5 Small Changes that Make a BIG Difference

Insanity is described as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Though only a small percentage of the living are considered insane, it’s highly unlikely that anyone reading this hasn’t tried their hand at the aforementioned ridiculousness. I’ve banged on many doors that just wouldn’t open, taking the same action over and over only to prove that my lack of upper body strength just ain’t gonna knock down a door.  Finally, after much more struggle than necessary, I wind up surrendering to window behind me that was open the whole time. In my inability to dissemble door-hinges and pick locks, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s often the opposite of what I think I “should” be doing that gets me to where I’m trying so hard to go.  We hear so much about trying and pushing harder, “making” things happen and “pressing forward.” While a strong will is extremely valuable in the pursuit of following ones dreams, there’s also some good to be said about un-clenching our mighty fists and opening our hands to what’s right in front of us.  Here are five simple ways I’ve found to help me let go:

  1. Put the bat down. Yeah, I’m talking about the baseball bat you keep beating yourself up with.  I always tell people I’ve never gotten anywhere by beating myself up, but for some reason I’ll do it anyway.  We can’t yell ourselves into being better than we are: this isn’t the Marines. Often we’re the first people to jump on the horse if we make a mistake.  How about telling yourself it will be better next time and taking yourself out to dinner to make up for the bad day? If the screaming, shaming and mental battering isn’t getting us anywhere, how about we try a little kindness? It sure does feel a whole lot better.
  2. Stop in the name of love.  Listen to Diana Ross and give it a rest before things start getting crazy. If you’re driving yourself nuts trying to make the dream happen, get the guy/girl or snag your dream house and it just ain’t working out for you, it might be time to stop trying so hard. Remember, God only has three answers to our requests: “Yes”, “not yet”, or “I have something even better in mind.” Give the universe a chance to show up for you if doing things your way isn’t going as well as planned.
  3. Wait for the miracle to happen. We don’t give the universe a chance to work it’s magic if we keep standing in it’s way. Sometimes changing a behavior or deciding to do things differently can mean a whole lot of discomfort or other feelings we’ve been trying to avoid.  I mean, hello, that’s why we’ve been doing things the same way for so long: no one wants feel uncomfortable! But, it’s important to remember that discomfort simply doesn’t last forever. If we ride out the yuckiness of stepping out on a limb, we’ll get to experience the freedom that follows.
  4. Unplug. Although most of us were born with four limbs, by the time we’re adults we have five: two arms, two legs and a smart phone. I’m not sure whether or not I want to hug or slap the guy who came up with getting email delivered to your mobile device, but being the Chief Executive Officer of my own life, I have decided to filter what I’m going to read at what hours of the day. The word “urgent” gets thrown around a lot in the business world: decide what that word means to you and don’t forget to make yourself a priority in the midst of an overflowing inbox.
  5. Laugh. I told a friend once that me walking into the self-help section of a bookstore is the same recipe for a sh*tshow as an alcoholic walking into liquor store. I can get so fixated on fixing a problem that I forget to live my life while it’s happening. If I don’t hear my own laugh multiple times a day, I know it’s time to lay off the Deepak and turn on my favorite clips of The Ellen Show on Hulu.

We’re the ones who get to decide whether or not we’re going to be nice to ourselves and whether or not we’re going to be our own friend. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to be hanging out in my own head all the time, I’d really rather be buddying up with the nice teacher from Matilda, Ms. Honey, than the belt-snapping Mrs. Trunchbolt. With that, I think I’ll go tuck myself in for a good nights rest.

Xoxo, Laura Max