What if I told you that working toward anything in life requires at least a little bit of mindfulness if it's going to be successful? I've spent the last month ruminating on how I can get from where I am to where I want to be, especially financially. Shortly after I made my decision to only work on No Bull Self-Publishing and the Infiltration Trilogy this year, I was presented with an unexpected opportunity....
It came in a roundabout way, and yes, I did have to invest in myself and my further education. But as I've gotten older, I have learned more and more that you cannot expect anything phenomenal for yourself if you don't invest in your own greatness. Online courses are all over the place; you can literally learn anything online. I happened to be trying to learn about how to properly market your book and stick in the Amazon rankings by understanding more about keywords, categories, how the algorithm works, and how to properly launch a book specifically.
Several funny things happened. First, I was introduced to a platform called Teachable that actually provides training with a pro membership (at least they were offering it when I stumbled upon the platform). The weird part is that I had just decided to focus fully on creating my first online class for No Bull, but I didn't want to use Udemy and LFE was nowhere to be found (I explored both of these options when I first had the idea a couple of years ago). So I didn't even know it yet (because I thought LFE was still around), but I was in the market for a new online course platform. And you know what? The universe sent me this option at the perfect time.
Mindfulness Tip #1: Pay Attention!
The next weird thing that happened was a direct reflection on how I handled myself the day before. Yesterday was a tough one... for whatever reason, I was irritable and stressed. When this happens every once in a while, I wind up feeling this tension bubbling up in my diaphragm and chest, and I yell at the kids. Which is never fun, but it does happen.
Today, there were three incidents that could have escalated very quickly. People were pissed at me for almost no reason! Between someone honking at me to move out of the way (repeatedly, very obnoxiously) at the airport to almost thinking I locked myself out of a car that isn't mine, it didn't click until later... this is the way I treated my kids coming back to me as almost instant karma.
Mindfulness Tip #2: What You Send Out Comes Back!
The next thing I've noticed since I've been doing all this planning and in-depth work to plan and achieve my goals quickly is that, because I do yoga and meditate every day (okay, not every single day, but most days... it still helps) for the last two months or so, I find it much easier to stay in the present, not worry about my next tasks, and stay focused on the task I'm actually working on. The moment my mind tries to wander, I pull my thoughts back to right this second and stay there. Any time it happens, I do the same thing.
This has allowed me to get more accomplished in less time, be more productive, and enjoy my work again... something I've been struggling with for over a year. Last year was shitty for a lot of people, so I know you all know what I'm talking about!
Mindfulness Tip #3: Don't Form Bad Mental Habits in the First Place!
But that requires change. And not just any change... inner change. Unfortunately, this is the absolute most difficult type of change for most people because many people don't know how to even begin, and we all have a tendency to give up or shut down if things get too challenging and we don't consistently see our own improvement.
So, how do you go about changing your attitude from one of negativity and anger and complaining... to one of happiness, easily letting go of the things that are "bad" or go "wrong," and being focused and present?
A little bit every day.
Happiness is a skill... once that clicks for you, your life will improve dramatically.
The best way to change anything as far as yourself is concerned is one day at a time, one habit at a time... one moment at a time. That's what this journal and one of my other clients' journals I recently edited is designed to help with, but you have to actually do it.
I know, I know... a daily commitment seems so tedious and time-consuming. Well, I'm here to let you know that 5-10 minutes a day is plenty to start seeing positive changes and improve your life from the inside out. But you actually have to do it!
Speaking of which, I recently realized that I had invested in a membership for a specific service all the way back in 2015 and then never used it. Totally forgot about it! Chances are that Fibers wouldn't have been stuck at 12 reviews for six months if I had taken a couple of hours once a month to use it. Shame on me!!! lol
But that's exactly the thing. Improvement happens over time... change happens over time (at least purposeful change)... success happens over time with consistent work.
I'm excited but not wildly ecstatic like when you're infatuated for the first time. I feel good but realize that there is and will continue to be a LOT of work involved. However, I also realize that the faster I put the work into these projects, the faster they can make me money, and the faster I can move on to the next thing.
My main purpose for blogging about this is to also keep myself on track. It is way too easy to lose discipline and fall into bad habits, especially when it comes to your thoughts. When I remain focused on the present moment, my purpose, and taking small steps toward what I want to eventually achieve (but don't dwell on the future), I find that it becomes much easier to stand at the counter and work all day or sit on my balance ball and work some more. Despite my body being in pain (three misaligned & twisted thoracic vertebrae with an inch of leg length differentiation), I don't feel like it's necessarily a "bad" pain, just an indicator that I'm pushing myself and refusing to be unhealthy about it (sitting all day every day = death... with a very slow and painful decline first).
So, with that said... how are you feeling about the new year? How many of you are still kind of reeling from last year's insanity? I know I am.
Finally... how many of you have specific things you want to focus on this year while working toward a goal? How many of you have no idea and are happy just to survive another year?
Choose to thrive rather than just survive, and no matter what you choose to do with your life, make sure that it is worthy of you.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found something in this blog post useful and actionable for your own life. It's the journey that counts, and the way to enjoy your journey is to be here & now as much as possible.
Twisted yet positive coffee enthusiast with an appreciation for blood, mystery, and Root Beer floats.
All content © Jennifer-Crystal Johnson.
For inquiries about speaking engagements, freelance work, or consulting, please email jen (at) brokenpublications (dot) com.