When I used to read articles on the internet of people promising a formula for life, I’d think how bloody ridiculous! As if there could be a formula for the perfect life!?
Even when I worked as a coach and worked with the 7 principles of magic, as I termed it, I used them more as a guideline than an actual formula. (Don’t worry I’ll be sharing these in a future post).
What I found is that they were a little too esoteric for most people to know how to apply and those people who did get them had to work really hard to integrate them into their lives.
I don’t know about you but I work hard enough. I’m not keen on having to expend more energy on working out a framework for my life.
A few weeks ago I was sitting on a plane to Cape Town and I realized that there absolutely IS a formula for life.
I was thinking about the areas and times in my life when I’d been successful or happy, in most cases it was both. It came down to these three things;
Well Lisa, I thought, what about authenticity? Well that comes under accountability.
What about following your heart? That comes under belief?
What about the power of habit? Well that’s surely consistency.
The playing field for our lives is not even. Being born into a wealthy family in the US versus being born a woman in Afghanistan leaves you with a very different set of cards before you’ve played your first hand or taken your first step. The lottery of birth is a real thing; some people are dealt very difficult cards from the very beginning. That is simply a fact and I have no interest in denying it.
Just as it’s a fact that we’re often dealt things in the journey of life which we’re not prepared for. In 2021 my dear friend Farai passed away from cancer and there wasn’t a damned thing she, her family nor her friends could do about it.
So when I talk about the formula for life, I’m not talking being flippant and saying that it’s easy or that you’re in control of everything. No it isn’t easy because this is life and often life isn’t easy. Lottery ticket or not, we love. We lose. We live. We have challenges.
What I have found however is that these 3 ‘approaches’ trump every time. Those who have faced challenges, become resilient, which is consistency. Those who take accountability, begin to take fate into their own hands no matter what has passed.
And those who have belief, or even faith, are able to keep going in the most adverse of circumstances or even be able to change their circumstances through a shift in perception.
So in the interests of keeping this easy and of making it practical, let’s explore what this looks like in everyday life.
A is for Accountability
When you’re personally accountable, you take ownership of situations that you’re involved in. You see them through, and you take responsibility for what happens – good or bad. You don’t blame others if things go wrong. Instead, you do your best to make things right. (Mindtools)
Questions to ask yourself to help yourself take accountability
- What are the dreams I have in my heart?
- Where am I not being authentic in my life?
- Do my actions match the dreams I have in my heart? Which could be the same as asking ‘Where am I sabotaging my own dreams?’
- What self sabotaging behaviour do I have? And where did it come from?
- Who do I have to become in order to ‘be the change’ I’m looking for? (For example, how many people want a relationship with a person who is X or Y but then they themselves are not X or Y?)
B is for Belief
“Every person has a set of personal beliefs and ideas. These may include beliefs about spirituality and religion.” (Livestrong)
Belief can be divided into external belief and internal belief. Belief can also be divided into two categories; continuous thought and profound knowing.
Questions to ask yourself to bolster your beliefs
- What do I currently believe about myself?
- Do I have faith in God, life or the universe and is this something I feel is missing from my life?
- What do I believe about money, love and the world?
- What one belief would make me feel better? (For instance, mine is the universe has my back and what is happening is a gift even if I can’t see it)
- What do I want to believe about myself?
- In what way could I see this situation as a gift that is unlocking something greater in me and my life? (This will help facilitate a shift in perception).
- What actions can I take to help booster a new belief? Whilst it’s widely considered and understood that thoughts create action, what isn’t often documented is that fact that action has an impact on thought. People will often say ‘I’m just not an exercise person but actually they just haven’t practiced doing exercise frequently.
Every Time you do something that feels good like do some exercise, you’re more likely to think more positively about yourself as your are to think more positively about the activity itself. As such belief is strongly tied to consistency.
C is for Consistency
Consistency is all about habits and essentially describes the actions you repeat frequently over time. We all do certain things; they either make us feel better or they make us feel worse.
It’s about what actions you perform daily over time. These can be conscious or unconscious (where you are not even aware of them).
Do something often enough and a nueral pathway is formed in your mind so that it becomes second nature. This is why trying new things is so important – it literally helps your mind create new pathways so that you’re able to see new possibilities.
Questions to ask yourself to create positive consistency in your life
- What one habit can you devote yourself to doing DAILY that will boost your peace of mind or self confidence or wellbeing? For example doing a daily language lesson on Duolingo, writing in your journal, doing a half hour of exercise or doing five minutes of prayer or meditation.
- What kind of people do I surround myself with? Do they facilitate positive or negative habits in my life?
- What one habit has a really negative consquence in my life? E.g. spending time scrolling on social media, complaining about something,
- If there are certain habits you have that you don’t like, before trying to eradicate them, try to see where they come from. For example if you do things to make people like you or you drink alot even though you don’t like it
Beyond ABC to our beautiful selves
The goal isn’t to be 100% accountable or to ‘believe’ 100% or to have the perfect set of consistent habits. No, the ABC formula is the stepping stone that helps us shine.
Our natural functioning, or as I call it ‘beautiful’ selves are generally joyful, resilient and peaceful. Of course this occurs on a spectrum and we may be prone to more or less anxiety or depression. Our levels of joy, resilience and peace will also be affected by our environment and circumstance and our interpretation thereof. I can’t imagine many of us were feeling joyful when CoVid broke out.
Accountability, belief and consistency can be impacted when we’ve been through a traumatic event which is entirely natural. If this is the case, you may want to seek help through a counsellor or therapist to help you.
Actually I’ve found some kind of therapy, important as a constant in my life and I don’t mean working with a therapist. Therapy comes in many forms; nature therapy, downtime, yoga, or even just a Sunday afternoon on the couch with a good book.
Take the test below and use it as a guide rather than a measuring stick to see where you want to shift a few things in order to feel your beautiful self.
Take the test
Put a mark of 1 next to each of the following questions considering each item on a general basis. If you’re having a bad day, or even a great day, try to answer the questions on a more general nature, for example over the past two months, rather than just considering ‘today’ or the past couple of days.
- I tend to blame life or other people for my problems
- I take on responsibility for other people’s problems and want to fix their lives
- I tend to blame myself for my problems
- I often sabotage myself
- I tend to want others to fix my life for me or I’m waiting for ‘something’ (like wealth or weightloss) so I can be happy
- I have no dreams in my heart
- I don’t like my life but I feel powerless to change it
- Everything feels impossible
- I don’t trust in anyone
- I don’t trust life, the universe or a higher power
- I trust my gut or my heart to lead the way
- I trust myself to make decisions
- I’m aware of what habits make me feel great or make me feel bad
- I know my self sabotaging behaviour
- I start my day off with one good habit that sets me up for success or happiness
- I generally practice habits that have a positive impact on me or those around me
- I practice good habits not perfection (in other words, your habits are not a checklist for perfection but rather a daily practice for your inner wellbeing)
- I understand the reasons I have self sabotaging behaviour or habits that make me feel bad about myself?
Give yourself a mark out of 5 for each section and then multiply by 2. For example if you gave yourself a ‘1’ next to three questions on section A, your score would be 3, which would be x2 to equal 6.
Your scores mean the following;
- 0 to 6 well done, you’re human and you’re doing well!
- +6 to 12 perhaps there are a couple areas you may want to observe or pay attention to
- +12 paying some attention here will dramatically impact your life for the positive
Awareness is the first step
I have made the mistake of trying to be perfect many times in my life. And it never ends well. Approaching the ‘ABC formula for life’ with awareness, curiositity and interest as opposed to judgement, perfection and self condemnation will have a far reaching and positive impact on your life.