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How to Avoid Fake Growth and a Life of Endless Seeking

How to Avoid Fake Growth and a Life of Endless Seeking

    Standing before you is a game filled with a complex network of mazes and ladders.

    When you came into this world this game was already established.

    All of the rules were set in place. A path was laid out before you, and as you grew, you slowly became indoctrinated into that world, into that game.

    It was a game not designed by you, but you played it anyway. You played it because it was what everyone else did.

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    Then at some point along the way you started to realize that something was wrong, kind of like Neo in the Matrix, you sensed that something was seriously flawed with this game.

    Not only did you not have much of a say in the way you were living, you also began to sense that you were seeking success that didn’t exist. It was an endless chase.

    A carrot on a stick always one step ahead of you.

    Always another job. Another house. Another promotion.

    It eluded you. Endlessly.

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    Then you woke up

    You started to realize that you didn’t have to live this way. And you began to test your assumptions about what was possible, and what wasn’t. You found that many of the rules in the game were breakable without any negative consequences. They weren’t rules at all really, more like agreements.

    You noticed that when other people “leveled up” in the game not much of anything changed. They thought they were growing, but it was more like fake growth than anything. The things in their life were more like fake plastic trees than living things.

    Every event completed to collect trophies, each won in an attempt to complete a master checklist in the game.

    However… the checklist is never complete

    When you’re playing someone else’s game, there is always a sense of incompletion. You can always do it better, faster. There is always a way for you to compare your success with the success of others.

    It’s a slippery slope down that rabbit hole.

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    Here’s the deal… it’s easy for me to talk about creating a life on your own terms. It’s easy for a bunch of people to create a big song and dance about opt-ing out of a template, creating your own path, blah blah blah.

    And the sad reality is a lot of people replace the game of conformity with a game of non-conformity. Nothing’s really changed, has it?

    If you really want to create a life of freedom, there is no formula. Sorry.

    The truth about systems

    The truth about systems is that you were not born to follow one.

    You can’t follow a system for not following systems. You feel me?

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    Anyone that tells you they’ve created a system for your happiness is probably full of it. It’s the honest truth.

    However, I didn’t write this to just make you depressed. I can give you a small but potent bit of advice: surrender.

    No, not surrender in a passive, fatalistic way. Surrender in a powerful, really submitting to your path way.

    • What was it you were born to do?
    • What do you feel excited about, in this moment?

    Listen. Then surrender to that. Have the courage to see where it leads you.

    Living on your own terms is hard. It’s a lot easier to have someone else tell you what to do. But you weren’t born to play someone else’s game, now were you?

    (Photo credit: Stairway to the Sky via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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