In an effort to continually try things I’ve never done before, including reading books by authors I’ve avoided, I picked up Anthony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within.” Anthony was well off my radar, as are most American life coaches, because it’s all a bit awesome and cool and high five for me. But I’ve got to say, this is great stuff and there are a lot of “actionable” suggestions to follow. I’m going to do a few of them for sure, as there’s definitely nothing wrong with getting focused on the good stuff in life.
A couple of things have captured my imagination so far and the first is the chapter on life’s metaphors. I’ve never really thought about this, just lived it. He talks about the good and bad metaphors most of us apply - usually without knowing it - to life. For example, good metaphors include “life is a dance” or “life is a game” and then the not so positive metaphors include “life is tough and it ends with death” or ‘life is war.” Naturally, based on what metaphors you apply consciously or unconsciously, so your life shall be.
I reckon my main metaphor has to be “life is a great big adventure and who knows what’s around the corner.” I think that’s where my passion for travel comes from and why I can’t settle back into a quiet life, where nothing significantly different happens on any given day. But that’s just me.
I love being in Singapore and Asia because every day I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I never know who I’m going to meet or where they’re going to come from. In the last few days I’ve had amazing conversations with some great people: a Muslim taxi driver who really made me think about parenting in a different way; a Polish lady whose philosophies on life made me stop and think; or an Indian friend who talked about the challenges of being Indian in the world today. Sure there are shit days in the mix, but a true adventure wouldn’t be complete without shit days – as we all know, it’s how you deal with them that counts. So I suppose my main metaphor is ultimately positive and by recognising it consciously, I reckon it can help shape the way I live my life a little better.
The other thing Anthony offers is a challenge to be positive and in a happy state for 10 days straight. Easy right? During this challenge, every time you find a negative thought or emotion cropping up, you’ve got two minutes to say bollocks to that and get happy and positive again. If you don’t achieve that, you start your 10 day challenge over. I decided to start it on Thursday morning, but then the boys were a pain in the arse getting them out the door and off to school, and Steve was a grumpy bastard during a pre-meeting preparation frenzy. So I started again Friday and then I had a big night with a great friend Saturday, so the resulting hang-over on Sunday meant I wasn’t happy, happy, happy, and while I didn’t get into a negative state, I reckon it means I’ve got to start again today.
Thus I am back on day one and for the next 10 days I will work very hard at maintaining a happy and positive internal equilibrium. The funny thing is challenging yourself to be happy is pretty good. It’s not that I’m a miserable bitch or anything (although I have my days) but I would definitely like to be more “joyous” every day for the rest of my life, and less caught up in “life is a bit of a grind.” I reckon this is a great way to start, as it takes 10 days to create a habit after all.
So what’s your life metaphor? Are you the sort of person who goes to work thinking “time to put my nose to the grindstone” or are you excited and challenged by what the day will bring? Will you go home to “the old hag” otherwise known as your wife or “the most beautiful woman in the world,” “your soul mate,” “your better half,” or “your lover?” Are you “at the end of your rope” or “at a cross roads in life” or are you “floating on air” most of the time or perhaps “as happy as a lark?”
I’d be curious to know what your metaphor/s is/are – for anything in your life?
Yours, without the bollocksAndrea