“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”—Joseph Campbell
Let’s be truthfully honest: Are you happy with your life or do you wish things were different? For example, how would a life coach evaluate it? Would they make adjustments here and there or give you their sign of approval? Sometimes we allow our negative emotions to get in the way of what life is trying to tell us. We might see our friends or those on Instagram living wonderful lives and wish ours was the same. Though we are not looking at things objectively but judging it on appearances alone. No matter how successful, rich or happy you are, there will always be challenges and no one is immune from them. Does it make sense that wishing for a better life doesn’t bring it into existence? It requires picking apart what is not working and attending to those details consistently.
It’s no secret, everyone wants a better life. But as you may or may not know, the grass is rarely greener on the other side. It may appear that way but as soon as you attract better circumstances there will be new problems and challenges to overcome. For example, those who are single might lament their loneliness and want to be in an intimate relationship to compensate for this. However, some become disheartened when the relationship doesn’t meet their expectations and they wish they were single once more. The same is true with money. When we’re struggling financially, we wish for an endless supply of money, however if we become financially successful, there are other challenges that arise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t become financially free. Though, we ought to develop the right mindset so irrespective of whether we are rich or poor, single or in a relationship, we will be happy nonetheless. How do you feel about this? Can you learn to be happy with your current circumstances knowing your life is a work in progress?
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”—Lao Tzu
The key is understanding that life is a constantly evolving process. Sometimes we will experience difficulties, pain and struggles, while other times we will experience joy, elation and success. Winston Churchill said it perfectly: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” He knew that to succeed, we mustn’t lose enthusiasm despite our difficulties. Challenges help us sharpen the saw of our character. Whilst it may not be clear to us at the time, our pain and troubles can help us get clear on living the life we dreamed of. I have encountered many challenges throughout my life. There were moments where I thought I was doomed for failure. Not that I didn’t want to succeed, though every time I tried, I failed miserably. I thought life was against me and I compared myself to others who were succeeding. But those lessons contributed to my personal development. What you believe to be deleterious may be the greatest thing for your personal growth. It is said: The obstacle is the way.
Is this making sense? Can you appreciate what happens outside of you reflects what is taking place within you? I’m certain you have many questions brewing inside your mind. I invite you to write them down in a journal, if you use one. If you don’t, it would be a good time to start because journaling is an effective way to observe the theme of your life. This is the first thing I recommend to new coaching clients when we work together. Journaling is a powerful tool to become aware of our thoughts and work through our difficulties. It requires observing what is not working in your life and coming up with ways to overcome those challenges. You literally become better at working through solutions instead of falling into despair. Even if we like to compare ourselves to others, we realise it is futile because the assessment is unproductive. We ought to become our own motivator, counsellor if we wish to conquer our challenges.
As we work through our problems, life will not seem as bleak as we think. It only looks that way because we get stuck in a certain way of living and can’t find our way out. We are like mice in a lab experiment, spinning on a never-ending wheel with no exit. The keys are in your hand and they lie in your ability to find solutions to your problems. With this in mind, I’d like you to take one pressing issue in your life and journal five to eight solutions. They might not look impressive upon first glance, however revisit them over the coming days and narrow them down to three. When you are satisfied, pick one and act on it. Note in your journal whether it helps you or if it requires more steps. It is when we stop wishing for a better life and embrace the one we are given, that we appreciate a better life has been staring us in the face all along.