There are times when our life seems almost mechanical, doing the same thing everyday. This experience is something we got to be watchful for. Neuroscience says that human brain is wired in a way that it gets ‘used to’ things done repeatedly and then it hardly wants to break that pattern. This is because human brain, right from the stone age has conditioned itself for ‘survival’. At the same time, every one of us is gifted with something extraordinary, way beyond survival. Such an irony! The key question is – inspite of our survival instinct, how do we live an extraordinary life, a life of purpose, fulfillment and freedom?
The key to living an extraordinary life is breaking our existing patterns and doing things beyond the norm. Here are three steps you can use anytime to defy your pattern and create an extraordinary life…
Step 1: Identify the Symptoms
When you start living a monotonous schedule, you will know it before anyone else. Here are some symptoms you can identify:
- You are complaining about someone or about something over and over
- You do not feel excited when you wake up during the morning
- You check your e-mail several times during the day, even when it is not necessary
- Tasks you take up take longer than anticipated or just keep getting delayed for no reason
There could be more symptoms, but the key is – Identify these patterns and identify them early.
Write all these ‘sticky’ patterns on a piece of paper. Once you identify these patterns, do not judge or blame or hide yourself under a ‘valid reason’, simply go to step 2 below.
Step 2: Create a new space
I am not referring to the physical space; what I am referring to is the mental space – your mental frame in which you operate everyday. You cannot create something new in the old. In order to commit to something new, you need to create new a space and the way create a new space is to be complete with the old stuff.
To do that – make a list of all top priority tasks, put them in your schedule and start getting them done feverishly. The best way to get long pending tasks done is to get them done in short notice, as fast as you can; so that your brain does not get time to ponder over them (remember your sticky pattern!). It can be as simple as making that long pending phone call to your relative or as complex as reviewing your financial accounts. Just get it done!
As soon as your pending tasks list gets to minimum, you will have a new breath of life. Then reward yourself by taking a weekend off to a nice outdoor, just doing nothing. Do not stay at home. This is the time to go to step 3.
Step 3: Commit to something new
In your weekend break, when you have nothing to do, take some time out and write down things that you always wanted to do but somehow you could not do it. Don’t worry if the list gets long. Just keep writing.
Now pick-up one item from that list which you are really inspired to take on and write it down as a goal for a confined period of time (3 months, 6 months, one year). You can also create a visual chart or a sketch to describe your goal and stick it on your bedroom wall. Carefully allocate a time slot to this activity out of your daily schedule. Shuffle your schedule if needed and get started.
This is not over. In most probability, you will face a lot of hurdles and important items from other areas may overlap with your new activity. Don’t worry if you miss a couple of times, the key is to get back on track and stick to it.
In a few weeks, you will be right on the course to master a new skill, learn a new art or perhaps began a new career. Be open to possibilities that may arise. As you practice this again and again, you will keep discovering your own self and expanding your horizon, paving the way to a life of self mastery. Life will unfold for you in all it’s glory and beauty.
As you practice this, being extraordinary will become a norm!
What’s your experience out of living an extraordinary life?