Article first published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 3/03/2017
Our lives are busier than ever – they’re so complex when simplicity will do.
We’re programed from a young age to relentlessly, often ruthlessly pursue ‘more’. We push ourselves to the extreme to try and reach success. We’re totally unconscious to the fact that we’re slowly and painfully killing ourselves, from the inside out.
If we’re lucky, we get to retirement without collapsing – we think we have to make it to retirement before we can relax. By the time we get there we’re often sick and end up spending our time shuffling between doctor’s appointments.
What if we could consciously make the decision to make some changes NOW? What if we could stop, smell the roses and enjoy our lives NOW?
Here’s 5 tips that will help you ‘Keep It Super Simple’ and navigate the demands of life in a very different way.
As Dr Wayne Dyer Said: ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’
Tip #1: What if They’re Wrong?
We’re all socially conditioned from the time we’re born.
Generally this means we’re taught the ‘right’ and ‘appropriate way to behave. What we’re not taught is that social patterns differ vastly depending on the social structure within which we find ourselves. This means that what we are taught depends entirely upon which family, community, state, country, school and so on we happen to be born into and raised within.
Our social conditioning usually takes the form of direct and indirect rewards or punishment to move us towards adopting the behaviours and beliefs of our family and community. In essence, most of us are ‘brainwashed’ to go through life on auto-pilot without ever questioning our behaviour.
Often the result of this is that we go through our lives trying to squash our beliefs into a format that matches our social conditioning. We tend to spend most of our life being the person we’re ‘supposed to’ be and very rarely get the opportunity to be the person we are.
The best way to challenge the auto-pilot is to learn to ask the question ‘What if they’re wrong?’ Asking this question will allow you to step back and get a different perspective on your struggle.
Tip # 2: Eliminate Triangles
One of the most complicated parts of our lives can be the toxic relationships we have.
… either without realising they’re toxic, or because we feel we have no choice but to have them in our lives.
Toxic relationships aren’t just with people. They can be with groups, workplaces, organisations, things, substances and habits. Every family and society assigns roles to it’s members and each person plays a part in the whole system. Every influence in your conditioning plays a part in shaping who you become, how you interact and the way in which you move through life.
Sometimes we take on roles that are good and beneficial for us, but often we’re just dragged into the drama of life. The drama triangle is a psychological and social model for human interaction first described by Stephen Karpman, M.D.
Triangles are situations where there are three people locked in a battle of some sort. Each person takes on a role of either a persecutor, a victim or a rescuer. The victim is always the party who assigns the roles.
Triangles can take up a significant proportion of our time. They’re very rarely productive and can often go on and on with no result. Removing yourself from triangles will reduce the stress and complexity in your life exponentially. Take the time to identify and extricate yourself from the triangles in your life and watch how much extra time suddenly appears!
Tip # 3: Beat Busy!
I’m so busy …. it’s become the pre-requisite for proving that your life is a success.
We fill our lives with layer after layer of ‘stuff’ so that we can prove to everyone we’re busy. Every second of every day must give us a story of what we’ve done, where we’ve been and who we were with. If we don’t have this, then what have we got?
Our lives have become a competition amongst ourselves as to who is the busiest. We get out of bed in the morning and work really hard to polish our ‘busy badges’ until they shine. We proudly pin our badge to our lapel then go out into the day to see what else we can add to our schedule that will make our badge gleam every brighter.
We’re consumed by the busy-off we’re caught in, but most of us aren’t even aware that we’re competing for the title. Sure we’re tired, exhausted and often run down, but we power through so that we can show how resilient and tough we are – stopping is NEVER an option.
Busy is a badge that you can put down. Test everything in your life with the question ‘How does this feel?’. If there’s an ounce of struggle associated then you know you need to question what you can do to remove the struggle from your life.
Tip # 4: Check your language
If you stop to think about it, everything we say has the potential to come to fruition in our life – especially if we repeat it often.
‘There’s always a little truth behind every ‘just kidding’, a little knowledge behind every ‘I don’t know’, a little emotion behind every ‘I don’t care’, and a little pain behind every ‘it’s OK.’ (anonymous)
The language we use is very powerful and it’s perhaps the most ignored aspect of our daily lives. When we are running on auto-pilot (as most of us are), we very rarely stop to take stock of what is happening in our lives. We’re conditioned to accept that where we are, what we do and how we do it is exactly where we’re supposed to be.
They way you speak to yourself can be one of the most detrimental or the most powerful influences in your life. Take notice of what the ‘mean girl’ in your head is saying to you on a regular basis.
Begin to notice the things you use as part of your story every day that aren’t true and perhaps don’t work for you anymore. Try to find another way to tell the story – a way that supports you and the things you want in your life.
Cut out the noise and watch your life turn the most amazing corner. Find the simplicity in listening to yourself.
Tip # 5: Technology – embrace the good, repel the bad
Our lives are enhanced and broadened when we approach situations with an open mind.
As humans we’re conditioned to rely on community to survive, but what happens when the way we live creates a fissure in the way that community operates?
Technology can be great, and amazing advances are made every day that can save lives, improve communication globally and make our lives easier and more efficient.
But technology has also made us busier than ever before and adds a layer of complexity to our lives that serves to disconnect us. We have seen massive changes in the way that communication occurs with the advent of social media, the use of text-messaging, emails and online news, weather and communication channels.
This may make our life more efficient in some areas, but it also serves to disconnect us from the human aspect of community. What we’re now seeing is the impact of individuals sitting behind a computer screen and how easy it is to go on the attack with no thought about the impact on the individual you are attacking.
It’s almost vital for us to program time without technological connection in our lives. Try to find at least 30 to 60 minutes once a week where you are disconnect from the technology in your life.
Without personal connection our society will become totally and emotionally disconnected, and the decisions we make as a community will be disjointed and will serve only a small portion of our interests.
The greater good will no longer exist, and if that happens we might as well become machines.
Want to access more tips and tricks that can help you think and live differently? You can find loads in ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. You can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker and the author of Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.