Strategies for a Better Life

Strategies For a Better Life ― What to Stop and what to Start

To create a better life, you must make some changes. However, the goal of creating a better life is worth it.  Are you up to this challenge?

Strategies For A Better Life

The key to getting the most out of this strategy is persistence.  Changing long-standing patterns of thought and behaviors is difficult.   So, before you start, we recommend you review the article on change and how it might impact your life.

We often think we are ready for change until we run into some emotional and physical challenges.  Knowing how you might react is helpful.  Reviewing the coping skills for change will help you keep on track.  It will give you the knowledge to push through.

It’s important to realize that this process takes time.  Some people spend months or even years especially when you have addictive or compulsive behaviors.  If this is the case, seek professional help.  Ask them to help you through this process.   That’s because this is “serious” inner work.  So, you can expect unresolved issues to surface.   If they do, then it’s a sign you need to deal with the roadblocks to a better life.  Since we all have our own life experiences, there isn’t one way to handle these.

It’s also helpful to find a partner that wants to undertake this same challenge.  You walk your path, but it doesn’t mean you need to walk it alone.  A partner who is involved in this same type of change process will help you.  And you may find that helping them brings clarity to your struggles.

What to Stop and What to Start

This strategy involves stopping negative thought patterns and behaviors to make room to add positive ones.  In other words, you’ve got to empty the negative to make space for the positive.  It sounds easy.  Why is this so hard?

Stopping any long-standing thought or behavior pattern is difficult. Patterns reinforce the negative things and situations in our lives. It’s a self-perpetuating circle of negative thoughts and actions.  This is the essence of self-sabotage.  And, self-sabotage is more destructive than you realize.  This is because the things we do that are self-sabotaging are often habits.  Habitual things become unconscious thoughts and actions.  We find ourselves doing the very things we don’t want to do.  Breaking this cycle takes some work.

Another common issue is what we call the comfort zone. Our Ego is comfortable in any situation where it can maintain control.   People can live in unhealthy situations and do unhealthy things and not want to change.  So, just because you are comfortable where you are doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  If you can envision a better life, then you have a goal that can help lead you out of the twilight zone of the comfort zone.

Here’s the positive.  Stopping bad behaviors leaves more room for good behaviors. We learn to use the habitual nature of the mind to install positive thoughts and actions. There are some universal actions we can take to create a better life.  It involves some conscious effort but the return on the investment is worth it.  So, let’s start with the things you should stop:

What to Stop

This is the hard part.  To make room for the good patterns, you need to stop doing the negative stuff first.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to add good things to offset the bad.  It will not work. The negative patterns are powerful will cancel out the positive.  And, this leaves you feeling guilty.

So, for these strategies for a better life to work, you need need to identify the negative patterns. Then you can remove them. This will make space for new self-talk and positive behaviors.  Here is a list of the most common things that are roadblocks.

    • Above all, Don’t live life as a victim.  This makes you powerless with the rest of this process.  If you have past traumas that affect your present life, you need to take the time to deal with them.  The problem here is the victim mentality becomes your identity.  When you are a victim you live life with an undercurrent of fear and anxiety.  You need to transform to a victorious survivor.

How can you tell if you have a victim mentality? Basically, you spend a lot of time blaming.  Bad stuff happens to almost everyone.  The challenge is learning from these experiences and moving on.  If you can’t move on, you get stuck.

    • Resist living and believing what society tells you to think and believe.  We see at least one-hundred (100) different advertisements for goods and services every day.  Stay away from network TV and radio.  That subliminal stuff works whether you realize it or not.
    • Stop following popular trends.  It is a never-ending spiral to unhappiness.  Don’t let yourself get caught up in consumerism.  Fashion trends lead to unhealthy comparisons.  
    • Trying to make other people happy is a trap.  Of course, you still need to meet the needs of your boss at work.  But, do it to meet the goals of the company.  Don’t make it personal. 
    • Relying on others to make you happy is a mindset that makes you codependent.  
    • Stop the input of negative cultural programming especially group hypnosis tactics.  The main portal for negative programming is religion and politics.  It comes in several forms, radio and TV programming the typical required meetings  This type of programming is dangerous for you and everyone on the planet.  It takes up a lot of mental bandwidth and stunts your ability to use reason and common sense.  

What to Start

Once you’ve eliminated the negative it’s time to reprogram.  The space and clarity of thought will make these new processes more powerful.  This is where strategies for a better life start to pay off.  If you are already doing some of the things, reinforce them.  If you aren’t doing these things, then start using them.  You can do this!

    • Assess and make the most of your life situation and abilities.  Most people are underemployed and many people have valuable skills and knowledge they don’t use.  Find an outlet for these abilities. 
    • Find out about the mechanisms of your mind.  Use the Enneagram of Personality Profile.  This tool will show you the default settings of your Ego and how to move beyond them.
    • Create and maintain a beginner mindset.  Use every meeting as a learning opportunity.
    • Go outdoors spend time in nature.
    • Learn how to research and come to your conclusions.  The scientific process is what brought us out of the dark ages.  It is at the root of all human advances.  Learn it and practice it in your life.  Learn how to spot the facts from the fiction.
    • Take time to cultivate and express your creativity.  Art is an expression of the heart.  But, the idea and concepts come from an even deeper place in our spirit.  Do art for yourself, not for others.
    • Learn how to open the voice of your intuition.
    • Help others any way you can, and do it often as you can.  Be a good person.
    • Enhance your observational powers.  Learn to observe your thoughts without judgment.
    • Use positive affirmations.  However, don’t add these too soon.  They won’t cancel out negative self-talk.  Apply them once you’ve eliminated negative self-talk.
    • Add at least one element of self-care to your routine.

Helpful Tools

    • Use your smartphone to remind you of the things you should start or stop.
    • Use sticky notes on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, and in your car.
    • Don’t reward yourself for success by indulging in something negative.  On the other hand, don’t punish yourself when you fail.
    • Realize that you aren’t perfect. Remember, this type of change isn’t easy.  You may have setbacks but keep the goal in mind.
    • Ask for help, get a close friend to help you in your change effort.

    In Conclusion

    These strategies for a better life aren’t easy.  But then, change never is.  So, are you willing to put in the work to make it happen?  If you want a better life, this is how to do it.  In fact, people may notice the changes in your attitude and life before you do.  Change is often incremental.  We don’t see the change because it happens so slowly.  So, keep a spiritual journal of this inner work.  It will help you to see the growth and spot any patterns that you need to work on.

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    Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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