Making life easier for ourselves or much, much harder...
Posted on 24th May 2023 at 07:18
Once again, we have recent conversations with Clients to thank for the inspiration for this week’s blog post. And it all started with us making a very simple observation. That everything we do EITHER makes life much easier for ourselves – and those around us (!) – OR does the exact opposite. Makes life much, much harder all round.
Now if this sounds a bit like stating the blindingly obvious, it is, but it’s amazing how often we seem to forget this simple truth as we go about our day to day lives.
Often, it’s because we’re so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our lives that we run on autopilot. Doing all the things we’ve always done in exactly the same way. Just wanting to get them crossed off our list, so we can move on to the next one and then the next.
Rather like a hamster on a wheel, running fast, getting nowhere. In other words, the “busy, busy, busy” approach we regularly talk about. If you need a quick reminder why this may not be the best approach click here.
While routine and habit can be our friends, there’s also a big downside to this approach. We never stop to consider what we’re doing. Whether to do it in the first place – a radical thought we know (!) – and, if so, the best way to do it. We put habits under the spotlight a couple of weeks ago and, if you missed the post, it can be found here.
Or, perhaps, we’re so focused on the “out there” that we forget we’re the one in the driving seat, not someone else. And, “yes”, we know this can be a scary thought as well!
While others may have an input – directly or indirectly – into what we do, ultimately, it’s down to us whether we choose to do it AND the way we do it. If you’d like a quick reminder why we always have a choice, click here.
Which leads us neatly on to all the times the Little Monster in our heads is busy pulling our strings, for a whole host of different reasons. Perhaps reinforcing the picture we have of ourselves, whether we realise it or not. Being a “good” person, decisive, “poor me” and many more besides.
Or perhaps it’s being driven by one of those emotions we’d prefer not to think about. Anger, guilt, retribution and more. The common link between all these different scenarios – and less than positive emotions – is they rarely end well, for all concerned… For a quick reminder why the emotions – and energy – driving whatever we do are crucial to the end result, click here.
So, where are we going with this?
Well, as you go about your day, how about pausing every so often and noticing what you’re doing AND, just as important, how you’re doing it. It’s known as “Pattern Interrupt”, interrupting how you routinely – or habitually – do things. Taking you off autopilot and on to manual. Perhaps as you finish one job – regardless of its size or importance – before moving on to the next. Noticing whether you’re making life easier for yourself or not. Mmm…
Perhaps asking yourself a couple of simple questions:
Do you really need to be doing whatever it is? Whether right now or at all (!).
And here’s a potentially contentious question. Are you the best person to be doing it?!?
If you decide you do – and you are (!) – then what’s the quickest, easiest and simplest way to do it?
Perhaps your current approach, honed over a period of time, ticks both these boxes. In which case, hurrah!
However, before you give yourself a pat on the back and move quickly on, you may want to double check that it really does tick the boxes and isn’t a cleverly disguised resistance to change. After all, change is the only constant in life...
But what if one – or both – of these boxes aren’t ticked?
Then use this revelation for a new approach, one that suits you AND everyone else.
And, let’s quickly pre empt a couple of the many ways the Little Monster in your head will try to use to distract you from this new approach. “Yes” there is always time to consider a new and better way to do things. And, “No” this doesn’t make you selfish / unreasonable / fill in the blank (!).
It’s one of the great mysteries of life that we rarely stop to consider what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Whether we’re making life easier – or much harder (!) – for ourselves than it need be. We just seem to plough on regardless, relying on willpower or stamina to get us through, rather than taking a different – and much easier approach.
As always, the choice is yours.
Photograph by unknown author
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