My husband, Christian, sent out this inspirational New Years email to his international sales team:
It sounds great doesn’t it? The kind of thing to get the blood flowing, to get us jumping out of bed in the morning with a spring in our step, to make us reach for the stars ready to realize those hopes, dreams and goals we’ve been harbouring…
…or does it?
It actually takes a great deal of courage to ‘just do it’ whatever Amelia or Nike tell us. But, why? If it really is that simple then why do so many of us decide not to just do it, not to reach for our dreams? What could be holding us back?
It’s true that the best things in life are free but I don’t think it’s unfair to say that, at some point, our dreams need some form of investment whether it’s starting a business venture, travel, starting a family, moving away, meeting the partner of your dreams, leaving the job or relationship you’re in, starting a new hobby, learning a new language, learning to play an instrument or learning to surf. The list is endless-and so it should be!
But, if we are honest with ourselves, can a business venture only begin with a substantial cash injection? Would it be possible to start small? Could you keep your day job until the ‘dream job’ really took off? Would it cost much to write a business proposal and make plans? Could you check out the market and do research cheaply?
If you really decided to ‘just do it’ I wonder if you wouldn’t find a way to save and find a way around any financial issues? At the end of all the financial excuses, it costs nothing to dream, to challenge your paradigms, to plan, to research, to decide what your values and passions are, to create a powerful vision and, yes, to take a closer look at your finances and see where savings can be made.
Investing into yourself; your wishes, your dreams and the things that makes you feel happy to be you will deliver the best return on investment you could ever imagine.
Ask yourself, “At the end of my life, will I regret not having saved more money or not having done the things I knew would make me happy?” After all, our last outfit has no pockets.
Not enough time? Never quite the right time? Are you just waiting for: Tomorrow, the kids to leave home, retirement, the market to improve, for more energy or for more money? I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that the right time is just like tomorrow, it simply never comes.
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” In other words, life is what you make it in this very moment. The right time is, therefore, now. I like to think that John and Amelia would have got on very well together.
If you were to analyze everything you did yesterday; hour for hour, minute for minute, second for second, could you have saved time? Could you have prioritized in your favour? Could you have left some of the stuff for another day?
Could you have found space to invest in yourself? Investing time into yourself is equally as important as investing money. No one gets to the end of their life regretting not having spent more time in the office or cleaning the house.
Ask yourself, “Who is in control of my time?” Would you like the opportunity to stop and look around? Stop the hamster wheel of life and clearly observe, evaluate and make decisions based on what really ‘is’-right now? Would you like to learn how to prioritize? Do you even know what is the most important thing for your happiness right now?
We all have our hang-ups, our skeletons in the closet, our current fears, rejections and negative patterns that stem from often forgotten past events; things that have been said to us or the way we were made to feel. Our past can have such a profound influence on our current lives but that isn’t the scariest part. The scariest part is that we so often get stuck in negative patterns and cycles without even realizing what we are doing and very rarely understanding why. Have you ever experienced the same negative cycle repeating itself with relationships or at work? Do you wonder why you always have the same bad luck?
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to come to terms with old habits and work to change them for new ones that serve me better?”
There’s a saying that, ‘Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, because where you’re headed is so more important than what you’ve left behind.’ Your future does not have to be a product of your past.
The stories you tell yourself?
Think about the points above for a moment. Think about not having enough money or time to do what will make you happy. Perhaps you don’t have enough of either of these commodities to find out what it is that could make you happy in the first place. Then think about your history, your patterns and cycles.
Do you tell yourself fairy stories, horror stories or tragedies? We all do it! Our minds tell us stories in order to make sense of the world around us using our past experiences to guide this subconscious narrative. Does ‘subconscious’ narrative mean that we have no control over it? Once again, our history raises its head. It remembers old fears, old mistakes, old rejections in every cell of your body and these are more powerful than you might think. Have you ever felt a sinking feeling or panic in your stomach before an event and wondered why? The emotions that were felt from an experience way back in our past can still cause us to feel the panic rise now. We may not even remember where the feeling came from initially, but we do know the narrative that accompanies the fear.
Ask yourself, “What stories have I been telling myself? What inner dialogue and habits are repeating themselves throughout my life?”
Our own, personal narrative is crucial; it can be the difference between reaching for the stars of burying our heads in the sand when all the other above circumstances are equal. Invest the time into bringing this narrative and old, bad habits to your attention.
The answer? Take responsibility for yourself, your thoughts, your actions and especially the stories you tell yourself. Create new habits, new dreams and a new story. Guide the narrative in your head towards positivity, happiness and success and see what a difference a story can make!
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour.
Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
And these words are still true today, perhaps more important now than they ever were. So, take the time, money, energy and patience to invest into yourself today. Discover what you need for happiness and how to get it. Become the best and happiest person you can be. Your future lies in your hands.
Does this all sound too simple? It really can be that easy! No two people that I work with have exactly the same problems, fears, life history, financial situation, time constraints or inner dialogue. No two people will ever be exactly the same and that’s wonderful-Vive la difference! But the key to success for everybody always follows the same path:
Decide to be happy.
Connect with a coach.
Invest in yourself.
See the difference!