We often want to achieve certain ideals in our lives, but something stops us. Perhaps our routine is interrupted, or we lose the desire for the goal we wanted to achieve or something just gets in the way. Why is that?
Perhaps it has something to do with how easily our minds go from one task to another. If you are like me, it actually takes quite a lot of energy to sustain concentration. It is said it is a skill we are losing. Our ability to concentrate is diminishing due to the Internet and being distracted by our phones and other online devices. We crave the chemical hits of dopamine and other substances to get through our day.
I find in my own life, my routine is absolutely important. When I was in Australia on holiday, I lost my routine and now a month has passed. I did not maintain things like daily TED talks, Duolingo and Meditation, as I was in a completely different space. It was interesting to observe. Even now, a week into being back in Vienna, I am still not back in my routine. I know I will get it back, and can help myself by setting it up as soon as possible. Making the decision to commit.
So what is stopping you in your life? Is it your routine or something else? For many, it is the courage to make a decision. In reading 'Think like an Artist' by Will Gompertz over my holiday, he mentioned in one of the chapters that all artists have courage and make decisions and this is what sets them apart from others. So perhaps your decision making skills need some improvement.
I have been aware of this for the last few months and feel this is accurate for me. When we make small decisions in our lives effectively, the bigger ones take care of themselves. Choose when you get up, and do it. Choose whether to have breakfast or not. Stick to it. Choose how you will get to work and go for it.
Our ability to be crippled by choice is a common modern problem. When we go shopping there is no longer one brand of butter, but 15. This becomes confusing. Some are on special, others not, different sizes and styles. It might be nice to shop for a bargain if this is your choice, but I find the choice confusing and I end up wasting time on the computer researching things often, when ultimately I will go in and make a choice in the moment anyway, usually based on an emotional preference than a rational one. Most of the time I am happy with my choice and I am not saying you shouldn't research options and prices, but once decided on something, just go for it.
Coming back to our personal lives, it is these choices that we have the most control over. What to put in our mouths, what to wear, which way to go to work, even which work we do and concentrate on. So don't stop yourself. Go for it and make more effective decisions for yourself. When you want to go for a bike ride, do it! Make the decision to get up at 6am or 5.30am and stick to it. You snooze your lose, is the phrase in English and it rings true. Wait and hesitate and it is already too late. Then nothing is stopping you!
David Corcoran is a Executive Voice Coach. He helps people take responsibility for their communication. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.