This is a guest post by Dr. Shawn Haywood
“The most successful people are highly focused, playful and engaged in meaningful and intentional living.”
Does this describe you?
OR, is your head buried in your phone, computer or even in your own thoughts more often than you'd prefer? Are you so busy that you have little to no time for what is truly important and meaningful? Are your days run by firefighting, rather than clear direction and strategic focus (in work and at home)? Have “escape” or “numbing” habits like social media viewing, gossiping, complaining, gaming (phone or console), texting, mindlessly emailing, surfing porn, internet shopping, emotional drinking or eating taken over the little free time you do have?
If you're said yes to any number of the above, then Houston, we have a problem!
When life lacks meaning, focus, clarity and fulfillment, boredom and discontent are afoot. And when boredom and discontent are afoot, bad habits and crappy feelings take root. It is just that simple.
“A bored mind creates drama and problems to solve, just so it can have something interesting to do.”
In our new society of almost constant stimulation and distraction, where technological ADHD has become the social normand opportunity for numbing out is so prevalent that bad habits form easily, serious discontent has emerged. At the same time, there has been a serious diminishment of play, fun and free-spirited adventure. We have become so immersed in doing that we believe there is not time for fun and free time. Therefore, because our mind is set to this belief, we squander even more time, we create problems and then we numb out because life lacks meaning and fun. This is a self-perpetuating cycle that can only be broken with intentionality.
I recently began working with a client, a female business owner named Nadia M., who was feeling exhausted, worked 10-hour days, rarely made time for self-care (healthy eating and fitness) and barely had time to connect in meaningful ways with her family. And when she did spend time with her husband and daughter, she was far less patient and more distracted than she preferred. She was burning the candle at both ends and was hoping to turn things around.
Together, we made a focused plan to turn her business and personal life around, and within three months she was working seven to eight hour days, working zero weekends, spending playful and energized time with her family and even taking time to practice yoga two times a week, something she had been wanting to do for years.
People have become exceptional at being over stimulated but bored to tears! Busy all the time, they rarely focus on strategic initiatives (in business or at home – yes, home, too, should have a business plan with strategic initiatives that speak to and intentionally grow the health and wealth of your family unit). You may be running around like a chicken with your head cut off but not engaging in work or life in meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling, fun or playful ways.
Have you traded genuine connection, fun, meaningful focus and engagement for escaping, fire-fighting, chronic busyness, drama or over stimulation, thus, falling into patterns of mild to serious discontent?
STOP reading for just a moment, and breathe. Feel the breath three times in and out. … Didn’t that feel nice?
When was the last time you relaxed completely (without a nagging voice telling you what you should be doing or what you haven't done yet)?
"When was the last time you felt truly inspired?"
If today or yesterday, or at the very least during the past week, isn’t your response, you likely fall into one or more of the following feelings or life situations:
Lacking strategic focus
Lacking clear direction
Poor or inconsistent eating habits
So, what can you do to re-energize and re-engage with life, work and loved ones? A LOT!
Being successful in life means taking powerful, profound and intentional action! Let’s consider what a shift in action, awareness and authentic connection could mean... How about trying three ideas to help you reorganize life and get you inspired, focused and re-energized?
A Stop Doing List
Creating a “Stop Doing List” is a great way to gain focus and extra time. For the next five days, keep a note pad with you and add items that you WANT to stop doing. At the end of five days, you can review the list and place items in two categories.
Stop doing because they are not useful, strategic, value-adding, money-making or fun and therefore need to be eliminated permanently. Seriously, take a hard look at this list and be very strict with yourself. I promise, you ARE wasting time in life and in business on busy work that produces NO fruit.
Secondly, look for items to delegate or hire out. Find things that your children can take over. Hire a part-time home assistant or cleaning service. You might even need to hire a full or part-time employee to begin training to take over needed tasks that are a POOR use of YOUR time.
This is an invaluable exercise and one that my clients find completely life changing, and so will you. Find more tips like this in my Free 10 Secret Of Wildly Liberated Women here!
It really is as easy as saying no. Saying no is something many of my clients really struggle with. Pleasing seems to be in their DNA. Yet, to get out of the doldrums of discontent, flexing that NO muscle is paramount to higher achievement, fulfillment and creating time to connect in meaningful ways with the ones you love. Try this: for the next five days, say no to ABSOLUTELY everything that comes your way. You can always go back and say yes. But first say no. You might say, “Thank you for thinking of me, but my plate is already overflowing at the moment.” This way, you will have time to consider if the opportunity (a new client, a social engagement, a project, etc.) truly fits with your career or family strategic initiatives and values. If not, you have NO business saying yes anyway!
GO Outside and Play for Pete’s Sake!
While some people spend time outdoors training or working out, rarely is the purpose to go out and play or to connect with the life force that moves and creates every living thing, atom and organism. Playing outdoors is a must for fulfilling living. Get yourself outside (even if it’s hot or cold!) to connect with Mother Earth and play like a child. This WILL banish boredom, lift your spirits, and diminish anxiety and depression or other negative feelings, leaving you feeling calm and energized. Even if for only five or 10 minutes, you will feel great and grateful!
So go dig in, or dig in the dirt if that flips your trigger! But add in some outdoor playtime a few times each week, and feel the weight of the world melt away.
Come on gang: let’s replace the chronic busyness, complacency, discontent, manic fire-fighting and other yuck with super, duper, mega, ultra, jazzer-sized FOCUED, MEANINGFUL AND FUN living!
You get one life on this planet; make sure you are proud and excited to look back on it as you near its end!
Click hereto learn THE Top 10 Secrets Of Wildly Liberated Women!
Cheers to Liberated Living! Shawn