Because you had to?
Did you get up because you wanted to?
Did you anticipate the coming day as one that would be interesting and moving you toward new things?
Are you just going through the motions of life? If so, you’re just existing.
Without passion, growth and a vision for the future, there’s just stagnancy.
I get a sense of how people feel about life by looking at them. If they’re just existing, their face doesn’t have a spark to it, their shoulders are often stooped forward and they don’t walk with confidence. They look empty and bland. They’ve accepted stagnancy and boredom.
When I see people like that I tell myself, “Don’t become that – no matter how tough life gets – don’t become bland and lifeless!”
How can you tell if you’re stagnant in life?
- You don’t feel like doing anything. You have no motivation.
- You spend a lot of time on meaningless activities like TV, electronic games or excess sleeping.
- You chronically procrastinate. We all do that sometimes, but if it’s your life pattern to always say, “Someday I’m gonna…” then that is a problem.
- You have not achieved anything new or significant in awhile.
How do you avoid stagnancy and get out of a rut?
1. Change your mindset. If you think you can’t – you won’t.
If you think you’re undeserving of whatever it is you want – then you won’t go after it.
If you don’t think you’re smart enough – then you won’t do what it takes to become smart enough.
I know about the smart enough thing…there’s a lot of stuff I want to do and am working toward – so I have to do what it takes to gain more skills and knowledge which means asking questions, surrounding myself with people who know more than I do and taking advantage of situations that will help me learn new things.
2. Take the time to get to know yourself. Many times we are the ones that sabotage our own efforts. We set goals and begin pursuing something – only to procrastinate and never get to it. This happens at a subconscious level because of beliefs about ourselves and life that we have learned growing up.
Take the time to get to dig deep and learn if you are carrying around self-limiting beliefs.
3. Set goals and write them down. Often we get caught up in the mundane activities of daily life and we loose sight of working toward something bigger.
Begin asking yourself what you would do if there were no limitations? Maybe there are places you want to travel, career goals you’d like to achieve, hobbies that you’ve love to expand, things you’d like to learn or a family you want to build.
Ask yourself who you want to become? Are there bad habits that you’d like to break? Do you want to improve your physical health? Do you want to grow spiritually?
If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be? Desiring things doesn’t mean you’re a materialistic snob or are going to fill your life with meaningless stuff. Owning tangible things can be enjoyable. Maybe you’ve always lived in an apartment and would like a home or you’ve always had a large home and would love scale down to a cozy apartment. Maybe you’d like a garden or a camper to enjoy weekends away.
Of course there are obligations in life that may keep us from attaining some things – like who would go visit Grandma in the nursing home if you ran off to join the circus? But these question become the fuel that will drive you forward and begin to move you in a positive direction.
4. Start with small steps. Humans didn’t just hop into a rocket and fly to the moon. Getting to the moon happened in small steps over a period of years. First, we had to get off the ground, then leave the atmosphere, then figure out how people will go potty in space, then orbit the earth…get it?
People often give up on dreams and goals because they seem too big to attain.
Take a big goal and break it up into smaller chunks.
5. Envision where you want to be. See yourself doing or becoming what is you want. Envision yourself working in that garden, living in that house or earning that degree. See yourself as a fit, nonsmoker, or a spiritually mature person. Your brain will begin moving you in that direction.
Moving out of stagnancy can be difficult and we all face times like that. But the key is to recognize it and take steps to move forward.