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The Freedom of No Baggage

March 5, 2010

(CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST MAY CONTAIN CONTENT TOO PHILOSOPHICAL IN NATURE. BE ADVISED. I’M IN ONE OF THOSE MOODS.)

Life can get complicating.

One minute you’re doing what you think you enjoy. You’re knee deep in the tasks you need to get done. You’re busy. You’re feeling a delusional sense of accomplishment. The next minute you suddenly find yourself driving down a dead end street and you can’t remember how you got there. And for some odd reason, you continue to drive down that street, knowing it will eventually end. But for some reason you just have to keep driving.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

So many parts of my life have been enjoyable as of late. I have a good family, a great house, a thriving blog (that makes me no money but I still enjoy it) and supportive people around me. My health has increased exponentially as has my wealth of information. But something has been holding me back. This something has been feeding on me. This something was the proverbial monkey on my back – and it was getting fed so much it was taking root. It was firmly embedded within me and together we were driving down that deep, dark, dead end street. For how long we have been going down that street, I can’t really say. I just couldn’t get rid of it.

Today that monkey and me parted ways. Let’s face it – most of us have this baggage, these monkeys on our backs. This baggage has many names. Let’s skip the cliches by naming them and let’s just skip to the chase. You know the baggage is there. What holds you back from naming it, claiming it and then getting rid of it once and for all? Is it fear? Is it habit? Is it complacency? How can we allow ourselves to be compromised by this baggage?

BEING COMPROMISED BY THE BAGGAGE
You can bet you are experiencing some baggage in your life if one or more of the following are taking place:

  • You rationalize. Deep down inside you know you’re worth so much and you can do so much more. But a part of you realizes you’re not reaching your potential. So you rationalize why it’s OK to be sub-standard. You accept rather than challenge yourself. You allow others to tell you what you can or can’t do. The John Locke character from ABC’s LOST says, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” But you’re not THAT guy anymore – you’re busy rationalizing why you can’t do something. Like begin a new start, break an old habit, start a fitness program, etc.
  • You aren’t fulfilled. You look at yourself and you begin to find other ways to be happy instead of making things right. Some people turn to food or drugs or alcohol, etc. You’re looking for answers but can’t find them. What you can’t find is happiness. And you can’t find happiness because deep down inside you know the answer, but you simply run from it.
  • You daydream more and more. What’s a guy/gal to do when they can’t find contentment or challenge? They give up living the dream, finding the dream – and they simply think about the dream. This isn’t the goal setting type of dream. This is the type of dream that demonstrates you’ve given up. All that’s left is the dream because everything else has become a nightmare.

TAKE OUT THE BAGGAGE
Now that we have identified if you’ve got baggage and how it is holding you back, how do you get rid of it?

  • Identify your goals. In the busy shuffle of life, we can all too often forget who we are or what we want to become. Grab a pen and pencil and begin to make a comprehensive list of everything you want to do or become. Don’t allow negative thoughts to come into the picture. Just keep writing.
  • Number your goals. Did you honestly think I was going to have you write down goals and then perhaps weed them out or rank them?? Heck, no! Let’s simply put numbers next to the goals in the order you wrote them. Many productivity folks will tell you that the best way to get things done is to start at the top of the pile and work your way down. No prioritization needed. Just get it done. Start numbering.
  • Take action. Taking action takes many forms but it begins with one step. Don’t try to conquer the world. Just take one step today and then two steps tomorrow. Start with your first goal. Identify one or two things that you need to fulfill that goal. Make them easy wins or easy steps. When you see that a few steps CAN be taken, you will feel a sudden surge of success and be more encouraged to take the next steps. Taking that first step is a necessary piece. That’s called progress.

As you continue down this road of obtaining goals, you’ll soon find your baggage is quickly fading. For extra help, find support to get out from under your baggage. There is power in numbers. Challenge a friend and help them with their goals. Imagine the happiness the two of you can obtain simply by helping each other.

This “Baggage Theory” of mine relates easily enough to fitness, weight loss and resurgence – both physical and mental. It can be applied in many ways. So, start today. Start right now. Make your list without a moment’s hesitation.

Claim your baggage. Head for the exit (just like in the picture above). Walk through the sliding glass doors and get ready. Your goals and your future are not so far away as you might think.

What are your goals? What is the baggage you’re going to shed?

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