Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Know What Your Life Is Missing

by Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me

Do you sometimes get that feeling when you are leaving your house that you forgot something? You look around, check your pockets or your pocket book but you still can’t remember what you are missing. The thought that you forgot something important is driving you crazy, but still you leave the house and go on with your life.

Sometimes you feel the same way about your life (I know I do). You feel that you have everything and yet something is missing. This missing part keeps you from being happy and completely satisfied with your life. You keep searching for the right thing but you can’t find it. You then get frustrated about your life and nothing brings pleasure any more.

In Russian folklore there is a fairy tale that describes this situation. The main character, in order to get his princess, has to perform a very difficult task that the princess’s father gives him. “Go There, I don’t know where. Find That, I do not know what.” Do you feel that you have the same task in your life sometimes? Of course the guy in the fairy tale gets his princess in the end and they live happily ever after but his methods probably won’t work for you.

How do you know what you are missing in your life? There are two strategies that you can use in order to answer this question.

Strategy #1

Let me get back to the analogy about leaving the house.  A lot of times when I leave with that funny feeling that I forgot something, I realize that I actually didn’t forget anything. I had everything I needed and my trip (to whatever place I was going) was very successful. It was just an illusion that bothered me.
Look around your life. Are you really missing something or is it just an illusion? Do you set unrealistic goals for yourself?

If you think that you are not as happy as you want to be, please remember that even the happiest people in the world have bad spells in their lives (they just know how to deal with them.) If you think that you are not rich enough then remember that you cannot be rich if money is the only thing you are chasing after (even if you have millions, it won’t be enough).

You already have everything you need and everything you need is within you. Stop saying “I will be happy only when/if … ” Be happy and live your life right now. Be the person you are and stop chasing the phantoms of your past or your future.

Strategy #2

A few times when I walked out of the door, I realized that I had forgotten my cell phone or a letter that I had to drop off at the post office. A few times when I was still in college I forgot my homeworks papers (and I got into trouble because of that.) Somewhere deep down I knew that I was missing something, but my mind was so cluttered with millions of other thoughts that I could not dig it out at the right moment.
Your life might be really missing something and your subconscious is trying to tell you about it. It is great that you are paying attention to these thoughts and now is the best time to find out what you can do to make your life better.
  1. Clear your mind. Let’s start by organizing your thoughts and giving you some clarity.
    • Set aside some time to meditate.
    • Go to a peaceful place without your cell phone or any other distractions (park, beach, art gallery or any other place that inspires you).
    • Allow yourself not to worry about anything (leave all your stress behind and grasp the moment).
    • Do not think about what your life is missing and just be grateful for what you have.
    • Walk, run, write, swim or do any other activity that you enjoy and that lets your mind relax.
    • Breathe.
    • Look around.
    • Breathe.
    • Listen.
    • Breathe.
    • Be present.
    • Relax.
    • Breathe.

  2. Look at your life through the eyes of a stranger. Have you noticed how fast we can usually see what is missing in the lives of people around us? What would you say about yourself if you didn’t know yourself? Would you see a workaholic who spends every free minute working on a new project but forgets about his wife and children? Would you see a housewife whose life is limited to the house and taking care of her family? Would you see a person who desperately needs to take care of his/her health? Do not be partial to yourself, be honest.
  3. Ask yourself “Is my life in balance?” Break your life down into these 7 areas:
    • Career/ business/ accomplishments
    • Money
    • Family/ romance
    • Social life
    • Spirituality
    • Self growth
    • Health
    Are these areas equal or do you see gaps in some of them? You can write down your accomplishments in each of the areas and this will help you figure out what you are missing in life.
  4. Ask yourself “What can you do to fill in the missing part of your life?” This is the biggest question that we are afraid to answer sometimes. You already know what you are missing but you do not want to admit it because you are scared of changing your life. You do not have enough courage or will power to take steps that will make your life full. Break down your goal into smaller steps and start growing. Mary has just written a wonderful article about the concept of growth vs change. Follow her advice and start growing slowly into a better you, rather than changing the way you are.
  5. You still didn’t find what your life is missing? Go back to strategy #1 and start living your life with the awareness and acceptance of who you are.
Have a full and balanced life everyday and every moment of your life!

Photo courtesy of Dia™
Anastasiya Goers is writing passionately at Balance In Me.