The idea for this blog post was sparked by a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How often do we feel unhappy by what others have that we don’t? The old “grass is always greener” type mentality.
Not comparing oneself to those around us is easier said than done. However, if mastered (or even just a constant acknowledgment to work on this skill) this can truly be a game changer in our lives. Mindfulness (being in the moment) is a way to slow things down, savor the moment, and in turn helps us enjoy each moment. It takes the distraction and noise out of the picture and allows us to focus on one thing at a time.
Practicing mindfulness takes patience and just like any skill, takes times to do it well. So, on your way to becoming more mindful, do so non-judgmentally (such as don’t get upset at yourself when you’re unmindful). Ways to practice mindfulness include savoring a piece of chocolate, watch and observe the clouds go by, listen to an instrumental piece of music while trying to focus on all of the different instruments that you hear without getting lost in your thoughts.
For more reading about mindfulness you can check out: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/mindfulness.html
As you improve in your ability to be mindful, I believe that you will find that you are better able to enjoy each moment and therefore you are able to be still and appreciate the here and now.
It’s the start of a new week. Many people often make statements of change starting at the beginning of a new week. Everyone knows that change is typically a difficult thing to do but I’m in the business of change and therefore may have a more optimistic outlook on change. I enjoy helping others feel the same sense of optimism about the change process.
I think the part that makes change difficult is that the change process should feel uncomfortable to some degree. It’s thinking outside of the box, doing things differently, and challenging yourself. Maya Angelou is quoted to have said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” If you remember any biology class you will recall that the process can be quite… unrefined… but in the end it’s a beautiful outcome.
The good news is our change process does not have to be quite that difficult. The first part of the change process that I help my clients with is to determine the goal. What is it that you want? Why is this important? How will you know you’ve achieved the goal? But most importantly… are you ready to do the work to change?
Being aware of where we are in regards to how ready we are to change is highly important. That way, when we’re ready we can devote our efforts into making our new patterns. Socrates wrote, “The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.” I think that’s very true. Focusing on the new and the positive rather than being stuck in our past ruts is a very helpful strategy in the change process.
Change is exciting to me. I take on a sincere responsibility to walk with my clients on their path to change and I love watching my clients meet their goals. Is there anything in your life that isn’t working for you right now? Is it causing problems at work, with friends, with family, or even just within yourself? If there is, it may be time to think about seeking out support to help you make a change.