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Five Choices That Will Change Your Week

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Feeling trapped in your work-a-day routine?
Feel like there’s no way to change it?
Sometimes it’s the difference that makes the difference.

Here are Five Choices you might have forgotten you have!

1. Stand up for yourself. You choose the issue. Small. Large. Long standing grievance. Momentary passion. It doesn’t matter. Nothing violent or offensive. You choose the time and place. Just do it and allow yourself to feel good about standing for something and standing up for yourself. In a world where we kid ourselves we are so “busy” ~ in truth, what are we so busy doing? and how important is most of it, really? ~ re-engaging with who we actually are, as opposed to what we are doing, can be a profound and rewarding experience.

2. Say YES. Say YES to something you wouldn’t normally. Nothing dangerous, of course. Just a new possibility. Or a road less travelled. Perhaps something you would normally automatically say No to. Or something you’ve secretly always wanted to say Yes to! Try to make it a personal decision, not one that relates to business. Think of it as a reward if you like. New choices almost always bring new gifts which, in turn, bring growth. What’s to lose? It’ll break up your routine. It might lead to an unforeseen breakthrough. And the worst that can happen is that you cross the new unsatisfactory choice off your list. (On that last point, remember the old saw: “Good judgement comes from experience. Unfortunately, experience sometimes comes from bad judgement.”)

3. Say NO. Say NO specifically to a client. We all have times when we wish we ?could.? (Of course, we could any time. It’s the courage or the consequences that stop us.) This week, allow yourself to act on the instinct to say No. It might take the form: “No, I can’t do that job for you.” Or: “No, I can’t do it within the time or budget constraints you’ve set.” Or it might be: “No, I can’t do this now but I will be able to at a later (specified) date.” Then there’s arguably the most difficult of all to say: just plain “No.” It might be a thousand other versions. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that it will re-focus the mind of your client. In that silence lurks the the opportunity for growth. To say the word No and stick to it ~? assuming, of course, there’s a sound reason for doing so ~ is one of the most liberating experiences in Life.

4. Turn off your smart phone. Yes, I said turn it off! Or at the very least, set it on silent. There’s a tendency today to believe that because we are contactable, we should always be! Anyone who’s fished around for their mobile while sitting on a public toilet will know the feeling I’m talking about! What on earth are we thinking? You might like to try turning off your phone one morning a week. (Don’t panic! You can tell your clients you’re still checking e-mail.) Or five mornings. Or one full day, always having notified your clients and loved ones that you’ll be “unavailable by phone” for that period. Or weekends. Or you might use the method I favour; the rationing! I now discipline myself to check my mobile four times a day. That’s four times in a full day, 24 hours. For me the result is that I actually feel less stressed, less pressured, less “chained to the machine”, but no less plugged-in. As for “emergencies”? Let’s face it, most of them aren’t! And in a modern world there are always ways to get an urgent message to someone in the case of a real crisis.?

5. Pay It Forward. Yes, it’s an old chestnut but random acts of even the smallest kindness are Life affirming. There are opportunities everywhere; at work, at home, on the train, in the supermarket, at the petrol station, at school, online, the list is endless. The scale of the good deed isn’t important. The mindset and the intention are. Random acts of kindness reward both the giver and the receiver and remind us we are all citizens of the world.

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