Do you ever get the feeling that you are pushing a stone uphill? Against a herd of bison coming toward you? With your feet tied together? There are times in life when we seem to push and push and push, and yet nothing happens, nothing changes. Apart from our energy level, which visits the basement! And what do you do in response to the ‘nothing happening’?
Push harder? And keep pushing? Yes! Because if you want things to happen, you’ve go to put the hard work in, right? If we let ourselves off the hook for just a second, we will become lazy, idle, unproductive members of society. And this is a bad thing. What would you think if I told you that was absolute tosh? Would you think ‘yes, I know but I still keep pushing myself’?
There is a body of thought which says that when we stop pushing and start allowing things to happen naturally, organically, they happen faster than if we ‘push, push, push’. Not only is the happening faster, it is easier on us – there is a flow, a rhythm, an ease that is joyful. A surprising number of people know this, agree with it and ignore it! Me included on occasion! Just this week I was trying to push myself to do some work.
I was tired, couldn’t concentrate, wasn’t interested, kept being distracted, didn’t want to do it…and it still took me an hour to read the signs and move onto something else! Der. I had become very attached to doing this work – my success or failure had become tied into ‘getting this done’ (a ‘push’ attitude if ever I saw one!). As soon as I let go of pushing myself to ‘get shit done’, I actually managed to do something useful instead of being the living incarnation of resistance to pushing!
This does not mean forgetting altogether about what you want and giving up. It means stopping pushing and trying to force things to happen. It means stepping back from your challenge for a moment and finding out WHY it is so hard to do – it could be many things – there might be a better way, you might need some self care first, there might be something more important to do, you may have something to learn, something you need, something else that has to happen first. If you don’t stop pushing, you will never know if it could be easier to do what you want to do.
And if you collapse in an exhausted heap and the stone you’ve been pushing uphill runs over you, how does that get you closer to what you want? So, if you could stop pushing for a moment, enjoy your life and allow something to evolve naturally, what would change for you today?
One of the things that ‘happy people’ have in common is that they wallow in happiness. They look forward to things (not just big things), they enjoy the memories of things (not just big things), they are grateful for good times they’ve had, they appreciate good things as they happen and make a big deal of them. ‘Unhappy people’ on the other hand tend to dwell on how much life sucks, wallow in the bad things that happen, and pretty much ignore the good stuff. I know this because I used to be unhappy. And now I’m generally happy.
And one of the big things that has changed is my focus. Instead of wallowing in and dwelling on the ‘bad’ stuff that happens on a day to day basis, I wallow in and dwell on ‘good’ stuff and I make a point of noticing that I am enjoying whatever it is that I am enjoying. Not all the time, I’m not perfect…but when I have a bit of a visit to negative town, I can get out pretty quickly because my habit is to focus on, pay attention to and be grateful for ‘good stuff’. And we all have ‘bad’ stuff and ‘good’ stuff happening every day. Not just the big stuff that only happens once a year/lifetime like birthdays, christmas, promotions, marriages, holidays. But little things, like the sun shining, clean washing, a tidy desk, a laugh with a friend, a stranger smiling at you, someone letting you out in traffic.
That’s why, over at my facebook page, I have started to focus even more on ‘the good stuff’ every week. Every Monday I ask “What was the best part of your weekend? And what are you looking forward to this week?” and share my thoughts. Every Wednesday I tell you one of my favourite things, and ask what one of your favourite things is. And every Friday I ask “What was the best part of your week? And what are you looking forward to this weekend?” So everybody who ‘likes’ this page will be reminded to focus on what’s good in life. It’s a small thing, but it is SO powerful. So why don’t you come and join me over at facebook.com/donnaonthebeach? And wallow in the small happinesses in life.