Dreaming is great, but at some point, it needs to be replaced with something more constructive. According to researcher Gabriele Oettingen, too much positive visualisation can have a demotivating effect: living in ‘fantasy’ and spending too much time visualising removes the impetus to take action. People who live in the clouds too much often end up stuck there. When you find yourself in dreamland for too long, wake up and start figuring out what happens between A and B.
According to the Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’ (your ‘reason for being’) – when overwhelmed, you should simply…slow…down. Breathe. Stop rushing. Take your time. When you resist the urge to go into hyperdrive, you immediately feel more in control. The thinking here is that when we try and do everything all at once, we often give up or fail because what we’re trying to tackle becomes too overwhelming. Going slower, instead of quitting or doing a job frantically, will more likely keep you on course and prevent you from giving up.
Feeling stuck? Silicon Valley design innovators Bill Burnett and Dave Evans explain how we can find happiness and contentment at any stage of our lives by adopting the same methods designers and developers use to solve their problems. Instead of obsessing over the ‘one right thing to do’ and the ‘one right way to do it’, they suggest starting somewhere – anywhere – and step by step, moving forward. This approach involves reassessing, readjusting, and reiterating as you progress. There is no one ‘right’ outcome. When you realise that there are many possible routes, suddenly the stress of trying to get there in one specific, rigid way, disappears. Design your life, as you go along, and improve it bit by bit.
We are constantly bombarded by distractions – it’s a wonder we get anything done. It may seem daunting at first, but for those of us glued to our phones (and all the things that come with it), it’s even more crucial to practice switching off every now and then. Yes, it takes discipline, but it is so worth it, and you’ll be amazed how much you get done when Facebook/Twitter/Instagram isn’t tempting you to abandon your focus every 2 minutes. Need help? Check out Arianna Huffington’s Thrive App.