January 7th, 2014 by Katie Morton
“When we get over this busy period at work, I’ll finally be happy.”
“When my kid starts sleeping through the night / eats something other than chicken nuggets / stops drawing on the walls / learns to be nice to his sister, we’ll finally be happy.”
“When we start making more money, I can finally be happy.”
So many of us wish our lives away while we wait for the conditions to be perfect before we think we can relax, let go, and finally be happy.
November 10th, 2013 by Katie Morton
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Creative Commons
Willpower Is a Learned Skill
I spent two years researching the topic of willpower in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. I discovered that willpower, a quality I thought was reserved for a certain set of people, can be learned. Here is a sampling of mindsets those with strong willpower possess:
click here to read the article –> ’10 Secrets of People With Extraordinary Willpower’ on The Huffington Post
June 3rd, 2013 by Katie Morton
Photo by striatic / Creative Commons
Many of us – if not most of us – have made major life decisions, from where we live to our careers, based on the expectations of loved ones.
I went for a suit-wearing corporate career, when I had a dream of being an artist.
Maybe you live close to family where the weather depresses you, but your dream is to live somewhere tropical.
Perhaps you married a banker due to familial expectations of a suitable partner, when you were truly in love with a poet.
It’s all too common to act against one’s own wishes in order to avoid disappointing our clan. But is this okay? I don’t think so; these choices harm our life fulfillment on levels so deep we never want to admit it. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. Deathbed regret
According to palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, one of the top regrets of the dying is doing what was expected, rather than living a life true to oneself. When it’s all over, will you be happy with your decision? Or will you mourn lost opportunities?
If you might regret forsaking your dreams for others’ expectations of you, perhaps there’s a way to experience what you fear you might miss out on. Consider taking half-measures to test your hypothesis before it’s too late.
Maybe you can take a tropical sabbatical to see if it feels worth it before committing whole hog to a move. And who knows — maybe your family would love it if you moved somewhere tropical so that you could host the holidays somewhere warm.
I plan to incorporate art into the retreats I’m designing so that I’ll be able to experience the artistic life.
As for testing out the poet, if you already married the banker, I’m not qualified to give you advice on this one!
2. There’s no trophy for doing what’s expected of you.
Here’s the kicker that I experienced: you don’t get rewarded for doing what other people think you should be doing anyway.
Being a martyr and sacrificing your dreams doesn’t get you the approval you’re seeking. You’re going to wait an awfully long time for the “good for you” or the “atta boy” before you figure out there’s no congratulations forthcoming.
As I was busy climbing the corporate ladder, I was half waiting to hear, “So you wear a suit to an office. I’m so proud!” Yeah, just kidding. That was never going to happen. I didn’t get any accolades for going corporate, because that’s what I was supposed to do.
Would I have gotten frowny faces for being an artist? Probably. But my own fulfillment is more important than the frownies. So I ditched corporate to follow my dreams and I still hear crickets, which is totally cool! The whole point isn’t to engineer your life while you gauge other peoples’ reactions, it’s to gauge your own feelings of fulfillment.
Following your dreams is about you – it’s not about waiting for someone else’s opinion, good or bad.
3. We’re more likely to get stuck in a cycle of numbing behaviors.
When we don’t feel fulfilled, we numb out to distract ourselves from uncomfortable feelings. How do we numb out? Food. Alcohol. TV. Facebook. Any escape valve we can use to avoid addressing the seemingly unaddressable. If we look too closely, we might need to wake up and shake up our lives in unthinkable ways in order to reach bliss.
But to do anything else is symbolically suicidal. It’s letting your life go unloved while your blissful life goes unlived.
How about you? Have you ever forsaken what you wanted because something else was expected of you? Do you want to change your life?
Here’s your chance — join me for 7 Weeks to a Blissful You.