I have noticed a trend. One that is encouraging. Many of us think that there are a myriad of obstacles that is holding us back from achieving the success that we know deep down we are capable of; when in truth it is often only one thing. That’s right, only one! And I don’t mean only holding you back in your career or business. It could be holding you back in all areas of your life.
So all you have to do is go searching for that one thing that’s holding you back. Sometimes the search is within you and sometimes it is external. It could be a food you need to eliminate that unburdens your body and unleashes your energy. Or it could be a fear that’s holding you back from taking action with courage. Or a self-limiting belief like, “I am not smart enough or educated enough or pretty enough” or my personal favourite “I don’t have enough time”.
Here are a few real life examples of that one thing that led to life transformations:
One client changed his exercise routine from weight training to jogging and cycling. It suited his body more. He was more relaxed, more energetic and more confident. It showed in his performance at work. He was more upbeat and enthusiastic. He was focused. At home he was happier. It changed all areas of his life.
Another client merely changed the time of day she worked out. It made all the difference to her energy levels and time management.
Another eliminated coffee and alcohol 6 days per week.
Another started working from home one day a week.
For me personally it was waking up one hour earlier every morning and not eating after the sun goes down.
For Novak Djokovic eliminating gluten was a real game changer. He became world number 1 soon after.
In all these cases the result was transformational. So before you go signing up for expensive gym memberships or reading personal development books or meditating on world peace, go searching for that one thing first. It will achieve an immediate result and break the shackles. Sometimes thats all you need to reach your personal greatness.
Whenever you are down in the dumps about something; be it rejection or failure or whatever, I always return to these simple pleasurable distractions.
1. Smile on waking
2. Laugh often
3. Read more
4. Watch comedy
5. Walk tall
6. Breath deeper
7. Smell flowers
8. Hug your family
9. Call your friends
10. French Kiss your partner, often
11. Pack a picnic
12. Walk barefoot
13. Visit a farm
14. Start a vege patch
15. Eat what’s in season
16. Eat less
17. Ride a bike
18. Live close to work
19. Work from the heart
20. Be passionate
21. Stand for something
22. Know your roots
23. Spend less
24. Save more
25. Trust in God
26. Sit in reflection
27. Love unconditionally
Life is about the relationships we keep: the relationship we have with ourselves, our partner, our family, our colleagues at work, our friends and even strangers. These relationships can either be positive and fruitful or negative and toxic.
You’ve probably heard the adages: “Surround yourself with people who lift you higher,” (Oprah) and, “The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviours, so choose friends who have healthy habits,” (Dan Buettner).
Identifying and eliminating toxic relationships from your life is important because just like particular food can ruin your diet and health, a particular person can also ruin your health and your happiness. So what are the tell tale signs of a toxic relationship?
People who are jealous of you
People who are competitive with you
People who betray your confidence/trust
People who focus on your faults
People who always complain
People who repetitively break their promises
People who are self-absorbed or self-entitled
People who contact you only when they need something.
These types of people will drain your energy and if you can’t avoid them altogether, make sure you only give them your minimal energy and time. Remember, relationships take up a lot of our emotional energy and wellbeing, so when you surround ourselves with toxic people, you are less likely to reach your potential. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with like-minded, positive, caring, honest and interesting people, being happy becomes effortless.
In A Higher Branch, I show that health should be your number one priority, followed by love, family, work, friendship, learning, wealth and charity: all of which provide us with a complete life and when we live a complete life, we are happy. Recently, I’ve been researching the idea that being happy is more important than being just healthy. I did this research because of something that my 10 year old daughter said to me.
Recently we spent a whole day at Bondi Beach crashing against waves, eating, sunbathing and playing. As we drove home later that day, my wife and I looked at each other and said, “Early dinner, early night.” But Amelia had other ideas. She jumped right out of the car and ran straight to her bike and said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, I want to go for a bike ride!” I must confess with you, I was a little annoyed, and said to her, “Sweetie, aren’t you tired? Honestly, what are you running on?” And she looked at me as though the answer was as clear as day and said, “I’m running on Happiness, Daddy.”
And that got me thinking, we do run on happiness! If we eat unhealthy and fail to exercise it will eventually (sometimes over many years) lead to low energy and illness. But if you are unhappy for even just a week, it will impact your energy and vitality very quickly. So my advice is that if you can’t live a 100% healthy lifestyle, aim to at least live a happy one by surrounding yourself with family, positive friends, laughter and a rewarding job. My bigger advice is to aim to be healthy and happy!
A lot of relationships break down because we start to see things that irritate us about the person, when in reality those things were always there. But why have they now started irritating you? It’s not because they’re now irritating you, it’s because you’re now focusing on them. If you have a negative mindset you start focusing on what you don’t have instead of what you do have. So if your partner is a procrastinator, not very good at cooking or whatever it is, you start to dwell on those things. But no one’s perfect, you’re not perfect, right? So focus instead on their positives: my partner’s really fit, my partner’s great at their job, my partner’s very generous, very kind, my partner’s very loving, he or she is a great reader, or my partner is a great painter.
The same applies for your colleagues and staff at work. When they do something well, praise them. Focus on their abilities rather than their weaknesses and give them work that best suits their talents. For example if someone is a great communicator and enjoys developing client relationships, make sure they are on the phones instead of doing administrative work! This means that they will be happier in their role and not only feel better, but become more productive, enthusiastic and engaging. Their work performance will improve and they will become a better team member, employee and face of the company.