The most common refrain I’ve heard as of late might be: “Steve, I’m tired of being stuck at home watching video-conference faces in little boxes. As soon as this lockdown business is over, I’m going to travel as I’ve never done before.”
We would all agree that it’s been quite a year or so, and there is no number of unstuck dreams people carry around with them. I’ve heard people tell me they want to live in Italy for the next six months (and gain 25 pounds), go on river cruises, visit the baseball, basketball, and football halls of fame, or attend an in-person event.
Whatever the particular craving, I have always wondered if getting unstuck in those ways will produce the desired result. I often wonder if reacting rather than responding to getting stuck accomplishes anything.
It is Easy to Get Stuck
I agree it’s easy to “get stuck,” but I’m not so sure most of us go about getting unstuck in the healthiest, most positive ways. Here are seven methods to getting unstuck you might like to consider.
1. Nurture your beautiful soul – For many people, getting unstuck means losing unwanted weight on an exotic diet, getting cosmetic surgery, training for a marathon, or buying an expensive piece of exercise equipment. Remember, beauty does come from the inside, how we feel about ourselves. Our diets work best when we love – and not judge – ourselves. You have a beautiful soul. Please start nurturing yourself there.
2. Experience love and laughter – One of the latest family catchphrases is “life experiences.” We want fun adventures to get our families unstuck. Please consider that an expensive vacation we can’t afford is no different than an expensive “toy” we can’t afford. What your family will honestly remember is your presence, and you are present. There are dozens of modestly priced adventures that run on significant doses of love and laughter and not credit card debt.
3. Reach out and help someone – One of the best ways to get unstuck is to understand that many of those around us could use our helping hands. This past year may have inconvenienced you and forced you to compromise your lifestyle, but there are those around us suffering from challenges we are not. Be compassionate to those who are stuck. The acts of kindness we show to others come back to us a thousand-fold. Please don’t hide away your heart.
4. Turn off the noise – We often feel stuck when there is so much noise around us that we have no time to think. Set a time to unplug from your devices, turn off the computer, get up from the television, and go for a walk. The digital world will do just fine without your presence. The best way to think through “stuck problems” is to separate from the artificial and re-discover the natural.
5. Have a positive attitude – Often, getting unstuck means a change in attitude from negative to positive. How do we know what we want out of life if we’re always unhappy with the life we have? Focus on the positive.
6. Simplify your schedule – It’s hard to see the forest through the trees. Very often, “stuck” people are trying to do more and more, booking and over-booking, until they are drowning in lists, promises, appointments, and expectations. My recommendation is to simplify and prioritize; stop trying to be everything to everybody. It’s OK to say, “Sorry, I can’t.”
7. Consider the internal before the external – It is far more essential to work on the emotions inside than the gadgets outside. Be happy and at peace with who you are and what you have. If you’re feeling unhappy, please explore the real reasons for that unhappiness and work on those reasons one by one. Never be afraid to seek help in your quest toward an unstuck life. No rule says you must be alone on the path toward a better situation for yourself.
We can all get stuck, but for the most part, we have the tools at hand to get unstuck. Start this journey from where you are in your life. We are in a time of great promise, and this year can be the most beautiful ride you have ever taken. Start by getting unstuck from neutral and put your life into drive. Move forward by applying a different formula to a whole new level of your life. To get unstuck, change the formula.