Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Secret to the Ultimate Life

I feel like I've been in a bit of a rut recently and while I was thinking of why that might be, I just started to write this post and we'll see if we can figure out why that is.  Hopefully this post will help us both realize why we get in a rut sometimes and how best to dig ourselves out.  At the end I will also share a great podcast that I just listened to that matches the subject of this article and I'll tie it all together. 

I think a lot of the reason I was in a rut had to do with a lot of uncertainty about my job situation as well as some other uncertainties regarding the short sale process on our prior home, but in a bigger picture aspect it has to do with Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

If you're not familiar, it is basically just a pyramid describing various stages that one goes through, with physiological needs such as food, water, air at the bottom and self-actualization at the top.  Self-actualization pretty much just means that you're achieving your full potential.  The thought is that your lower level needs must be met before you can function at your full potential.  

As I mentioned, I think the majority of why I was feeling "in a rut" and "off my game" so to speak is because for the past 3 months, the future of my job in the short term was in jeopardy.  I was second guessing some decisions and was also losing sleep quite often.  We also had the stress of going through the short sale process on our home and the uncertainty of all that. 

That brought me down from the top of the pyramid to the bottom pretty quickly, since sleep was a big factor, especially since I don't function real well on a lack of sleep for any extended period of time.  In the safety and security section, my employment was in jeopardy so I was stuck in the bottom two sections for a good portion of 2 months. 

As I mentioned last week, I got some more certainty that my job will continue in the intermediate term, so that was a big relief.  With the immediate uncertainty alleviated, the physiological and safety/security needs were met and I was suddenly much more interested in reaching out to friends and I found myself reaching out to help other friends that were/are going through a similar situation.  Giving and helping others to get out of the lower levels so that they can get to the top is one of the criteria of self-actualization, so I am getting back on track. 

Quick funny story, towards the end of last week our water was out due to scheduled plumbing work in our building that ran into unexpected issues.  Long story short, it's interesting how a lack of running water and an inability to flush a toilet and shower from Wednesday afternoon to Friday evening can quickly knock you back to the bottom of the pyramid, but I digress.

When my lower level needs are taken care of, I tend to seek out new things to learn and look for new motivation/inspiration to take things to the next level.  Along those lines, I just finished listening to the most recent podcast from The Kickass Life, entitled Secret to the Ultimate Life.  The author is living the life of his dreams and on this particular podcast he recorded the episode from his own personal island off of Belize.

He told a quick story of a particular student in his class this underwent an amazing transformation over the course of the prior week at the island, just by continuously stepping outside her comfort zone.

At the end of the podcast he encourages you to do something outside your comfort zone on a daily basis to release the self-imposed shackles on your mind, which he says is the secret to the ultimate life.  It could be as simple as not sitting in your regular comfortable spot on the couch for starters, to taking a different way into work, to trying out a new meal item at your favorite restaurant.  Anything that gets you out of your normal routine and experiencing a different perspective.

It is something that I think I was really needing to hear today, just beginning to come out of the rut I was in and I really think it is a podcast you will enjoy.  You can either play it right here from the links at the bottom, or download it in your favorite podcast app and listen on the go.  I enjoy most of his podcasts as he is never really selling anything, he's just offering tips and stories on how you can have a Kickass Life. 

I'd be very interested to see what you think and I challenge you to listen to the podcast and come back and write at least one new thing you did today outside of your comfort zone and I will do the same in the comments below.  I'm going to set reminders to go off every few hours so that I don't forget.

One example I can think of right off the bat is trying a meal I wouldn't normally eat.  I am a very picky eater and I typically get the same thing at my favorite restaurants, or eat the same things at home.  This might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is definitely outside my normal comfort zone and I can already see how that could provide an added benefit for not only myself, but my more culinarily adventurous wifey as well. 

Kick Ass Life: Secret to the Ultimate Life (30 min)


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