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Why is it that we can plan a party, a groceries trip, a vacation, but we can’t make changes to our lives?

The stakes are too high. We choke.

The key is escaping the choke. No advice is useful unless you’re inspired to act.

The unknown future is scary. But there are simple, non-scary actions you can take to defy that fear. You can step into a garden, like the Wheel Questions, Wheel Answers project. You can write on a card. Sure, there’s more to come! But you’ve just proved you can face it and take the first step.

These are the elements of Operation Take Back Your Life:

  1. Cross into the Abyss. Do something, anything, just to make a start. Walk into my garden and confess a problem that’s been troubling you. Or mark a “Change Day” on your calendar and have a celebration with friends.
  2. Learn to control your mood. Emotions come from your mind but also your body. You have some control over both. Sure, life feels overwhelming with the energy you have right now. But as you tackle your troubles, you gain energy! If you can believe “Hey, in 20 minutes I’ll feel glad I did!”, it can help you to get up off the sofa and go do something fun. In 20 minutes, you’ll feel glad you did.
  3. Make goals from your head. We all know how much trouble the heart can get us into! Seriously, this is not a time to go with your gut and hope for the best. Think it through (not round and round) with a few exercises that lead to goals. For example, make a list of:
    • The things that make you happy
    • The things that make you unhappy
    • The things you thought made you happy that actually don’t.

    Use these to study yourself like a movie star who was going to play you in a film. What do you really want? What if the Queen were to visit? How could your life be awesomer?

  4. Become a Project Person. Changing your life is a great project to take on. Sure, there are chores to it. Motivate yourself with the mindset you use on your favorite hobby. You visualize the finished project. You talk about it with friends and strangers. You may contact a pro or join a club to learn more. You keep track of your progress. You make it a passion! Dump your embarassment — everyone has troubles of some sort — and talk about it, embrace it, live it, fix it!
  5. Walk only with those who will come. Sometimes we are held back by negative relationships. People who are unreasonably needy or complaining. People you might love — but love is not enough if you just can’t get along. Give up this idealism that if you do nothing, other people will change. You have to make the change. If you can’t walk away, try backing off. That will give you strength. Use it to back off more. This starts an upwards spiral of confidence. And confidence attracts positive relationship people.

There’s a lot more to say, but these are the basic principles that helped me when I was in great need, and underlie the companies I’ve founded and the biggest adventures I’ve had. It’s a secular, results-oriented method of self-reliance. It really is possible to live drama-free, feeling in charge of your life and going somewhere good.

Some day, when I get the free time, I might write a book. Until then, you will find more details in my blog, as people put cards in my garden and I respond to them. Please add your own responses and comments. Even if you don’t have much to say except “You can do it!”, people love to know that someone who cares is out there.

We’re out here. You can do it!