If you woke up this morning, similar to most mornings, dreading the day ahead, what’s the reason? Do you hate your job or the long daily commute to a stressful workplace? Is your marriage on the rocks? Are your teenagers driving you nuts? Are you out of work with no job prospects in sight? At this point in your life and career, are you far short of where you intended to be?
If life today is boring you to tears or stressing you out, what’s to prevent you from seeking a brighter tomorrow? Here are nine common excuses for accepting the status quo, none of which makes any sense:
Excuse #1–“My life is too hectic right now!” Pray tell, what is more important than changing your emotional outlook from gray to blue? You deserve to enjoy the rest of your life. Commit to setting aside blocks of time each day for personal introspection and visualization of a favorable outcome. Be certain to inform spouse, family and significant others that you plan to reexamine your life and set positive goals which will include them. Ask for help and understanding. Better yet, ask them to join you in midlife renewal.
Excuse #2–“I don’t have the money.” Contrary to popular misconception, you don’t have to become instantly rich to radically improve quality of life and personal emotions. You may not even need to change jobs nor abandon present relationships. In fact, you may discover joy and contentment right where you are. As a first step, remind yourself that your goal is not simply a lot more money but the freedom to choose a purposeful, well-rounded lifestyle which will benefit both you and others.
Excuse #3–“My life will change someday when….” Here are some examples: “When my kids graduate from college.” “When my awful boss is fired or retires.” “After my next promotion.” “When the economy improves.” “After this fall’s election.” “When” may be the most counter-productive of all the procrastination excuses. For far too many, the “when” never arrives or if it does, it more than likely is replaced by another “when.” In the end, all the “whens” turn into the regrettable “it could have been.”
Excuse #4–“Everyone around me is negative, so what good would renewal do me?” “My boss, spouse, children, close friends and neighbors are always complaining; how in the world can I remain positive around them?” Sorry, but negative commentary and behavior of others is not a valid excuse. The choice is yours–no one else in the world can force you to remain unhappy. Furthermore, it takes two to tango. Over time, others will grow weary of their negative behavior if you routinely fail to respond in kind. Frequent smiles, laughter, sincere attention to others and favorable comments on possibilities are highly contageous!
Excuse #5–“God will make things better for me if it’s God’s will.” If you are religious, I encourage you to pray for guidance but please don’t sit back and wait for God to do all the work. Circumstances are not likely to improve dramatically without your active involvement. For most, God helps inspire a positive mental attitude and often points out the pathway to a better tomorrow. It then will be up to you to initiate action to make your dreams come true.
Excuse #6–“If only!” Like me, I’ll bet you’ve heard them all: “If only I’d finished my education.” “If only I were younger and better looking.” “If only I’d become a lawyer instead of a financial analyst.” “If only my job wasn’t so demanding.” Pure and simply, the “if only” excuse is a rationalization for doing nothing. Does it really make sense to blame past decisions, fate or someone else for where you are today? It is you and you alone who is suffering and needs to initiate change.
Excuse #7–“I’m just a little person so what can I do?” In God’s eyes, we are all equal. You are not insignificant to those in your corner of the world. If world and national events are getting you down, turn off the TV news! To make a positive contribution to others, you first must believe in yourself. Once you do, you can be a “big person” to your spouse and family by granting them your undivided attention, routinely treating them with unconditional love and concern. You can be a “big person” at work and in your community by treating every personal interaction as a win/win situation.
Excuse #8–“The world is too scary right now!” As aftermath of our most severe recession since World War II, millions remain unenemployed or suffer from mortgages larger than the current market value of their homes. Don’t forget our $1.2 million plus annual budget deficit and the ever-present threat of terrorism. In fact, today’s frieghtening external environment is all the more reason to take control of your very own personal emotions. Bad things do happen to good people, but those with a strong internal compass always tend to come out better in the end. Once you set targets and transform dominant emotions from negative to positive, you will become increasingly capable of challenging an uncertain future.
Excuse #9–“It hurts too much.” Perhaps you suffer from a recent traumatic event–death of a loved one, breakup of your marriage, loss of a cherished position. It may be hard to get out of bed each morning, much less strive for to a happier tomorrow. May I offer the gentle suggestion that you begin to shift in focus from grief to a consciously designed positive game plan for the future? As soon as possible, take those first small steps to a happier life. In hindsight, the recovery phase of any life-altering traumatic event may prove an ideal point in time to launch positive midlife renewal.
So what’s your excuse for not seeking a brighter tomorrow? Once you decide to move forward, we can help. At MART, our sole purpose is to expand the growing congregation of joyfully fulfilled midlife winners! To obtain by return email your FREE copy of our “Middle Age Renewal Training Mini Course” simply visit our website: www.middleagerenewal.com
While there, you can preview my book, A Mid-Life Challenge WAKE UP! which is all about discovering a purposeful and joy-filled second half of life.