8 More Things to Stop Doing Right Now
When I wrote the original 8 Things to Stop Doing Right Now, I didn’t realise the article would turn out to be such a hit. Thousands of visitors viewed the post which spread virally on sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook and other popular social media websites. After writing the original, I had some ideas of my own for items that should be added to the list and it turns out that some of you guys did as well. I had a few excellent submissions in the comments so I’ve included them here with my own commentary. 1. Holding On to a False Identity (Thanks Ivan) – You are not the car you drive, you are not your job and you are certainly not the size of your bank balance. A lot of people have a picture of themselves through the eyes of their possessions and achievements, rather than what is. You aren’t less of a person than anyone else and you aren’t of more value than anybody else either; you just are. Everyone is unique in their own way and the only mindset you need to have is this: “I am enough”. 2. Complaining (Thanks Beyond) – Nothing annoys me more than people who act like the end of the world is near when their bus is late or a flight gets delayed (Hmm, is this me complaining?). You might get be served cold soup in a restaurant and feel like the waiter does not care for you as a customer and proceed to make a fuss over this small issue. The soup being cold is a fact and should be dealt with accordingly. The waiter or restaurant owner not caring for your custom is an opinion and nothing more than a mind-made illusion. Deal with things that need to be dealt with, but once you’ve done them, get on with whatever else you want to do in your day. Your moaning won’t make the bus arrive quicker and it won’t change an argument you had 30 minutes ago; just drop it. 3. Needing to Be Right – Regular readers here will know I’m a big fan of Eckhart Tolle and his books The Power of Now and A New Earth. They have now sold millions of copies and Eckhart actually took part in a 10 week live web-cast with Oprah Winfrey which is free to download. An exercise in one of his books basically tells you to try and ‘not correct somebody’ or ‘not defend yourself’ when someone makes a remark about or towards you. The next time someone says something you disagree with, try to just accept what they say. Don’t resist it internally and feel the need to correct them, just let it be. You experience quite a weird sensation when you do this at first, as if you are going against some form of auto-response. 4. Looking for Approval (Thanks Chica) – I’ve covered this extensively in a blog post but I think it deserves being mentioned again. While it’s good to try to keep the peace with others now and again, if you live life constantly looking to impress others and always make people happy then you are going to fall short eventually. There will be times in life when you have to go through with things on your own, and maybe make a change from the norm in order to go for the things you want. Don’t let friends or family hold you back because they disagree with your goals; even if you are making a mistake, mistakes are sometimes good to make. On this blog I write what is true for me, some people will not approve of the fact that I quit college after 2 years and think that is spreading a bad message. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it is what it is, and was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Do what is true for you. 5. Giving Your Power Away – This is a concept I came across through Tony Robbins and I think the idea of this is spot on. Giving your power away basically means that you belittle yourself around people who you think have more value than you, and you are constantly changing based on who you are talking to. Of course, at times it’s good to slip into socially conditioned ‘roles’ such as a waiter having to stay polite to a customer who is giving them a hard time. However, once you are out of a situation that doesn’t require you to follow a certain role then you should be completely focused on this moment and not on how you can impress somebody or make them like you. 6. Reacting to Things That Don’t Exist – Have you ever caught yourself laughing out loud to a memory of an event that happened in the past? I know I have. While this is harmless and sometimes a good way to cheer ourselves up, we also do the opposite project negative images of the future and react to those. When I was around 15 I insulted someone who was known to be quite tough, and found out that they wanted to fight we me (this was on a Friday). I spent the whole weekend stressing out and worrying about what might happen on the Monday when I go back to school. It turned out to be nothing serious (just a small scuffle) but in a sense I lost my weekend because of this future projection. There is a fine line between being reactive and being proactive; see if you can focus on the latter. 7. Resisting What Is – This is actually quite similar to point 2 but not exactly the same so I think it deserves its own explanation. In point 2 I used an example which involved people acting like the world is ending just because a plane has been delayed and there is nothing they can do about it. Now let me ask you something? What is the benefit of the complaining if it isn’t going to change anything? Why, when the situation is going to stay exactly the same, would you spend your time being miserable about it? The short answer to this is that some people just love drama; another short answer could be that we just don’t know any better. See if you can try just ‘accepting’ something when things don’t go your way, see if you can just let the bus be late without resisting it internally and letting it bring you down. I’ve been practicing this for a while now and it is quite amazing once you start doing it habitually. 8. Taking Things for Granted – One of the things I like about being quite a well known blogger in this industry is that people send me a lot of free stuff in the hope that I will review it. I was sent a copy of ‘The Compass‘ recently which contains many of the same people as ‘The Secret’ and while I didn’t think it was very good, there were some great messages in there. One of the speakers explained how in order to be thankful for the things we have in life, we need to appreciate them on a daily basis. Just like when a house appreciates it goes up in value, things that we appreciate regularly also go up in value in our own eyes. I liked that analogy and have since expressed gratitude on a daily basis for all the good things in my life, something I said I would. It has been fun looking at all the things we shouldn’t be doing rather than like most bloggers just writing about what we should be doing. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the 16 points in total, and I look forward to your comments.