We all feel low sometimes, right? Grouchy, fed-up and bored are all words you could use to describe what it’s like when you’re feeling in a rut or like you’ve lost that spark you used to have. Times like those are part of the deal with being human (sorry to break it to you), but you’ll run the risk of losing an important piece of yourself forever if those grouchy days and off-times merge together and last weeks, months or even years.
Here are five easy ways to get out of the rut and get your spark back.
- Shake Things Up
If you’ve established systems and routines for getting things done it certainly makes life smoother. Of course, the flipside is that if you have everything tightly coordinated and run according to that routine you leave little space for anything else. You become blinded to any ideas or choices that sit outside of that routine, and everything you do every day becomes the norm. You end up running on auto-pilot, and it becomes your whole world.
So start to shake things up. Make one or two simple changes to your day – whether it’s your breakfast routine, your radio station, workout schedule, route to work, lunch routine, etc. It doesn’t matter what the changes are or whether they’re right or wrong, just make a couple of simple choices that will add some variety to your day.
Doing things differently and changing parts of your routine instantly takes you out of the norm and allows you to shake off the things that make you feel confined. Stepping out of your routine puts you in a position where you’re able to make different choices, see things differently and get a different result. It’s the starting point for having a different kind of experience.
- Remember Who You Really Are
If it feels like your sparks gone then I’m willing to bet that you’ve forgotten who you really are, way down deep. Your values are the building blocks, foundations and cornerstones for who you are, they’re the things that are ten thousand feet down inside you that make you you. A value is something in yourself, in others or out there in the world that’s most important to you, and could include things like trust, capability, love, nature, family, innovation, fun and a million other things.
Those times in your life when you’ve felt alive, buzzing or at the top of your game are times when one or more of your values are being honored, and it feels great because you’re simply expressing and living in line with who you really are.
The times when you feel upset, angry or frustrated are times when one or more of your values are being denied, suppressed or repressed, it feels horrible because you’re not living in line with who you really are.
Getting your spark back means connecting with your values using them every day.
- Get Some Nourishment
Picture this. You’re walking home from the market with a couple of bags of groceries, but the bags have holes in them. So there you are, happily walking along, leaving a trail of your things behind you. When you get home you unpack what’s left and ask, “Didn’t I have more than this?”
Nourishment is about plugging those holes in your life and making sure you have things that keep you feeling nourished – nourished in your head, nourished in your heart, and nourished in your stomach. Remember that you can’t give away what you don’t have, and can’t spend energy you’ve already spent.
It doesn’t have to be the big things in life that nourish you and it’s often the simplest little thing that strikes a chord, makes you feel like yourself again, or makes you smile from ear to ear – calling a friend, talking a walk in the park or listening to your favorite song, for example. Think about what keeps you balanced, the things that relax you or make you feel peaceful. Think about the things that make you feel like you again.
Yes, life is busy, but you need to prioritize your own nourishment or you’ll be running on empty. The fact is that you’re important enough to spend time taking care of and because you’re the only one of you there is it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re okay.
- Create Your Perfect Day
This idea came to me a few years ago when a good friend suddenly asked me, “What would be your perfect day?” I’d never been asked that before and I found myself spontaneously making up a story – telling my friend about my Perfect Day from the moment my eyes flickered open at the start of the day to the moment my head hit the pillow at the end.
I went through each part of the day telling her what I was doing, who I was with, where we were, how it felt and what happened next. Bit by bit and without even thinking about it, I’d put together a rich, colorful, exciting and comforting day, which still holds true as my Perfect Day.
Just thinking about different parts of it makes me smile, makes me remember what’s important to me and makes me feel incredibly human. My Perfect Day has now become like a good friend of mine, a friend that I can call on whenever I want to.
So what’s your Perfect Day? Just shoot from the hip and see what comes out naturally for you. Write down words, ideas, themes or a whole narrative – even draw pictures if you want to. Have fun with it, play with it – it’s your Perfect Day.
- Pack in More of the Three F’s
Fun, Fulfilment, and Freedom – what I call the Three F’s – embody a whole lot of what people are looking for in life. Here are some quick definitions,
Fun, n. – A source of enjoyment or pleasure; playful activity.
Ful-fill’ment, n. – To bring into actuality; to complete; a feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires.
Free-dom, n. – The capacity to exercise choice, free will; frankness or boldness; the absence of constraint in choice or action.
These 3 things have a massive influence on your experience of life, so think about it – where are you on a scale from 1 to 10 against each of The Three F’s? How much fun are you having right now? How fulfilled are you? How free do you feel?
What would happen if you climbed a point or two on the Fun scale? What if you could add a point to your level of Fulfillment or Freedom? Chances are it would feel pretty darn good, so what one thing can you do right now to help you climb the Three F’s scale?
By themselves each of the Three F’s are a powerful thing and can really help to enjoy where you are and feel alive. But when the Three F’s come together . . .well, just hold on to your hat and keys because that’s one hell of a ride.
|Written on 9/15/2008 by Steve Errey who almost died at age 9 as he choked on a grape. Today, Steve is still feeling the effects of some extravagant spending but remains remarkably upbeat and positive. You can catch him at, The Confidence Guy.||Photo Credit: antonkudris|