There is a growing bulk of research that links trying new things to being happy.*
And yet studies suggest we fear an unknown outcome more than we do a known bad one. Fear is one major thing that holds us back from trying new things and from being happy. But the age-old adage: if you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done, could never be more true.
The main reason I see people getting stuck in a rut is because we’re too busy (and deep down, just plain scared) to try something new. Our society is plagued by real or perceived time bankruptcy.
But what if people took more control over their time and optimized their use of it?
This is one big reason I created the upcoming Make Space for the Life You Want Challenge. It is designed to help you get abundantly clear about how you do want to spend your time, abundantly clear on the ways in which you spend your time that do not make you happy or feed your soul. Once you have more clarity around how you do want to spend your time, it makes it much easier to let go of the ways you don’t.
Taking full responsibility over your own time is incredibly empowering. Time is a limited resource. It’s the only thing we never get back. I’ve been learning to guard it selfishly.
“Maybe you need to burn bridges, discard habits or situations that waste time and avoid emotional vampires," says Mary Ann Troiani, co-author of Spontaneous Optimism. "It's like house-cleaning at that point."
She is indeed correct. There is a very strong connection between how much stuff you have in your life--physical things that do not actively make you happy--and how full the rest of your life is with people and obligations that bring you down. The easiest way to make your time your own, is to remove the stuff (yes, physical) from your life that you don’t love. Surrounding yourself by what you love makes it easy to only say "Yes!" to what you want in your life.
Troiani usually asks one pointed question to shock her clients out of their rut: ‘How would you feel in two or three years if you still feel this way?’ "People sit there like a deer in headlights,"
So if you are struggling in some part of your life, if you feel a lack of control over how you spend your time or worn out from constantly putting out fires and not being able to focus on what is real and important, then it’s time to take responsibility for your happiness, responsibility for how you spend your time, and TRY SOMETHING NEW.
For those of you who already signed up for the challenge--get excited and get ready to grow and gain fresh perspective, to free up time and space for what you love! For those of you who haven’t yet signed up, what are you waiting for? Don’t let your life pass you by. Take responsibility for your own happiness.
See you in the challenge!
*“People who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones than people who have fewer experiences.” Psychologist Rich Walker of Winston-Salem State University looked at 30,000 event memories and over 500 diaries ranging from durations of 3 months to 4 years.