Last night my wife and I watched “Anger Management” for about the fifth time; it is one of those staples in our movie collection that never seems to tire. The script, the direction and the impeccable performances of Sandler and the “Godfather” of Hollywood (Nicholson) achieved perfect alignment conspiring to produce a movie of destiny — one that will endure. At different points during the viewing, each of us either giggled quietly or erupted into hysterical laughter.
Last night we were in the mood for something light, something funny, something fun. On the surface this production delivers on this checklist and more. You see what was marketed as humour, actually is a powerful teaching tool on many fronts. The director and writers have left us with a great deal of thought provoking content.
Most importantly, how are we doing with the management of our lives; and are we even aware of how our learned and acquired behaviour influences our decisions and the quality of our lives.
In life, there are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who say “what happened”?
Being oblivious to the life we are living and the tests that we are facing is the greatest of sins; that is allowing the tail to wag the dog, allowing others to make the major and minor decisions in our lives without emotion or consequence or a sense of responsibility is simply a waste of a life. Why do I speak of this with such disdain? Well, I’ve been there; in retrospect, I have extravagantly wasted opportunity and I mean huge opportunity.
The next greatest sin is to be aware but to lack the permission, the empowerment to take control of one’s life. In this scenario, we tend to defer to the apparently superior decision-making capacity of the “players” in our lives; these could be decisions about the workplace (policy, products or even personal careers). Or they could influence our personal lives (decisions about who to marry, whether to have children, how to relate to relatives, who to befriend).
And yes, I know what this feels like as well.
I could go into a lot of depth about why this occurs and who is responsible; however, I prefer to focus on how to move forward, in spite of the baggage and influences that have cluttered our thinking.
Obviously, the first step is awareness. If we lack awareness, change is less than impossible; without awareness, we don’t know what we don’t know and so change cannot happen.
For these people, a severe test often can kick start the process of enlightenment. If you feel that you would like to be proactive and launch into a process of awareness on your own terms, you can work with a life coach to begin a structured awareness diagnostic that connects you to your strengths, challenges, passions and links into the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual parts of your life.
With regard to the latter sin, the answer is to systematically take charge of your life. By systematic, I mean act consciously to constructively address all test that you face. By consciously I mean becoming aware of when you are being tested; your body will always be the first to know. The most common signal can be felt in your chest — your body telling you that something is not right. Use this prompt as a call to action. An immediate and reactive stance will not usually produce positive results. A systematic and constructive strategy usually will.
A strategy that produces growth must analyse the events that led to the angst in the pit of your belly. It must establish whether there are related events that preceded it, say over the previous year. This assessment must be integral in that you must honestly ask yourself whether you should shoulder all or part of the responsibility for this impasse. And finally,you need to devise a solution to the problem that will build bridges, strengthen relationships and overcome obstacles.
This approach may sound overwhelming and idealistic; however, the reverse is true — it is the straightest line to restoring equilibrium and is quite realistic. Working with a life/executive coach will provide a clearer demonstration of how these tools can be used effectively.
Please let me know what you think. A dialogue on these issues can produce awareness and enlightenment. Have a great week.