Tuesday, May 16, 2006

 

life as a catalyst for change

what if rather than spending time thinking about the ways you wanted to shift things in your life, or all the things you were doing wrong, you set out to create a life that by its very structure would move you in the direction you desire.

this is an idea i've been pondering lately - life as a catalyst for change. i think the key difference in taking this approach is that rather than being reactive, we are proactive. and rather than focusing on what's wrong we build what's right.

so for example, if one of your difficulties is that you find yourself spending too much time in front of the tv munching on fritos, rather than take the approach that you need to "correct" this behavior you change the set-up all together. you find some activity that is so fun & engaging that you will be readily lured from the tv: a dance class, a volleyball team, a book group, a political party.

if you struggle with feeling isolated you set your life up so that you have almost no time alone. perhaps you can't figure out how to relax so you build in activities which force you to slow down, like walking to the corner store when you need groceries.

we have a great many choices to make in our lives, some of which we forget are choices. sometimes i find that choosing a theme that will move your life forward can be a helpful guide to making those choices, themes like: closeness & connection, silliness & fun, adventure & reflection, relaxation & mindfulness. then you get busy setting up your life to be all about that theme.

my recent decision has been to build my life around the theme of 'creating space'. just choosing this theme has led to different decisions being made about how i spend my time and what activities i prioritize. it's meant more reading, napping and hanging out with friends and it's having the impact i'd hoped it would: i'm enjoying the spaciousness and when i am working i'm enjoying that more too.

what would it look like for you to set your life up as a catalyst for change?

what would be the first steps in building that life?

as always, i'd love to hear your thoughts!

dream big,
-kirsten

Comments:
Love your view on life as well as the title of your page. You seem to have a stronghold on your goals and won't let anything (or anyone) stand in the way! I'm glad to have come across your page!

If you get a free moment drop by my site:

jdmotivation.blogspot.com

Feel free to comment to! I would LOVE your feedback.
 
You hit on something so important here: When there's room for joy and engagement with your life, work (even the same work you were doing before) becomes more enjoyable. So much of our day-to-day frustrations come from feeling like everything we "have to" do is an intrusion, taking time from what we really want to be doing. I think the way you put it--changing life's "very structure"--is just right. We often know what we want more of, but we won't put it front and center. If one can find a little time for the important, joyful activities, then the meaningless ones (the television, for one that's both in your examples and my experience) fall away on their own.
 
I am quite possibly missing the point so please don't take this as a criticism but rather a request for clarification. Having said that, it seems to me that there is a problem in the logic that is keeping me from fully understanding your point. You said, "rather than take the approach that you need to 'correct' this behaviour, you change the setup altogether" and also "the key difference in taking this approach is that rather than being reactive, we are proactive."

If you are 'correcting' a behaviour that you have identified as being problematic, isn't that proactive by definition? Being reactive means waiting for things to happen to you and then reacting to them. Being proactive means taking the initiative to create change.

Also, wouldn't "changing the setup altogether" be a method of correcting a behaviour? I just fail to see what the difference is.
 
Laura,

How I read Kirsten's comments is much akin to the universal principle "What you focus on expands." I think she is bringing down-to-earth a concept that can be "out there" for some.

Many of us get into a rut and fail to realize our dreams because we are so busy focusing on what we need to move away from rather than what we need to move toward. The tendency is to try to get rid of, or move away from, something that is causing us pain or discomfort. The problem is, "what you focus on expands." The result is that when we are concentrating on what we lack, we inadvertently attract the abundance of lack.

Kirsten offers an easier way. It's basically changing our focus. According to Kirsten, in this way we will naturally be lured away from that which we don't want because we have deliberately put in place systems that make it easier (and more fun) to move toward what we do want.

In this sense, we are very much being proactive. We're consciously structuring our life so that it supports the changes we desire. According to Kirsten, we then do not need to correct a bad or less desireable behavior. It falls away in favor of something more attractive, because we've planned it that way.

This is in contrast with the lack of preparedness, getting caught up in the habit of doing what doesn't support us, and then "reacting" by trying to correct the undesired action and all the emotional garbage that goes along with it.

Taking the example that Kirsten gave a step further, you might have a challenge sitting in front of the TV with that bag of Fritos every day at 5:30 pm. Well, if you love tennis and engage a friend or two to meet you on the tennis court every day at 5:30 pm, you have built in a new structure of fun and accountability that is proactive (you planned ahead) that didn't require you to focus one iota of effort trying to correct an undesireable habit. It fell away naturally.

I hope that makes sense. I was so struck by this concept that I think I will consider this topic on my next Inspiration Nation Member Call (www.theinspirationnation.com
)
 
Your optimism and positive views are refreshing! Wish there were more people in this world with your beliefs.
 
Dare to Dream Big
By Pam Perry, www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com

Life is too short to be too little. Dream big in 2007. Expect more in 2007. The one thing that separates those who make things happen and those who don’t – is action.

Step out of the boat. Leap – and the net will appear! Believe and trust God. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.

Dreams can come true. Nothing is impossible with God. You’ve seen it happen for others. You’ve read their stories. Saw their movies. Heard about those who have gone from “rags to riches.” Think about Fantasia (American Idol winner), Chris Gardener (author of Pursuit of HappYness), Teresa Hairston (founder/publisher of Gospel Today magazine) and Ken Brown (author of From Welfare to Faring Well). All these folks worked hard and believed God.

What else did they have in common that made their dreams come true? Consistent persistence! Great things happen for people who let their dreams be the springboard for great actions.

It’s a spiritual principle: Faith without works is dead. It’s not enough to have a dream – you have to have a plan and work your plan!

This year dare to chart your course. Reignite your vision and be consistent in your persistence in your pursuit. 2007 incorporate these 7 steps to get your dreams fulfilled:

1. Commit. Make a decision to follow your dreams that the Lord put in your heart no matter what others say. Know with absolute certainty that you will see the vision come to pass because you’re determined and God showed you. Psalm 37:5
2. Be Prudent. Don’t make decisions before knowing all the facts. Work smart and you won’t have to work hard. Prov. 27:12
3. Be Prepared. Don’t wait until there is an emergency or a deadline before you get moving on project. Successful people plan ahead. Haste makes waste. Prov. 21:31
4. Be focused. Get clear on what you want and don’t get distracted. If something doesn’t put you closer to your goal, drop it. Clarity is power. Prov. 29:18
5. Be diligent. Finish what you start. Remember the end of thing is better than the beginning. If it worth starting –finish it! Prov. 13:4
6. Be Teachable. Don’t refuse good advice and accept instruction. Get all the help you can. All successful people had mentors and role models. Prov. 13:18
7. Be persistent. Be relentless. Tackle every task that God puts before you and expect a blessing. Quitters never win and winners never quit. Press toward the mark. Prov. 24:10

The number one reason most people don’t achieve their dreams is that they don’t have clarity. There is power in focus and visualizing what you want, confessing what you want and doing what you know to do! As Teresa Hairston of Gospel Today magazine says, “Make your vision vivid.” Write your vision, make it plain and keep the momentum no matter how hard it gets – with God, all things are possible.
 
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