There are some things you just won’t read in self help book, things you won’t know until you find out for yourself…Or you know, until a random self help blogger finds out and runs to the Internetz to tell you.
I believe this is one thing that can really help your life beyond anything else. It will make it easier to go exercise. It will make it harder for you to procrastinate. You will get more done. It benefits your work, your household and even your relationships. It will even boost your mood altogether.
By now I probably got you on the edge of your seat (or not, maybe I’m the only one who’s easily excited), but it’s a very general, and maybe even deceivingly simple thing: Go from a passive mindset to an active one.
See, I can observe this in my own life and have come to the conclusion this is a main, underlying cause of either my struggles and frustrations or my victories and happiness. I am very familiar with both ends of the spectrum.
My passive lifestyle consists of sleeping in (8:45, but still – it’s late for me), watching endless television shows, not working out, and putting off anything of significance until the very last minute. I often feel lethargic, unmotivated and lazy, which also makes me terribly cranky and frustrated. Doesn’t help. I just occasionally spiral downwards in it, though. Sometimes it only lasts for a couple of days, but I’ve also had this problem for weeks (and longer in my teens).
My active lifestyle is very different. I get up early, often to work out first thing and then have a busy day. I have a clear overview of what I want to do, I make to do lists. Very importantly, I move a lot from place to place (work, family, yoga studio, groceries, social appointments, extra gig) and I also take a lot of action myself (calling people, emailing people, going places, pursuing things). I’m on the go a lot, which somewhat forces me to use my time optimally. The more I do, the happier I am, the more productive I become. I know when to take a break and I take great care of myself and my life.
And the thing that makes the difference, the very basic general thing is setting my mind to active instead of passive, and then acting on it.
My mindset in Active Mode is when I think in opportunities, useable time frames and solutions. I decide to combine yoga with a trip to the grocery store, that I can write an article while I’m in public transit for an hour and I decide I’m going to fix an administrative order by making a phonecall.
My behavior in Active Mode is getting up a little earlier than I have to, moving from place to place a lot, writing down everything I no longer assume to remember, and actively seeking out people and opportunities.
I observed my own days: Happy and productive when doing a lot, annoyed and ineffective when being lazy. And I decided that I can consciously flip the switch whenever I want. Knowledge is power and because I know what ultimately is best for my well-being and my mood, it’s easier and more interesting to access that side of me!
I also suddenly remembered that it’s actually a very influential way to help people out of their depression: Reinstate activity again, as depressed people become more passive (and it’s easier for passive people to become depressed). I encourage you to give it a try. Switch from a general sense of passivity to activity. Try to think like an active person and behave this way, it’s a powerful behavioral strategy.
It may seem like a no-brainer but it’s crazy how easy it is to overlook the obvious when it comes to self help. Sometimes we get lost in complex strategies when you can solve a lot with something basic like this. I wonder if it is as helpful to you as it is to me; I’ve been applying it a lot this week and it really helps. Let me know in the comments if you give it a shot!