Positive Path Recommended Reading

Simplify Your Life
By Chris Joscelyne

A friend of mine is a highly successful business executive. Wendy’s “success” is measured by the positive outcomes she delivers for her employer. To achieve this she works 60 hours a week, carrying the workload of one-and-a half employees. She is a true workaholic.

Wendy always says, “YES” when asked to take on any extra activity or task at work, at home or at her Rotary Club. She manages by being a good organizer and a brilliant juggler of activities and tasks. When I asked her about this, she stated that she is indispensable at work, at home and in her Rotary Club. She believes that others simply can’t manage without her, and she doesn’t want to disappoint them by refusing any request for help.

Despite the appearance of so much personal achievement, Wendy is unhappy because her life is “busy and empty”, with no feeling of personal fulfillment. She has always worked hard to make others happy, at the expense of her own happiness. That’s unhealthy.

If she wants to improve her quality of life she must cast aside the worry of what others may think when she says “NO”. This is something that may surprise and disappoint others at first, but it will be an important step towards Wendy regaining control of her life that she has been giving away to others. Instead of saying “YES” to every request, she must learn to be more discerning about when to say “YES” and when to say “NO”.

If you are like Wendy, my advice is: “Simplify your life and re-evaluate your goals and priorities; not just the big goals, but your daily and weekly goals too.”

Some people have excellent juggling skills and are capable of engaging in an extraordinary number of concurrent activities and tasks. Wendy is a juggling champion, however even the best juggler in the world can only have so many balls in the air at once.

So what's the solution?

  • Make a time when you are alone with no disturbances.
  • Think about your values.
  • Write a list of goals you want to achieve.
  • Now, think about all the activities and all the tasks in your life, relating to work, family, community, social etc.
  • Rate each activity and task in importance by allocating it to one of the following five groups:
    1. Important
    2. Fairly important
    3. Neither important nor unimportant
    4. Fairly unimportant
    5. Unimportant

This is a tough exercise because most people make the mistake of putting just about everything they do in category 1 or 2. Of course this is nonsense, and you need to be really honest with yourself about what goes where.

Most people are surprised at the amount of stuff they are doing that is not a 1 or a 2. They are exhausting themselves with too many category 3, 4 or 5 items that they should dump out of their schedule.

The result of doing the exercise properly is to commence a plan to simplify your life and become a "less is more" person. This means that you will commit to less, and put more energy into the shorter list, and therefore get more out of each item. You will feel better about what you are doing, feel better about yourself, and have more energy for the things and people that add quality to your life.

About the author: Chris Joscelyne trained as a clinical hypnotherapist under the tutorage of Margaret Tomko. He was taught grief counselling by Mal McKissock, and he learned meditation in a course sponsored by the Department of Health. He developed his personal awareness knowledge with mentors Barbara and Terry Tebo of Lifespring. 

For ten years Chris was a visiting lecturer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where he taught personal development, meditation and stress management skills. Now he shares his knowledge with a wider community as a speaker, trainer and coach, teaching people how to live "Life by choice - not by chance".


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