Updated: Jan 31, 2020
I like to say don’t just think outside the box. Think like there is no box!
For years I would always approach so much of my life as if I was living in a box and have to figure out a way to get out of the darn box. Wait! I've never lived in a box. So what happened? Well, I used to allow some of my thinking to entrap me in a figurative box.
Years ago, the goal was to get out of the box and think and see things differently. In other words, my goal was to get rid of all my negative thoughts, feelings, and life situations. This is IMPOSSIBLE! The right goal is to change my response these things. YES! No box anymore!
3 Things That Need To Just Be Tossed In The Trash
1. Toss in the trash that we can control our circumstances.
The reality: a tiny part of your life is decided by completely uncontrollable circumstances, while the vast majority of your life is decided by how you actively respond to them.
I've noticed that when I try to control too much, I enjoy too little. Sometimes I just need to let go, relax, take a deep breath and love what is.
For 53 years I've been in crazy good health. Then one day in 2014, I found out I had stage 2 melanoma. The doctor said if the cancer has gotten to my lymph nods, I would have a 5% chance of surviving over the next 3 years. Whew! Not the kind of thing one likes to hear.
I really had zero control over this situation. However, I did have 100% complete control over how I chose to react to this situation.
There’s a lot about our lives we absolutely can’t control. You cannot control everything that happens in life, but you can control how you respond. In your response is your greatest power.
2. Toss in the trash that we can't change.
Life changes every single day, and so can we. That’s the truth, yet oftentimes we feel hopelessly stuck against our will. Why? Because the changes we seek breed uncertainty, and life can be hard to navigate when we’re uncertain about things.
As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
I've heard it said that happiness does not start with a relationship, a degree, a job, or money. It starts with your thinking and what you tell yourself today. So many say, "I can't change..." Trust me when I say there are things in my life that I want to change. However, here is the first thing I do when I wake-up in the morning: I start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. This little ritual of positivity and gratitude is the genesis (the beginning) of the things I want to change in my life.
3. Toss in the trash that you will someday be perfect.
We will always be incredibly imperfect. If you wait until you’re “perfect” before you share your stories, ideas, talents, and gifts with the world, no one will ever hear from you.
Here’s the bitter truth: we will never be as good as we think we should be. None of us will.
There will inevitably be times when we slip up and fail to meet our (unreasonable) expectations of ourselves.
My 2 cents, we need to let go of the "perfect fantasies"
To an extent, we all have this lavish idea in our heads about how our lives are supposed to be. We fantasize that we should be living a different and better life…
A life without:
-Procrastination and failure
-A life with spectacular feats of success
-A life of travel and adventure
-A life with perfect friends, family, and partners etc.
I love what Tony Horton says, "Do your best and forget the rest." This is a majorly impactful motto in my life and one which I try to pass on daily to my students.
At the end of the day, if I can look at myself in the mirror and say I truly gave my best, then I'm very gratefully satisfied.
Right now, I'd love to hear from YOU.
What are some things in your life that it's just time to toss in the trash?