Perception of a hard day.

Each of us perceives the world slightly different from the other, this is what causes our realities to be different. The good things some see in the world could be seen as just okay or not noteworthy by others. Stressful situations for some might be someone else’s comfort zone and so on. The way each of us perceive the world is what makes life unknown in ways because we never know what someone might do or say when experiencing a situation.

We can all admit that there are days when we struggle to see the good in anything. When work sucks, our car sucks, our relationships are bad, or life just isn’t great at that moment. These days happen to everyone and can happen anytime. Sometimes life is just unpredictable. There are a few ways to combat these days when our perception of the world around us is abnormally harsh.

Take a little personal time and write down everything that is poisoning your day. Just write it down, get those terrible feelings out of you as quickly as you can. Writing these things down can be difficult because you may not agree with what you are writing, you might feel torn between how you feel in the moment and how you feel in general. Feeling this way okay, its the process of writing the rough moments on paper that help you think through the reality of life at the time and move forward. Give it a try.

Another great option to help adjust your perspective on a challenging day is to talk it out with a friend while doing some type of activity. Perhaps a walk around your office just to vent, working on a puzzle, playing laser tag, hiking, throwing axes, or boxing could be the best way to talk it out and work the challenges out. I have tried all of the ideas I wrote above and they’ve helped me personally, just tailor your activity to you and see how that works for you.

Realization.

What I was having a hard time admitting was that I was burned out. Nothing was making sense because I couldn’t grasp what was happening around me, I had fallen into a autopilot mode and was just doing the bare minimum to get by each day. Once I was able to come to the realization of what was happening to me it broke me down a little more than I already was and then allowed me to begin to pick myself up and retake control of myself and my surroundings.

Yesterday I talked about walking the dog and just listening to nature around me and taking a little time to read something every day. Those are two big parts of what has helped me regain some sense of control of my life. The following are two more things that helped me stand a little more confidently and are still helping me today; Eating less sugar, and exercising more gratitude.

I’m not here to tell you how to eat, I here to tell you about what I was eating too much of and too little of. I am the type of person who can pick up a group sized bag of chocolates and eat the whole thing by myself in one sitting. I have a sweet tooth that loves to be fed and all too often I just feed it without thought or care of how I will feel afterward. I have known this for a long time and it hasn’t bothered me because I feel that I live a fairly active life and don’t carry too much excess weight on my bones.

This past month I started using sweets and treats as they ought to be used as a way to treat one’s self once in a while. It was a struggle for me as I mentioned before because I am a sweet eater and indulge a little too often historically. I started taking better snacks with me to work like cheese, fruits and various nuts to snack on instead of sugary treats. I also limited my soda intake to one can a day and that can be after work when I made it home to relax. It made a huge difference in my daily attitude and helped me be a little less cloudy than I was before.

I believe I mentioned this before in a few different posts but this is one that really rings with me and has helped me see life in a better light, expressing gratitude more often. Yes, I have always tried to express gratitude each day but I wasn’t expressing gratitude to the right people nor seeing gratitude in the little things around me. I was grateful for having a place to work, owning a house, a car, and a family but I wasn’t able to express that gratitude directly to the little things that really mattered.

I started saying thank you to my spouse more often for the little things she did, I started looking more at the good things that I had worked toward in my life such as my car and home ownership. I started admitting that I was avoiding seeing the good things in my life and swelling on the holes and how much more I needed to be happy. I personally don’t think that I need material possessions to be happy, but I was starting to think those were the only things I needed to be so. You can be happy with very little should you choose to be grateful for the life you have and the opportunities that have come and are coming your way.

As I stated before I’m not saying the things I’ve mentioned above are guaranteed to make you happier than you already are or will pull you out of a funk or burned out stage of life. What I have mentioned above has helped me live with fewer clouds in my head each day. They were part of the tools I personally used to be a little happier than I was yesterday.

Escape.

Have you ever needed a little time to escape? To have peace and quiet, just to disconnect from the world around you and just hear nature? As I mentioned last night I needed that time and space just to reset and breathe. It’s never easy to admit that we might be experiencing a little burnout, that has led to us being a little down for a period of time. I took the past month to escape a little and these are a few things I used to escape.

Reading has always been something I have tried to enjoy and use as an escape. I used a little time each day last month to read a few books, my favorite being “How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1: An Unorthodox Guide To 21st Century Success from the World’s #1 Fake Restaurateur and Paris Fashion Week’s #1 Fake Designer” by Oobah Butler. I have watched his videos online and felt I related to his style and sense of humor. His book was an easy read that helped me better understand how to stop bullsh*tting myself and to start being better at committing to ideas and finding success.

There are indeed times when I have thought that I have great ideas that are destined for success that have fallen flat on their faces because I let the doubts of others around me hold me back. That was something that had been grinding me down over the past months was the voices of others who didn’t see the whole vision I had and believed in. I let their doubts drown out my belief that things would go well on stormy seas.

Walking my dog without headphones in my ears sounds like a silly thing. I don’t really want to get to know my neighbors after all (wink, wink), nor do I want to hear the sounds of birds, horses, cows, and sheep. Just kidding, I love hearing all of those things along with the simple interactions with my neighbors. It’s just easy to plug in and be distant. This past month I just took my headphones out while e walked the dog and that changed things up, I was more connected to real life and all the goodness that is always surrounding me.

It really helped me out with feeling better about my day to day life, disconnect from the digital and live more in the physical. Living here and now can often be a great escape for some and indeed it has been a great escape for me. So take some time and read a book, any book will do. Take the chance on walking without your headphones in your ears and just listen to the present around you and soak up the big moments of today.

Leveling Up.

