking, planning, and action taking to dramatically improve your odds of success.
We all want certainty in an uncertain world, but that isn’t going to happen. We can, though, dramatically improve our odds.
Take this, apply it. Then let me know how it turns out.