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What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity

What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity

Mastering the Art of Simplicity

    My oldest daughter just turned 13 this week, which means my life, as I have known it, has now changed forever. She is no longer Daddy’s little girl and I am completely outmatched.

    The tide started to change at about age 11 1/2. I didn’t notice at first. I think a father’s brain (when focused on his daughter ) is always slow to adapt. Up until this point I had been her Superman and I felt it. I am not ashamed to admit that it is a feeling I will miss for the rest of my life.

    The changes were slow at first, built up speed, and now I just can’t keep up. We no longer speak the same language. She is much more concerned with her friends, and truth be told, she does not care to spend much time with me. I selfishly long for the days when she was 5 or 6 years old.

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    I do not blame her for any of these feelings. She is becoming a wonderful young lady, with a stutter step here and there, but doing the best she can.

    I am the one who cannot keep up – Do I get any points for at least knowing that?

    I want my daughter to grow and experience life, to have an opinion and stand up for her beliefs. I just don’t want that to have anything to do with me. At the same time, I want her to be 5 forever. It feels like a classic tale that I am an unwitting participant in and have absolutely no control over.

    Now, I realize that this is a common tale and that the role of Dad is now being played by me but has been shared by all fathers who have come before me. To those who made it out alive, I salute you.

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    Learning the Power of Simplicity

    This is not an article on the dynamics of fathers and daughters. This is about learning to be simple. My daughter just taught me that this week.

    Just a few days ago, her boyfriend broke up with her. Now, let’s set aside the fact that her even having a boyfriend is taking years off my life. My job here was to be compassionate. To let her know she should still come to me and we can get through anything together. I have no idea if any of this message gets through, but I try.

    She was upset, she cried. Then she taught me a huge lesson on thinking simply. She held my hand, looked into my eyes and said: “Dad, I just want someone who will hold my hand and listen to TwentyOne Pilots with me”

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      I have not stopped thinking about what she said since. For the last year I have been thinking of my daughter as a complicated puzzle, one for which I had no instructions. The truth is that she is not nearly as complicated as I thought, At least in this one area, she is thinking simply.
      We often speak about motivation but I am starting to wonder if we overcomplicate it. Could we not be more simple?

      What is important to you? Take that image and hit it with a tiny mental hammer. Not hard enough to break it, but perhaps hard enough to knock the dust and dirt off. Let’s focus on the core and not the surroundings.

      I want you to have a grand goal. I want you to believe that you can achieve anything. But why don’t we get to the core of your dream? What is it that you really want? What is your simple truth?
      When I write, I often write about myself. I do this because I know the subject so well and because I hope I can convince you of this: all the crazy emotions, weird thoughts, and irrational fears that you may have, we all have them.

      Is there a handbook on how to get through life? Sure, hundreds. There are religions, societal beliefs, manifestos, and the like. If these help you then I am all in favor. One thing most have in common is to slow down. Become more simple in your thoughts.
      We often get in the way of our own happiness by over-complicating the situation. Both the teachings of the west and the east share this idea:

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        and :

          So this is where we are. I as a crazy, heartsick father, lost in the woods of my daughter’s life, will learn from her. I will slow down and get simple. I am not meant to understand her right now, so I will let that go and love her just the same. I will be slow to speak and slow to anger, because the opposite does no one any good. This is what my teenage daughter taught me about simplicity.

          She just wants some one to hold hands with. I just want to know my daughter. What is the simple truth of what you want?

          Cheers,

          GK

          Featured photo credit: Alexis Brown via uplash.com

          More by this author

          Glenn Killey

          Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

          What Is Your Defining Mental Picture? What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control The Law of Reversed Effort

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2020

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on Small Tasks

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

          If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

          You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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          2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

          When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

          Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

          3. Upgrade Yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a Friend

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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          If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

          Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

          6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

          7. Read a Book (or Blog)

          The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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          8. Have a Quick Nap

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

          Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

            One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

            9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

            10. Find Some Competition

            When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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            11. Go Exercise

            Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

            If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

            12. Take a Few Vacation Days

            If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

            More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

            Reference

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