We come across many moments when we want to change our lives but very soon, we go back to our default mode without making any progress or change. In this article we will look at reasons behind stagnation in our lives and how to break the loop and take real action.
1. Consumed by everyday tasks:
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, yet we all know that feeling when 24 hours a day seem to be even less and the list of tasks never seems to finish. In the absence of a plan, we tend to live our lives based on the immediate things that need our attention. The Eisenhower matrix can help you realize where and how you can save time:
Decide how much your time and energy goes to which quadrant.
2. What impacts your decisions?
The famous saying “Too many cooks spoil the broth” may essentially be that very reason behind stagnation in your life. Think how many people influence your life, decisions and actions and also think what accommodations you have to make for them. Are you stuck because you have too many commitments or struggle to say no to people when it is essential to achieve your goals? Do you give so much of yourself to everyone that at the end of the day you are exhausted and fatigued. The next day same loop continues on and on.
3. Overly ambitious:
There is a honeymoon period associated with new things and ideas. If you have a tendency to be carried away by everything that glitters and shines, you will find it difficult to stay focused and consequently will not be able to achieve a lot. When you have hands in a lot of things, nothing gets done. This adds to frustration and eventually you start to believe that you would not be able to achieve your aims and dreams.
Prioritization is the key. Find out what works for you, is it allocating certain time of the day to certain things that you want to do, making a list of things to do or making short term/long term plans. Sometimes it is also wise to hold and pause some ideas and activities, so you can focus well on other important aspects of your life.
4. Hidden benefits:
Think if by not making needed changes, are there any benefits that you are getting? You might be unaware of such benefits on a conscious level but probably your subconscious mind knows that things will get sorted and hence you may never feel that push, the strong urge and desire to get up and change things. For example if you know that if you do not clean your dishes, your partner or housemate may clean them either because they are over courteous or they cannot withstand the messy dishes. Till the time someone is helping you, there will be lesser chances of you making actual effort to change things.
5. Lack of irritating stimulus:
If you are not genuinely ‘disturbed’ by something, it is hard to be pushed to change and think of ways to make things better. For some people and even companies, they can be so much lost in the present moment becoming satisfied that they start to lose the passion, the urge to struggle and achieve greater goals. The mind starts to thinks that if it can survive today, it will be able to manage things pretty ok down the track. There are several famous companies such as Kodak that shut down because they did not foresee the future and never envisioned that future stimulus and hence remaining stuck in the technology and eventually becoming obsolete.
Always think of how you can improve and contribute in the things that are related and associated with you. Think how to add that extra bit in day to day tasks that will make things better for your audience.
6. Assumptions and perceptions:
We often become obstacles in our pathway to progress and success by being biased, thereby inhibiting us from freely analyzing situations in a neutral manner. Human mind can make things appear the way it perceives things. If someone has wrong perceptions, it should not come as a surprise that he/she would believe the wrong facts as well, only to realize in the end that the reality was quite different than the imagined and assumed truth. When we hold assumptions and perceptions, we start to nurture self doubts and questions in our mind and instead of taking chances, we start refraining away from situations because of internal bias. As the famous quote says that if you don’t ask the answer is always no.
Explore different avenues leaving aside your assumptions and perceptions.
7. Lack of role models:
If we do not have good role models and examples of people in our lives whom we get inspiration from, we can often find ourselves stuck. It is therefore good to have examples of people in life who inspire you to do something better. They can be anyone but the best is if you can find examples of people related to your profession. This way you’ll have a clear picture and examples of pathway people followed to reach the current position in their career, how they reached it and how they are constantly improving themselves.
Written by Muhammad Wasif Haq (2013)
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