Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Making it happen @O_Magazine

I'm a longtime subscriber of O, The Oprah Magazine.  There's something about its big, glossy pages and life-affirming messages that makes me love it.  I'm a little behind in reading my magazines this month, since I was on vacation, but getting home to a big stack of them felt like a gift.

As I read through this month's issue of O, I felt like it was speaking to me... particularly, Martha Beck's article, "You Can See Clearly Now."  The article focuses on creating a plan for positive change, versus complaining or lamenting about obstacles and problems in your way.  With so much change happening in my life, I really feel like 2012 is a new chapter for me, a fresh start... like the magazine cover screamed at me!

Beck outlines the "Four P's" on how to get what you want... Pushback, Possibilities, Preferences, and Pinpointing.

The first, Pushback, is something I could definitely relate to.  Beck says "The ability to soar often depends on pushing back against something you don't want."  By focusing your complaining sessions on what specifically bothers you, you can identify central flaws and therefore identify your true problem.  Complaining can be cathartic, and in this case, help you figure out exactly what is wrong.

The second, Possibilities, is my favorite.  It's about imagination and creativity, and leaving behind the focus on fault.  Coming up with the amazing possibilities before me puts me in a great mood, and eliminating pushback from my mind.  It really helps me to visual my life... moving to a new city, starting a new job, spending more time with my family, even the silly thoughts of business suits and outfits I'll be able to wear!  That's where Preferences come in, narrowing the field to what is most important but still motivating.  Finally, Pinpointing allows you to take your concepts and form words, helping hash out the specifics and providing clarity.

I know that I am an inherently flawed human being.  I'd wager that most of us are.  I speak too much too quickly, and I need to learn to choose my battles and waste less of my time on petty, trivial problems.  But I'm also very introspective, to the point of being overly critical of myself.  This article provides me with basic tools and advice to refocus my complaining, instead turning issues into learning opportunities to lead to positive personal growth.  What more could you ask for in a leisurely Sunday read?

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