When driving, the rear-view mirror serves an essential purpose. It gives you visibility to what’s coming up behind you so you can be aware, be prepared, and take appropriate safety measures.
In life, though, sometimes we use the proverbial rear-view mirror a little too often. Some of us may look back at times in our lives when things weren’t quite so good. Maybe we grew up poor or faced some other difficulties. Maybe we felt held back, that circumstances prevented us from reaching our full potential. Things may have been unfair or unjust. Perhaps we wish things turned out differently.
While some of those feelings may be perfectly reasonable, the problem with looking back too often is that we can get stuck in a mindset of the past. Either consciously or subconsciously, our mind can become too focused on negative aspects of our lives, unable to look and move forward.
My suggestion is to review those past circumstances to see what can be learned from them, but then decide to let them go. The fact is that we can’t change anything that happened. We can’t time travel in order to alter past events and make our present day lives something else. We have to work with what life has given us and deal with the present situation as-is.
Instead of becoming stuck in the past, I recommend forming a clear picture in your mind of the life you want now. Focus on this picture and have a determination to achieve this life, and you will naturally take steps towards that goal. Have faith that you will be able to achieve the life you want. But if you spend too much timing looking in the rear-view mirror, you may inadvertently drift back to the life you once had.
Goal-setting might seem like a dreaded chore, but not having goals is like driving with no destination in mind. Goals provide direction in life.
When it comes to setting goals, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Vague goals, such as “I want to get in shape,” are not likely to materialize. On the other hand, if you have a very specific goal, like losing 10 lbs., then it’s much easier to identify the individual actions needed to reach that goal.
Furthermore, writing down your goals creates commitment. Having a document you can refer back to regularly will remind you of what you’re working towards. Otherwise, goals will be out of sight, out of mind.
Goal-setting should be taken a step further with deadlines. If you wish to simply accomplish a goal “some day,” that day may never come. By setting a deadline, you will feel a sense of importance and (healthy) pressure and begin taking the actions that lead to the realization of that goal.
Here’s another way to think about it… If you work a normal office job and spend 8-9 hours at the office, don’t you (consciously or subconsciously) spread out your work during that duration? Now, what if you had to get your work done in 4 hours? It would force you to prioritize your tasks and work more efficiently and productively…and it would leave you with more free time to do the things you actually want to do. In essence, create a sense of urgency.
All the best in achieving your goals!
It’s a fair question. To me, it boils down to two things:
- Staying healthy can help one be more productive in his/her work, with the energy to keep going and the mental sharpness to come up with ideas/solutions.
- Having good health allows one to enjoy his/her wealth and all of life’s activities.
If you happen to spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer for work, whether at home or at an office, below are some tips you can apply right away.
- Stand up at least once an hour. Stretch your arms and legs, and take a deep breath.
- Move your eyes away from the computer screen every now and then. Look at something at a further distance than your monitor to let your eye muscles work.
- Set up your computer/desk/chair ergonomically. Maintain good posture by sitting up straight, keeping your feet flat, and looking straight ahead at the monitor instead of tilting your neck up or down.
- Try to eat a healthy lunch to avoid the afternoon slump. Keep healthy snacks as well, such as nuts and berries.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Limit your caffeine intake; green tea will provide a less harsh dose of caffeine than coffee.
- Take a walk after lunch, preferably outside if weather permits, as you get fresh air and sunlight for Vitamin D production.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator for a good leg workout.
- Park further away to increase your walk to/from the office.
- If you need to speak with a coworker, walk over to his/her desk instead of e-mailing/calling.
- While not necessarily related to physical health, avoid negativity and gossip. Positive energy.
- Maintain good hygiene to avoid the cold/flu. Wash your hands and occasionally clean clean desk.
Give it a shot. Hopefully these tips will help increase your productivity, energy, and quality of life.