What’s Directing Your Life?
I feel neglected again. Am I being ignored, disrespected, or is this the new way a powerful person treats their spouse? Powerful, I hope so, I’ve been encouraging and supportive for years, but to have this power turned and used against me. What sense does this make? I talk and I explain, trying to make myself understood but to what end? Is our relationship improving, getting any better in any way? Appearances aside, sometimes it feels as though we’re hanging on by a thread that could snap in an instant.
“Step up and take responsibility.” That’s what I want to say, but that sounds harsh. The truth of the matter is that to be happy in relationship, it is essential to focus not on the difficulty you’re experiencing, but on your own personal self-improvement. How do you contribute to the relationship mix? What can you work on to improve the manner in which you contribute?
Short-term Urges Vs. Well-Thought-Out-Plans?
We all need a plan or strategy to get ahead in the world and to ensure our own happiness. In fact, we all have such an approach, whether we go to the trouble of making it conscious or merely allowing it to unfold on its own. One way allows our short-term urges to direct us: the other, our well-thought-out plans. Either way, we all have a strategy. Make yours a great one. Consider your own personal vision and what you’re doing to create it.
What we get in life & how we feel emotionally about our accomplishments reflects our activities, habits, thoughts or mental sets & generally, how we spend our time. Or is it our activities alone that will get us what we want? Is getting what we want the same as getting where we want to go? Our desires can point us in the right direction, so we’ll end up happy and have achieved, as long as they are guided by “what’s most important to us.” Our values and principles, right?
If we want our urges to function the same as our goals then ultimately we need to put careful thought into what’s most important to us. Most of us learned about delayed gratification in our families or in grade school, college, or university. Study and achieve your degree and make your goals a reality. The results will provide you with a happy life. Certainly a happier life than if you take winters off to party and work as a home painter during the summer months. But this suggests that careful thought went into our decsions about what’s most important to us in the long term.
Stop and Reflect
If we don’t stop to reflect and to plan out what we have to do to achieve our long-term goals, we’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. When we say “yes” to one thing, we’re also saying “no” to something else. Immediate gratification can become addictive, and can also get in the way, blocking us from the ultimate goals of life that hold deeper meaning for us. By living life spontaneously, just responding to the day-to-day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is.
Resentments develop aimed at those we see who seem to have what we want. But there was a strategy that was carefully considered for them, somewhere along the line. Make no mistake, when I say carefully considered, I am not referring to a moment in time when they were so mad, that they swore to their selves that they would never again, ever . . .
We need to have a clear picture of what we want to focus on, what we should do, and whom we might commit to. We need a mental picture, and we need a strategy. One created to achieve the vision or image that we have in mind, that encompasses our relationships and suggests underlying beliefs, values, and motives. Ours, not someone else’s. Our inner image plus our strategy or plan to make it happen reflects our identity.
Conviction, Determination, & Commitment
Although it’s not always the case, I regularly meet passionate people, putting out all sorts of effort without a real strategy. They’re spinning their wheels without traction. They’re frustrated because they’re not getting to where they want to end up. I inquire into their personal vision and want to know their method for creating that vision and strategy. Sometimes, it’s only a fantasy, and not based on reality.
It is a fact that we all do strategize, even if at a subconscious level. A strategy is simply what we think about, and our thoughts are potent. They eventually evolve and bear fruit. So, making your strategy conscious is what I would like you to warm up to here. Insist that your strategy is built to create the vision you’re after.
Without an effort to bring consciousness to it, our strategy gives birth to nothing more than our basest desires – greed, power, lust, and – especially today – narcissism. Careful reflection is the tool that will empower the transition from our basest desires to our most admirable values, traits, and goals.
Ask yourself, “can any of us really make a determined commitment to maintaining a healthy relationship with someone who maintains a narcissistic personality?” “Can two narcissists maintain a happy relationship together?” It would be like living the “survival of the fittest” life. No caring, love, or support, only competition. So perhaps it’s doable, just not desirable.
I bring these concepts to your attention for a chance at greater happiness. Because I strongly believe that we should seriously consider them, at least for as long as it took me to write and edit this post. Am I right? Our poorly considered visions and inconsistent strategies are affecting the quality of our lives.
I recommend that we create regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. Ask and answer for yourself three quick questions.
- “What is one of the most important things in life, to me and why?”
- “Why is this significant & what emotional state does this create?”
- Finally, “What do I find valuable and meaningful about my answers?”
Consistency will build trust in a relationship, but not like commitment will. How important are your relationships to you anyway? Give time and attention to your answers to these questions and to your personal strategy.
I suggest that we slow down in the lane of life. Actively gain control over and deliberately institute positive goals for ourselves. Align our beliefs, expectations, and actions regularly.
Don’t merely live a life of unconsidered habits. Evolve the way you’re directing your life. Switch from a life that’s being directed by short-term urges to a more well-thought-out plan. Do not live on automatic. Think. How happy are you right now? Now take some action.
Self-Discipline is Strategy
I don’t know about you? But from time to time, I get urges. They’re not all healthy for me or good for my relationships. If I allowed my life to be guided by these urges, I’d be alone, obese, and suffer from numerous chronic physical illnesses.
Long-term well thought out strategy often leads to difficult daily decisions. But they’re worth it in the long run. They require a certain amount of self-discipline. If happiness and success were easy, well, they’re not.
Urges impact not just our physical and emotional health but the quality of our business retirement plans. Whether or not we’ll have adequate funds for momentous events. The number of children we’ll have. Concerns about family and friends, such as whether to put in the effort to find a deeper level of commitment with our spouse. Leadership succession plans, if you own a business.
The difference is noticeable. Urges can lead us to poor decisions, toward obesity, high cholesterol, and, quite possibly, a life of unhappy struggles. A clear strategy that aligns with our highest values can assist us in experiencing our dreams.
So is there any good reason we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increase our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?
Let’s get things going in our favor. Make things happen. Change the direction of life so that it’s unfolding in our direction.
Experience more joy and better connections. Explore, feel proud of our lives and of what we’re creating, and what we’re contributing. Because after all, we cannot, not contribute.
Just a thought, I hoped you’d appreciate being reminded about.