It starts the moment you are born…that shocking smack that welcomes you into the world. Now we all know that doctors do that for a reason – so the baby will be forced to take that first breath on its own. So while the baby is wailing, everyone else in the room is rejoicing.
Do you ever feel like that as an adult – that you’ve just been delivered a life smack? Figuratively speaking, I will tell you that I have – quite frequently, in fact. And I will tell you that, just like that baby, I do not like it one bit.
But I will also tell you that life smacks most of the time have a purpose. Here are 5 reasons life smacks happen…and 5 ways you can prevent the need for them in the first place.
1. They shock us out of our comfort zone.
If we’re not careful, we can easily get to a point where we are just “going through the motions”, doing today what we did yesterday and the day before and the day before that. We stop growing. We still show up and do our job, but there just isn’t a lot of passion for it. And then the boss calls us into the office and delivers the life smack: “We’re going to have to let you go.”
We can prevent this pain simply by setting growth goals quarterly. Every three months, make sure you are learning something new, adding some new value, or getting involved in a new initiative. Doing this on a regular basis keeps your skills fresh, and it also speaks passion to those in authority. If you have lost your passion for your work, take on a new challenge that is within your strengths zone. Not only will it give you energy, it will give you exposure for your true gifts.
2. They stop your current thinking pattern.
A good proverbial smack upside the head is a good cure for negative thinking, narrow thinking, or not thinking. If that doesn’t sound appealing, then prevent the need for it by breaking your own thinking patterns. Very often you can do this by changing your environment, changing your associations, and/or changing your schedule just a bit. If you’ve ever had a creative block, you know that something like a brisk walk in nature is a good cure. If you’re stuck in a thinking rut…CHANGE something.
3. They make you change gears.
Sometimes life smacks are needed to get us to change direction. If you sense you’re heading in the wrong direction, stop and seek wisdom from your valued counselors. Stopping for counsel before you get too far down a wrong path is a wise choice.
4. They make you breathe new air.
When you are delivered a good swift smack, it forces you to gasp for air. For a newborn, that is a good thing. If you’re taking on a new endeavor (like starting a new business), be sure you take some time to breathe. It is easy to get so focused on building the business that the other areas of life can be suffocated. If you’re doing one thing for an extended time, doing something different for a bit is like a breath of fresh air. You need it, or you will burn out. Even if you’re doing something you love, you can’t do it all the time exclusive of everything else.
5. They make you feel pain.
Yes, life smacks hurt. But pain is good because it is a real wake-up call. When you feel pain, it gets your attention. It tells you something is not working, and it needs to be fixed. So if you feel the pain of a good life smack, ask yourself what needs to be fixed. Though we can’t prevent all pain, there are things we can do to minimize it. Those who are seriously into sports know you must condition your muscles to help prevent injury. To minimize the pain of life smacks, keep your life in good condition by practicing good habits regularly and working toward goals. Being strong beats getting smacked any day.
If what you’re doing isn’t working, I urge you to join us at http://strengthleader.ning.com/ . Check out our tools for growth and support. I guarantee it will be like a breath of fresh air…without the pain of the smack.