” ‘The Compound Effect’ in My Life”

Here’s a truth:

Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes it feels like the list of items to get done is simply impossible. Sometimes it feels like we’ve lost our zest. Where did our mojo go?

Main Artice graphicThere’s definitely a natural human evolution from the inspiration and excitement of our 20s – where we thought we could take on the world – to growing older where we have many more responsibilities, have experienced more ups and downs (and in particular those downs), and get caught in structures and paradigms for our lives that can downright feel oppressive.

First, this is absolutely normal. We would not have a multibillion-dollar self–help industry if it weren’t.

And… I want to assure you that I’m not going to get you some pep talk about how fabulous life can be today. Sometimes the “rah rah” thing makes one feel even worse – it certainly did for me when I was at my lowest points.

(In fact at the times I’ve been most down and troubled, when people “slathered” me with positivity, I felt even worse!).

But instead, let me share what did help. Very minute, tiny changes.

 Getting up in the morning and reciting a one minute prayer I had on a note card next to my bed asking spirit for help. (I couldn’t even speak just from my heart, I had to have it written down!).

Going outside and taking a walk even for five minutes… (and not listening to the voice that said “Five minutes? That’s not enough to make it worthwhile, exercise needs to be 30 minutes minimum!). Because in truth it was just about clearing my head.

Choosing one thing to do each day that was just for the sake of joy for that “little girl” inside me who felt life wasn’t fun anymore – like drawing with colored pencils, or going to the bead store, or even taking the dog to the dog park.

It’s funny, the overachiever part of my brain kept feeling I needed to tackle absolutely everything and make sweeping changes in my life. But somehow my soul and spirit weren’t able to do so… So I kept feeling like a failure.

I finally succumbed to the idea, posed by a wonderful coach, “are you willing to do one thing, just one thing, in advocacy of your well-being?”

What happens is this. Relief comes in these small little shifts. And then, you find yourself willing to add another small shift.

Willingness grows over time when you start out fairly defeated. I found that if I was willing to open the door even the tiniest crack… that’s all that was required to get my life back.

Darren Hardy, in his book The Compound Effect proposes that little incremental changes actually produce pretty big results. Think of a 5° angle – at the vertex the angle is quite small, but as you follow the angle out further and further and further it gets quite wide.

Every day we have the choice to employ one thing, one little thing, that aligns us with some joy, or some play, or some self-love.

Remember, “Little hinges swing big doors.”

Barb Wade

Barb is a Speaker, Author, and Coach, who has been on the leading edge of Transformational Coaching for over 15 years. Barb works with high-achievers who, despite external accomplishments, are finding themselves yearning for more freedom, joy, and meaning in their lives. Barb herself knows that “hole” of quiet desperation that can exist even though achievement is high.

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