Living In The Gain

“The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” Dan Sullivan, The Gain and The Gap.

When you’re looking over your year in 2018, what goals did you have? Did you reach them? If not, how do you feel about that?

You can either look at the Gap-the difference between where you wanted to be, and where you are. Or you can look at the Gain-the difference between where you are from where you started. If you think of your goal like a puzzle that’s not completely finished, are you looking at the pieces that are missing and feeling disappointed you didn’t finish the puzzle? Or are you looking at all of the pieces you put together? One way will make you feel like a failure-not very motivating to keep going. The other way will make you feel successful-totally motivating. Which will you choose?

Thursday Thought: Everything went exactly how it was supposed to

How did Christmas go? Did everything go the way you expected? The way you wanted? If you’re answer is ‘no’. I want you to try on the thought, “Everything went exactly how it was supposed to.” How is this thought just as true or more true than your other thoughts about how Christmas went? How is what happened better than what you planned?

Red, Green, And White All Over

Merry Christmas! These next two days will probably be filled with lots of visits and festivities and traditions. I hope you have a lovely time, and take some time to add whitespace to your life.

Visual whitespace is used to make other things more noticeable or manageable. Whitespace in art draws your attention to things that the artist wants to point out. It adds clarity, and makes things simpler and less overwhelming. If there isn’t enough whitespace things can appear cluttered and disorganized.

Whitespace in our lives are times when we stop all of the noise. Time when we’re alone with our thoughts. It could be daydreaming, meditating, praying, thinking about one thought, noticing all of our thoughts. You could be on a walk, just sitting still, even doing mundane tasks like washing dishes or folding laundry. For it to truly be whitespace, you’re not thinking about what you need to do next; you’re just in the moment. If you’re not used to having whitespace, you may try to rush it. It may be uncomfortable, but don’t rush it. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes so you don’t have to keep looking at the clock, so you can be fully present. Whitespace is all about being present.

Just like visual whitespace, whitespace in your life will make things less overwhelming, give you clarity, help you see what’s most important, make your life more manageable. Tell me how you create whitespace in your life.

Thursday Thought: They’re just a human doing the best they can with the experiences they’ve had

Are you getting ready to be around family? Are you excited, or nervous, maybe a little of both? Think of that one “difficult” person. How do you want to feel when you’re around them. Do you know why they’re difficult? I’m sure you could give me all of the reasons, but want to know the truth? The only reason they’re difficult is because of your thoughts about them. I know, I know, everyone might agree with you that they’re difficult. But why not you be the one that shows everyone the way of how they’re not difficult, you’ve all just been believing negative thoughts about them?

Want to feel love? Think loving thoughts. One of my favourite thoughts for a difficult person is, “They’re just a human doing the best they can with the experiences they’ve had.” We’re all just humans doing the best we can. Now go and feel some love! It feels amazing!

You Don’t Have To Do Anything To Prove Your Worth

Sometimes we think our worth is dependent on what we do. So we try to exercise more, be more productive, lose weight, go to church, read our scriptures, dress our kids nicely, get out of debt, make healthy meals, make delicious meals, be nice, give service, the list could go on. None of these things are bad things. A lot of them are good things. But if we’re doing them so that we have “evidence” that we’re good and worthwhile, it’s exhausting. How will we ever know if we’re worthwhile?

How do we know the worth of a diamond? You might tell me all of the guidelines that decide the worth of a diamond. But where did those guidelines come from? Someone just made them up! Seriously! It came from someone’s brain and a lot of people agreed. Is a diamond of any worth to a 3 year old? They may think it’s pretty, but they’d probably rather have that toy that makes a sound when you push the button.

Just like a diamond, you just get to decide your worth. And guess what…no one has to agree with you. Nobody. I like to believe everyone is worthwhile. The guy who sits in his room playing video games all day. The woman who spends her time helping out at the homeless shelter. The man who goes to the temple every week. Even people who do horrible things in this world have infinite worth. I believe we get our worth from being children of God. If you are a human on this planet, then you are a child of God. Therefore you are 100% lovable. You are of infinite worth. This feels really good to me, and helps me be who I want to be.

