Enjoy the post, John.
1. Do what you love first. Don’t listen to what anyone else says about it – find what makes you come alive and celebrate it. Maybe there are a thousand other things you “should” be focusing on, but if you don’t have something you love to do, where is your joy in life?
2. Make a gratitude list. Right now. We so often focus on our problems, the negatives, the scary void of the future. Shifting our perspective to what we have right now uplifts us.
3. Reclaim your energy. Worry is negative energy. Simply being aware of that helps me worry less. Debt is negative energy. Make sure your finances are in order, or at least get a game plan. Small amounts of action are powerful antidotes to “life fatigue”.
4. Realize that small is not insignificant. Answering two emails is still an accomplishment, even if there are 50 more in the queue. You’ve connected with two people. Exercising for 10 minutes will make you FEEL much better, even if you didn’t burn x amount of calories or reach maximum whatever.
5. Surrender. Disclaimer: I have no idea how to do this. It’s a word we hear often, but as Simon Sinek says, like passion, it often exists up in the ether. I just know that fighting yourself all the time – your body, your emotions, your thoughts, doesn’t work. If anyone has any ideas on how to successfully surrender, please let me know!
6. Meditate. Personally, I can’t just sit there and “zen out”. I use the guided meditations fromthis podcast. Meditating helps me love and trust myself.
7. Make a happiness list. Much like the gratitude list, except the happiness list is a little lighter. It can help you feel better, without trying to force yourself into some fake “get a positive attitude!” frame of mind. Action is more powerful than words, so rather than exhaust yourself with a mental battle, seek out things to do that can make you happy. One example?
Getting email from family & friends makes me feel the inbox love, so I send out emails proactively.
8. Practice Random of Acts of Kindness. Find ideas here. Find inspiration with this video – if he can do it in Pakistan, you can do it anywhere.
9. Find inspiration in others’ stories. It is great to be inspired by fellow bloggers, but I often find myself truly touched by great stories of other’s lives. An email from my grandpa led me to research Shel Silverstein. He was always my favorite poet as a child, but I had no idea that he was a Korean War vet and wrote many cartoons long before “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Re-visiting his poetry made me really happy and inspired.
One value I have that I haven’t touched on too much is the education of women. I think it is a great solution to many of our global problems. “Inspiring” comes nowhere close to describing the stories of the girls and women featured in the latest documentary, “Half the Sky”. If you haven’t seen this yet, no matter what your gender, prepare to be floored.
10. Get out of your own headspace. If you’re at a desk, go for a quick walk around the building. If you’re home alone, call a friend or run a quick errand. If I have some sort of emotional craving and I want to eat, I often start cleaning or meditate. A small bit of action or movement does wonders in helping me shift my perspective. Sometimes if I think too hard, even if it is a positive thought, I just end up weary of everything!
11. Stay true to yourself. Much like number one, don’t be led astray by the acts of others, positive or negative. If other people’s actions resonate with you, integrate them into your life. But stay true to what you believe. If you don’t know what you believe or value, I highly suggestthis activity from Scott Dinsmore. It helped me define several parts of my identity, and learn how to move forward in my life with integrity. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to not be swayed by all the information that abounds on the internet and podcasts, and I need to re-focus and get back to my core beliefs and practices.
12. Reclaim Your Energy. Pick the task you are dreading the most and just do it. I always make my least favorite tasks #1 on my Most Important Task list. Most of the time, dreading or anticipating such a task is worse than grinning and getting it over with. If it isn’t a specific task, shift your perspective. I have a very, very full teaching schedule on Fridays, and for a while there I was wasting so much energy worrying about getting through Fridays. The day is never as bad or long as I think it will be, and I realized what a waste it was to negatively anticipate the end of my week all the time. Fridays happen when Fridays happen, and I find that I usually enjoy them when I stay in the moment.
13. Dance like a fiend. When all else fails – when you feel like you can’t think, act, or do anything else – just go home, crank the tunes, and dance like a crazy person all around your apartment or house. I’ve done it in the bathroom stall at my school – no joke. Nothing makes me feel better or forget all my worries as instantly or effectively as DANCE.
Have a beautiful day