Nobody’s problem is small but definitely not superior to that of others. Even the tiniest one can hurt a lot. And this happens to all of us - ‘Ah! This sucks! @$#%*’
This happened to me around two years ago.No friends, bad job, not accomplishing what I had thought I would, bad living conditions, strained relationships, and the worst financial condition. On top of that, I kept cribbing.
Until that one day, I decided to take two steps- first identify your misery and then don’t multiply the misery by talking about it. And I do feel, changes started there. I don’t have a foolproof plan, I have had days when I deviated from my resolution to not complain and to give up. But these helped.
Identifying- I remember the feeling that I am in some space where I don’t see anything good in my life. Like I am stuck somewhere and nothing is moving forward. Hence the phrase ‘Everything is wrong in my life’, despite having a wonderful new relationship, I always felt sad. I don’t know if I read this or it just struck me, but I thought there must be something specific that is making me sad. Let me try to identify that. Identifying one or two things or people or places would have been easier, but when I started writing everything seemed wrong, all of it was making me sad. Still, I went ahead and wrote it, three major areas- career and finances, home(environment, family, and partner) and self (mind and body).
And, wrote down the exact problems in each area. And one simple solution for each. No elaborate plans yet.
Now, you may ask how does this work. One, I knew then that not everything was wrong, and what was under my control and what wasn’t (like the most important step). And then start with the severe ones.
Plan- To me trying to eliminate the ‘sad elements’ does involve the people you are with. And that’s the toughest part.
Physical circle- Your people are as important as what you read, what you eat, how much you sleep. Day by day, I have worked on this. How do you drop that friend who has been there for years in your life? But look very closely was that friend really helping you stay positive, was that friend saying or doing something that was inspiring you to do new things or stay focused on your goals. More like, you have a smoker friend, you don’t smoke, but all that passive smoking is going to affect you. Your life becomes easier with the right people in it. If you want to lose weight, being in a similar group, having a gym-freak friend or a sister who gives you a lot of info on food, increases your chances to make that change in your life.
Mental circle- I am possibly looking at a career shift, where I have so many questions for myself, my career path, plus my marriage and maybe future kids. Besides my questions, my friends also keep asking. It is a whirlwind of questions. I don’t have everything ready, so I look for examples. People out there, in my family, office, college everywhere. There are so many people out there, who have been in similar situations. Why not start learning ASAP? There is no dearth of stories to help you stay on your path.
Patience and gratitude- Without this, my plan fails, because all the changes happened over a period of time. And a few others will take some more time. Meanwhile, counting your blessings daily, reminds you of what you had all the way and how much you are gaining each day. I remember writing daily in my gratitude journal that I love my project, I love my colleagues, overriding the negative feelings and it astonishes me that it actually worked! Repeating that ‘I love my manager and he loves me’ actually got me an appreciation mail ;) (Don’t turn this the other way)
And the most important part- make sure you’re living your life the way you want. You will never be this age again, your desires won’t remain the same. The biggest myth is ‘once I get this I will definitely start living the life I want’.
So today, out of those five changes, four are done. I have new changes listed now. One of those is to be as calm as the cow standing in the middle of the traffic.
But it all started that day. When I found the energy to identify, make the checklist and decided to cross it off.
A day of change
About the author
Woman of few words