Are you allowing better to get in the way of best?Jan 31, 2022
A change is as good as a rest
A brief spell at home feeling poorly recently, meant I indulged in some rarely viewed daytime TV. Homes Under the Hammer, Escape to the Country and another one about how to spruce up your home to make it fit for sale, were all programmes I flicked between. The one about simple tricks to ensure your house is saleable gave some great tips. The premise is that an individual, couple or family are looking to buy a new home with three vendors hoping that their property will be the one that’s picked. In order that those home sellers are in the running, they are given ideas on changes they can make that will help their property appear more attractive. There was one particular line that piqued my interest though: “You get so used to living with something, that you don’t notice it. In the end, you don’t do anything about it, you just live with it.”
On the programme I happened upon, one of the three house sellers were an older couple who had lived in their home for 30 years; a lot of knick-knacks and dated décor led the presenter to explain how simple alterations such as decluttering, updating light fittings and the most expensive modification being that of a new carpet, could transform a room’s perspective. Until the changes were made, the couple couldn’t see what a difference this would make, and it was amazing to see the transformation and their delight as a result.
As I watched this, I wondered what clutter we all carry in our lives and what changes we could make that might transform our life or at the very least, maybe make things easier. What are you living with on a day-to-day basis that you’re not really happy with, that needs sorting? I know we should be conscious of this on a day-to-day basis, but the start of a New Year is always an appropriate prompt for a bit of a sort-out both physically and figuratively.
The spare room with so much potential but is basically a dumping ground; the morning routine which seems so hectic yet with small tweaks could be so different; the relationship that you both merely seem to co-exist in; the job that you just check in and out of every day- going through the motions because it pays the bills… Inertia creeps in in everyday life and before we know it, another year has passed yet what have we done to change anything for the better? Have we gone to those places we planned to visit? Changed the living space which can bring a calmness with it; applied for jobs that we know we’d be great at and that have the salary we deserve…? We kid ourselves that all is OK, and it probably is, but it can be better, it can be awesome.
One exercise on The Winning Edge that we ask participants to do is to answer a set of questions about what they’d like to achieve in five years’ time. No one is asked to share their answers, but it is a prompt to get them thinking. The questions asked are:
What goals would you like to set for five years’ time?
- Your income in tax year 27/28?
- Where do you want to live in 2027? Own or rent? What size house (using number of bedrooms for example)? Location?
- Bank of knowledge of 2027? (Personal development, skills, instruments, pastimes etc.)
- Which countries do you want to visit or revisit by 2027?
Maybe you could think about your answers to those questions. If you’re not interested, you can write nothing and leave it blank. If you’re happy with what you have, then that’s great, write that too. Or maybe you might choose to think about some goals you could set for yourself.
The point is that five years is coming around anyway, something is going to be happening in all of those areas whether you plan for it or not, so are you interested in deciding what it is?
You’ll be living in a house, so if you don’t set a goal then you’ll end up somewhere, or might someone else decide it for you? And you will be earning something unless you choose to retire, and in which case, surely, you’d want a plan for that…
If you couldn’t care less, then it doesn’t matter, does it? But that does mean don’t whinge when you look back in 5 years’ time thinking: “I wish I had…” If you don’t want to do anything right now to plan for 5 years’ time, that’s fine, but make that a conscious decision, rather than let it all happen by default. That’s what so many people do- they live with the inertia and then turn around later down the line and wonder what happened, where all that time went, wishing they’d done something with it.
If you decide to write some goals down for yourself, you’ve joined a very exclusive club. In almost 40 years of Mancroft running Winning Edge courses, prior to us meeting them, only 2-5% of course attendees already had goals written down, which they wholeheartedly believed they could and would achieve.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but life goes quicker as you get older- five years goes by faster and faster. But, if you stop to enjoy life and make plans, it seems to go that bit slower.
Living life more consciously
I have a friend who maximises every single day – she works hard – thinks of new ways to improve her business, she plans trips for her family enjoying every day with them that she does not work; her family catch up with friends at the weekends; her home is her sanctuary and her and her husband have done little things to it that seem to have a great effect; she goes to concerts and comedy gigs – it all sounds pretty exhausting but it’s fulfilling and she loves life – her best life. She is intentional with how she lives her life. Default is not her setting. Are there moments when things don’t feel so great, when the kids argue, or things don’t pan out how she’d like them to? Sure, because that’s real life. But because she lives her life more consciously, she is more resilient to the knocks.
It’s about looking at your life and wondering how making changes could possibly improve things. When you step out of your comfort zone, that's when you grow. Once you crank up your Mental Thermostat to a new normal and embrace change, you're able to bring new experiences and opportunities into your life. You can stick with your current level of normal, perhaps fearing change, or maybe because you allow procrastination or inertia to get in the way and that's OK if that's a conscious choice; but if in 10, 20, 30 years’ time you wonder where all that time went and lament the fact you did nothing to push yourself forward, then that's maybe something to reflect on now.
Make the change and reap the benefits. Be awesome.
Ensure you live your life consciously, rather than to sleepwalk your way through it.
“Too many people let the good things in life stop them getting the best.” Richard Jackson MBE, The Winning Edge
. . . . . . .By living life more consciously, we are more intentional with our thoughts, feelings and actions, thus the choices we make. Do you find it challenging to live life consciously? Do things seem to happen by default?
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