I was talking to a new client recently who was, in his words, ‘feeling totally stuck.’ While not a very eloquent word, it sums up exactly where he was. Stuck and unable to move. Not conducive to living a healthier happier life. He was feeling directionless, like a yacht at sea on a windless day. Moreover, he was unmotivated which meant he wasn’t taking action on the basic tasks required to keep his business going. Interestingly, he admitted that even when his business was flourishing, he didn’t feel any happier. This realisation caused him to reach out for me. He knew he was the problem and therefore he needed help. He felt like there was something missing in himself. A void he couldn’t fill.
We often look outside ourselves to fix the problem
Too often we have a tendency to try to fix our problems by changing things outside ourselves. We move house, jobs, partners and even countries. Then we search for that elusive magic answer so we feel complete. However, this rarely works. Worse still, we avoid the issue or numb it out with alcohol, drugs, food or some other poor behaviour. Filling ourselves and hoping to avoid that uncomfortable feeling.
It’s like sticking a band aid on a tropical ulcer. A band aid might stop the pus seeping onto your clothes temporarily, but it doesn’t heal the ulcer. It doesn’t address the root cause. We have to dig deeper into ourselves, check out the programs and habits we are running at the subconscious level. Then, to reprogram our subconscious mind so we are aligned in everything we think, feel and do. Ultimately getting to know who we really are.
“There is real danger of a disconnect between what’s on your business card and who you are deep inside, Alain de Botton.
What you tell others about yourself doesn’t always reflect you on the inside
While we all require encouragement, support, goals, connection and good health, ultimately what is missing is meaning in our lives. One of our greatest assets is our ability to consciously choose whatever meaning we want to assign to our experiences. Furthermore, with this ability we are able to sculpt and create a mindset for success.
Finding meaning is a key ingredient of Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model of wellbeing and happiness. It’s how Viktor Frankl survived his years in a concentration camp while others didn’t. Meaning, at its essence, is having a purpose, a goal, feeling we are valued and worthy in our lives. It gives hope and hope contains the energy of possibility and potential. Hope shapes our choices and actions. Therefore building greater meaning is key to our wellbeing.
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing; your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.” Viktor Frankl
Finding meaning in life is a key for living a healthier happier life
It’s easy to find meaning when life is good. When we have fun with friends and family, win awards and have adventures. However, it’s when things go wrong it’s harder to find positive meaning. And, it’s easy to forget things will change. Nothing is permanent. Moreover, when things aren’t working as we want, negative self-talk and wayward emotions frequently dominate and hijack our sense of purpose. This is why it”s so important to work on building resilience and working on our mindset.
In one Harvard trial, research shows that respondents who believe they have meaning in their life have better physical and mental health scores and higher cognitive function compared with those who didn’t. Finding a helpful and positive side to every experience in life is an important skill to develop and a key ingredient towards living a healthier, happier life.
Embrace the mindset of an elite athlete around your goals and your life
What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you sink, swim or flounder? How do you think Olympians get through the tough times? When they are injured or so exhausted it’s physically hard to get out bed? How do they keep motivated to keep going? They have hours of training sessions, day in day out. Early mornings week after week. Sometimes they detest their training, feel exhausted but they keep going.We see the glory of their performances and think they must be super motivated people. Click To Tweet
In conclusion, it’s because they have great meaning and a compelling purpose for what they are doing. Meaning helps them with discipline. Discipline to keep working towards their goals. Moreover, instead of complaining about the early morning they understand it’s a necessary part of their training. They focus on the end goal; race day and the dream of a gold medal. Ultimately, meaning helps them live a healthier happier life.
Transport yourself into the future you create in your mind to help build a healthier happier life
Let’s take a lesson from Chloe McCardel, who has swum the English Channel a phenomenal thirty-seven times As of 2021, she holds the world record for the longest unassisted ocean swim, at 124.4 km. When she is struggling midway through the swim, she says:
“I am in the middle of an amazing world. One that consists of submarines, fisher jets, naval border officials stopping boats.”
And if this doesn’t cut it she transports her she mentally transports herself to a positive future. She takes her mind to the finish line. This gives her meaning and energy to keep going. Furthermore, it is a key trait of a champion mindset.
Ironically, finding meaning in tough times needs training. It often means you need to invest in your own development and learning. You have to learn how to tame your messy mind and steer it in the right direction. You have to get out of your own way because ultimately we are usually the root cause of most of our problems! Unpacking and digging deeper is the key. Creating helpful habits of thought and action; developing routines are essential and ultimately help you create your life. A life that allows you to live a healthier happier life.
Champions are created through routines and disciplines done consistently
“A champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognised in the ring. His “becoming’ happens during his daily routine.” Joe Louis.
In your stuck place, a place where positive meaning can be hard to find, contains a message. Something that demands your attention. An aspect of your life needs addressing. To discover this starts with pausing and asking yourself better questions. Furthermore, questions that steer the energy of the mind to possibility and solutions. Ones that help you find a better meaning on what is happening to you right now.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- What can I do today to create more meaning that will help me live a healthier happier life?
- Who do I care for in life and what do I love to do?
- Can I do something for someone else today?
- Thinking like this is not the way to create my future. What can I envision right now in my future that lights me up?
- How can I find a goal for myself that is as compelling to me as winning an Olympic medal is to an athlete?
Ultimately you have the power to choose which thoughts you accept or reject
Remember, you can choose your thoughts and the meaning you put on your current experiences. When you choose to live your life with more meaning, you have the essential ingredient for living a healthier, happier life. One where you commit to growing and evolving. Furthermore, getting to know yourself at the deepest level is key. What you stand for, what is important to you and the values and traits you choose to embrace into your life.
That is your missing ingredient. If you are still looking or need some help, then I invite you to book a call and reach out to me.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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