Change Your Life in Less than an Hour
Albert Einstein’s definition of Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Tell a different story in 2017 and you’ll get a different ending.
At the heart of every action is first a feeling, then a thought or belief about that feeling, which can lead to more feelings and thoughts. Before you know it, a whole story unfolds and action is taken or avoided based on that story.
We hit this time last year and you promised yourself that you’d lose weight, or get fit, perhaps you’d learn a new language. What story did you tell yourself about it? Did you succeed? To be fair most don’t stick to their New Year resolutions. It’s because they don’t tell the right story. Assuming you are amongst the majority, looking back now, what story are you telling about those broken resolutions?
My failure this year has been to rework all the course materials for my Reiki training school. Why did I fail? Because I was telling the wrong story! And if I keep telling that same story, I’ll keep failing. So, a few weeks ago, I changed the story and for the first time I began to dedicate myself to the project.
Here’s the short version of the story that failed:
“I have to make these changes because it’s what’s expected of me. I have to be able to tick certain boxes to keep up with the changes that are happening in my industry. These changes are happening so quickly I have to get this done, this year and then I can relax.”
Always align your story with your own core values and work to your own expectations and no one else’s.
First of all, following the expectations of others, no matter who they are, means we often neglect our own needs. It’s is a sign that we lack intrinsic motivation.
On top of that the ‘others’ involved in this don’t share my values. They are about ticking boxes, they have a fixed mindset and fail often to intellectually validate their own viewpoints and rules. To the point that they let me ‘break their rules’ because when I question them they can’t come up with a valid answer or find any good reason not to take my point and yet they still make no change.
Don’t set yourself up to fail before you start.
Setting deadlines can be useful, however if you know in your heart of hearts that you’ve set an impossible deadline, you set yourself up to fail and if you believe you will fail, why would you try? Once you have the right story, you can begin to build small habits that keep your story moving forward.
Create an ending that inspires you.
When I imagined the future of this project fulfilled, I saw myself being relieved and able to relax. If this was a script the sub text would be ‘this project is stressful, unfulfilling, boring and difficult and I’ll be glad when it’s over.’
So not surprising that I didn’t get it done.
What may surprise you is that if you keep failing to do something you want to do, or even need to do, then you are telling yourself the wrong story. It may seem obvious, as you read my experience, that it was the wrong story, but it’s never so obvious when you create it in the first place. That is because we rarely check in with ourselves and the stories we are telling. So, if you’ve not met a particular goal or something isn’t happening as you would like it to. You need to question the story that you are telling yourself and it may help to write it down.
Here’s the story I believe will succeed, if you spot any flaws in it let me know. 🙂
My values are to provide my students with training materials and a schedule that maximise their learning potential, create a relaxed and inspired environment for them to thrive in. To create as much flexibility and freedom for my students to really tailor the journey towards their own values, beliefs and desired outcomes.
This project can do all that, whilst still ticking the boxes that some of my students will need ticked in the future. I can create individual modules and tailor the training to those who are only interested in personal develop, those who want to be professional practitioners, those who want to teach and even those who might change their minds about what they want along the way. My students can use those modules to create courses in ways that suit them. I can add all the new learnings I’ve gathered over the last few years, which I’m really excited about doing and sharing with my students. I can make more positive use of the digital age that now dominates our existence.
I’m really excited by the potential of this project and so I must make sure that, in my eagerness to complete it, I don’t rush. I take my time and do a good job.
A sense of pride in the work you are doing encourages success.
Now when I look out into the future, I see myself having a body of work to be proud of, a system that gives me and my students so much more freedom and flexibility. In the future I will have a system that is easy to improve and update.
How much better is that?
This project is not an easy project, it’s not a quick project and like all big projects it will need time and I will need to break it down into much smaller goals. The point is that your life can change very quickly just by changing the story you tell yourself. I now look forward to working on those materials rather than feeling drained by the idea of them. Remember that your life isn’t one big story, it’s many, many smaller stories like the example I’ve given. The chances are, in any given moment, you are focusing on one particular story. If you are not that’s another story J. Either which way I promised you in the title that you could change your life in less than one hour and you can. You change one story and it’s going to have a domino effect on all the others. Sit down after reading this (and hopefully sharing it with your friends J) and consider just one thing in your life you’d like to change. Then consider the story you’ve been telling yourself and challenge anything in that story that doesn’t fit with success, again write it down if it helps. Change your story so it tells one that inspires you to take the actions that lead towards the changes you want. I highly recommend you write down your winning story and remind yourself of it often, don’t forget to throw away the old unhelpful ones. Hey presto, you have already begun to change your life in less than an hour.