Welcome to the first of a regular series in which I share coaching questions I've received from my website visitors and newsletter subscribers
This week, L.G. writes:
"I feel like the great things of life are only given to certain people.
I have a happy spirit.... but I still feel, after some recent let downs,
like 'is this as good as it gets'?"
Look, let's be honest: life has ups and life has downs. Some days great things happen, some days not-so-great things happen.
A great way to deal with this is to develop what Buddhists call an "equanimous mind", that is, an even-minded spirit that doesn't react extremely to events on this roller coaster we call "Life".
You develop that by accepting that good things happen and bad things happen. And, when bad things happen, you just acknowledge that it's just the way things are -- not forever, but just for right now.
Then, rather than focusing on the problem, look for "the lesson".
Thomas Leonard, one of my early coaching mentors, said, "If we stop learning, we stop living."
Every day, every event, gives you the chance to learn and to grow. Even the simplest, stupidest, and least-satisfying event presents you with the opportunity to experience something new... or to re-experience it.
(Thomas also liked to say, "The universe will keep repeating the important lessons until you learn them.").
So, when the going gets tough, rather than asking yourself "Why is this happening to me?" ask "What am I supposed to learn from this?"
As you look for and discover "the lesson" Life has for you each and every day, the less bothered you'll be by those bad days, because you'll know that there is something positive to be taken from them.
Second, more important than asking "Is this as good as it gets?" is actually answering the question!
I know what my answer is... but I don't know what your answer is -- only you can answer this question for yourself.
So go ahead and answer it.
If you don't like the answer you come up with, then it's time to dig into discovering what, exactly, would make your life as great as you want it to be, and then coming up with a plan to achieve that goal.
Lastly, when you find yourself falling into that "great things are only give to certain people" mind-trap, stop yourself -- and fast!
This type of thinking is dangerous and it leads you nowhere! It's merely a mental cop-out: a way of abdicating responsibility for your own life; a way to keep yourself distracted from what you need to doing....
....And that's identifying what you want from life -- and how you're going to make that real.
So, the next time you find yourself slipping into that thinking, snap out of it! Tell yourself, loudly (yes, out loud) and forcefully: "Stop it -- NOW!"
Then immediately give yourself a positive thought. Something like, "I can have great things, too. I can achieve great things. I have achieved great things and I will continue to do so."
If you're not a fan of positive self-talk, then stop and write down 3 things in your life that you are grateful for (feel free to write down even more if it will help you... it surely can't hurt).
Do this frequently (daily would not be too often) and you'll soon find yourself changing the focus of your thinking from what you lack to what you have.
Plus, it helps you change your mindset from that of a passive victim ("Why does this happen to me?") to one of an active achiever who makes things happen ("Look at what I've been able to do...").
As if that's not enough, recent studies show that people who regularly stop and write down positive things about their life are generally happier and more satisfied than those who don't.
Stay positive, think positive, and be on the lookout for the lessons Life is giving you. look for the lessons and until our paths cross again.... Live big!