7 Essential Life Lessons

Living your life well is living with purpose and joy. Not there yet?

There are seven big ways to waste and deplete your energies without even noticing. If you’re feeling dark, down and drained it’ll prevent you from reaching your dreams. To see your energy rebound dramatically; here are seven important things to address:

Cancel regrets
The past is irreversible; it’s forever gone. Many people, instead of licking their wounds and moving forward a little wiser, torture themselves by staying fixated on “what might have been, if only…” There is no surer way to prevent yourself from having the energy to move towards your dreams than by allowing yourself to stay mired in the past. Indulging in regret roots you in the past and limits your energy today.

Stamp out repeated patterns
If you’ve ever heard yourself say, “I don’t know what it is, I always pick such losers” or “This always happens to me” then you’ve got a repeating pattern. This means you’ve got some learning to do. Start by writing down a list of the similarities in every reoccurrence of your pattern. Then write down the first moment you began to wonder if it was happening again. Next, figure out how you convinced yourself to stick with it despite your intuition that something was amiss. You should see a point in each situation, relatively early in the process, where you noted something and yet still convinced yourself to stay the course.

If, for example, it’s the bad boyfriend situation, and each time it started with you waiting in vain for him to show up. Write down on a card, “Stood up = No go”, leave it where you’ll see it everyday. Tell your best friend and ask her to remind you if it happens again. Just taking this small action to unravel your patterns will make you more in charge of your life. When you’re in charge of yourself; you’ll feel on top of the world!

Unmask your anger
Do you erupt with anger when you’re cut off in traffic? Or do you ‘flame’ people on blogs, usenets or internet forums? Have people accused you of being self-righteous, difficult or confrontational more than twice? Then your anger is telling you that you need to do something.

If you spend too much time cleaning up after your co-workers and kids, it’s a sign you’re not setting appropriate limits. If you’re allowing yourself to work 70 hours a week, you’re not giving yourself adequate rest and recovery time. It usually only takes a few minutes to unearth the causes of boiling frustration. However, if it’s something big from the past, then your anger is telling you it’s time to get professional help. Anger is hard on the body and mind; it erodes your health, saps your energy and damages your relationships. Get a handle on your anger and your overall energy should skyrocket.

Make an attitude adjustment
Quick, grab a pen. What areas of your life are bothering you? Make a list. Then, without thinking, write down the first song lyric, proverb or cliché that pops into your mind. Say that you’re having turbulence in your love life, and “Love it or leave it” is what comes to mind, then that’s how you really regard the issue. This is a direct way of accessing your subconscious wisdom. Once you know your inner wisdom on the situation, act on that knowledge and it will release an enormous amount of stored energy.

Kick down the bully
No, not the kid that picked on you on the school grounds. The bully that drains your energy and stamps on your dreams is much, much closer. The next time you make a mistake listen to how your mind reacts. If it’s something like, “I’m such an idiot” then your mind has let in the bully. First, you need to catch the bully in action. Notice what you say to yourself. And when it’s bullying, replace it with the truth. For example, instead of invective about being stupid, tell yourself, “Next time I’ll spend more time preparing my presentation.” Eventually your bully will get sick of being blindsided by the truth and will leave you alone. And your mind will be free to be creative and playful again, which will energize your entire life.

Curb negative energy
Pay attention to when you feel blame or envy and complain about others. This often shows you where you’re letting yourself down either by not speaking up for yourself, by not letting your light shine, or by not honoring your own values. If your co-workers work habits drive you to distraction, is it that you hate to watch procrastination in action? Are you a procrastinator yourself? Be honest, act on what you learn, and you’ll find your energy levels surge.

Be here now
This is the hardest to remember and the easiest to do. No matter what’s happening, good or bad, take a moment to feel your weight on the floor or in your chair. Take a long, slow deep breathe starting from your belly, and then push it out slowly using your abdominal muscles. Do this when you’re not stressed and it’ll come more naturally when you are. Settling into the present moment frees up so much energy, so much focus and so much joy that it’s amazing how little time we spend there.

Clearing your energy by using the seven habits of mind should do wonders for you.

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