Be Busy Chasing the Right Things in Life.

Let’s face it, letting life get too busy is extremely easy to do.

We need to make money or we lose our things or don’t end up accumulating things in the first place. As we accumulate more things and relationships, this means more responsibility. Jobs need to be maintained to make money. Also, our families, our homes, our toys, need maintenance to keep them from falling apart.

All the responsibility for a successful life brings can be stressful! But stress or not, we can enjoy having both nice things and healthy relationships. And even though having both of these can be a challenge, it is entirely possible to balance it all out.

Being Busy Chasing the Wrong Things is not Good for Health.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with having nice things. But I tell you what. As much as I desire to have these things around to take care of my wants and needs, healthy relationships are much more important.

In all actuality, the things I bring into my life are only useful in so far as they enhance the growth of my closest relationships. That and they are within my means to maintain them. Meaning I have the time, energy, and money.

Honestly, I am going to have to say that if the things chased or acquired are not useful and are outside of my means, then they really aren’t that nice at all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that are outside of my means that I would adore having. But giving too much attention to these things is horrible for all areas of my mental and Emotional Health.

With a mind like mine, it’s too easy to get wrapped up in not having the things I desire. All the while, being disconnected from all the beautiful things that are already here

Being disconnected, even ungrateful for my current situation is a cause for unnecessary stress and mental obsession.

Stress Busy

Being Busy it Needs to be with Chasing the Right Things!

I have some pretty amazing things in my life these days! These things work wonderfully to enhance my closest relationships.

The work that needs to be done to maintain these things and relationships alone can sometimes be overwhelming. My wife and I work incredibly hard to keep what we have in good repair.

To be chasing too many things and relationships I don’t already have can leave my current belongings and relationships with less time for maintenance. With less maintenance means more relationship wear and tear. As well as more opportunity for relationship break downs.

So if I am going to be spending time dreaming big about my next things, relationships, opportunities, I sure as hell better make sure that my “house is in order.”

Having my house in order means that I do not leave my relationships and belongings too needy.

If the car or house are breaking down, I need to get them fixed. And of course, if there are pressing issues with my wife that is causing relationship strain, that needs attention ASAP.

To be daydreaming about a bunch of new life experiences while my foundation is in shambles, that is just plain silly. It is also a clear sign of DENIAL.

I doubt I am the only one here that lets their priorities get out of whack. Let’s see if you can relate with this list. If you can then you may be a little guilty as well!

Busy Priority

Here are some signs that show we’re BUSY getting our priorities out of whack.

  1. Procrastinating what should be taken care of.
  2. Giving more of our minds to what we want to buy than our close relationships.
  3. Spending far too much time staring aimlessly at our phones.
  4. Feeling like our healthy relationships are some burden to bear.
  5. Daydreaming too much at work.

Is it ever responsible to be busy?

My philosophy on the subject is that if the relationships are not too needy, then we are safe to dream big about what we currently do not have.

But if we are in Imagination Land while things are falling apart around us, THEN WE NEED TO WAKE UP. Wake up and come back to reality!

Our lives need us! That goes for the lives we are currently living, and the lives that we are set to attract.

But it all starts with taking great care of our current situation, relationships, and belongings. Which also builds a solid foundation to support all of the new things and relationships that will be coming.

Okay, so I began this article talking about chasing things. Now I hope it clear to you that I believe we first need to “chase” a solid foundation for our lives. We need to chase that solid relationship with our selves, families, jobs, current belongings.

Busy with Relationships

We need to put in the hard work to take care of exactly where we are at. And then and only then can we responsibly chase down anything else!

Here are some tips to help Busy ourselves responsibly.

  1. Spend ample time with our closest relationships.
  2. Take good care of our own bodies.
  3. Have a Gratitude practice.
  4. Look to create value for our relationships.
  5. Meditate or just take time to breathe and turn away from our thoughts.
  6. Discuss expenditures with everybody that will be affected.
  7. Ensure current belongings are well maintained.
  8. Don’t spend money frivolously.
  9. Pay attention!
  10. Turn off the Cell Phone from time to time.

Be Busy Being Well.

It is amazing what building a solid foundation in my life does for my mental and emotional state. I don’t always follow my own advice perfectly, or even very well at times. But I do know that this works!

