What’s working – not working – in your life?
By Dr. Bev
My first blog asked a series of questions – the very first one was “What’s not been working for
you in your life?” Life is a four-letter word that is complicated enough that no one will ever decode its true meaning. It is full of ups and downs, but the goal in life is to minimize the downs and live a God-focused existence that yields joy. So, let’s examine this question to see if it can provide some answers to having more ups than downs.
"Nothing can dim the light that shines from within." - Maya Angelou
"Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God." - Teilhard de Chardin
Work on this first:
I. The easiest thing to do is to sit down and write about what your current life looks like. Get a piece of paper and make two columns; divide it into 3 horizontal sections, making 9 squares altogether. The first column is headed “What’s working?” The second column (you guessed it!) is titled “What’s not working?” The first row is from your perspective; the second is from the perspective of your family; and the third is other people such as staff or friends. Fill these blocks in with your ideas. You can turn the first column into a gratitude list – all the things that are really going well for you – the good stuff in life. But let’s turn to the second column, the stuff of life that is not going so well.
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”. - Oprah Winfrey
Work on this second:
II. Make a definitive list that is specific to how your life is not working for you. Then, check out the following indicators that all is not well in Rome! The first indicator is waking up tired in the morning, lacking enthusiasm for what the day will bring. The second symptom is you might feel a vague uneasiness that something is missing in your life; there is a sense of emptiness. Third, you feel little or no satisfaction with what you’re doing. Fourth, you feel frightened and lack the courage to tell family and friends that you want to do something different. Fifth, you may well be surrounded by people and tasks that deplete your energy, leaving you feel drained at the end of the day. And sixth, you may well feel stuck in a journey that is not
rewarding and certainly is not leading you toward a meaningful destination. So, review your list against the indicators that something is not working and see where you are. The big
question for you now is what needs to happen next to build on what is working and change what’s not working. It was Charles Darwin of evolutionary fame who said that it is the most adaptable among us who will survive. Ask yourself if you are adaptable and can change your way of thinking, feeling and doing in order to make your life better? If what you are doing is not working, then try something different! You will no doubt recall that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result! So, make the commitment that you
can find a different approach to living your life.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!” - Mae West
Work on this third:
III. Use the following checklist to begin making changes. Consider these points as you create goals for yourself because they will help you find a life that works and is meaningful, full of purpose.
1. Are you motivated by intrinsic rewards such as relationships, service to your community and the opportunity to grow and develop to your fullest potential?
2. Are your goals aligned with your highest values? Do your values include integrity, family
relationships as a priority, honesty, and so on? What are your values?
3. Are you willing to feel the fear of trying something you don’t know how to do? The world is
changing at an unprecedented pace – are you willing to live on the edge so you can be a winner?
4. Are you willing to take serious stock of your unique abilities, interests, financial requirements and other factors to create your own path, specific to who you are?
5. Can you combine your passions with your strengths? Where lies your fulfillment? Can you take the various career assessments to identify these? Can you ignore your weaknesses for now and focus on strengths?
6. Can you seek your own approval rather than look at what others think about you? Your intrinsic approval is what will drive you – not the approval of others.
Psalm 138:8 tells us the Lord will not abandon us as we search for a more fulfilling life: “The lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hands.”
Keeping that in mind, now you have stuff to do! Get busy doing the 3 things above that will move you from “what’s not working” to “what IS working”! Once you have decided to take the challenge and go from “not working” to “working” you might realize you could use some help. If so, you might want to connect with others who are working hard on improving their lives by joining our Zoom group that meets every Wednesday night at 6:30 for an hour or so. We are working on a series of “Life Strategies” developed by Dr. Phil McGraw and do exercises
the week previous to the meetings. If interested, let me know and I will get you connected to our Zoom group by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
Dr. Bev, Coach and Counselor