I often get outside in the morning to practice my martial arts in a local park. It’s a great way to start the day, getting my blood pumping and oxygen flowing, which leaves me feeling great.
So when I move from the park into the streets for my walk home, I am super aware of the contrast in state between myself and most of the people I pass.
I imagine there are many of you who wake in the morning to that feeling of dread about the day ahead. Head hanging. Escaping into Facebook on the bus or in a co-workers car.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it DOES NOT need to be that way. And to be even more challenging, it is your choice to remain in such a situation. You CAN change your circumstances if you want to enough.
The 5 Tips
- Notice what you care most deeply about
- Notice what things you enjoy doing
- Notice when you get “triggered” emotionally
- Notice what happens when you get triggered
- Notice what things you’re good at
More information below.
Suffering is a choice
Now I hear you say, “but David, it’s not that easy, I have bills to pay, I have a lifestyle to maintain, I have dependents”. Well those things are of course important, and it may not be a quick process. It has taken me 10 years from the day I realised the path I was on wasn’t right for me. The journey wasn’t what I expected when I set off on it, but like all good Hero’s Journeys, I came back with some gold. Gold that I hope you will be able to move beyond your conditioning to see in my writing today.
These past 10 years I have learned a huge amount about myself and have had a blast. I experienced joy of epic proportions, and plenty of pain also. But folks, that’s living. There’s no way to avoid pain. However, suffering is a choice.
It may or may not take you that long to do the same. Hopefully less, with a little support from those who’ve already trodden the path. But for now, all I’m suggesting you do is a take a few small, easy steps. They may seem like drops in the ocean. But imagine yourself 5 years ahead, in the place of having taken those many little steps. What would your life look like compared to if you hadn’t taken those steps?
Now, I’m not claiming to be living the millionaire entrepreneur lifestyle, yet… That may not be what floats my boat, when I really come home to myself. But I do have great control over my environment, whom with, and how I spend my time. This is very important to me.
If we follow the protestant work ethic, we spend at least ONE THIRD of our lives in our occupation. That has an enormous effect on our internal world (which in turn feeds back to our external world). So it better be a well spent third. Working for yourself comes with it’s own concerns of course. But overall, I feel a whole lot more free, more myself, more capable, more creative. A more natural state.
I can honestly say that I’ve not awoken with that sense of work dread for many years.
With the few initial tips I give below, I invite you more into your own life. And we can go WAAAAY deeper than this if you wish.
5 Tips for Exiting the Rat Race
Try the tips out. One per day. Make them your mission for the day. Get rid of your word of the day calendar, your lunch time meet-ups. Just get done what you need to get done, and otherwise, focus on these. The free workbook below can be downloaded and worked with to track your findings.
1. Monday – Write down what you care most deeply about
By noticing what you care most deeply about, you are able to focus your attention toward it. That focused attention will train your subconscious to help you notice more opportunities that are in alignment with what you care about. This will also give you some sense of your values, which is an important step in moving toward the life that is truly for you.
2. Tuesday – Notice what things you enjoy doing
Bringing what you enjoy into clearer awareness gives you a starting point to being able to do those things more often. Using the positive frame (instead of “avoid what you don’t like”) will also help you draw in more fulfilling experiences.
3. Wednesday – Notice when you get “triggered”
Throughout the day we find ourselves becoming emotionally excited by the events around us. When you start to become aware of the things that make you angry or upset, you’re able to start taking responsibility for them, and changing your reactions for more favourable results. This will also contribute to you understanding your values.
4. Thursday – Notice what happens when you get triggered
Now that you’re aware of situations that you find yourself triggered in. Pay special attention to what happens next. Do you tell yourself a story about a co-worker – “they’re awful” – or do you start to doubt yourself. Noticing these patterns will give you a sense of how you may be unconsciously preventing yourself from being in the life you want.
5. Friday – Notice what things you’re good at
By noticing what things you’re good at, what you seem to do well where others struggle, you will start to become aware of what can drive your own economic engine. For instance, I’m a good organiser and a great listener. I’m able to see the potential in people and hold a vision of them as that person, when they may not be able to do that themselves.