You can do almost anything in life but not everything. When two desirable values contradict each other, it’s necessary to strike a balance.
Meritocracy, effectiveness, and efficiency are valuable qualities. But what do you do when they clash with pluralism, diversity, principles, and values? You strike a balance.
We all want to put aside something to pass on to our children and grandchildren. But what if maintaining our own well-being requires all the resources we can muster? Care first for yourself. Otherwise, you may become a burden to your children before you can pass anything on to them.
To create a fulfilling life, we first need to grow our awareness about the choices we must make. Then we’ll learn to make those choices consciously until we achieve mastery. After that, appropriate choices will come naturally to us.
Being ready does not happen overnight. It takes years of preparation.
Then one day after years of prep an opportunity knocks on your door that changes the direction of everything you do. Most people will call that luck. Luck certainly plays the part, however, without the prep the luck would not go too far.
So prepare every day, nay, every hour towards your chosen dream. Then when Lady Luck shows up you will be able to fully seize the opportunity!
When prep, luck, and opportunity coincide you get the formula for success!
In stable times, habitual patterns work for you. They become your preferred patterns of reacting. It gives you a sense of control.
A customer delays payment. You then send in the standard follow-up letter. You take the same route to work every day. You don’t have to map it out in your mind every morning. It’s almost as if every turn were programmed into your car’s steering. Taking that route is an involuntary choice.
Your life seems to be on auto-pilot and your story seems uneventful enough. The plot thickens when certain things around you begin to change.
A new thoroughfare opens up and makes it easier and more convenient to take another route. But you still find yourself habitually going the old way until you consciously establish a new pattern. For a while, you have to map out the new route mentally and force yourself to take it instead of the old route.
Change stops the process of involuntary actions and forces us to reconsider. It disrupts the pattern and demands that we respond appropriately. So our focus is invariably on adjusting to the change or fighting it. But change is not always about adaptation, it can also signal an opportunity for creating something better. Uber did not disrupt the average taxi service because it used technology for online booking. It succeeded because it created a better experience for the customer. In the same way, the invention of 3D printing could very well disrupt the way we approach manufacturing. These changes ended up creating a better experience.
Next time, instead of fighting change or surrendering to it, find out how it can help you to create a better outcome for you and others.
How to work with change:
1. Believe it holds promise for you – Every change usually holds a potential for improvement. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t exist. Therefore, however unpleasant it may seem, look for the lesson contained in it; know that you can learn to work with it, use it to learn something valuable, or better still, help it propel you in an altogether new direction.
2. Write a journal – Writing is probably the best way to make sense of life. We are often sleepwalking through important experiences in life and writing forces us to pay attention to unconscious patterns or repetitive ways of thinking. It gives voice to our intuition, fears, and insights, providing greater clarity and understanding about the situation at hand.
3. Commit to learning one new activity every week – Get out of your comfort zone. Make it a point to try one new experience or activity every week. Even trying a new dish for a start is good enough. The goal is not monumental change, but daily progress.
4. Change one habit every month – Make a list of behaviors and habits that become the cause for discomfort or regret in your life. Write down how much time you are wasting on them daily; how do you feel before and after indulging in them and what will you gain by letting go of them?
5. Use your principles as an anchor during change – Principles are not a casualty of change, rather they are revealed through change. They form the foundation of any great endeavor. They reveal the bigger picture behind the change and deepen your understanding of it.
6. Eliminate the blame game – As long as we play the victim, we become part of the problem. Once we stop the blame game, we free our energy to focus it on taking the next step.
7. Build a Solid Belief System – “Be a servant of your conscience and a master of your will,” wrote Dr. Marcus Bach. That’s good advice. To follow it, you’ll need a solid belief system based on your principles.
Your belief system will provide you with a set of core values that mature with your experiences and knowledge. You may adjust your systems as you grow, holding onto precious values that retain meaning.
Occasionally, you must reassess values to see if those rules of old still fit your current situation. Old values keep you safe and get you started on the next leg of the journey. They also allow you to process information and categorize and file it away in your head. Such values keep you emotionally, mentally and physically strong. As you grow and mature, you can handle more of life. Then you have to assess old unnecessary rules and put new ones in place that allow you to move forward.
During the change, you feel a fear of the unknown, because you’re venturing outside safe and known limits. Your values and belief systems will keep you from feeling lost or unbalanced. You can overcome the fear of change by accepting the fact that your beliefs might change over time, but that you can control the change so that it occurs at your pace.
8. Practice is the key – You can learn and hone any new skill only through practice. And that is true for anything you want to accomplish in life. Over and above raw talent, it is sheer commitment and practice that separates a world-class tennis player from a rookie.
When setting the tone for what you expect from others, you will either be received with compliance or resistance. It may also lead some to disappear altogether from your life. In the process, you will find that less is more.
In these moments you must decide if you want to work with everyone or be selective and work with certain people and organizations that value your work. When you are selective, you will be able to perform at your peak. The key will be in your ability to say “No” to many offers, which may seem tempting, but could ultimately lead to a loss of focus.
When you expect the most from your relationships, people usually comply. This does not call for you to be rude and/or demanding. It simply means you give your best and expect the best.
Life Balance is not a static condition. It is a dynamic and evolving blend of the body, mind, and spirit.
Your life is balanced when you are centered around a set of principles that are well-grounded. Being centered allows you to find equilibrium amid flux and change.
When you’re centered, you know what you want and why you want it. This comes from clarity of purpose. This clarity allows you to navigate through changes without compromising your core values and principles. You become like an orchestra.
Sign Up Today! Stay up to date with the latest news and releases Corporate Sufi Newsletter Sign up