in my experience, life can be pretty complicated. Although most of us have plenty to manage in our day-to-day lives—jobs, relationships, family, exercise, sleep, you name it—there are really only a few things we truly have control over. I changed my life by identifying these variables and learning how to master them. And I think you can too.
Happiness and success (however you define either one) have a lot to do with each other. In fact, greater happiness has been found to lead to greater success. I think both can be achieved with some simple and straightforward habit hacking, or making small tweaks to your routine which, little by little, add up to major changes in how you’re living your life.
We make millions of little decisions all the time, and the result of each one is either net positive, net negative, or neutral. The more net positive decisions we can make (and the fewer net negative ones), the better. Net positive decisions may require some effort: Brushing your teeth before bed, eating healthy meals, and regularly going to the gym are a few examples of actions that help you feel good and bring you one step closer to your goals despite the effort they entail. Net negative decisions—filling up on food that doesn’t make you feel good, skipping the nightly teeth-brushing, letting that downer friend cramp your style, or forgoing the gym—make it difficult to reach your goals because your decisions don’t make you feel good, empowered, or confident. They take more out of you than they give, interfering with your energy levels, sapping your motivation, and clouding your focus.
The kitchen looked like a war zone. It was 10 A.M., and last night’s dirty dishes were still piled on the counter. I was in my bathrobe, my son was in his pajamas, and I didn’t have one speck of energy or motivation to handle the five thousand things demanding my attention. As I shuffled along, picking up dishes, I moaned softly to myself, Why am I so tired?
Thankfully, we don’t have to drag ourselves through life constantly running on empty. In fact, the Bible actually promises us “abundant” life. John 10:10 says, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”(NASB).
Obviously, prolonged, extreme tiredness may be a symptom of a larger problem such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or depression. In those instances, you should seek medical help. But what about the otherwise healthy body that daily desires an afternoon nap or a fresh burst of energy (that’s not caffeine-induced)? I’ve discovered a few tips that have increased my energy. If you’ve been dragging lately, they may energize you too.
- Not everything is a battle–but it can be if we make it one. If we are in constant battle about the same things–messy rooms, laundry and attitude, we might win a few, but it might cost us a relationship. Leave the small things, small. That’s not to say we let them have their way all the time, instead we focus on what really matters.
- Not everything is personal–but it can be if we take offense. That eye roll or audible sigh–it’s normal. That doesn’t make it right or less frustrating. But most words flung are coming from a hurt or misunderstood place. If we choose to be offended by every word or action, we are choosing something much bigger. Look past the words and get to the heart of the hurt.
- Not everything can be won–and if we try to win it all, we will ultimately lose. We are raising, unique, one-of-a-kind girls who will surprise and satisfy us. We have to step back and let them learn and grow and mess up. Most of all, we have to help them find the beauty in every place, especially the hard ones.
- Not everything is eternal–but everything is significant. Things in her world might seem small to us. And they probably are–that zit, that boy, that mean girl, that first B on her report card. But if we make what’s important to her insignificant to us, we wound.
- Not everything is understood and that’s why listening is the best gift. We may not always understand the drama, the emotion, the passion over the trivial. And that’s okay. We can offer them what they really want and need–it’s not a fix to their problem, it’s a listening ear. Some times the best thing we can do is close our mouth and let them talk.
This has to be possibly THE most frequently asked question in forums like this, and especially by young women in that fabulous season of early motherhood. However having said that, the question applies to pretty much every season of life, because there isn’t a season in any of our lives, where we don’t (or shouldn’t) feel something of the stretch and pressure of that new season.
Have you noticed that one word dominated this first paragraph … Seasons!!
FAMILY LIFE is full of seasons and MINISTRY LIFE is full of seasons … and the “art of balance” is to recognize, discern, adapt, navigate, appreciate, be thankful and of course, apply WISDOM to whatever season or “collision of seasons” you are experiencing.
HELP YOUR KIDS SAY ‘NO’ TO PORN – The Gospel Coalition