Starting over… again. It’s tricky business.
Why? Because you’ve done it before? Yes. Because you’re sick of having to do it again and again? Yes. Because you want this to be the last time? Yes again.
So what are the odds this will be the very last time you’ll ever have to start over? Are you laying any money down to bet on yourself? Odds are that bad, are they? Maybe we can improve those numbers a little bit. There are no guarantees that you’ll never come back to a place where you’ll need a fresh start or a new beginning, even over the same old issues. However, you can do something that could whittle the chances of that happening down to a tiny little piece of what it is now. How? Clean house.
If you think I’m encouraging you to pull out the vacuum cleaner and break out the maid outfit (please no… there are some things that can’t be unseen), then you are so off base. I’m not talking about cleaning the house you live in. I’m talking about your Life House, the “House” that lives in you.
The reason you keep coming back to this place of needing to start over, again, is because of things that exist within you that keep causing you to self-destruct or undermine your success. There’s a story of a family who came home to find their house flooded. They began bailing water with everything they could find- buckets, trash cans, tea pots- but the water kept coming. Finally, grandma slowly walked into the bathroom, and turned off the water to the stopped up bathtub… and the rising water stopped. Some of you need to turn off the water before you start bailing water. Before you grit your teeth and dig in to try harder at whatever it is you are working on, you need to deal with the core issue(s).
So how will you clean your Life House? I don’t know.
What? I told you I don’t have all of the answers. I can make a few suggestions if you’d like? You might consider these options:
- Talk to someone you trust to be honest; ask their opinion on what they think your challenges might be; beyond that, if they are a person of character and wisdom, seek their counsel on how you might clean those issues out of your Life House;
- Brainstorm a list yourself; hey, you may have more of a handle on this than you know; the giant problem you’ve been dealing with may be staring you in the eye; then take one “giant” at a time, and compile a list of “weapons” you could use to drive the giant out of your Life House. If one of the giants is “fear of rejection”, then maybe a “weapon” would be to compile a list you can go to of all of the people who don’t reject you, who love you and respect you; use that list of weapons to clean out your Life House;
- Do an evaluation of several situations, problems or instances related to your “problem/issue”; see if you can chart a time line of step by step decisions that led to each negative circumstance, and when you see a pattern, discover what you might do to correct that next time. You’re the only person who is going to be able to break those patterns and clean those same bad habits out of your Life House.
- Eliminate the negativity from your Life House, whether it is fighting to invade your work, relationships or your mind. Negativity will stay as long as you allow it, and it must go when you continue to tell it to leave. Negative thoughts and attitudes will undermine and damage your best efforts… but only if you allow it. Clean your Life House from top to bottom of critical self-thinking, destructive comparisons, condemnations from the past and other hurtful attacks on your present.
Starting over, again… I know. It really does stink. But you CAN do this. Beyond that, you can do this BETTER. Life can and will be better.
You know what makes life better? Pizza. Let’s talk about that tomorrow.
“It’s time to go back on that diet… again.”
“I’m going to get up earlier and start exercising every day… again.”
“It’s time for me to turn off the TV and catch up on some reading… again.”
“It’s been so long since I’ve had a regular time of prayer and/or meditation. I’m going to start my day off from now on making that my priority… again.”
“My life is such a cluttered mess! I’ve got to reorganize, de-clutter and re-order my life… again.”
It seems most of us want those things for our lives that truly should be most important. We want to be healthy, we want a consistent sense of spirituality, we want our lives to purposeful and on track. Then why is it that we seem to spend so much of our time with our lives looking more like leaves on the business end of a leaf blower? Beyond that, how can we bring consistency and purpose back into those areas?
First, just let me be honest. The real answer here is “I don’t know.” What helps some people may not help you. What works for you may be a joke when others try. Even more discouraging, there may be nothing that helps you in certain areas of your life. Discouraging, right? People that want to fill you full of “Positive Power” baloney that promises 100% success if you just use their methods, buy their book or take their pill are simply trying to gain some kind of power for themselves and over you. That power might be financial, it might be influential or egotistical, but don’t fall for it. There is no “self-help” technique, system or plan that works every time.
So why read the rest of this article? Why have this conversation? It’s just you and me, one traveler to another, talking about doing the best we can to win as many of life’s challenges as we possibly can. Maybe we can trade a few tips back and forth and help each other out. So here we go.
Tomorrow we talk about Tip #1- “Step Off Fool”. Talk to you then.