Life's Pinball Machine
by Kathy Gates
When people say they don't have any focus, it usually means that
they don't know where they're going. Because the truth of the
matter is, we all move toward whatever it is that we are focused
on. If you shift constantly from one thing to another, you'll
feel like you're caught in a pinball machine.
And the only reason you'd do that, is because you don't know
where you want to go.
For example, let's say that you have decided to pursue a college
degree in Journalism. So would you sign up for lots of biology
classes, and math courses? Of course not.
The same with your life. Are you signed up for lots of things
that don't fit with what you want to be happening in your life?
Is your big picture out of focus?
With the full picture in mind, you can make a decision to eat the cake, or not.
You can decide to let go of some things, or live with the clutter. You decide
when to go to bed, what you watch on TV, how you spend time. It fits or it doesn't.
The details of your life are like bits of a jigsaw puzzle. Each
piece plays an integral part in the whole picture. A constant
change of focus due to distractions is hard on your mental and
emotional well being, much less actually accomplishing anything!
Try these ideas to help keep things in focus.
Consider the physics
Remember the law of physics that says that for every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, folks, for every
Yes in your life, there is always a corresponding No. If you
say Yes to something, consider what you have also said No to.
Working late = less time with family. Eating ice cream =
unhealthy calories. Overspending = no financial security.
Choose your Yes's carefully.
We all have a tendency to think that if we just keep plugging
along, someday our great happy life will just fall out of the
sky and we'll feel motivated and inspired. But the reality is
that our environments work on us -- not the other way around.
Think of it this way. When you're on a beautiful beach, with a
light wind blowing, don't you tend to smile and feel good? Same
person in a room with loud music, jumbles of stuff that you
can't get around, will feel crowded and stressed. Work on
creating an environment -- your space -- that supports what you
want in your life.
Systems are a girl's best friend
Do you have a weekly manicure? A monthly hair color
appointment? Those are systems, things that keep you focused on
a result you want. The same way you set up a manicure, set up
other systems in your life. If you always pay bills on Tuesday
evening, when it pops into your mind on Sat morning, you won't
go running in a panic to pay bills -- you'll know you have a
system in place. If you get a firm hold on the systems in your
life, you'll get hold of your life.
Make a Decision, Not just a Choice
The difference in a decision and a choice, I think is that a
choice comes up over and over and you have to make it over and
over. If you've made the decision in advance, you have the "No,
Thank You" already written and practiced in your head. A
decision is something you don't have to think about or argue
with yourself about. A vegetarian doesn't have to debate
whether she'll have meat; she's made a decision. You don't
negotiate with yourself about whether to brush your teeth in the
morning. That decision was made long ago. Take things out of
the ‘choice' realm, and make a final decision. Case closed.
Get out of life's pinball machine! Make a new habit to take
just 30 minutes each week dedicated to getting the whole
picture. Plan it, protect it, use it to your best advantage.
With the whole picture in full view, you'll easily move out of
life's pinball machine, make consistent decisions, and stay on
track to a happier, healthier life.
Kathy Gates is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach in
Scottsdale Arizona who specializes in focus and motivation.
She will coach you via email or telephone, your choice. Take a
look at Real Life Coach (http://www.reallifecoach.com)