Monday, October 3, 2016

Movement Monday: Do What Makes YOU Happy!

Welcome to Movement Monday!  This started as an email I sent weekly to my customers and clients designed to motivate continued action to achieve a desired goal throughout the week.  My mission is to provide the "want to" when it comes to reaching YOUR goal because the "how to" is different for every body and every goal.  When you are constantly seeking the truth, you will find exactly what you need.  Each email contains a subject, practical suggestions or encouragement surrounding the subject and powerful quotes that support the weekly theme.  After a big shift in my life, I am motivated to share my email with everyone!  My email subscribers will still receive an abridged version with a link to the full details here.

I'm sure we've all heard the saying by now, "You CAN NOT make everyone happy!"  Any attempt to try to please others, not only makes them unhappy, but most importantly, it makes you unhappy.

Even if you are very well aware of this fact, we have to remind ourselves from time to time.  Why are we so obsessed with pleasing others?  Believe me, I am not immune to these pathetic people pleasing pursuits.  Just check out my dilemma in a previous blog, permanently documented for all to see - Taking Extreme Measures.

Don't worry, I won't try to make you unhappy by lecturing you on why you shouldn't be a people-pleaser.  Instead, I want to share with you how my son learned this lesson for himself.

"You can't please everyone.  When you're too focused on living up to other people's standards, you aren't spending enough time raising your own.  Some people may whisper, complain and judge.  But for the most part, it's all in your head.  People care less about your actions than you think.  Why?  They have their own problems!" -- Kris Carr

This year has been more challenging than usual raising my son.  Single parent or not, I have a teenager!!!  His 16-year-old brain has allowed him to imagine he's an adult, but we all know the truth - the region of the brain which is responsible for instinctual reactions develops much earlier than the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls reasoning and helps us think before we act.

Although he is a well-behaved kid and I consider him fairly mature for his age, because he is focused and driven, he is still a teen and I was at my wits end with his behavior and attitude.  When he wanted to live with his father in Colorado, I was ready to let him; even though it broke my heart.

He did as much 'research' as he could to see what it would be like living out there.  He visited with his potential school, met some potential classmates and considered what types of activities he might have the opportunity to try so that he could see if it might really be a good fit for him.

As hard as it was, I supported his discoveries every step of the way.  Once he was accepted into his new school in Colorado it seemed that nothing was holding him back from choosing to live with his dad.  For my son, however, it seemed to make his decision harder as he started to pay attention and appreciate some of the comforts he had back in Texas.  I told him that as hard as it might be to live away from me, I couldn't help him make his decision.

"All I can do is follow my instincts, because I'll never please everyone." -- Emma Watson

Sure, as his custodial parent, I could certainly choose to not allow him to go and I got a lot of flack from a few of my friends who disagreed with my decision.  It's quite interesting how people will attempt to place their standards on your life as though they've walked in your shoes.  I knew however, what I could and could not live with.  I believed in the possibility of this move benefiting my son for his future as a productive member of society.

I too had to follow what I told my son.  "Don't be worried about who might be sad or mad about decisions you make for your life.  You're the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror every day.  You have to live with the choices you make, so make one you can live with."

It was interesting how my son was reminded of what I told him from a couple mentors when he was in Colorado and considering returning back home to Texas.  Especially considering how he felt at the time, they are ultimately what helped him to decide to come back home.

So, I want to focus on some simple signs that you are unhappy as these became evident to my son almost immediately and although he didn't truly understand, they are fairly classic symptoms that you are not aligned with your purpose.  Use these to check your "happiness meter," because leaving them unchecked can lead to depression

  1. No longer enjoying what you love to do.  I was surprised when my son told me that he had to motivate himself to go to practices.  My son will work out from sun up to sun down to perfect his craft.  At home, I must encourage him to rest, reminding him that muscles need rest to rebuild.
  2. Difficulty waking up in the morning.  I'm not talking about true exhaustion, where you've probably set your alarm way too early for the time you went to bed.  I'm talking about not having the desire to accomplish YOUR day after a reasonable portion of rest.  My son only recognized this when he made it back home to Texas and had to be up at 6 AM for practice.  He said he had no problems getting up, when it was completely opposite in Colorado.
  3. You can't get in the groove.  My son complained of his struggles with getting things complete like he needed, but I personally felt this also when he was gone.  I had ZERO creative juices and absolutely no motivation to motivate.  This is a problem when you are used to providing motivation and support to people who are looking to make a change in their life.  It's hard to motivate others, when I could not motivate myself.
  4. You feel out of place. My son was the new kid in a new environment, so it was definitely natural for him to feel out of place.  However, when you don't envision yourself ever fitting in, that becomes a problem.  If you don't see yourself thriving in an environment, you won't.  Your vision is the best predictor of your outcome.  If you can't create a positive vision of your future, you won't have a positive outcome.

 It is important to recognize when you're unhappy and analyze why.  As hard as this past year has been, I'm thankful my son had the experiences he had.  He has some invaluable tools that will help him become that productive member of society every parent hopes their child will become.  I look forward to seeing what his future holds, but I also appreciate every moment we get to share.  I will admit, we are both happier now that we both made decisions WE could live with!

If this post has helped you in any way, please share it with someone you care about so they too can start building the life of their dreams!

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