A quick follow up from yesterdays post, today I went on an spontaneous adventure with my friend to the desert three hours to the east. It was a great time searching out petroglyphs and walking through dry canyon washes looking at the sandstone features with our dogs. Just a follow up that saying yes a little more pays off, it made all the difference in how today turned out.

I listen to a number of podcasts that vary in topic from personal growth/development, business tactics/processes, food/restaurant development/managment and regular life stories that have a motivational tune to them. Most of them have a common theme about leveling up and doing better at what you do. The people sharing these messages are usually extremely dedicated to one or two things and have become world-class at using those skills to make money from them.

One of the most constant things you hear is taking the next step, leveling up in one way or another and using that momentum to maximize your opportunities to grow your business, brand, portfolio, or influence. After you level up once and you master your new level you seek out new opportunities to level up again. It’s a constant series of leveling up and extended growth so you can reach your ultimate level. The ultimate level might be wealth, successful businesses, or life balance.

For each of us, the end goal is different. We all want different things this is why our paths vary, the way we earn and spend money varies, and the way we look at life is slightly different from the people we spend the most time with. What I have deduced from each of these podcasts and their mentors and guests is that you need to deduce what you want to become and jump feet first into whatever you decide to pursue and become the best you can be at it.   

Enthusiasm vs Endurance

I saw a quote posted by a friend today quoting Angela Duckworth that stated the following:  

“ Enthusiasm is common.
 Endurance is rare.  “

That hit me pretty well after my confession yesterday about making excuses, falling short of my intended goal for this project,  and falling short in many different aspects of life. I say this not to post a sign that says “pity this guy” but more as an acknowledgment that we are the biggest reason why we don’t see a goal from concept to completion. It’s something more of us could benefit from doing, admitting our own faults and weaknesses as we review our list of in-completed wishes and aspirations.

Getting back to the quote I felt I am extremely enthusiastic about so many things that I begin. I really dive into the motions of becoming fully engrossed in the activity until some sort of unexpected twist joins my journey, then derails my forward motion and enthusiasm for the new project. Something that could cause me to derail might be a change at work, increased homework from my university studies, or a challenge I’d rather not face up to at the present time.

When the forward motion is slowed or stopped it is a challenge to start again and regain the momentum you previously had; for me at least. I think this is where pacing yourself might come in handy. I know that I have written about how we should look at things with a sprint vs marathon mindset in the past and I try to live that practice daily but it can be hard to do all the time. Many around the world might share this sentiment, “It would be nice if there was a faster way to…”. For some things yes, there are shortcuts, for others, there are only steps to take in a specific process to attain the desired outcome.

This is where learning endurance comes to play, one step at a time with a mindset that somethings can take a long time to see to completion. We need to teach ourselves how to endure better through the challenges we experience for the long run. Learning endurance is not an easy process at all but it’s one that will help us the most if we are to learn. Learn a little more each day, read a little longer, study a little better, run a little farther, be a little more confident each day, and eventually, you’ve become a marathon runner and learned to endure more than you thought you could.

Presentation.

Today I remembered why I enjoy presenting in front of people, the thrill of sharing a message that some need to hear is exciting. Tonight I was apart of a basic presentation for my marketing class, I shared about four minutes worth of information to a audience that wasn’t interested in the subject we shared but listened for a grade. I tried to keep my talking points simple yet entertaining and felt the audience heard what I needed to say.

In the past, I have been privileged to present in front of groups from twenty to a thousand people and have loved the opportunity to share my story. A story that to me is normal life lived as I do, one foot in front of the other and adapting to the world around me. I have been blessed to have a story to tell others, one that people say inspires them to live a little happier each day. As a person with a disability, I find joy in living independently yet can happily acknowledge that I need help from time to time. This has not only humbled me but has given me the opportunity to openly learn how to ask better questions.

As a speaker and storyteller, I am often asked to share my journey, the ups, and downs alongside the lessons I have learned as I’ve grown little by little. It’s never easy to be vulnerable, to allow others to know your weaknesses and fears. Yet, it is surprisingly freeing to tell a story built off those pillars and develop a message that can inspire others to recognize the good in their lives. I love hearing the good and seeing the good that others have in their lives.

This desire to hear the good has led me to the next leg of my journey a podcast, a bi-weekly segment highlighting the good of the world. I can’t wait to present you with the release date of my podcast, “What’s your take?” launching May 2019.

Consumption

It seems that everywhere we go we are faced with ads and marketing campaigns that are designed to do one thing, get us to make a purchase. This buy-in might be to visit a local lawyer if we’ve been injured, visit a local car dealership because they listen, donate to a cause because you care, or purchase a product to change your life. We live in a world that is built around you or I spending money after being advertised to. We are a generation of consumers.

Some are in constant search for the newest item that will make them appear smarter, trendier, and more tech savvy than others. Some build their self worth and esteem based off the brands the shop and use on a day to day basis, this practice can be freeing for many and depressing for some. Not only are we surrounded and influenced by the consumer culture we are built or broken by it at times.

For those who have extra funds to buy the premium products they are easily able to attain their desired status amongst their peers and are often early adopters of the latest fads and trends. For some their path to attain products to boost status can be lengthy and combined with a uphill battle as they attain the products later and they may attain them well after a newer iteration of the product arrives and others mat remind them of how “behind the times” the late purchaser might be.

As consumers, we need to be better at finding satisfaction with the products that we have. I mean do we really need the latest and greatest or will what we have do for another year or so? What does a new product in our hands really change about us? For many it is all about the self confidence and self esteem that comes along with the items, but this is not the case for everyone.

Finding happiness with what we have could pay off in the long run if we are willing to be okay with having things for a long time. It could allow us to be happier in the current moments we have and less focused on the fleeting moments ahead. As a consumer, you should remind yourself that things don’t define your actions and personality do.