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- Oct 5, 2017
I focus on the things that I lost
Thanks for your incredible post and inspirational story! When I read your story, it reminded me a bit of what happened to me. But the difference is, that I focus on the things that I lost. Here's my situation: I used live in the US, I had everything I dreamed of. I had my bachelor and masters degrees in design. When I finished everything, I wanted to work on my own, but the immigration laws are super strict. Even worse my depressed father was literally destroying our family business and my mother's life. So I had to return and leave behind what I have built for 16 years. My two brothers did the same thing, in order to save a sinking ship. Also, we were extremely worried about our mother's well being. For 4 years we fought our dad and saved the company from bankruptcy. Also, we were happy to see our mom finally healthy and become independent from our father. But we wasted so much time trying to fix something that my dad was never going to let go. So my two brothers left the country one after the other. Even, If I wanted to go with them, I couldn't. We did everything in phases. My older brother already had a job, so he could go. My younger brother had to go, he was getting depressed (he has a sensitive health history) by my father behavior. So I made sure to push him out the door, before me. As I was the last one on the ship, I had the time to think on what I wanted to do with my future. I quickly knew, that I had to get back to my love for vintage design and hand painted items. I started to post on my instagram again and reopened my Etsy shop. Things started to move forward, but it was a slow process. My problem is to stay focused on my work. My father is till around being mean and that bothers me. I don't see him much, but when I do...I get really angry. I hope one day, I can t be bothered by him anymore. Do you have any advice on how to stay more focused? and stay motivated when the sales aren't as good as last month?
Sorry for the long paragraph, I feel that if I shared my story I could help someone else too.
G'day @Mackenzie from Oz,I focus on the things that I lost. My problem is to stay focused on my work.
It's a privilege to hear from you.
What a story.
Family relationships are the most complicated relationships of all. Especially when some of the relationships become toxic. They affect your welfare. And your well-being.
Your father is part of your life. His depression affects how he responds to those around him. That doesn't make him your responsibility.
How we respond to external pressures decides how we will progress in life.
We can't control. Or change. Many circumstances.
But we can control how we respond.
And that takes self-discipline.
How self-disciplined we are is determined by how badly we want to seek peace in our life.
We all run into turbulence. No one is immune. But if we don't want that turbulence to cause havoc. We have to remove ourselves from it.
Or. If that's not possible.
Change the way we respond to it.
My goals are very clear.
I want to be happy. I want to keep loving the way I run my business. I want to have meaningful relationships with selected people.
My partner, Victor, lost his father in 1998. His father was a very charismatic man. His mother was totally dependent on his father.
When it was obvious that she couldn't live on her own. We invited her to live with us on our rural property. In her own house. That Victor, an architect, designed for her.
But it was clear from the day she moved in, that she expected to be treated like a Russian princess. That we were to drop everything. To cater to her every whim.
Which was a dilemma for us.
We invited her to be part of our life. Without having set boundaries before she agreed to uproot herself. And make the move to our rural property.
It was an oversight. It never occurred to us that her expectations would be so onerous.
She lived on our property with us for 14 years. And we never shirked our obligation to look after her.
We made significant changes to the way we ran our business. And to the way we lived. To accommodate her.
But. In the last 7 years of her life with us. I had to remove myself from the picture. She became so negative. So demanding. So gloomy. That it affected me in a very personal way.
And. She also made me very angry about the waste of time she became in our life.
Although she only lived 400 metres away from our home. I made the decision to only visit her three times a year.
On her birthday. Christmas Day. And the Russian Easter.
Victor was very adept at keeping his mother at bay. So she wasn't the problem to him that she was to me.
I couldn't control her. Or change her. But I could control my response to her.
Once you change. In a positive way. How you respond to your father. Your anger towards him. And what you feel that you've lost.
Your focus in life will change too.
Victor's mother is only one instance of annoyance in my life.
As with all of us. There are many. And I always choose to remove myself from the source.
If I can't do that. I then teach myself to ignore my anger. And replace it with something more positive.
This is all self-discipline, Mac. And how good you become at it depends on how badly you want peace in your life.
And on how badly you really do want to focus on your business. And to get it moving forward.
I'm very good at distracting myself.
I love music. And when I'm really feeling hemmed in by people who are irritating me, I listen to music that I love. While I'm working.
Or I'll listen to a podcast from someone I admire.
Or watch an inspiring video from someone who is teaching me something.
The internet gives us many avenues for escape. I'm sure you'll find something that will lift your mood when you're really feeling like you've hit a wall with your father. Or with your progress.
Sometimes. I just sit in the sunshine. By myself. And enjoy being quiet.
In the beginning of a business. Sales are up. Then down. For several years. Not just months.
It's just the way most businesses start.
Very few businesses are handed clients/customers on a silver platter. They have to be earned. One client/customer. At. A. Time.
The secret is this. Do something EVERY day. That moves you one step closer to your goal. If you don't feel like taking one particular step. Find a step that you like that day that will move you closer. No matter how small. Even if it's just writing down the telephone number of someone you want to ring to discuss your business with.
Writing your post to me is a step closer to your goal.
I'm a great believer in baby steps. We first learn to crawl. Then we learn to walk. With baby steps. As our legs grow. We take bigger steps. When we reach adulthood. We can take giant leaps.
Big bangs. Come from an accumulation of little bangs.
This is how most businesses grow.
I'm also addicted to my 'Morning Pages'.
A concept developed by artist Julia Cameron. There are pages of information about this concept on Google.
It's a simple concept.
Every morning. Before you read the news. Or get started in your business. Before your brain becomes cluttered with the trivia of the day.
You do a brain dump.
Some people do it in longhand.
I do it on my computer. On a tab in Microsoft OneNote.
I use it to have a dialogue with myself.
Whatever is bothering me. I discuss it on OneNote. With myself. In detail.
I've solved more problems using my Morning Pages than I've ever solved talking to another person.
I have a business friend who's written two books from her Morning Pages.
It's also a form of self-discipline.
As well as a form of getting things off your chest. Without dragging in another person.
If you're not someone who has good keyboard or handwritten skills. Or is friends with the written word. It may not be for you. But perhaps you could try doing it in voice mode.
I refer back to my Morning Pages often. And when I've gathered more information that will help me solve a problem. I add it to the page.
And voila! I have a solution.
It just takes self-discipline. And patience. And the knowledge that there is always a solution. You just need to identify the problem. And then go looking for alternatives.
More proof. That. Big bangs. Come from an accumulation of little bangs.
But one point though. The operative word is writing your Morning Pages. EVERY. Morning.
I hope this helps you, Mac. If I can help you further, please let know. And do keep me in the loop of your progress. ~Carol
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