Day 12 of 14 - The constant struggle...
"Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets." - Unknown
This is #12.
I am writing this from the top of my head - I hope you don't mind.
Today is one of these days I can not find any inspiration in the things all those smart people and their methods, theories and ideas try to teach me and that I usually reflect on a lot and write about in this blog. I have to admit that I am quite staggered by the magnitude of appreciation I have for well written literature, great movies or other sources of knowledge. Some days I feel that I can't get enough of it. Today I don't feel like it adds any value to my life at all.
This is one of my constant struggles - and it doesn't only apply for the lack of inspiration I have for learning, reading and writing about it. From time to time also applies for generally doing anything - working, cleaning, cooking, making music, etc..
Here's the real problem: for some reasons I only know what kind of day it's going to be after I wake up every morning. If I am having a great day and I am able to work and read and learn a lot and get sh*t done, I am thinking "Great, what an awesome day, let's continue tomorrow". Then I wake up the next morning and say to myself "What the hell were you thinking?" and the previous day's motivation vanished completely.
I realized that it's not good for me and especially not good for the people around me if I'm having one of these bad days. Bad mood usually creates a bad aura around me and that creates a bad overall atmosphere wherever I go...
Thinking about this and how to improve not only my life but everybody's life around me made me realize that usually by only just getting a tiny amount of things done I can improve my mood immediately and drastically. I have experienced that a million times before. Being smart about it myself for once and not relying on any clever books, I tried to create a plan for the bad days. It consists of three main components that I want to share with you.
#1 - Do 3-5 important things every morning that positively effect the rest of your day
This routine helps me a lot to get started even on the worst days. The 3-5 things I am referring to can be very profane - but make sure they have an impact, for example when the results can be seen later that day. If you do these things on a regular basis they might form good and important habits that make you healthier and more productive. At least this is how it worked for me.
Some ideas: get up and make the bed (and DON'T look at your phone first thing in the morning!!!), put a book on your pillow for when you get back to bed at night, brush your teeth, stretch for 10 minutes to get your metabolism going, read the top 5 newspaper articles (not more, not less) during breakfast, schedule calls, meetings and time for yourself, for example for reading or watching your favorite YouTube channel, etc. - and try to live through your calendar, not a to do list.
If I get these things done within the first hour of the day, they provide me with a feeling of accomplishment that usually carries me through the morning - and you can do the same thing after lunch to avoid the food-coma.
#2 - Apply the 2-minute rule for every task that pops up during the day
This rule basically tells you to get everything done that takes under 2 minutes. If something is laying around on your way from the bedroom to the kitchen - pick it up and put it where it belongs. A quick call that you have to do for work? Don't postpone it, don't put it on any list or schedule, do it immediately.
It helps me to keep the house clean, catch up with my family regularly, and basically create no lose ends and backlogs of small tasks that pile up to become an unbearable amount of work.
#3 - Think positive and be grateful - it could be f*cking worse
My father taught me this one...
No matter the circumstances - most of us have won the lottery of life when we were born. Realize it. Appreciate it. Be grateful for it.
I realized through certain events in my life that there are "problems" and then there are real problems. You don't want to wish the latter on anyone. Usually we create a lot of "problems" if we don't have anything else to worry about. For me, "having a bad day", being uninspired or too lazy to get going is one of these self-created "problems".
Reminding myself of the opportunities given to me and even journaling about them (in a weekly Gratitude Log) helped me to overcome moments of anger or anxiety, to be more active overall and to better appreciate every day. If I wake up gloomy and all self-pitying, I can pick up my log and go through the things that I am grateful for. And if that doesn't help, I can still count my fortunes: "Do I feel healthy? Check. Is my wife healthy? Check. Do I still have both arms and legs to get out of bed? Check! Can I see, smell, hear and feel? Check... So what the heck are you complaining about? ..."
I know, these things won't apply to everyone and they are probably quite subjective. However, I'm sure that everyone can find a few rules that help to create good habits and ultimately make themselves and the people around them happier.
Have a great weekend!