I remember how helpful first hand accounts from others were to me and I hope to pass a little of that along here today. So, here are five simple things I did that changed my life:
1) Tell the truth.
Tell the truth, all the time, no matter what. We've all heard this all our lives and yet even the best of us would be hard pressed to claim we adhere to it. I, on the other hand, was a fibber, fudger, and avoid-er of responsibility extraordinaire. It was a long over due lesson. I really took this to heart after reading The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. Although I didn't love the language and rhythm of the book, I did find him to be pragmatic and effective in his life, and all of his advice was right on the money. I decided to do it.
The key to all of these is action. Action, more then words or thoughts (though they have their place) has been the key to real change in my life. Deciding to tell the truth was one thing, but the real magic happened when I did it. If someone asked me a question, I answered it honestly and immediately. If I screwed up I stood up and said so. It created a small amount of squirming and a tidal wave of relief and freedom. Free of the worry and shame lies create, I have been able to bring a calm confidence to my personal and professional life that has created a myriad of new opportunities and experiences.
When you lie you make an Ass of yourself. Live with integrity. 2)Gratitude Journal
Oprah has been trying to get me to do this for ten years now and I once again am rolling my eyes and saying "You were right, Oprah." It actually appears in nearly every writing on life skills I came across, in one form or another.
It doesn't matter how you go about it, but injecting gratitude into your life will completely shift your perspective. I simply bought a blank notebook and began listing off all the things I was grateful for. The sunset I saw driving on the highway, my dog sleeping in a sunbeam, the giant cinnamon roll I ate for lunch, whatever.
I added a second part to this by drawing a line on each page to create a top and bottom section. The top remained my daily Gratitude, the bottom became a section for future aspirations, written in the present tense, and doled out with preemptive Gratitude. Kind of like a "Hey just in case you were thinking of giving me something, I'm already grateful for it, so...bring it on." This looked like - I am so happy and grateful now that I : Own my own home. Am A published author. Have $500,000. I was specific. As time went on I watched items move from the bottom section to the top as they came to be realities in my life. It has been a powerful experience for me.
3)Deal with Insomnia
Due to a variety of causes I found myself with chronic and sometimes debilitating insomnia that varied from total sleeplessness to a restless and interrupted rest of three or four hours. This has a cumulative effect. I was always tired, mentally dull, experienced many mysteries aches and pains, and was often sick, catching every cold that came within a half mile of me. Rest for the body and mind is essential. I complained a lot about it but actually did very little to try and amend the situation. I simply let myself stew in it, proclaiming "I never get a good night's sleep. I can't sleep."
So what to do? Basically what every book, doctor and concerned...