by Brian McFadden | June 28, 2014 12:48 pm
I do want you to know, a lot of what I write is spurred from my own life. I evaluate where I’m struggling and where I feel attention is needed and I share it. So, I hope that as you read my posts, you understand that I’m just like you. I’m human, I mess up, I burn out, I let people down, I miss a workout, I get distracted and on and on. But, what I’m training myself to do and simultaneously teaching you to do as well, is to recognize the gaps in our lives, be willing to confess we screwed up or need help, put a plan in action or parameters around certain areas to get better and move on.Below are some thoughts recently birthed from taking a step back and evaluating my life and seeing where I’m wasting time, maybe you can relate too……
Rather than stretching your to do list to 28 items tomorrow, reduce to 5 and schedule time to NOT be busy. Being overly ‘busy’ these days for the sake of filling up our days to feel productive is causing massive burnout and influencing an increasing amount of adrenal fatigue in our society today.
I know this one is difficult because we are surrounded and flooded with media marketing that tells us to be better than everyone around you. However, have you noticed at all how draining this is? The constant hunger of the ego whispering in your ear, “I’ve got to have a better car than my neighbor, I’ve got to have a better body than those at the gym, I’ve got to be stronger than that girl, I’ve got to out produce my co-worker, I’ve got to look better than him so I can impress her” and the vicious cycle goes on and on. At the end of the day, comparison robs you of joy.
The average person watches 4 hours of TV today. I would argue to throw in YouTube and Social Media surfing in that fact too. That’s 28 hours a week and 10,220 hours a year of mindless distraction. I hear people say all the time, “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to make healthy decisions,” or “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to start the career of my dreams.” Often times it’s non-sense after investigating their energy management in regards to time. What I see often is very smart and intelligent people massively distracted at becoming great at meaningless things.
You know what I’m talking about, right? The people in your life that just suck the life, hope and energy out of you. Those people. I’m not saying don’t love them, but set boundaries in the amount of time you are around them.
Now, this may seem odd but let me explain. If you are in a place where you’re not quite sure what you want to do with your life, or you’re stuck and want change but all you’re doing is “relaxing” and hoping that your dream job or lifestyle will fall into your lap, good luck. Viktor Frankl, the noted psychiatrist noted “what a person actually needs is not a tensionless state, but the striving and struggling for a goal that is worthy of him or her.” You’ve got to take some chances, swing the bat, take a step towards the direction you vision yourself stepping into.
Dennis Waitley, author of The Psychology Of Winning says “Out of adversity can come greatness.”
There is probably no other feeling comparable to the one of an empty soul after achieving what one thought would provide fulfillment. The value of training your mind to understand that the journey to improve is a lifetime program is priceless. There is no destination we can get to on this earth that will provide complete fulfillment.
With the amount of access we have these days, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting more, more everything. The problem with that is, the satisfaction of new stuff is fleeting and the law of diminishing returns sets in as you get more stuff more often. What ends up happening is you feed the desire that can’t and never will be satisfied and often times, leads you to buying things with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t care about.
Ok, for those who have known or followed me, you’re probably flippin’ out right now. With the majority of my career being in fitness, I’ve learned that too many people (myself included) invest way to much energy into physical exercise and not into other areas of their life which would have more of an impact on their health than exercise alone. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, there is no need to exercise 2-3 hours a day or more. In fact, I encourage MED (minimum effective dose) exercise. This will be relative to the individual based on numerous factors, but the concept is to find the minimum amount of exercise you need to produce the results you desire.
Unless creating recipes and cooking is your craft, you don’t need to spend energy on thinking about what to have for breakfast. For many, you have a whole day of decision making ahead that takes mental and emotinal energy, adding to that by stressing out over a breakfast decision is not effective. Pick 2 breakfasts that you enjoy (ideally protein based, with some high quality fat) and stick to it during the week. If you particularly enjoy breakfast and variety, choose to make or go out to a ‘fancy’ breakfast or brunch on your days off.
Just don’t do it.
Batch your time of checking email. You’ll have to evaluate your situation to see what will work for you. I check mine twice a day and that’s it. I don’t open it or leave it open unless it’s “check my email” time. Trust me this will save you a lot of mental energy, do it.
To not decide, is to decide. (Do your research first, then decide, quickly).
Everyone has ideas, sometimes they happen to be great too. However, trying to remember ideas with your mind is not only nearly impossible, but it’s energy zapping. Create an extrenal brain for yourself and use Evernote
More and more evidence is showing that multi-tasking doesn’t allow you to accomplish more things effectively (effectively is the key word). Your short term memory can only juggle a handful of things at once, so when you try to juggle 11 dissimilar tasks at once, things start to fall apart. In the end, multi-tasking can actually work against you, so stop wasting your time on this.
Be willing to love and forgive yourself. The enemy has a way of placing a foothold on you when you allow self-doubt and fear to enter your mind and body. Prayer and meditation must be your weapon against this. A short and powerful meditation can be done daily, something like this:
I am willing to let go of all of the self-doubt and fear today. I forgive myself for getting stuck in that mindset. I believe in miracles and I am ready to receive the power I need to live the life I’m called to live with love, energy and focus. Failure is not who I am, only a lesson to make me better.
I appreciate the art of the Stoic philosophers who’s aim was to provide practical application to life. An underlying theme of Stoic writings claim that, “you don’t have control over what happens to you, however you do have control over the way you react to it.” A “turning obstacles into opportunity” mindset allows you to navigate through life with a level head.
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