Have you been feeling unmotivated lately? Are you going through the motions, loathing your comfort zone yet unable to do anything about it? It has happened to the best of us; being stuck in a rut. They say that when you are destined for great things, that potential inside you haunt you until you’ve explored it to the maximum. Problem comes when you know you need to be doing something to change your circumstance but cannot figure out where to begin. Remember that a mental shift is the first thing that needs to happen for you to get new ideas and explore new opportunities. And that feeling of inadequacy is therefore not an alarm bell, but a wake up call. It is the nudge you need to get up and get your life back on track, and these five steps could help you do exactly that.
Define what success means to you
Success cannot be pinned down to one person’s point of view because it means different things to different people. So you have to search within yourself to determine the thing that will give you that elusive joy and peace of mind. Is it something you’re doing now? Is it running a successful business, climbing to the highest peak in the corporate world or maybe raising a family? Is it about inventing something new that could change the world, achieving financial security or helping others? We all have to consciously define what success means to us and unapologetically pursue that. Because once you know what you are working towards, you will have a clearer mind on what goals to set to get you there. It’s never too late to change your life so don’t be stuck in a rut because you’re too afraid to fail.
Revisit and review your goals
One of the greatest albeit common pieces of advice I ever got had something to do with setting ‘smart’ goals. I remember in high school we would often have career and life coaching sessions where once of the teachers took us through the importance of setting goals that were; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Funny enough I have until today used this formula to set life goals and it works great. We set goals all the time, even smart ones. But often, somewhere along the way we lose track. We stop being accountable. Life changes and we forget to re-evaluate our goals to tailor them to our new lifestyle, or environment. When you find yourself in rut, it is important to go back to the drawing board and look at the goals you set, say, ten years ago. Have you achieved any? Are you on the right path to achieve any? And if not, what do you need to change so that you can get to the finish line? Are some of your goals not applicable to your life anymore? Do you need to change your life or change your goals? Nowadays life is so fast paced, some things you thought were the ultimate goal five years ago may not have the same importance today. So revisit your goals, evaluate them and tailor them to the path that you feel will lead you to success.
Your primary objective is not to compete or impress
This may have been said many times, but most people who find themselves in rut feel even worse because their peers seem to be passing them by swiftly. But remember you are on your own journey, working with your specific goals towards your own defined success. So you guys are definitely not on the same path. How can you be competing with someone on a different race? If your work impresses them, let it. But that should not be your main concern. Because if you do that, you are working for another person’s fulfillment not yours! I don’t know about you but to me that doesn’t sound very smart.
Live in the now even as you prepare for the future
This life was meant to be lived to fullest. To be enjoyed, valued and cherished. Every bit of this journey is as important as the destination. (Remember we are not actually assured of the destination, so the journey could be even more important). So as you work to secure your future, please enjoy your present. Unwrap every day with the excitement a gift deserves. Go on, bask in the glory of being alive and well. Life should not be endured but celebrated. So live! Take pleasure in the smallest of things. Make time for your loved ones, go to the spa, read a good book, learn how to play an instrument, travel, start a blog! You have to make the journey as exciting as the destination. Remember, not many people can ever say they have accomplished everything they set out to do. So celebrate small and big milestones alike. What’s the point of putting all our energy into making a life better that you forget to enjoy and appreciate what’s already good in it?
Be a little selfish
It is not wrong at all to think of yourself first, even if for a moment. Selfishness or self-love, call it what you like. But you have to remember that the most important person in your life is you! If you are not okay, how will you achieve all the things you want to? You have to take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, take care of your emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well. Don’t be the person who solves everyone else’s problems even when you’re secretly wallowing in your own misery. We all know that you cannot pour from an empty cup. So fill yours with all the goodness first, so that you are able to take care of others around you. You have to be a little selfish first to have the capacity to be selfless.