Posts Tagged ‘goal setting’
The first 4 needs we discussed (variety and certainty, significance and love and connection) may interfere with each other and are in constant strive for balance. The last two needs that people have are the need for growth and for contribution. Unlike the first 4 needs, these needs help and support each other in order to achieve a higher level of fulfillment.
It is estimated that we need to have our first four needs met before we are able to grow and contribute. For example, it is very hard for people to give when they do not have certainty. Think about it. How easy is it for someone to give their time when they are working 14 hours each day to provide for their family? How easy is it for you to invest in growing, learning, developing, when you are busy trying to fit in with others who think learning and developing are not socially favorable? Not very easy, right?
The end of the year is fast approaching and with feelings of end, there are many feelings of hope. Because every end is a new beginning. At our house, we usually have a tradition of writing down our wishes, desires and goals for the new year, a list of requests to send to the universe. At the same time, we evaluate how much of the previous year’s requests the Genie of the lamp has granted us. Funnily enough, I discovered this year that my Genie has some time management issues. He has a bit of a delay. Sometimes I get my requests two or three years later. Luckily, I keep my requests from previous years and so I can see my Genie has granted my wishes, even if it was a bit later than I thought. Still, I am happy. I think I will add another request for my Genie to attend my time management course.
This year, I want to wish all my readers (and we had plenty of them) a wonderful 2013.
Some goals are very hard to reach. That is why climbing is often used as an inspirational metaphor. Imagine yourself wanting to reach the top of a very high mountain. You know that it is going to be hard and maybe even long. You can prepare yourself for some of the paths you will need to take to reach the top of the mountain, but for others, you can’t.
In life coaching, we say that we can only work on the things we can prepare for. Why? Because “we do not know what we do not know” so we cannot prepare for it. We are not fortune tellers. Often we are able to think of a few challenges we might encounter on the road to wherever we are going, but we never know exactly what we will face. We cannot carry absolutely everything we might need for any possible unforeseen event.
Every mountain requires a climb. Sometimes the hill is steep and sometimes it is moderate. Some people have smaller legs and they need more steps, while others have giant legs and require less energy. Sometimes, you are physically strong, have lots of muscles and can run up the hill. Sometimes, you are a bit weaker and must rest every 2 meters. Regardless of your circumstances, climbing requires effort. The thing that determines if we make it to the top is whether we believe we can. Because as the saying goes, “if you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right”.
As I wrote before in the letting go series, attachments bring us comfort and stability, but once we make an attachment part of our identity, change becomes an enemy. Do not get me wrong, attachment is important. It is when we panic, see change as a threat and go into “fight or flight” mode (subconsciously) that things get out of control.
Some people are very terrified of change. They can manage the devil they know and although they complain about it, they do not have the skills, courage and strength to do anything different.
Fear of change creates many conflicts in relationships, even when we talk about our relationship with ourselves. It is always a conflict between one side’s attachment and the other side’s comfort zone. Whether you are on the side that wants the other to change or you are the one being asked to change, you have an attachment. The person who wants the other to change is attached to an outcome in their mind and the person who is being asked to change is attached to what they are currently doing, thinking or feeling. The desire to change someone else in this format creates a lose-lose situation. Fear of change limits movement and the desire to change limits peace of mind.
Every person wants to have a crystal ball to predict the future. I know I do. You have to be a complete Buddhist with a different definition of time in order to see life as a single point in time that the only guarantee is that it exists in experiencing the “now”.
Although everyone would like to see a piece of the future in order to give them strength in the present, the difference between people is how much energy they spend in order to be able to predict the future. Most people would like to be able to tell the future, at least a bit, but some people are tortured by the desire to control the future by analyzing the past in order to improve the prediction of the future. I call them “the fortunetellers”.
In coaching, I meet some fortunetellers. I meet amazing people who are tortured by anxiety and are very unhappy. These people struggle with their decision making and find it hard to make decisions. If the average person takes an hour to make a decision, they need 5-10 hours to make the same decision. So they are pretty much time wasters and, being very smart people, they know time is precious, but they constantly feel they do not have enough time. In worse cases, when making a decision, they repeatedly second-guess themselves with “Was this the right/best choice? What if I checked another school/product? Did I check the back label?” Or they keep searching for the product they already bought, just to make sure they have made a good choice.
From the moment we are born, time is a great challenge for us. We learn to read the clock around the age of 6 or 7 and we build our life around the time, but we do never have a good understanding of time. Although we all have the same amount of time, we treat it differently.
