Saturday, December 29, 2018

Season of Discontentment and Confusion: Evaluating Life Choices

Discontentment can be defined as dissatisfaction with ones circumstances.  There can be an unhappiness and even some resentment that can be subtly put up with.

The discontentment is enough perhaps to drive change, but instead of change, we get confusion.   In confusion we get genuine ignorance, paralysis by analysis and most deadly a life of a hypocrite.  This then eventually leads us back to discontentment.

How does this cycle be broken?  How do we get clarity?

Intention

Intention is paying attention to your thoughts and your actions, but most important, defining your beliefs.  What do you hold valuable and true?  Then we choose our actions with intent to live out those beliefs.

I would suggest that all your new years resolutions take a back seat to sitting down and writing out not goals, but things you believe in.  It is a time to define your values.  They can be big or small, but it should be written down and evaluated.

How do we evaluate?  We use the simple filter of a question.

WHY?

First, define why you think it's important.  Then,  the much harder question, why you have not been doing it.  Judge your reasons.

1.  Make a list of things you believe in and find important.
2.  Why is that important to you.  Give it a story.  Story is what we tell ourselves deep down behind your reasons.
3.  Did you do this?  Yes.  Great job, move on.  No.  Why?  Figure out a few reasons.
4.  Make a plan to make a No a Yes.
5.  Look at your list 2x a Month

For Example from my own list.  
1.  Drink 100oz of water per day.
2.  Water is important for healthy body and muscle tissue.  My story.  I think better when I drink water.  I hate that feeling of a slight headache I get when I haven't drank enough.  I feel like I'm more prone to slight muscle strains when I don't drink as much and I have a way better emotional balance when I get to train unimpeded.  I'm just happier.
3.  Yes.

1.  Eat 2-3 serving of vegetables per day.
2.  Veggies supply a ton of micro nutrients that will be missing from your diet if you forgo.  My story.  I have less belly fat when I eat veggies.  It's pretty much filling up on good stuff more then bad stuff.  But deep down, it's probably more for vanity.
3.  No.  I pretty much sucked at this for the last few months.  I think I got derailed when I tried to do the vertical diet over late summer.  Except, I didn't give up any of my vices, beer with friends, donuts with kids, or the best burger in Grand Rapids (Louis Earl Butchery) by myself.  I had given up salads and cooking veggies in the oven.  Deeper, it's easy to be lazy.
4.  They say Americans eat the same 5 Veggies in their diet and they should be in the 20-30.  Going to make it an exploration game to get 2 new veggies per week till I get to 20.
5.  Keep track that at the end of the month I've attained new veggie exploration badge.

There are two examples to show how this process is done.  The more the beliefs we state are important match up to our actions and life, the more we can live in harmony with ourself and our world.  But, the opposite is also true.  The more we state something is important and the more we don't do what we think is true, the more discontentment arises.  Discontentment can be a good thing if it drives change. When we don't have intention, when we just keep going forward to tomorrow,  we will start to be a person that we probably won't like in the mirror.  If the discontentment does drive change, but we haven't taken the time to figure out why we aren't living our beliefs, we will invariably be in confusion and just go back to the status quo, thus driving the discontentment deeper.

Take a week if need be.  Look at your typical day and all the things you do now.  Evaluate all of them.

1.  Get 8 hours of sleep
2.  Drink water and pinch of salt on waking
3.  Drink 3 shots of espresso
4.  Be positive with the kids, no yelling at them.
5.  Eat only protein for breakfast
6.  Offer up something healthy to the kids, but be content with eating anything.
6.  Shower
7.  Go to the bathroom
8.  Brush teeth
9.  Don't listen to music in the car if I take the kids to school, so we have a conversation.
10.  Walk the dog if I'm not taking kids to school
11.  Enjoy the work day.  Become better at my craft.
12.  Be present with every single patient.  Learn something each encounter.  Why did last visit work or not work.
13.  Return 2 emails
14.  Drink lots of water at work
15.  Healthy snack somewhere in there at work.
16.  Cook dinner
17.  Hang with kids
18.  Read/write/recovery
19.  Hang with Friends 1-2x a week
20.  Night vitamins

These are what popped in my head quickly.  Each day for some people will be unique.  Mine is pretty much routine every single day.  Then evaluate what you wrote down.  Some will be beliefs like for me, drinking water upon waking.  Some will be responsibilities, like take the kids to school.  But from that task comes a belief.  That the time with them is important and great conversations can come from that time.  So I don't turn the radio on.

The more we can line up all our choices with our beliefs, the more congruency we will have and the more peace our days will enjoy.  Hopefully in 2019 you will be living a life of intention and clarity.

Blessing for 2019


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