From the 'Drop the Monkey Business' column in The Galway Advertiser 13/06/2013 P.95
With so much to do, to start, to join, to begin, to become and to be good at in today’s fast hitting, individually targeted and continually evolving world of constant overload of information, clubs, hobbies, be part of this and be a part of that for a better life, sometimes a great thing to actually do is to STOP, to slow down and take stock of everything in your life. A bit of self-love to focus your mind, wants and needs. See what needs to go, what needs to stay and what you need to start to make the journey that is life a little easier and a bit more enjoyable. Call it spring cleaning (which is not exclusive to spring!) detoxing, clearing out, getting rid of the old and making room for the new, it all comes down to one word. Change. I once heard a quote “Change nothing and nothing changes”. This is so true in every part of your life, be it business or otherwise. Einstein called the opposite a definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Yet, that’s where the majority of people seem to be most content.
If you wish to attract new passions and innovative ideas into the small space that you call yours it can be a great ritual to look at what no longer works and do a clear out. Look at the old habits that you started years ago. When you really look at what you get out of that particular routine you may realize that it’s original benefits and needs have been fulfilled long ago and you no longer need to carry that thing. When you scale back all the noise that you identity as life you give yourself an opportunity to reengage with what matters most. You get back to basics. Back to the family, the people around you that matter most. Back to the hobby that really makes your heart skip a beat. You go back to doing the tiny tasks that may have been irrelevant once yet when you allow yourself to get stuck in the moment they indeed can put a smile on your face that goes from the left ear to the right. And it might be something as simple as cutting the grass, washing the dishes, enjoying every sip of your well earned cup of warm tea, helping your elderly neighbour take out the rubbish bins, or simply being on your own and taking time out for yourself. We do all have a pause button that we should press a little more often. It’s good to stop, to reflect and to change where change is needed. Like the sun when it does come out to stay, you have to allow the brilliant bits of you to shine. You can do this by removing all the unneeded surplus activities and hours of well-practiced procrastination. You can do this by being comfortable in your own skin, being yourself and not what you think others want you to be. Where do you start? Just take one step at a time. Even the good things are habits too. Make the habit to stop doing the actions that don’t help you achieve your goals. Make it habit to try one new thing every so often, Maybe it’s only to go for that 20 minute daily walk that you don’t go for but know if you did it would make you feel a lot better than watching TV. Maybe it’s to pick up the phone and contact an old friend; maybe it’s to push your business to the next level. Maybe it’s just to get back to basics so you can build or rebuild. I am not a huge fan of the Nike Sportswear brand, but I must say they really have a slogan that can be applied to anything you wish to start, stop or when you want to put a little fire in the belly. Just do it!