Does it ever stop?
The Boss’ last minute emergency that has to be tended to before we can escape into the darkness of night. Never ending demands on our all too limited time. Don’t forget relationships that need our attention and nurturing, family time, family crisis. Soaring expenses and plummeting cash flow. Gridlock, medical bills, national, political and financial meltdowns. Emotional overload and dare I say it, the impending conclusion of Game of Thrones (yikes could the end of our civilization be upon us?).
In this helter-skelter world that we live in constant transitions is the rule. How we prosper amidst these transitions is critical to a successful and valued existence.
Great value is attributed to human resiliency, the innate ability to rebound from devastating life experiences and to succeed against all odds.
There are a multitude of historical accountings of individual and community devastations and recovery, which supports our remarkable ability to flourish during incredibly dire circumstances.
But, how do we flourish during persistent and enduring change and daily stressful experiences? I believe mindful awareness and conscious proactive choices are critical if we are to flourish during these never ending transitions.
It is imperative to have awareness of your external as well as your internal worlds. It is easier to see what is before you than what lies within you and yet both are critical to our well-being. Our internal world is filled with thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, memories and triggers that we are all too often unaware of or tend to avoid paying attention to.
Take note of what you are experiencing throughout the day.
Ask these critical questions whenever you feel your actions aren’t leading you towards desired outcomes or when you have lost control of your focus, time and activity.
- What am I doing?
- What is motivating me to do this (planful/mindful focus, strong emotions, a need for immediate gratification, distractions, fears, outside demands, feeling tired or needing a break)?
- What outcome am I seeking?
- Is what I am doing critical to this outcome?
- Will this outcome allow me to flourish?
- Have I lost my focus?
- Am I in control of my actions or are they controlling me?
- Do I need to change my behavior?
- What is one thing I can do or stop doing, quickly that will improve my situation?
We frequently do not have control over what happens to us on a daily basis. While we seem to put forth great effort towards controlling our environment, it is quite common for universal forces to exert unexpected events upon us.
What we can control more successfully but not completely is how we face these events and the attitude we maintain during each experience. Being aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions give you an opportunity to make proactive choices that can produce positive outcomes.
We typically do not step back to ask mindful questions as a part of our daily routine. This will take time and practice. Make an effort each day to step back and ask a few mindful questions when you are faced with a difficult transition or experience. Remember, good choices typically lead to good outcomes.