Have you ever felt like you are on top of the world, that you’re cruising, and then all of a sudden, something happens – one crucial key event in your life that you did not realize, and then everything comes to a halt?
For me, and I’m not trying to be dramatic, it happens every few years. And those big events just happen to be friends or coworkers leaving for better jobs or other friends starting ventures and companies.
One of the ways that I like to take stock of what I’ve done is to compare myself to others (which I would agree, is not the best way to assess how far you should be in your life) but I think that if I went to a reunion with my high school friends or even university friends at this point, have I achieved a lot compared to others? It’s sort of my way of kicking my own butt and trying to get myself to get going on or at least get started on the things that I’ve been thinking about, whether it’s starting a business or experimenting with marketing and ads.
It’s happened so much to me that I’ve actually developed a practice, based on James Altucher’s daily practice, that helps me get through things when I am suddenly stuck and trying to figure my next move. I’m sure you’ve been there too and I hope following this practice will help you (as it has helped me 100% of the time).
A lot of the times, I don’t feel like exercising. Or I don’t feel like I have the time or energy to exercise. But I remind myself that I have always, ALWAYS, felt better after exercise. Where do you get your motivation to exercise you might ask? It comes when you are actually doing the exercise weirdly enough. I start out small – maybe a 15 minute walk and then a 10 minute kettlebell workout and those turn into 20 minutes of HIIT or a 30 minute kettlebell workout along with a stretching routine. I don’t force it and whatever fits into my schedule, that’s what I’ll do, even if it’s just a 7 minute body workout that you can literally do anywhere.
Sleep for 8 hours
Sometimes when you feel like you have no idea what to do, you get depressed or frustrated. You don’t feel like doing anything, much less sleep. But you have to get your 8 hours of sleep. You’ll make better decisions. You will instantly feel better (as I know I have in my life) after waking up from a really solid night’s sleep. The world certainly won’t seem so dark (heh) when you wake up.
When you don’t know what to do, you won’t know what to eat. You’ll spend hours, maybe even days or weekends holed up in your room, trying to think yourself out of your problems. Or you’ll spend countless hours watching Netflix movies or in video games trying to lose yourself in the entertainment. And then when it comes to lunch or dinner, you’ll realize that you weren’t that hungry after all and that lunch and dinner time has long gone. What do you eat? Instant noodles? Pizza that you can cook in the oven and forget about? Leftovers?
Make sure that when this happens to you, you eat something healthy. Your body feeds off the food you eat. If you eat healthy nutritious food, you’re going to get a lot more out of your body and mind than if you ate junky or unhealthy food.
Reconnect with family
Have you talked to or seen your parents lately? Probably not very recently. Connect with them. Call them up or visit. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask them what interesting things have happened in their life. I know my parents always had a way of cheering me up – especially since I’m not in the same city as they are.
There is so much knowledge out there. When you don’t know what to do and need some advice (but don’t really want to talk to your friends or coworkers), you can always turn to books. With all the knowledge out there, someone has (probably) written about and reflected on the specific problem you have and can provide you with some useful exercises, activities or advice on how to get past it.
For example, when I’m down in the dumps, I re-read Choose Yourself by James Altucher – it always helps me find the next set of action items that I need to do.
I’ve recently taken up the practice of journaling in the mornings and I have found, though it’s only been a few weeks, that I have greater clarity and that my monkey mind isn’t thinking about so many things when I can get it down on paper. I need a longer time frame before I understand the effects it has on my goals or on my mental well-being but like all good things in life, it will take time and consistent action before I see the benefits (and I certainly won’t see the benefits right away).
Generate 10 ideas every day
I don’t censor myself. I often generate lots and lots of really bad ideas. But I write them down anyway because bad ideas lead to other bad ideas, which may lead to more bad ideas – and eventually, some of those bad ideas might actually be good ideas in disguise. For example, for the longest time, I would often ask people why nobody has invented a solar-powered flashlight and then laugh because I knew it was a joke. But someone has invented a solar-powered flashlight! It powers itself through the sun and then through the night, it uses energy that was captured from the sun in a battery. Writing down 10 ideas every day helps to give your brain, your creative brain, a work out.
Learn something new
Kevin Rose had a really great new year’s resolution – every single day, he would watch one Ted talk in the morning. Sometimes it was on topics that he knew a lot about. Other times it was completely new. Yet other times, the topic was very esoteric and really not that interesting. But he watched the videos anyway. Sure, you’re not going to like all of them but I guarantee that you will learn something new. And maybe you’ll be able to apply that idea or concept to something going on in your life.
Do you feel stuck? No idea what to do? Try out a few of the practices above. Promise me one thing though – promise me that you will stick with the practice above for at least one month (longer the better). Your life will turn around.