Developing healthy relationships with the people and things in my world is no mystery to me anymore. I know how to do this. But if it feels like a mystery to you, then I hope reading and applying what you’ve read here helps you out.

The most joyous times I have are when I look at my life and know that my hard work helped make all this happen. That my commitment to be good to what I have and the relationships I have developed have made life amazing.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

Relationships : About Contribution, Not Management.

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In this article are touching on the principle of contribution in relationships. This is a tremendously important aspect of keeping relationships healthy.

The writers of My Life Experiment are a married couple, myself and my wife Casey. We come from similar life paths, in that we have lived through the pain of addiction. And that we both found and have thrived in recovery from addiction. More often than not have been strongly supportive contributions to the fulfillment of each other’s ambitions. Through the duration of our relationship we have come to understand how important the principle of contribution is to relationship growth.

What is Healthy Relationship Contribution.

To contribute is to give. To give what? Well to enhance the healthy aspects of our relationships, we give what will benefit the growth of these healthy aspects. The contribution could be time, money, words of inspiration, honesty about hurt feelings, or anything else that is done in a spirit of goodwill for the relationship.

Contributing to the health of a relationship is about building the relationship up, rather than tearing it down. We can give a great deal of our anger to a close relationship of ours, this is also a contribution. But it is a contribution that will not lead to or enhance a long term healthy relationship.

 

Dock photo

What has worked so well in Casey and I’s relationship is that we have our own personalities, our own friends, and our own recoveries. I don’t feel the need to attempt to micromanage Casey’s life, and Casey has been able to do the same for me. Thank god!

We are able to have all of these things be separate, but still come together on enough things so that our relationship isn’t left to be too needy.

I don’t know about you, but I can get the feeling of suffocation quickly in any relationship. Without necessary space I am likely to freak out. I tend to be a bit of an introvert as I discussed a couple of posts back. That and I have had ample problems with other people’s expectations, and with those I perceive to be authority figures.

I remember one time when I was cleaning the fridge back at our old apartment. As I was cleaning, Casey walked by and said “Great job babe” or something similar. My immediate response was “you’re not my manager.” It was pretty funny to me, but I think it took Casey a little for bit for her to have the same sentiment for the comment.

Just so you know, I don’t believe my wife is my manager.

I have given ample thought to this situation and here is what I am concluding. Some unresolved stuff in me thought that she was trying to condition my behavior… So, I revolted!

I imagine this feeling is common place in relationships that require this amount of time to be spent together. Or maybe I am just justifying my behavior.

Despite occasional revolts from feelings of being controlled, thankfully Casey and I have worked well together! But it isn’t controlling each other that has helped our lives together grow so rapidly.

We certainly push each other, encourage each other, and compliment each other! We understand that in order to have a happy relationship, we need to change, grow, and find success in new territories.

Casey knows that my success is her success, and my clean fridge is her clean fridge. And most of the time, I stay reminded of the very same thing!

Team Players!

We understand that we are a team. We realize that the team needs the fridge to be cleaned, the litter boxes to be emptied, the dishes to be done, and so on and so forth with the never ending list of responsibilities there are to take care of.

Even though sometimes innocent comments about my cleaning performance can be viewed as attempts to condition my behavior, it doesn’t really matter because that is all part of the process.

To be in a healthy, intimate relationship, we must allow the other person to leave their mark on us. They need to know that their needs, are needs that not only they care about.

Now does it really matter that compliments may be a great way to make it more likely that someone will behave the way I would like them to? When it comes to having a healthy relationship, of course not!

Casey isn’t making me be in my marriage, nobody is making me show up to weekly baby appointments, and cleaning the litter box. Nobody is forcing Casey to make any contribution to My Life Experiment blog, or any of the thousand contributions she has made to my life.

We choose to be in this relationship. And we choose to make it a healthy one. Both individually and mutually making contributions to each other!

A big reason I have been able to keep my end of this relationship healthy is because I have kept my own mental and emotional health in check. This has come from me showing up for my personal recovery.

Another great tool I have is the Therapeutic Writing Guidelines we have developed. This writing process has made huge contribution after huge contribution to my recovery. If you would like to obtain a printable copy, go ahead and join My Life Experiment’s email list on the side bar! You will get a printable Therapeutic Writing Guide, as well as receive our new blog posts directly to your email.

