Episode 3 | (00:01):
Hey there, friend. Today, we're going to be talking about the quickest way to get clear on what you want in midlife because getting clear — having clarity on what you want — will help you get out of that midlife rut. So are you ready to go? Let's do this.
Today, we're going to be talking about the quickest way to get clear on what you really want in midlife. You know, the reason people experience a midlife crisis is because they're in a rut, you're in your little midlife rut. And the reason you're in a rut is because life isn't as new and interesting and sparkly as it was when we were younger. I mean, when we were younger, we were looking around, we were curious, we were asking questions like, “Oh, what's this? What's that?"
And then as we get older, we settle into who we are and our personalities are formed. We understand what we care about, what we don't care about, and that's normal. I mean, that's completely normal and it's actually quite healthy as long as it is serving us. But sometimes we get stuck and we get frustrated because we don't know what to do to change things.
We know something needs to be changed, but we're just not clear on what that is. That's when clarity is going to play a really important role in our lives.
Clarity gives you insight into what your heart really wants instead of what you may think you want, because after we've been thinking about things in a certain way for so long, it just becomes ingrained in us that this is the way things are and this is the way things are going to be. And that can be kind of a hard idea to shake. So clarity is crazy important.
But how do we get it? Two little words: pay attention.
Pay attention to your life, pay attention to what's going on inside of you and outside of you. I'll be the first to admit this pandemic gave me what I refer to as “pandemic brain.” I don't know what you were doing but in my house, I was self-medicating with Netflix and Hulu and Prime Video...
and just about anything I could get my hands on. I was numbing myself to the reality of the situation. But when we're in that numb state, we just kind of go pfffft. Life is kind of...meh. We're not even curious about our own lives anymore.
The person you were in March of 2020 is a completely different person than you are right now because you've been through a pandemic. You're different, whether you want to believe it or not.
So now it's time to get interested in our own lives again, and that means we're going to be getting some clarity.
One of my favorite quotes in the entire world is by Frederick Buechner. Let me share this with you right now...
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the hidden and holy heart of it because in the last analysis, all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.”
The reason I love this quote so much is that it’s basically telling us to be curious about our own lives. We need to be detectives. We need to be listening to our lives. What's going on with us inside? What's going on with us outside? What makes us tick?
And think about "...all moments are key moments and life itself is grace." If we really lived our lives like that I can guarantee you that we would be outside more. We would spend less time in front of a screen of any kind, and we would be truly enjoying each other on a much deeper level.
So let's get back to clarity. One of the quickest ways to start paying attention to our lives is to listen to your words, because your words are very telling. Now, this fascinates me...
I'll be on the call with a colleague and they'll say, “Okay, I'll call you and let you know.” And I'll say, “Okay, great. I'll wait for your call.”
Then I don't hear anything...and I don't hear anything... Finally, I follow up and I'll say, “I was just following up. I hadn't heard from you," and they say, “Oh no, why didn't you call me? Why didn't you remind me? Was I supposed to do something?” The reality is that I'm thinking, “Well, yeah, I mean I’m glad one of us was paying attention to the words coming out of your mouth.”
You see, that person made a commitment to me that they were going to follow up and they were going to let me know, right? But they didn't do it because they weren't paying attention to the words coming out of their own mouths.
When we are aware and listening to the words coming out of our mouths, we will realize that words are powerful and they reveal much deeper things about us.
Have you ever had this happen to you? You were talking to a friend, maybe you just had dinner and you're sitting around with a cup of coffee. And this is an old friend, or maybe a group of friends that you're very comfortable with. You guys know each other inside and out, and you're very relaxed and you’re talking and all of a sudden, you say something out of the blue that really surprises you. You surprise yourself with it. And you say, “Wow, I wonder where that came from?”
Now, I know you've heard the term “heart-to-heart conversation.” When you surprise yourself with what you say, it generally means your heart was speaking up about your true feelings and your true emotions.
Now that happens to a lot of us, but most of us would say, “Oh, that was weird. I wonder why I did that?” And then go along our way and dismiss it. We don't even pay attention to it, but we really should be curious. We really should be asking ourselves why? Why did you say something like that? Where did that come from? Is that true? Is it not true? And really examine what had come up for us.
Okay, now I'm going to say something that might be stepping on some toes, but I feel like we all need to hear this. It’s the phrase “I'm too busy.”
In my experience — and I can say this with great authority because I used to say it myself all the time — this is simply an addictive phrase that we use to make excuses, to get out of stuff, to make ourselves feel more important than maybe we really are in that moment and that situation.
And as a former “I-can’t-I’m-too-busy” person who used to say that, I started looking more closely at my words. And then I’d look at my calendar and I realized I really wasn't that busy because I always make time for what's important to me. If it's important, it's going to happen in my life, right?
I'm not saying that we don't have busy seasons because we all go through that. But if you find yourself saying “I'm too busy” all the time, maybe that's something you need to look at, because we are never too busy for what matters to us.
For example, if you love golf, you can pretty much guarantee you're going to do everything in your power to protect that time on your calendar. You're going to be making your tee time.
And if it's an early tee time, you may even get there a little early to grab coffee and a donut and hang out with your friends for a little while before you tee off, right?
If you love family and family is important to you, I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how crazy your day is, you're going to stop and answer the phone if you see that it's your son or daughter calling you. And you’re going to do everything in your power to make it to the grandchild’s soccer game or ballet recital or whatever it is. That's because it's your priority.
So let's release the phrase, “I'm too busy” because it's old and it's worn out and your friends and family are really tired of hearing you say it so much. So if getting clarity is important to you, you will make it a priority because you want to get out of this midlife rut.
Now you're asking, “How do I pay attention to the words coming out of my mouth?”
Well, it's pretty simple. After every conversation, just check in with yourself… how do I feel? What exactly did I say? Did we leave things on a good note? Or did it feel kind of weird when we left each other? And if so, examine that a little bit more. What was it that felt odd or weird as you said goodbye to this person?
Also ask yourself, did I make a commitment to take an action? Now, this is really important because you want to be seen as a follow-through kind of person, that you're reliable and dependable. Well, I mean, most of us want to be seen as follow-through kind of people but maybe you don't...maybe you want to be a flake. I have no idea. ;)
But if you want to be that reliable, dependable person and you do this consistently, you're simply going to build trust with the other person. And that trust is just going to deepen your relationship even more.
Now, you might want to think about getting a notebook or an app to track some of your answers to this, because the reality is when you start tracking, you may start seeing some patterns. Maybe those patterns are a little something here, a little something there that you can tweak. Or maybe it's something bigger that you need to address. Either way, just keeping track of what you're saying is important.
But the most important thing of all of this is being aware and paying attention. And when you're paying attention during a conversation with someone, they see it and they feel it and they experience you in a different way when you are fully present as opposed to looking at your phone or thinking about your next appointment, or thinking about getting your hair cut or whatever it is.
So they're going to feel all that during their experience with you, and that's not going to deepen your relationship at all. As a matter of fact, it's probably going to make them more feel more distant from you.
So that's your fun-sized action for today. Just start paying attention, becoming more aware of what you're saying and be fully present with whoever you're speaking with. That's it.
Oh, just a reminder. Don't forget to get your free gift at EasyAgingExpert.com. There’s a link in the show notes. Thank you for spending some time with me. I hope you got something out of this and until next time, have a refreshing and peaceful day.