3 ways to help you optimise your life and increase your ability to deal with life’s challenges.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Despite all of the religious, political, cultural and ideological differences among us I believe that by and large people across this great planet want the same thing; we want to be free to pursue and hopefully achieve our own personal definition of success and happiness.
Although everyone wants to live “the good life” no one knows how many of us actually achieve the dream. There are simply no statistics available to demonstrate how many of us live a fantastic life, or how we managed to do it.
We do know that in North America many of us enjoy the highest standard of living in the history of man. Yet, despite this fact, over 18% of the population suffer from anxiety or depression. Clinical diagnosis of depression and anxiety is increasing by an estimated 20% per year.
While we struggle to fully establish definitions for success and happiness, I think we can all agree that depression and anxiety are definitely not compatible with anyone’s definition of living “the good life”. The general impression given from the available statistics is that although our standard of living is increasing more people than ever suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety.
That’s where I come in. While my business is centred on helping individuals and businesses achieve their goals; the main intent of my blog is to provide free information and ideas to anyone who is interested in improving the quality of their life.
One basic premise of this blog is that the further we move away from the things that make us unhappy the higher our quality of life will become.
There are however a few simple and practical solutions for those of us who live a more optimised life.
Below are some of my three of my aids to living an optimized life.
1. Accept imperfection.
We will always have room for improvement. One of life’s realities is that things will never be perfect. With time, effort and perseverance we can grow to have a life that is pretty darn fine, but we will never, ever achieve perfection. Things go wrong, taxes go up, stores run out of merchandise, people get sick and die and your neighbor gets mad at you. Despite our best efforts relationships fall apart. Sometimes things go wrong despite our best efforts and sometimes things go wrong because of our best efforts.
Accepting the fact that things can and do go wrong is a critical step in creating the life of our dreams. Accepting the fact that everyone makes mistakes is another.
In order to be strong and resilient we have to learn to accept the faults and failures within ourselves, within others and in the world at large. Tempering our expectations and learning to forgive fault in ourselves and others is a great place to start.
As cliché as it sounds; true happiness and success is found in within us. Our level of success and happiness and enjoyment will always be somewhat dependent on our reaction to the things going on in the world around us.
Learning to gracefully accept the things we cannot change is a huge first step to leading a fantastic life.
2. Realise that pain is an indicator that there is something you need to work on.
Learning to accept the things we cannot change is one major step toward a happier and more fulfilled life.
However there are many things in our lives that we can and should be working on; pain and discomfort tells us what those things are.
By and large unhappiness and discomfort are just indicators that you need to pay a bit of attention to an area. Failure to address the pain points of life is; in my view, is a major cause of depression and there are really only two choices on how to deal with these pain points.
You can find a way to accept and live with issue or you can decide to do something about it.
My preferred way of addressing my pain points is by taking action. I always have a long list of things that I am working on and many of them revolve around self-improvement and life optimisation. If I have a relationship that isn’t going as well I take action. If things in my business are in disarray I take action.
The neat thing is I don’t usually have to do very much to get my life back on track and get back to feeling great about things. In most cases a small tweak is all that is required.
3. Focus at least as much attention on the things that are going well in your life.
I talk a lot about practicing gratitude in life. Scientific studies have proven that the act of practicing gratitude can increase your happiness level by 20%.
When things go wrong in my life, as they often do practicing gratitude is one of my go to moves. In fact the worse things get the harder I work at practicing gratitude.
Right now I have people in my life who are suffering through significant illness. On my dark days I need to put considerable time and effort into practicing gratitude and looking at the many positives I always have in my world. It takes work to change my focus from what is going wrong to what is going right but the benefits to my health and wellbeing are worth the effort.
By nature I am an extremely good critical thinker, in fact I made a pretty decent career out of that skill. Over the years I ran multiple divisions of a major corporation and rarely had issues of any kind. A major reason that the areas under my control had so few problems is that I had a knack for imagining worse case scenarios and then proactively dealing with those situations.
The problem with being a critical thinker is that I am very good at seeing the worst case scenario. Critical thinking is a great skill for avoiding risk; not a great recipe for living a happy life.
My antidote for the sadness that comes along with critical thinking is to practice gratitude. I write in my gratitude journal at least 5 days per week and I spend as much time as I need to in order to feel better about my life.
I also take the time to stop what I am doing and just appreciate the moment. I literally stop and smell the flowers and watch the birds.
So now you have my 3 ways to optimise your life so now what are you going to do? You can choose to do nothing or you can choose to take action.
I would also love to hear your ideas about life optimization, do you have any tips or tricks that you would suggest?
As always thank you for reading and if you need some help of advice just shoot me an email. I am glad to help.
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Have a great week!