Every year I hear complaints from people stressed out by holidays, travel, family gatherings, gift giving, New Year’s resolutions, blah blah blah.
Sometimes people complain are about having too many social obligations while others worry about having no plans at all. Hmmm. Too many parties and being alone are both problems? Human beings are good at finding stress.
I was thinking of this when I recently read a Chris Guillebau blog post called, “It’s not how much email you get, it’s the lack of purpose in your life.”
The title says it all. People complain about being “overwhelmed” by so much of life, even including their email. But as the blog post points out, maybe they misidentify the problem. Or as Chris says,
That anxiety you’re feeling isn’t your phone. It’s your soul.
Being overwhelmed by life doesn’t always happen during the holidays. I’ve heard people say they hate their life, job and most everything. Then they decide on a solution something like . . .
“I’ll sell everything and move to Chiang Mai. Then my life will be better.”
Okay, moving to Thailand might make life better. Or possibly your life will be exactly the same only with fewer possessions and a different address. Changing external circumstances doesn’t always cure problems if they are more deep seated.
Here’s some friendly advice for 2016
Don’t focus on symptoms, like stress at the holidays. Instead look at what’s more fundamental. Look for what you find meaningful and live that as much as possible no matter where you are and what your circumstances.
Stressed by your possessions? Then declutter one time and then get on with your life. Don’t make “stuff” your continual focus whether you have many possessions or only a few.
Your life can be meaningful no matter where you live, how many possessions you have, or the work you do. Mother Teresa and Winston Churchill are great examples of two people who were completely different in the way they approached life. But without a doubt they both lived meaningful lives.
A meaningful life is much easier when you review each day. A simple approach used by Benjamin Franklin, Jerry Seinfeld and Marshall Goldsmith is very effective and it only takes a few minutes to make sure your life is on track.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2016!