Life can move quick. We’re all busy and often stressed but why is it that stress breaks some people down into wrecks but forges others into stronger, more resilient people? It’s not about how many hours you work or what field you work in, it’s about the things you make time for.
#1 Know who you are
If you feel overworked, stressed and generally apathetic about life in general then you know something isn’t right but do you know what? You could blame a combination of dozens of things but it normally boils down to just a few things that we put up with that really grind our gears. You might not even know what these things are.
To know yourself you need to know what is important to you. If you’re not content then it’s usually not the work you’re putting in but the things you’re missing out. My priorities are pretty simple. Family, health and business. The time I give to each might vary according to what is needed at the time but they are far and away the most important things to me. If anything takes away from my family, my health or business then it doesn’t have a place in my life.
If you hate your job but don’t mind the actual work then what are you missing? Do you have no time for meaningful relationships or family? Or is your health is suffering due to lack of sleep or dreading the next fuck up from a disorganised team? These are problems to be solved, not situations to be put up with until you burn out.
#2 Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it
You might be asking it from yourself, your boss or someone else in your life but you should ask. Whether it’s a promotion, that holiday time that you’ve never been able to take or just that your other half takes the kids for an hour or two one evening for you to catch up with old friends. If you don’t ask for it then you’re probably not going to get it. If you do? What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best that could happen?
If you don’t value yourself enough to ask for what you want then you’re pushing yourself right to the bottom of your list of priorities. Why would you be happy with that arrangement?
#3 Take pride in what you do
Whatever it is you do for a living, take pride in it. Some people are just great people to be around, they might not be in their ideal job, they might be tired as hell but they make the best of it. This isn’t settling, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be looking at other opportunities. It is making the decision to do the job at hand to the best of their abilities and in doing so develop their skills and enjoy the process more.
The moment that your occupation is no longer something that you take pride in is the moment it becomes a prison. Some people might look down on what others do as a living (jerks) but no matter what you do, you affect those around you. I can’t help but appreciate someone who does their job well, whether it’s a cashier who strikes up a conversation while I’m grabbing a few bits at the shop, a mother teaching her child to say thank you when receiving something or a personable sales rep, even if they’re selling something I have absolutely no use for.
#4 Don’t be a martyr
We all know one, if you don’t know one then you might be one. The person who complains about everything but apparently has to keep on doing everything or else everything will fall apart. Whether this is for sympathy, a sense of self-importance or both, it doesn’t do you or anyone else any favours.
It’s pretentious to think that you’re the only one who can run the show. It’s also a sign of bad leadership. Whether in a family, a business or a social group, each person has skills they bring to the table and each person feels better when their skills are utilised and appreciated. If you’ve ever been micro managed then you know how frustrating it is to know things could be better but know that they won’t be. Why would you want to work hard for that jerk?
The amount of time and energy you can gain by letting others help is crazy and what’s more, they often want to help. Whether it’s encouraging a colleague to take more responsibility in your department or getting your other half to help more around the house. Lots of people are pretty receptive when asked for help and if you return the favour and help them when they need it, it will only strengthen your relationship with them.
#5 Be the bad guy (Sometimes)
I like to think most people are good people. My experiences in life so far has supported this.
Some people are jerks. They bring nothing but problems and don’t care about you, your priorities or your efforts to help or make things better. You know the type, the ones you’d just love to slap. You don’t want to put up with anyone like that longer than you have to. Being the bad guy should really be a last resort, you don’t necessarily know what the other person is going through themselves but all you can do is ask. You’re not a mind reader.
If you let people cause problems for you then you’re prioritising their needs over yours. You can put up with them whilst all the time resenting them or you can bin them off. You’re in control of your actions but you have no control or responsibility over the way they choose to conduct themselves, they’ll live and die by the consequences of their decisions just as you will by yours.
#6 Challenge Your Limitations
If you believe that a situation is going to get the better of you then there’s a pretty good chance that it will. No matter what you’re doing or going through, you can be sure that someone somewhere has fought through it. We can look at history or the news today to see people who do remarkable things with remarkably few resources.
As they say, where there’s a will there’s a way.
#7 Never Forget that YOU Matter
We all have responsibilities and when you have family, kids, work commitments and other aspects of your life, it can be all too easy to let yourself take last place. It’s admirable to put your kids first, to work hard at performing well in your job or business and to take care of others but if you neglect yourself then you simply won’t be able to be your best in doing any of those things for long.
You need sleep, you need to eat well, you need to move and you need to have time to do things for you and your enjoyment. This isn’t selfish, it’s giving yourself the basic things you need for psychological wellness which allows you to do the things you do even better.
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