Some days ago, I received an email from someone that I don’t know. “What can a man do when he feels frustrated of work, stress and crisis .. to find his peace? I don’t have money for coaching sessions, I just want to open my horizons and eventually know what to read to find answers.” – I.V. asked.
First of all, thanks I.V. for asking! Congratulations for noticing what’s happening with you, and having the courage to ask someone else! Since the topic might interest other people too, here’s my answer:
There are many ways to address this question-request. My default way is to ask questions back, professional habit 😉 , that leads to find out more about the person who sent that request. There is another reason for that: we are not the same! When some answers could fit very well one person, they could be irrelevant to others, based on personality, background, their own situation, etc. In coaching we use powerful questions to help people discover new perspectives and ideas by themselves, to find their own answers according to their specific situation.
Since you asked for answers, not questions, here are some ideas:
1. Take breaks from time to time! You are so conditioned that you have to focus on work, family, responsibilities, others, etc. that sometimes you forget to consider that you are an important part in the puzzle called “your life”. If you’re burned out, you don’t have any more energy for those mentioned above. And the situation will affect both your life and others. Only when you take a break (it doesn’t have to be long), you have time to catch your breath, to better understand what’s not going well and get some “fresh” energy and ideas. What to do in those breaks, it’s up to you: you can relax or do something that you love and enjoy, that gives you more energy and enthusiasm to continue. Take time to be silent or meditate, to reconnect with the nature. The easier way to incorporate breaks in your life, is to put them into your schedule, showing yourself that you’re as important as the other people and things from your life.
2. Find your passion and do something about it! It could become a hobby or your profession/ career. Only something that you’re passionate about gives you motivation and enthusiasm, and doesn’t bring stress into your life. If you don’t know yet what’s your passion, set an intention to find out by.. (set a due date). Start creating a list of things/ activities that you enjoy having, doing, sharing.. and add to this list when you remember something new. After the due date, start doing something about your list, incorporate more the things from your list into your life.
3. Let go of habits that don’t serve you anymore! For example: cut off the TV time and replace it with something that it’s more important to you. Take the stairs instead of elevator, or go for a walk (exercising is good for mind too)! You might know better what’s not serving you, if you take time to notice.
4. Peace comes from within, it’s a way of being! When you do what’s really important to you, what makes you fill alive and fulfilled.. you have all the peace you want. It’s a process to get there, that starts with finding out all these first (if you don’t know yet), take actions according to them and trust that you will get there no matter what the actual results look like! And when you don’t take the right actions, for different reasons, don’t blame yourself or others; just notice the results, learn the lessons and do better next time. Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – so nobody can steel your inner peace if you don’t allow him or her!
5. Notice what you already like in your actual way of living. Be grateful for what you already have, even if it’s not where you want it to be … yet! You’ll never get where you want if you’re constantly noticing only the stressing part of your work and life, this puts a bigger weight on your shoulders. We are conditioned to want more, be more, do more and we forget to notice and congratulate ourselves for our own progress and achievements (especially for the small ones). Even being alive should be enough to be grateful! (Do you know how many people die in wars or in the third world countries?!) Be grateful more often; it makes you feel better, and will give you the energy to do more.
6. Find a mentor! It could be a professional one or for your life. Many successful people like to share what they learn with others, many have their own mentors. Ask someone to be your mentor, someone you admire or you resonate with his way of thinking. You will have someone to share your thoughts with and ask for advice.
7. Get into a “buddy system” or Mastermind group. It’s good to have someone to brainstorm ideas and be accountable to for the ideas you choose to implement.
I know that 1-5 seem too general, but I trust that you can customize them for yourself. You can apply them at your workplace or at home. Small changes done systematically have a huge impact in time!
To open your horizons, there are many interesting books out there, although it’s not so easy to choose. It also depends on what you’re looking for.
No matter how many books you read – just knowing the answers or some concepts will not get you where you want. There will still be a lot of “work” that you have to do on yourself, to apply those concepts and ideas into your daily life – here’s where many people fail. You might have limiting beliefs that don’t allow you to get there, so you have to identify and change them – that’s the “work” I’m referring to. And many people are not willing to do the “work” or don’t know how (that’s where coaching could help).
I personally prefer to read books recommended by someone I resonate with, James Arthur Ray in my case. He’s like an encyclopaedia, bridging concepts from science (Quantum Physics, Chaos Theory, Psychology) and Spirituality. Here’s the reading list he suggests: http://jamesray.com/resources/reading-list.php (99% are not his books). I’ve read almost all of them and found them very interesting! Sometimes I’m attracted to read something else (like Gregg Braden books for example).
Whatever books you read, pay attention to how you can apply the ideas that you like, and actually make an action plan and take those actions. Don’t just agree with these ideas; with no action they will be soon forgotten and you will not get the results you expect.