How would it feel differently to do anything from a place of knowing your worthwhile whether you do something or not, than from a place of trying to prove your worth? Let me know what you think.

Thursday Thought: I’m going to help her succeed with me.

A client was having a hard time with her Mother-in-law. From her point of view, her MIL never remembered when she promised to watch the kids. When my client would give her MIL instructions on medications or screen time or other things she wanted the kids to have while they were with their grandma, her MIL seemed to always get it wrong. At first she made it mean her MIL was trying to mess things up, or she didn’t care about my client’s instructions. But deep down, she knew her MIL was doing her best, she just did things differently than my client. Her MIL was more of free spirit where my client was more organized and liked schedules and calendars. Can you relate?

My client wanted to feel love for her MIL and have her children get the medications and other things that were important to her when they were with their grandma. She decided to figure out what were the 2 or 3 most important things to her and then decided how she could help her MIL succeed. She decided she would write things down for her MIL instead of just telling her. And if that didn’t work, she would try something else, maybe brainstorm with her MIL. She would make it an experiment to see what helped her MIL be successful. Most of all, she wouldn’t make it mean that her MIL didn’t care about her.

Who in your life do you think wants to succeed at what you request of them, but get’s it wrong every.time.? How could you help them be successful? Don’t try and change them, just how could you make it easier for them? Do you need to clarify, write it down, be more willing to say your preference, be more encouraging?

Try the thought: I’m going to help her/him succeed with me.

We’re All Painting The Same Picture Differently

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt inadequate in some area of your life. It’s very common for us to look around at what other people are doing, and then use that to decide if we’re doing okay at what we’re doing.

Take motherhood, for example. How do you know if you’re doing it right? We want to look at what other people are doing to decide if we’re “doing it right”.

Imagine you’re in an art class. Everyone is painting the same thing, but they all look different from each other. Why is that? Because we’re all different. We can do the same thing, but it will have our own personality in it. How do you know which painting is done the “right” way?

As with the painting and motherhood, you get to choose what your right way is. The way you do it is going to have your personality in it, so it’s never going to look exactly the same as someone else. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t just as beautiful. It’s just different.

I also like to remind myself that it’s a work in progress. This paint never dries.

In what ways do you want to change your painting? What do you like about the way you paint?

Thursday Thought: It’s possible…

I love this thought and have been using it quite a bit recently. It’s similar to ….and it’s okay, in that you can add it onto any other thought. I like this one because you add it on to a thought you want to believe but don’t yet believe. Here are some ideas:

It’s possible I could love winter this year.

It’s possible I can lose weight.

It’s possible everything is as it should be.

It’s possible I can make money in a way I enjoy.

It’s possible I’m attractive to my husband.

It’s possible I could love living here.

What thought do you want to believe, but is just not sticking? Try adding “It’s possible…” to front of it and see what happens.

Word to the Why’s?

My friend told me about this concept called The 7 Layers of Why. It’s super helpful to figure out what you’re thinking. If you want to bring to light thoughts that you didn’t even know you had, that may be causing you problems, just ask, “Why?”.

Here’s an example from my experience:

  1. I don’t want to work on my program. Why?
  2. Because I don’t know where to start. Why?
  3. Because I’m waiting for someone to tell me how to do it. Why?
  4. Because I don’t want to waste time doing it wrong and then having to re-do it. Why?
  5. Because I don’t want to fail. Why?
  6. Because then I’ll feel bad about myself. Why?
  7. Because I’ll think that I should have known better.

Well, I can see that that last thought is ridiculous. I may have that thought, but it doesn’t even make sense. How would I know better if I’ve never written a program before and no one is telling me how to do it. The only reason I’ll feel bad is if I think that thought. I know thoughts are optional, and that was seems ridiculous to me, so I’ll just choose to think, “Good for me for trying!” If I know that’s the thought I’ll have no matter the result, then it’s easier to get started writing my program.

Give it a try! Let me know your 7 Layers of “Why?”.