Feel Happier By Cephas Tope Do you long for it? That sense of accomplishment, the feeling you get when you’ve had a perfect day and there’s nothing else needed to be done? Of course, you do. You want it so much that you begin learning how to do everything faster. You study time management, get a lot of things done, push yourself to the limit, fall into bed exhausted and get up early to do it all again. Go ahead, give yourself some credit. You’re doing everything right, your output is tremendous, except for one little thing. No result! I’m not talking about just any result, but the specific result you wanted. You feel like everything you’re doing is falling apart. Your family is important to you and so is your work. You want to find fulfillment in both. You live your life between conflicts, a war of indecision waging inside your mind and even though you decided to attend to one, another part of you still remain unfulfilled. Worst of all? You’re not getting results. What you set out to do is blocked by what other people want you to do for them. And even though people praise you, way down inside, you’re not happy. Your heart feels empty. For every one thing you get done, you can think of ten things undone and that make you feel guilty in a real sense. You just aren’t enjoying life. If this is happening to you, you’re not alone. The ugly truth is you’re trapped between the good and the best. Most of the time, too many good things get in our way that we end up ignoring what is best for us. Can I be blunt for a moment? What are the things that you think are best for you? Go ahead, write them down. Have you finished? Good! Now ask yourself, how many of these things have you achieved? If your answer is all of them, you might as well close this post, it’s simply not for you, go do other things instead. (Watch a movie) Not all, you say? Great, we can do business and it starts now. The next question to ask yourself is what keeps you from giving those things that are best for you the time and the energy you want to give them? Perhaps you’ve always been trapped and controlled by people and situations; that has to change now. If you want to develop the sense of fulfillment in your day to day life, below are the key things you must do to take control of your life. Ready? Put First Things First Want to know the issue at the very heart of life? It’s simply putting first things first. Think about it: most of the time we feel torn by the things we want to do, challenged by the responsibility. We struggle day to day with how to make the best use of our time. The problems arise when we sense a gap between what we are doing and the result we are achieving. We simply do not take the time to do what really matters most. If you want to get the best out of your day, you must learn how to put first things first because you see, the enemy of best is good. You must never allow good things to stop you from taking action on what matter most or is best. Simply ask yourself, what can I take action on now to feel the sense of fulfillment? Spending time with your family Building a relationship Taking time to appreciate someone who has done something great for you. Whatever it is, make it the first on your agenda. Start your day by putting this first thing first – accomplish this task. Do that now and see how happy and fulfilled you will become. Say No To Urgency Visualize this for a moment: You set out to do a certain task. You promise yourself you won’t allow anyone to disturb you no matter what from achieving the result. Then suddenly your kid has a problem that needs urgent attention. What will be your reply? Will you respond with something like ‘Don’t bother me now, son. Just take your emotionally broken and bleeding self somewhere else for a few minutes while I finish this ‘to do’ item I have on my schedule?” You probably wouldn’t say that. If you’re like the most people, you’ll quickly stop what you’re doing and attend to the situation, thinking you’ll get back to your work once the issue is resolved. But the truth? You just never find the right time to return to the task at hand. In fact, research has proven that 80% of the people that experience a moment of distraction never find the right time to complete what they’re trying to get done. While you can be efficient with getting things done, you can’t be effectively efficient with people. The solution to this? Say no to urgency, whenever you’re trying to get something important done. Find a place of your own, a space built for you alone. Focus on what’s important. And if someone comes asking for your attention? Well, you already know the answer – it’s “NO.” That way you’ll not just be taking action, you’ll be getting results that will propel you toward a blissful day. Nurture Self-awareness If you want to find fulfillment every day of your life, then you need this. Think about these questions for a moment: Can I stand apart from my thoughts and feelings and examine and change them? Am I able to make promises and keep them both to myself and others? Do I think ahead? Did you answer ‘no’ to any, or all, of the above? If yes, it comes down to one thing. You lack self-awareness. Most of the time, we never acknowledge the present moment or take time to notice what’s happening around us. When this happens, it keeps us disconnected from the essence of being. The solution is to start practicing self-awareness, Scared? Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to throw yourself into some squat and meditate for 30 minutes, (although you could do that as well). Instead, Get yourself a journal and title it: My Awareness Journal. Got that? Great, start by writing what you think has been holding you back. For example: If you don’t like the result you’re getting in your life, write it down. If you’re not sure why you still do something that looks dangerous and self-defeating, get it in the journal. If you condemn someone for doing something and find yourself doing the same thing? Go ahead, get it down. After writing it down, make the decision to prioritize the list, remembering not to let good rob you of best. The way it should be. This process will help you pay more attention to that inner guidance system. It strengthens and educates your conscience. Are you willing to pay the price for fulfillment? In life, great things come with great responsibility. And great responsibility can come with a great price. But the price is worth it. So go ahead, find fulfillment every day by paying the price. It’s worth it.