It’s highly unlikely anyone wakes up in the morning and says, “I wish my life was harder.” We want our lives to be easier.
We also want the process of making our lives easier to be easy as well. Sometimes we get caught up in the buzz around a new product or gadget that promises to make us more efficient, only to find that it actually requires more work use the product or gadget correctly to make our lives easier.
The ideas suggested here are not related to new products or gadgets. It’s about simple practices or things we can do right now to make our lives easier.
The Benefits of an Easier Life
- You’ll feel happier and less overwhelmed.
- You’ll have more time to do things that matter to you.
- You’ll have a better outlook on life.
- You’ll experience more progress or growth.
- You’ll have less things that can take you away from doing things that are important.
The good news is we can start doing things today to make our lives easier.
How we operate daily is a reflection of the habits we have. The more good habits we have, the better our lives will be.
As we all desire to improve and have better lives, sometimes we struggle to follow through and stick to doing the things we know will be beneficial to us.
While having an intention to make a positive change, such as exercising a few times per week, drinking plenty of water daily or getting enough sleep each night, is a good starting point, sticking to the new habits is challenging.
One of the reasons why people abandon their New Year’s resolutions is because they are not able to lock in their new habits over the long term.
The Costs of Not Sticking to Our Habits
- It generates feelings of disappointment, regret and resignation.
- We lose trust in ourselves as we’re unable to keep our commitments.
- It lowers our self-confidence.
- We’re reluctant to try something that requires a long-term commitment.
- We don’t progress as quickly as we’d like to.
It’s one thing to identify a new or good habit we want to have, but it’s much more challenging to actually stick with it.
Failure can be our greatest teacher in life. It’s inevitable we’ll have our fair share of failure as we pursue bigger goals in life.
It’s often said that if we’ve never failed, it means we’ve never tried anything new or stepped outside of our comfort zone.
If what we do or don’t do is driven by our desire to avoid failing, we will struggle to get to higher levels of achievement.
Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Reasons Why We Fail
- Lack of persistence.
- Lack of knowledge.
- Lack of effective plans.
- Lack of self-belief.
- Giving up too soon.
- Not learning from past mistakes or failures.
- Not taking personal responsibility for our results.
- Not taking effective action.
- Not being clear about what we want or where we want to be.
- Not willing to ask for help when we face challenges.
If we want to achieve more success, we have to embrace failure and view it differently.
The quality of our lives is related to the quality of decisions we make. The better our decisions, the better results we will create in all areas of our lives.
How to make better decisions is not something we are taught at a young age. We often learn to make right decisions from our experiences and mistakes.
Why is it Difficult to Make Decisions?
There are many factors that affect our ability to make decisions, which include:
- Doubt and uncertainty.
- Fear of the consequences by imagining worse-case scenarios.
- Fear of being judged by others.
- Fear of looking foolish or stupid.
- Fear of the costs of making mistakes.
We have to be willing to accept that there will be times when we will make wrong decisions, but we should always learn from those decisions.
We all experience fear, which plays out in different ways for each person. For some, it plays out as excuses they make for why they aren’t achieving the results they want.
For others, it may play out as justification, being practical or being responsible. Fear can be useful because it helps keep us safe, but all too often, that level of safety becomes our comfort zone.
How Does Fear Affect You
When we give in to our fears, it can:
- Create self-doubt in our ability to do something we’ve never done before.
- Stop us from pursuing our dreams.
- Put additional strain on our closest relationships.
- Lower our self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Lead to regret later on in life.
If we allow fear to control us, it will dictate what we will or will not do. We have to learn to overcome the fears that are holding us back from creating the outcomes we want.
There is a popular saying, “We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” While this is true, it can also cause people to not be their true selves.
It’s natural for us to want to be liked by others, so we often behave in ways we think is acceptable. The problem with this is we will always default back to our everyday habits over time.
Sometimes that will be acceptable by certain people, but there is also a risk that others may not be impressed when we return back to our “normal” way of behaving.
Trying to impress someone by not being our true, authentic selves can cost us in many different ways including:
- Broken professional or personal relationships.
- Receiving negative reviews especially if we’re in a service-based profession.
- Financial loss as a result of broken relationships.
- Mental and emotional stress.
- Health challenges.
We have to always be aware of how we come across to others especially in the different situations we find ourselves in.
Our ability to stay focused on anything we’re doing determines the quality of our outputs or results. The better we focus, the better results we’ll produce.
The challenge we all face today is that it’s so easy to get distracted. With so many advances in technology, such as all the different smart devices available to us, being able to stay focused is a major challenge for most people. Unfortunately, our smart devices are making us more distracted than ever before.
Today, distraction removal has become the new focus. The better we’re able to eliminate distractions from our everyday lives, the better we’ll be able to focus.
Focus is a muscle and it’s also a process, which means we can learn how to improve it. An important thing to be aware of is we don’t have focus, we do focus. If focus is something we do, then there are things we can implement to get better at doing it, just like improving any other skill.
There are a number of reasons why improving our focus will be beneficial to us and they include:
- Getting more done in a shorter period of time.
- Producing better quality outputs.
- Creating more free time as a result of being more effective.
- Feeling less stressed or overwhelmed.
- Being happier and in a better mood.
Learning how to focus better is now a critical skill if we want to have a better quality life.
I’ll admit this is an area I struggle with as I tend to work more than I should. Over the past couple of years, I’ve taken steps to change my habit of working too much.
We’re in a global culture of being busy. Whenever we say we’re busy, it’s like a badge of honour because it makes us feel we’re important and we actually matter. We also use being busy as an excuse not to pursue what we really want to do in life.
If we ask most people what they’re busy with, it almost always comes down to day-to-day responsibilities and working to make ends meet. The truth is most people are busy doing work they would rather not be doing. So we get caught in this trap of being busy, doing work that’s not inspiring or fulfilling, which takes us away from what we’d rather be doing.
5 Signs You’re a Workaholic
- You spend a lot more time working than originally planned, which cuts into your evenings and weekends.
- You put your work before other areas of your life like health, relationships or family.
- You use work as a distraction not to face the real issues or challenges going on in your life.
- You free up time, that is, give up your leisure time, so you can do more work.
- You are highly stressed and fatigued, which generates feelings of anxiety, frustration and overwhelm.
It’s time to stop working ourselves to the ground and break the workaholism trap.