You’ve planned the perfect weekend outdoor and it rains, now what?
You planned the perfect trip and it turned out to be a disaster, now what?
You planned the perfect date and then you got sick, now what?
You planned to lose weight and you didn’t, now what?
You planned to retire early and you didn’t, now what?
How do you respond to any of these scenarios?
Since any one of these is entirely possible should you stop planning?
Planning is a skill and an art; it’s something you can learn over time.
Sometimes planning for contingencies is necessary and sometimes it’s not. A pilot or a surgeon obviously needs more plan B’s than someone going for a walk.
Planning allows you to dream, think and decide on how you’re going to get where you want to go. However, your original plan will rarely be the one that works and this is something you’ll have to get used to.
P.S. This post was inspired by the internet being down this morning and that’s why it’s being posted later than usual, just another example of having to change plans.
What would your day look like if nothing bothered you? If nothing triggered feelings of anger, anxiety or misery?
Do you believe that you can have such a day?
Hopefully you’re hesitant to believe that you can have such a day. Because that means there’s at least a chance it’s possible.
What if you can’t do it for a day? What about an hour or a minute? Is that possible?
I know, I know, you have to think about it. Because you have to go through your list of what if’s.
What if your kids don’t behave?
What if your spouse doesn’t say the right things?
What if your co-workers, employees, employer…?
What about the traffic?
And after going through the different scenarios you might decide that I’m being unreasonable.
Perhaps I am being unreasonable. But so what?
What if it’s time to be a little unreasonable?
Greatness and magic takes place beyond reason.
So just for today, or this next hour, commit to not letting anything move you towards anger, anxiety or misery, and live with being unreasonable.
Do you ever find yourself saying ‘I wish someone would, build this, fix that…fill in the blank?’
Can you imagine if the Wright brothers, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs would have asked the same question? Where would the world be today?
It’s easy to fall in to a pattern of wanting others build products or invent things to solve problems that you encounter. But what if you took matters in to your own hands?
If you’re experiencing a continuous problem in your life with an existing product or service then there’s a great chance that others too are feeling the same. So why not try to fix or improve it?
You’re probably hesitant because you believe you’re not an expert or don’t have the right qualifications or education, and that might technically be true but that shouldn’t stop you from trying or at least investigating.
Generating ideas of how to improve and invent things is also a great exercise for your brain. It doesn’t matter if all you have are bad ideas because almost everything you see around you started either as a bad idea or an idea someone ridiculed or didn’t understand.
So the next time you see or feel that there could be a better way to do something don’t wish or wait for someone else to do it, try to do it yourself. And don’t worry if all you can do at first is write down what you think is a better way, because many of the great ideas you see around you started the same way.
Did you read any positive headlines yesterday?
Did you hear any good news?
Or was doom and gloom all you heard about?
If you allow the news, traditional media and social media to guide your thinking then you’ve opened yourself to being scared and pessimistic.
You see, these outlets know that fear, scarcity, poor self-image and loss are the best emotions to evoke if they want to sell to you. A common phrase in sales is ‘fear of loss is a greater motivator than an opportunity to gain.’ So all their efforts are driven towards making you feel fear, loss and insufficient.
Now you might not read the negative articles but just exposing your mind to the headlines is enough to influence your thinking. Studies have shown that headlines or teasers matter much more than copy or content because it’s the headlines your brain pays attention to.
Try and 24 hour experiment where you only listen to and read clean curated information. Give your mind a break from the news and advertisers that are constantly trying to get into your head and only allow you to have access to your attention.
What is your personal brand? And yes, you do have one.
Your personal brand is not what you say you are, but how people feel about you.
When people think about you or hear your name, what are their feelings and perceptions about you? What do they say about you when you’re not around?
Now you can influence how people feel about you by behaving in a manner in which you want to be seen but you have to be consistent because if you’re not then you will tarnish your own brand.
And being consistent is hard unless, you always remain true to yourself and behave as the person you really are, not what you think people want you to be.
You are the CEO of you and the great thing about brand you is that you always have a choice about how you want to be seen and thought of, so choose wisely.
What messages and ideas do you allow in to your mind under the guise of entertainment?
Do you allow bad ideas and negative thoughts to slip by your common sense because you’re being entertained?
What if just one of the bad ideas you’re being entertained by plants itself in your mind and now it becomes your idea and dictates how you behave?
Studies have shown that watching violent movies does make some people more aggressive than others. The problem is that you don’t know if you’re one of those people.
Violence is just one example of a negative behavior. What if you learn to be ruthless, vengeful, or deceitful just because of the entertainment you expose yourself to?
Children are the most vulnerable when exposed to entertainment because they have not learned to discern reality from fiction, but adults too can be influenced by the entertainment they expose themselves to.
Carefully curate the entertainment you allow to enter your mind, because you might not know until it’s too late what thoughts and ideas will take root and become a part of your identity.
What would happen if you did laundry on a Tuesday?
Or any other day except the day you usually do it?
Do you think you could break your laundry day routine for a week or two?
Does just the thought of changing your laundry routine make you feel uncomfortable?
Why? Were you born doing laundry on a Tuesday? Does it define you as a person?
If you’re so attached to something as simple as when you do your laundry because you believe it’s the ‘right’ time to it, imagine all the other things you’ve become used to doing, just because.
Occasionally stop and ask yourself why you do things a particular way. Is it something you learned, were taught or just fell in to at some point in life and now just do it out of routine?
Do you ever feel as though someone you know has and unfair advantage?
Maybe they have a physical advantage and are better at sports? Or they were born in a particular circumstance that gives them a social or financial advantage? Or, they are they are super smart and seem to know all the right answers?
Whatever it is, we’ve all experienced the ‘it’s not fair’ syndrome.
But what about your unfair advantage?
Do you even know that you have one?
What is your unique skill or talent that deep down you know you have, but are often hesitant to reveal? Or what have people told you that you’re good at or seems to come naturally to you?
Once you’ve identified your unfair advantage you will then be able to see how you’ve used it to your benefit in the past, and then going forward you can leverage it as a tool to accomplish future goals.
If I told you there’s one thing you can today to make yourself feel good would you believe me?
And I’m not saying it might make you feel good, I’m guaranteeing that it will.
It doesn’t have to cost you anything and would probably take very little time but the feeling will make your brain smile.
I know you’re thinking what’s the catch? Well, there is a catch. You can’t tell anyone. It’s just between you and me.
Are you ready?
Do something nice for someone, and don’t tell them you did.
Well, maybe for some of you but for others you’ll be bursting at the seams wanting to tell them or point it out in some way because you’ll be seeking acknowledgment. But resist the temptation. They don’t need to know and it’ll be our little secret.
And if you’re just so busy that you can’t find time to do something nice then think of someone and say good words about them in your head.
Not only does doing something nice for someone give you a sense of fulfillment but it’s the only real time that you are in control of anything. So go ahead and brighten your own day by making someone else’s.
Sit down and be quiet.
Keep your head down and they won’t notice you.
Dress like everyone else.
Be yourself, but not too much of yourself or you won’t fit in.
Play it safe.
Color between the lines.
When you decide to stand for something or decide not to be like anyone else in your area of life you will feel unpopular. You will have to decide if you want to be popular and compliant or be who you really are.
Questioning the status quo on anything is not wrong; in fact in many cases asking why is the beginning of new breakthroughs.
The world will always need people that think and act differently and it’s up to you to decide which group of people you want to be part of, same as or different than.