I’ve been reading a book by Joel Osteen called Break Out, and before you get judgmental regarding Mr. Osteen just hold on. In a previous post I talked about breaking patterns of behavior by using goal setting and then following up with the achievement of those goals. One of the things that is repeated throughout Break Out is the idea that we seem to settle in and get a bit too comfortable with our lives and we begin settling for less than what we are capable of. There may be other reasons like lack of self confidence, past failures, and our overall self image that holds us back, but what I am focused on is that success can also result in settling for the status quo.
The graphic above really says it all. I’m doing well in my current position, or things are adequate in my relationships, so why make the effort to change it all up? Because you are stagnating, you are not living up to your potential, you are settling for the comfortable. Think about yourself does any of this ring true for you? Do the words stagnation or plateau describe your career or your relationships? Sometimes success brings with it complacency that can only be disrupted by leaving your comfort zone. I would suggest that most of our comfort zones are self imposed by our own thoughts about our abilities and potential. We reach a level of success, and we may say to ourselves this is adequate, I have found my niche and it would be the safe choice to remain right here. Wrong!
Use the Monday challenge I wrote about in Monday Motivation and Are You Repeating the Same Behavior? to break out of your comfort zone. Remember you have a vast amount of potential and should not be settling for anything less than utilizing it, in your work and in your relationships. Don’t settle for comfortable, adequate, or reaching some arbitrary plateau.
One other word of advice, don’t be surprised when you ask your friends or family if you should take a chance in your business life or personal relationships that they tell you to play it safe. Most people are risk adverse and will gravitate to a conservative approach; It’s best to just smile and thank them for the advice, and then go ahead and do what you wanted to do in the first place.
Life is short, so don’t let other people dictate what you do.
I was just reading an article from Entrepreneur magazine written by Russell Simmons called “3 Simple Ways Meditation Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur“, and it was so good I just had to share some of the concepts and of course make the article available to you. Yes and I will also try to keep this post short for a change.
So what are these 3 ways that meditation makes you a better entrepreneur?
- Keeps you focused. Meditation clears all the chatter in your mind so you can really focus on what needs to be done making great leaps in productivity.
- It gets you past “success” and “failure. Russell is referring to allowing your mind to get too over excited by success and too down in the dumps by failures. Meditation provides some balance taking out some of the highs and lows.
- It lets you be more creative. The stillness and focus of meditation allows those creative thoughts to finally surface, maybe it is the improved ability to focus that drives improved creativity.
This comes from an article I just read on LinkedIn by their CEO Jeff Wiener. He talks about what his mentor Ray Chamber taught him were the 5 keys to happiness. I thought these 5 keys to happiness would be something we could all embrace. I’ve added a bit of my own qualifications if you will to each of these keys to happiness.
- Live in the moment – No not tomorrow, not yesterday, not next week, but NOW! Face it there is no point living in the past, and little benefit to always thinking about the future. Living in the moment allows us to do our best right now and makes us the most available to those other humans that we live on this earth with.
- It’s better to be loving than to be right – Thinking you are smarter than everyone else makes you a real pain in the ass, and when you do it to people you love or like it makes you even a bigger pain in the ass. This key to happiness is not so easy to pull off, especially for those of us who want to tell everyone the right way to do something; not teach them but tell them.
- Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional – Have you ever got all worked up and written one of those long winded emails only to hit the Cancel button as it begins to occur to you that your emotions have got the best of you? Do you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about someone or some organization, that are probably more than a bit ill founded? Having some ability to analyze your thoughts when they become less than calm and tranquil can help you get back some sense of happiness, or you can continue to fall into the pain in the ass category as in #2.
- Be grateful for at least one thing every day – So even on those days where you think the wheels are coming off, think of one thing you are grateful for. I used to write once a week all the things I was grateful for, but found that is not a frequent enough of a reminder to make a difference on a daily basis. So if you journal or blog or just meditate each day, think of that one thing you are grateful for. For example traffic was pretty good today, lunch was very good, I felt great after or during my workout, I had a great meeting at work today, I helped someone with their work, I showed someone appreciation for what they do, and the list goes on and on; pick one.
- Help others every chance you get – In this self serving, me oriented planet we spend our time focused on our own goals often at the exclusion of everything and everyone around us. I am as guilty of this as the next person, but fortunately I know other people that have taken this to heart and helping others seems very effortless to them. In fact they seem quite happy about it, so I am trying to emulate them and see if it makes me happier too. When you do allow your mind to wander back to the past you find those times you spend mentoring, teaching, and doing something nice for others is what you remember fondly.
What are your keys to happiness?
The complete article is at: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140210025756-22330283-five-keys-to-happiness?trk=tod-home-art-list-small_2