Mindstate Motivation Blog

How to be Black and White in a World of Gray

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to do the right thing. Right?

I mean…life and the choices it presents aren’t always black and white. It would be so much simpler if that weren’t true. But, the truth is life is about figuring it out not getting it handed to you.

You definitely have to work at it on a daily basis or before you know it you will be years behind. A little effort each day will definitely keep you ahead of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, even just a little effort on the wrong things doesn’t make for a life that’s right.

It’s like the contrast between the words, efficiency and effectiveness, and what they mean in this case.

Efficiency is about doing things at the right time in the right amount of time. Effectiveness, on the other hand, is about doing right things in the right way and getting the right result.

When you are both efficient and effective, your life will be right on schedule. When considering what to do to be efficient, adapt the time management ideas that can be of help. One great source for those kind of ideas is a book entitled, Never Check Email in the Morning, by Julie Morgenstern.

When it comes to effectiveness, it’s all about getting organized. Another book by the same author can be of help: When Organizing Isn’t Enough, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

All of that said, one of the best thoughts I’ve heard about making generally right choices in life is from Charles Dickens.

“Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.”

Sounds right to me!

BUT…let’s look a little more deeply into this whole issue.

Life can be a little daunting to say the least. At every turn, there can be a new challenge of choices and those challenges can seem never ending.

But, a good life is led through overcoming a series of bad challenges. You can’t look at life as if it is a super highway to the end. At best, it has its “super highway” stretches and at worst it can be like a rocky, narrow, precipitous, mountain trail on which you are lost.

The key is not to despair and give up at any point or—God forbid—lose your balance. As they say, keep on keeping on!

All of that is easier said than done but it must be done! So, how do you do it?

First, take an inventory of where you have been and what you have done with your life, so far.

Next, dream a little. Take what you’ve learned about yourself through the inventory and apply that learning to brainstorming your wildest dreams.

Initially, don’t judge just let it flow. Don’t think why you can’t…think why you want to. It’s the “want to” that can lead you to the next step in the process.

Go back through your list of wildest dreams and draw a line through those that don’t give you a visceral sense of enthusiastic emotion as to why you want it.

You will only get what you emotionally connect to what you want!

Take your reduced list of wildest dreams and prioritize what you want to go after first, second, etc.

Build your individual plans for achieving each dream.

The final step is the most important. Follow your plans and take daily action on them! But, be careful!

A Jewish proverb is best to make my point, here.

“Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.”

Said another way–Use common sense when changing the gray of life into black and white choices.

How has the information in this post changed your thinking on making choices in the future?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Mindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) helps organizations with inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps people better profit through performance.

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