Today we talk about finding what works and what doesn’t. I came through this interesting idea of making a list of the things that work for you and the ones that don’t. I really never thought of that parallel before. I mean I love lists and I do lists daily. A lot of To-Do lists, then grocery lists, lists of ideas, lists for my luggage, lists of achievements, dreams, goals, etc. But never a double-sided list!
Why a double list?
When you make a list, usually you want to make a review about something. Either you want to review what’s inside your pantry or review what you have to do this week, a list is a good way to set the starting point.
Let’s dig further into our list with our personal achievements’ purpose. If you make a list that means you want to improve a certain area of your life. You want to learn something, lose weight, gain muscle, read more, eat less of something, drink more of something.
Whatever your goal is, a list is a good starting point for any project. However, some need a different tool in order to run their project, because they don’t “do lists”. Others will have enough and simply work with that. But anyway, a list is a starting point for any project.
The fact that you double your list is inviting you to have the pros and cons of your project. The good things you are doing and the ones that need improvement. You have the yin and the yang. Simply put, you balance your views on your new project and make it more positive from the beginning.
If you make a single list, you are seeing only the flaws. If you do a double list, not only do you have a clear understanding of what needs to be improved, but you also know what already worked, what you are doing well! It’s a way to encourage you with a positive attitude, and also it gives you your strength. It’s a win-win!
How to proceed with your list
I recommend you to have a line of action in mind. Being 40+, if I were to write a list of all the things in my life that worked or didn’t work, I think that I would be on the long run project of writing a novel size document!
Choose a category of things according to the area of your life you want to improve. Then on your piece of paper, you draw a line from top to bottom, right in the mid… I’m just kidding!
You obviously know how to make a two-column list! (you do, don’t you?). My point here is when you consider your project. Instead of focusing right away on what you have to do, and what you are missing, start by focusing on the positive side.
First, you must list everything that you already have to your credit. What you already know, do well, created, etc. You will write what you need to do, not on a blank page, but on a page filled with a few accomplishments already! Once you made this first review of your situation, start considering what’s missing, what you need to work on.
The benefits of a positive mentality
You can implement your list from there using both columns. But you’ll see that the burden of a long list of things to do to improve will be lifted by this column of positive ideas already checked. You will gain motivation, and also you will go deeper into your project from the very beginning, as you’ll work from the point of a non-beginner.
Seeing your list with elements already checked helps you remember of your past achievements. This has been scientifically proven to highly increase your chances of success. Someone who has won once will have more chances of winning again. Your past wins will work in your favour and set you on the path for success again.
Envision this as a capitalization exercise. Instead of investing money you are investing in what’s positive in your life! Don’t tell me that you never did any good in your life, that’s absolutely impossible! Of course, if you start from a point of disappointment about yourself, my double list is even more needed. Because if you feel ashamed or incompetent from the beginning, there is no way you’ll make it to the end.
This is not because you are not able or worth it, it simply will be because you weren’t in the right state of mind.
Every Yin has a Yang
Reaching for balance is in nature. We have in us already. The point is, we have been trained to forget it. At school, we were encouraged to wait for the teacher to teach from scratch, and not show at any point that we already knew about this subject. When we are becoming adult, we are “starting in life” and are supposed to have very little from the beginning or we would be “spoiled.”
Even when you cook, you look more valuable if you can say that you made everything from scratch! I’m not undermining the value of self-made whatever it is, life career or bread. I’m all in! I love to achieve things by myself starting from scratch. But the reality is, we have experience. We are not reborn every time we start something new. We have years of experience in life, and this experience is valuable, we should honour it.
Acknowledging our past experiences is a way of reaching a state of balance at the beginning of a project. We are starting in the right place. Because lack of balance is not what nature wants, we shouldn’t consider it as a good starting point for anything sustainable.
Have a great day!
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