The craziness of life seems to be getting crazier. We try to squeeze more into each day, not only for ourselves but for our children.
And how is this working out for most of us? Well, typically we find ourselves in one of two positions. If we are framing our photos on Facebook, hosting a party to entertain friends, or having a moment of feeling in control of it all, then we are ‘great!’ Life is good, and we are celebrating. It looks great!
More often, however, the look on our face reveals something different. We appear stressed. We feel pressure to get here or there. We are frustrated. When speaking with our close friends, we complain about jobs, kids, spouses, employees, neighbors, siblings, or another friend. Unfortunately, for many of us, our inner world is one of internal turmoil, anxiety, and unhappiness.
How we cope with this internal pain is quite variable, ranging from martinis, vaping, Xanax, marijuana, or binging on food, Netflix, or shopping online. If this is insufficient, we explode at our kids, our spouse, or the driver in front of us. Or perhaps we have a meltdown, filled with self-loathing thoughts and emotions.
The key here is to realize that coping is not thriving. It’s just coping. And most of us tend to cope because the standard has become just that: cope!
Imagine Life is Like an Ocean of Riches
And in this imagined metaphor, we wake up every day and get to go to the ocean of riches and take as much as we want. It’s an endless ocean, and life says, “Come…take all you want.”
Yet, we get up in the morning and walk to this ocean with a teaspoon. That’s right…we show up with a TEASPOON. Make no mistake: this is called coping.
Perhaps we never knew we could show up with a bucket? Or we could show up with a truck full of buckets? Or we could bring a caravan of trucks filled with buckets to pull all the riches from life? Or we could bring a huge pump, and stream all the riches we want each day?
We just didn’t know that it was possible.
Three Ways to Pull More from the Ocean of Life
1. Require Integrity from You.
This sounds simple, but it is not. However, if you bite on integrity as job one, everything begins to change. And, it changes starting today. Profound, deep changes that bring more meaning and satisfaction.
Requiring integrity of yourself means that you do not speak words that have any level of untruth. You ask no questions that you have no sincere interest in. You make no self-statements about your behaviors or actions that you do not honor. So this means
- I never ask, ‘how are you’ without stopping to absorb the answer.
- I never say to myself, ‘oh, I will exercise later’ when I will not.
- I never pretend I feel one way to those I love when I feel another.
- I never promise myself one thing to just feel better now, knowing this is coping.
2. Stop Engaging Complaints…Regardless.
Just pause and notice how often our world is set up to unite against someone or something, and then spend our precious time complaining about it. The more we polarize as a society, the more we complain about the aspects we do not like or agree with. The more we complain about our jobs, our family, our neighbors, or even the traffic, we find and nurture complaining. This is resistance against what has already happened in life.
And when that happens, complaints position us to now be helpless. When complaining, we are doing nothing to bring about change, or even more importantly…we do nothing to find happiness. It is an invitation to misery.
For just a day at a time, I invite you to walk away from all complaints. If the complaint arises in your own mind, walk away. If it arises from others, walk away. Be absurdly disinterested in any and all complaints.
3.Repeat This All Day Long: “I Forgive…”
Okay, maybe you think this is a bit weird. But consider how often we get frustrated with others or upset about something we think is unfair or stupid. What if this voice kept arising from inside that says, “I forgive?” The easiest way to find more ease is to release our frustrations in the moments they arise. Just try it and see what happens!
Each of these three points is life-changers if you embrace it with complete resolve. I invite you to test it and see what happens for yourself.