Thank you very much for stopping in to My Life Experiment once again or for the first time. We appreciate you all for supporting this family endeavor!

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Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.

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Leadership with Healthy Expectations.

For as long as there have been leaders, the argument for how they have been made has probably been going on.

The argument goes like this. Are leaders born, or are they made.

Over the last 9 years I have come to terms that I am and probably always will be a leader.

Leaders inspire. Leaders push for movement towards shared goals. Leaders also make sure their expectations for what needs to be done are expressed to everyone involved with the relationship.

follow me

In order to make expectations for relationships I am a leader for healthy, I can clearly see some things that need to be in place:

1. Relationship Development- When I have managed at my job, people have needed to do what was expected in order to receive a paycheck and receive good reports. But most of the areas I lead in do not have a monetary reward for meeting expectation. To get people on board with my expectations, I need to develop rapport with them. And I need to give them a damn good reason to want to build something with me. Just berating people with my expectations without a mutual and enjoyable relationship, means that these people will probably tell me where to go (and for good reason)!

2. Reasonable Expectation- What I mean by this is that I need to get a gauge for what people can perform. I believe that this requires me to study people’s behavior, also setting a high bar for initial performance. Setting the bar higher at first can give me a gauge for how much someone can do and cannot. If I set the bar too low I may never get to know what someone is capable of doing.

3. Effective Communication- I know that if expectations are to be healthy, they need to be communicated. People need to know what I need from them. If I don’t communicate the expectations, I am probably going to assume these people know what I want. Then I will be frustrated when these people are not meeting my expectations. Even though these people never even knew what I was expecting in the first place!

4. Consistent Evaluation- When individuals have accepted my expectations for their performance, for whatever reason, I need to let them know what I think about their performance. I need to show them my gratitude for meeting expectation, I need to show my dissatisfaction for performance not being met. I have also found that when I am expressing my frustration, I need to do it in a way that respects the individual.

5. Continued Support- To me it is not enough to simply express what the expectations are and to give reports on whether they have been met or not. I also need to let people know that I have their backs. People that I am in a leadership role with need to know that I am willing to do whatever it is that I expect from them. And if I am not skilled enough to do what needs to be done, I need to be willing to help find someone who can.

Now BELIEVE ME… Being able to write this list has come from struggle. I have pushed on people too hard without having a solid relationship in place and pissed them off too much. I have expected too little from people and watched them get bored. I have assumed too much, I have expressed too little. I have neglected to practice what I preach.

I don’t say this to guilt myself, I say this because this is My Life Experiment! It is only by experimenting with life, and examining the results of my actions thoroughly, that I have learned the skills I have.

In the article about Hustling to Maintain my Sanity I talked about all the things I need to do to maintain my sanity so that I don’t fall into my old way of life. Being a leader is just another one of these things I must do.

I have also found that when this leader does not lead, stress builds, and so do the tendencies toward depression and anxiety. But when this leader does lead, I find that a natural skill comes out that has positive effects for helping any relationship I am a part of, find consistent growth.

I know a lot of people may argue that leaders are simply born, they are not grown. I believe that line of thinking is pure rubbish. I believe that if individuals truly desire to learn the skills that are involved with being a successful leader, that they can do so!

Sure, I do believe that some people may be more geared toward being leaders than others. I also don’t know where this tendency came from for me. Was I born with it? Or was it something I developed when I was navigating a world as an insane man that could not stop using mind altering substances?

Whatever the case may be, this trait is a part of my personality now. And as much as I would like to remove the leadership trait at times, I cannot.

I don’t always appreciate that one of my first tendencies is to nudge people into new territory and place expectations on them. But I at least have been learning how to get the most out of the leadership quality, and have been honing how to have, communicate, and get positive growth out of the expectations I am developing for people today.

I wish you well on your path of learning how to lea with healthy expectations. And thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
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  2. Share this article on your social media.
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Meeting the Healthy Expectations of Our Relationships.

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In an article a couple weeks ago, I wrote about some methods I use for dealing with disappointment. Now let’s talk a little about what makes disappointment a thing, in the first place. Expectations.

My History With Expectations Placed Upon Me.

Expectations from my relationships, are unavoidable. Whether they are placed on me by my family, the company I work for, or any other relationship I have, they are still mine to deal with.

