In our post-20th century world where we have tablets, smart phones, and computers everywhere, we seem to take pride in remaining connected as long as we have a breath in our bodies. I have noticed that with all of this progress we have begun to forget about the simple things in life. I have noticed lately that I am suggesting to clients that they consider working on ways to restore simplicity in their lives. Here are some of the things we discuss.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex,
and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—
to move in the opposite direction.”
—E. F. Schumacker
Stop texting, make the call.
Sometimes I think that people have forgotten the original purpose of a telephone. Texting has become so common that seldom do we take the time to actually call someone and speak directly to them. Try it sometime, and to your amazement, you may just find a pleasant voice on the other end. Yes, there is a person there.
Every time you text a person, you take a rather serious risk of having what you intended to say being misconstrued. It is easier than you think and then you will have to spend precious time unraveling a misunderstanding. On top of being time consuming, by doing all of that thumb typing, all sense of emotion is lost and you really can’t tell how the other person is feeling about what you wrote. Wouldn’t it be just easier to pick up the phone and call? You might think so. You could be clear on how you feel and lose nothing in translation. The emotion is NOT removed. Imagine communicating more quickly with fewer misunderstandings. More importantly, you will know in real-time that you are sorting things out.
Let them know how you feel.
Are you one of the millions of people who are inclined to hide your emotions? Do you hold everything inside? When you are pissed off, do you keep it a secret? It’s likely if you are that type, when you are disappointed with someone you rarely let them know. You almost never tell them…right?
The problem with that kind of life is that while you may have fewer open fights, it causes enormous levels of stress in your life. It makes you—and everyone—unhappy. Eventually, you can no longer hold it all in and all those bottled up emotions roar out, uncontrolled, all at once. I don’t imagine it to be pretty, or very much fun. At the core of the problem though, it isn’t healthy for you psychologically or physically.
It is so much better for your health and your soul to find ways to deal with these emotions in a constructive manner. Talk with a friend, scream at a tree, or consider a coach or therapist if the problems are severe. Doing any, or all of these things, will result in a happier and healthier life for you and your family.
Stop with the comparisons, make your own life.
I know I have asked this before in other blogs, but how often do you find yourself scrolling down through Facebook reading all the posts of people on your “friends” list doing fabulous things? They travel, they hike, kayak, eat at 3-star restaurants, or even the just relax with their friends. I know, you feel jealous and think, why not me? Why am I sitting here in Dunkyland while they are having all the fun?
Right! Why aren’t you out there having fun? Get off your ass and go create some excitement in your life. Make your own memories. I know you get tired of reading all that stuff, so go visit where you want to visit. Read the book you have been thinking about. Swim naked, whatever; just go do it. Go out and do those things you dream of and even more importantly, stop with the comparisons. They don’t make you happier. The only thing that will make you happier is making your own memories. So what are you waiting for?
Don’t assume, just ask.
Nope, you can’t read minds. How often have you mistakenly tried to guess what your loved ones were thinking or feeling? Have you ever assumed something in error? You really don’t know what restaurant they want to go to, what movie they like, if they really like going to the game on Saturdays.
Assuming and then taking a guess really screws things up down the line. If you just ask, you avoid all that miscommunication and angst. I promise you that if you do little more than this your life will be simpler and happier.
It’s what you do, not what you say.
Just because you aren’t sure how is no excuse for not comforting those around you who are in pain. Have you ever felt that panic over just what to do? Then just when you couldn’t feel much worse, they don’t want to talk, right? What do you do?
It really is much simpler than you can imagine. Just be there with them. Your presence alone is usually enough. They don’t need your word, they don’t want to chat; they just want you and your touch. Maybe it’s a hug they need and nothing else. Little things like a hug, offered with love, speaks more than thousands of empty words. Try it sometime.
Just do it…don’t lose the moment.
Here is a thought for all of you; is it usually “better to ask for forgiveness than permission?” Do you hesitate too much? What to do next haunts you? Scared of new things, what someone might think?
Look at that old quote and know that it means it is usually better to act decisively and apologize for it later than ask for approval and possibly be delayed indefinitely. If you want to do it, go ahead. It will probably make you happier.
Fear, hesitation, uncertainty are things that can kill you. It is possible that you will discover that the idea works, that you love it, that it makes you happier. And on the other hand, if it didn’t do all of those things, move on the next thing, sure in the knowledge that you have removed one thing from the list of things that might make you happy. That alone is a success.
It’s your future, work on it.
Do you ever find yourself overcomplicating things? When you worry about the future, just because it is tomorrow, you fail to act. It would be better for you to spend time on the things you can control right now than to keep worrying about all that stuff you can’t control. There is no guarantee how the future will turn out, but by focusing on those little things that you can control now, you are on the right side of tomorrow and are setting yourself up for a good day.
Think about it….
Isn’t that what so much of life is about, doing what we can today and setting ourselves up for a great tomorrow? So go on and give it a shot. Let me know how it turns out for you!
SEE A LIFE COACH IN BATON ROUGE
Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.