The movie In Time is a wonderful masterpiece about our relationship with time. The movie Tuck Everlasting is another wonderful attempt, examining life without the limitation of time. The concept of time is so interesting for me that I have dedicated a whole book to our existence in this puzzle of past, present and future. In this book, I do not claim to understand time, just to explore it. I think that time can be a servant or a master and that we can be trapped in time or freed by it.
One of the biggest miseries of life is to be trapped in a time we no longer have control over – the past. Many of my clients come to coaching to understand this and to free themselves from the pain of the past. If you have had a chance to read the previous chapter about blame and justification, you probably understand the limitations of living in the past and allowing the past to limit. Whenever we have a bad experience and we use the past to justify it, we keep ourselves stuck.
One of the things that can really set us free is letting go of blame and excuses. To understand how blaming and making excuses (justifying) hold us back and keep us away from a happy, successful, fulfilling and healthy life, we need to go into the science and psychology behind them.
Blame and excuses are born from a subconscious desire to manage failure and disappointment from ourselves. That is a very natural and, in some way, a very healthy mechanism. When we feel the failure is too big to bear, we try to get the load off our shoulder in order to survive emotionally. The main problem with passing blame and justifying is that they block our way forward.
Since life is a journey of personal growth and development, whenever we blame or justify, we keep ourselves standing in one place (to rest and to take the load off). This is not always bad, because sometimes, our journey is hard and things get heavy, so we do need to stop and rest, rethink until we can start moving forward again. But when we do it a lot, we are in constant “loading off” mode and we are constantly stuck.
The difference between justifying and blaming is that justifying is holding circumstances responsible for a failure and blaming is throwing the responsibility onto another person.
Women with Anorexia have issues with their body image and a feeling of helplessness and inability to control their life. The combination of these challenges makes them seek control in any way and not eating seems to them a great way to gain control.
Society around us obviously contributes a lot to the negative body image and self image girls have during childhood, through their teenage years and later on into adulthood. The image of an anorexic teen girl can be misleading. There are also many women are anorexic who need help.
One way of healing is learning to love your body.
Loving your body is giving yourself the permission to feel good physically and it must be done slowly, with love and with patience. If you are a parent or someone who wants to help an anorexic person, just saying, “You need to love your body”, will not make the required difference.
The best idea is to help the anorexic person search for good things – positive thoughts, encouragements, small bits of progress and every little achievement – to help change their perception of their life’s reality.
As you probably know by now, life does not always work the way you expect it to. As a parent, you also know that your kids do not always do what you expect them to. Sure, it is tough sometimes, but it is the same for everybody. No matter how hard we try, we sometimes face situations we do not like.
The main difference between people who succeed in life and those who do not is what they do next. This is also the difference between parents who raise happy and successful kids and those who do not.
While I was thinking about this topic, I remembered a quote by an American president about taking action. When I looked it up, it turned out to be by Theodore Roosevelt, who is also quoted as saying many other highly appropriate things. I will include these within this post for your enjoyment and your (kids’) benefit.
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering”
- Theodore Roosevelt
The best way to keep yourself right where you are and place yourself at the mercy of your circumstances, or your kids’ behavior, is to keep finding reasons for not making any progress.
No matter what anyone says to you, what are the chances it will be perfect? None. So you can always respond with, “Oh, no, this doesn’t cover everything”, or words to that effect.
The essence of parenting is preparing children for adulthood. Parents must therefore protect their kids, feed them, keep them healthy and teach them the skills they will need during their independent adult life. But which skills are those? What do we want our kids to achieve with the skills we teach them anyway?
Most parents, given enough time to ponder this question, agree that the answer is “Happiness”. When offered the choice from success, money, love, fame and other things people desire, parents overwhelmingly choose happiness.
The problem is that most of our daily parenting ends up being about other things, like academic success, winning competitions, behaving politely, earning money and so on. Children’s future happiness is only used as an assumption, as in “If you do well at school, you’ll have more options in life and be happier” or “If you learn how to keep a job and save money, you’ll be able to afford the things that will make you happy when you grow up” (excuse me while I catch my breath).
I believe that focusing directly on being happy changes what we choose to do for/to our kids, motivates them more and will ultimately make them (and us) happier. Rather than assuming that happiness will be the indirect result of doing homework every day, why not start with what makes (or will make) our kids happy and then tie that to things we can all do every day to accomplish that happiness?