As I look back on my life before recovery, I didn’t think I had trouble with the expectations of others. But I remember one time when I was talking to a buddy about having such a hard time with depression, he told me “Dude you are way too hard on yourself.”

Those words rattled through my brain for many years and still come around today. Honestly, I didn’t even know what in the hell my friend meant by being “too hard on myself.” It sounded right but It has taken years to figure out what he meant.

To me, being too hard on myself means that I am punishing myself for not meeting expectations. Expectations that for some reason or another, my mind and body feel like they should be meeting. Many of these expectations coming from the minds and pressures of others.

The words my friend spoke to me was in the middle of one of my hardest times battling addiction. For many years the only expectation I could commit to, was the expectation that I would continue destroying my life. During the midst of that I also had another expectation pushed on me. The one that pertained to me stopping using, growing up and learning how to productively use my potential. And that is ultimately what I desired. I wanted to hold down a job, be a part of my family, and create my own family.

Expectations In Recovery.

I got clean and made my way into recovery in November of 2008. And I was quickly reacquainted with the past expectations I was never able to meet. It showed up as anxiety, and I had a ton of it. All the things I “should” have been doing had stacked up, waiting for their turn to get some attention. I get the picture of an open door and 1000 people attempting to struggle their way through at the same time. Pure chaos.

Throughout my recovery the relationship I have with expectations has changed quite a bit. I have gone through periods where I was trying to meet every expectation possible. There have also been times where I have pushed back hard on any expectation that others may be trying to place on me. Trying to be superman for people has helped me to get in touch with many emotions from the past and has helped me to learn many new skills. It also helped keep me clean as I did service for my recovery community. But with all the ambition I have for growing a family and a business of my own, on top of maintaining a job, I found myself burning out from too many responsibilities.

There have also been times where I have pulled back too far and tried to convince myself that I didn’t care to meet hardly anybody’s expectations. This has led me to avoid places that keep me healthy. And would you believe it? I found my attitude getting crappier and crappier, and built up my anxiety to an unwanted level.

I have found that I don’t really have a choice about needing to meet certain expectations if I want desire to have a healthy life, and healthy relationships. For example, if I don’t meet the expectations of my boss for too long, I won’t have a job anymore. Neglect my wife too long, and you better believe that’s going to strain our relationship.

Managing Expectations

My Thoughts for Deciding Which Expectations to Make My Own:

Of course, I don’t have to meet every expectation that comes my way. And over the years I have developed some ways to decide what expectations I allow myself to take on, and here they are.

1. Decide if I care to have a healthy life or not.

If i care to have a healthy life, then I will be needing to accept a certain amount of healthy expectations from others. Since learning how to meet enough expectations is important for the continued growth for any healthy relationship.

2. Decide if I want this expectation on me.

If I am feeling this expectation to get something done, I can ask myself a question. Do I really want to take care of this expectation? If I do, then I will commit to doing so. If not, then I will likely turn it down. But in certain relationships to not meet enough healthy expectations might be the beginning of the end of something good.

3. Decide if I want the possible rewards from meeting the expectation.

In any healthy relationship, there should be potential rewards for being in the relationship. And I better be willing to put in the possibly hard work to meet the expectation, to receive them. For instance, when I started the My Life Experiment website! I knew that to get what I want out of this website, that a whole new world of expectations would erupt for myself. I decided that I was ready to take them on, because I sense great potential for future gains!

4. Decide If I am willing to deal with the risks of not meeting the expectation.

If I am at work, I may not always want to meet all the expectations that are placed on me, but I need to if I want a paycheck! Or if I don’t want to meet the expectations at home I am going receive dirty looks. Sure, I could always not meet these necessary expectations for healthy relationships, but I better stay aware that there are consequences for deciding not to meet them.

5. Decide if it is my Responsibility in the first place.

First of all I need to know if the expectation I am feeling is from a responsibility that is even mine. If I am feeling an expectation that I should be taking care of is someone else’s responsibility, then I probably need to drop the expectation. Because I am probably wandering into the overly codependent piece of my personality.

This list represents many moments of frustration and disappointment, and my learning what my experiences had available to teach me. I hope you are able to use them to help yourself. And thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. Please like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
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Much Love,
Travis Hagen

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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