This idea of evaluating what is good, have been an idea that have floated around for a long time.
Most of the Eastern Philosophies and even the Bible, mentions this principle in some form or way.
What is the benefits of reevaluating life?
For one, we will always be looking at what the “good” is in any situation. Sometimes we discard something without really looking at the positive things we can learn.
Recently I came across a book from Paulo Coelho. While reading the first chapter I realized that this book does not follow the same fast paced and exiting momentum of his previous books. I then decided to park the book. If I searched for the useful information in the book, I would have looked past my own pre-conceptions and judgements that this was going to be a boring pursuit. I would have seen what is useful and could have learned something new.
Another benefit is that we will get rid of ideas/beliefs/assumptions/information/material stuff that does not serve or resonate with us anymore.
How can we start implementing this principle in practical day-to-day areas? Let us focus on three (3) areas. I added a couple of actionable ideas and some reflective questions for these areas:
Beliefs (this might be a touchy one)
Let’s get started
We are all aware of the system we working in. It is enslaving humans in order to make money. For 40 – 100 hours a week, we are compensated for bringing our best and showing up to add value. The stress rate is high and people either become part of the statistics or go off to the Himalayan Mountain for rejuvenation and upliftment.
However, these might not be plausible options for most of us. How can we, even in the situations we are in now, keep the good and discard the rest?
- Look at two or three of your tasks that will make the biggest impact. Everything looks important, even at a glance, but if we look carefully, we will see the top priorities. Here we can apply the 80/20 rule. What are the 20% of the tasks that will make the biggest impact?
- While the pressure is on, we sometimes forget the basic principles. When we start a project/task or department, we usually lay a foundation of principles and strategies. These foundational pillars might get fuzzy and unclear as time goes on. Hit the pause button, even though you might be busy. Go back to the foundational principles.
Ask: Why are we doing this again?
What are the things that moves us forward?
- Make time for wellness at work. Instead of booking meetings during your lunch, go for a walk. Do 15mins meditation. Phone somebody you have not spoken to in a while. Clear out your deleted items.
We do not normally see our own behavior when it comes to holding onto stuff that is no longer necessary. However, wait until you need to move house. OMG. Did you notice the amount of nonsense that comes out of cupboards or boxes? Most of those things you haven’t used in years! Look, I am not about to tell you to throw that stuff away. There’s no judgement from my side. If it serves you, hold on to it. If it doesn’t then yes, chuck it.
How can we apply this principle in our living spaces?
- Make an inventory of all the material things you have. Include your clothes. DR Wayne Dyer mentions in one of his books that we only use 20% of all our clothes. The 20% we recycle. What about the 80%? We leave that because we think we might need it. For the last 6 months, you have been reusing 20% of your clothes. From the inventory look at the things, you most definitely need to survive. Then from that list, create a list of the items that you need to be more comfortable. Think about that extra TV here. Then from that list, select two or three items you can let go. Things that do not serve you anymore. A lot of the stuff we found in those boxes earlier will go in this category.
Make a list of all your expenses for a month. Even those spontaneous eat-out dinners you indulge in. Even the pack of gum you buy. After a month, select two or three expenses that you can cut out. That extra bottle of wine might not serve you anymore. It just gives you a hangover. Let it go.
Talking about beliefs could become a touchy subject for many people out there. Well, so be it. Once again, we not judging anyone here.
Here are some beliefs that don’t serve us:
- Life Is Hard And Then You Die
- The Big Matters, The Small Doesn’t
- Happiness Comes From Something External
- Life Has A Goal At The End Of It
- You’re The Sum Of Your Achievements
These beliefs are not only misperceptions; it is also beliefs that can damage the way that we see our lives. Example. If happiness comes from something external, then I will always be on an emotional rollercoaster. Looking and striving for the next thing to make me happy. “If only I can have that new BMW”, “If only the people in my life wasn’t total AHoles”
If only, if only…This leaves us forever wanting a distraction to fill this void we feel.
So what can we do?
- List some of your own beliefs
- See if these beliefs are false assumptions or reality. What you deem as reality, might be reality for you but not the reality for others.
- Get a thinking partner, which you can share your beliefs with and test to see if it is still relevant, or not.
Testing your beliefs might be uncomfortable. It is a mission to break down constructs in our mind and forming new ones. The brain is amazingly flexible though.
Another feature that makes our brain amazing is that if you form a belief of any kind, your brain will go and look for data to support it. Example. Buying a new car and then immediately beginning to see your car’s make, model and even color everywhere on the roads. That is just a small example of how your brain makes connections with new data to support you.
Sometimes the most dangerous or tightly held beliefs originates from religion. Maybe you even want to take a stab at analyzing those beliefs to see if it still serves you or not.
Be open to everything, and yet attached to nothing.
These, are some ways in which you can look at your life to see if you are still holding on to that which is good and discarding what is not.
Some extra pointers:
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you become aware of some things you need to discard, we tend to punish ourselves for not seeing this earlier. Stop it. You weren’t aware, but now you ARE.
- Choose one area which you want to reevaluate first. Focus on that until you reach your goal. Only then move on to the next one
- Don’t judge other people that is not on this journey
I hope to hear about your experiences. So please comment and share your experiences or even other tips you have around this topic. Peace and Love.