When our focus is broken by an outside force, or by our own actions, we can easily find ourselves seemingly with no options to work with. What happens is that our ‘normal’ life as we knew it is no longer sizzling as it used to. We feel totally out of control and sometimes powerless to do something about it. Here are some examples:
These brief moments of transition can easily induce a situation that causes one to feel stagnant. Personally, I think it is a blessing to realize that you are stagnant chiefly because of two things: First, you have a desire to have, be and do more than you have at the moment and second, you have been in motion and now you seemingly are stagnant.
But here is the thing: The fact that you are powerless to do something about your stagnant situation does not mean that you are powerless in everything. Contrary to common belief, there is one major option that you have while you are yet stagnant. This is the option of growth, to grow and increase yourself while still in the current quagmire.
The fact that you are unable to get to the next level as desired does not mean that you can do nothing until the next level comes. Waiting has been one of my biggest downfalls in the few years I have been alive. I know scriptures admonish people to wait, but the waiting it talks about is not of paralysis and immobility. There has to be something that we can do to grow. The following are the several ways you can keep growing as you wait for your breakthrough. I believe that those who are practicing all these seven or some of them cannot really complain that they are stagnant.
At the core of any energized pursuit for personal advancement is your spiritual core. When you are stagnant for one reason or another, you need to realize how great an opportunity you have to build up your spiritual muscles. One of the requirements of building your spiritual core is quantity time…which I am guessing might not be a problem for a stagnant individual. While you are yet stagnant, give yourself a personal challenge to develop your spiritual core. You know the basics of spiritual growth? Here are some:
Ideally, these things should be a daily dose of our personal development. What I am saying is that when you are stagnant, let not this area of your life be stagnant too.
Can I tell you one secret of Life Signatures articles? More than 60% of my inspiration to write articles come from my jogging escapades! There is tremendous benefits that accrue from challenging yourself to a physical personal discipline. Most people do not have excuses for this.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the ‘well to do’ who are supposed to be jogging. (I have lived in two extremes. Once I lived in a poverty stricken environment and I could not see anyone going out jogging for the period of time I briefly stayed there. I have lived in a ‘well to do’ environment and I have counted hundreds upon hundreds of people who go out jogging).
It is as simple as having a jogging kit. If you don’t, you can slice one of your trousers and go for it. If you have no trainers, give yourself a challenge to do it barefoot. Make it fun and interesting.
Once you are out there, give yourself some goals:
How much time will you spend?
What distance will you go?
What speed will you use?
Get back home and record your results. When you get out the next day, it is now a challenge to either equal or to better your personal best. Again, this should be a daily thing to do, but when you find yourself stagnant and you have not been doing this, it is a very great place to start. The last time I was out an idea for writing a book called ‘From Zero’ came to me. You don’t need money to do this.
No, it is not useless to dream. One of the biggest catalysts to succeeding in anything is the ability to dream passionately about it…daily! Now that you are stagnant, you have a golden opportunity to either revisit the dreams you had initially or to start the dreaming process in earnest. I am talking about a structured and concentrated focused thinking on what you want, what you desire over what pervades right now.
This is where goal setting comes in. I just came from interviewing over 50 people for 10 field positions and I can tell you emphatically that none of the 50 (including some with MBAs), none of them know what they really want/desire in life. The Goal setting process helps with this. If you find yourself stagnant, you would do yourself great favor to sit down and write what you want in life and craft some strategy to attaining it. Never mind if you have no power, money or anything to activate the dream. Dreaming is paramount. You had better be stagnant with a great dream than be stagnant with none. One quick exercise you can have is vision boarding: getting the photos of the kind of life you desire and displaying them on a vision board…
Once I had a broken relationship. That ‘stagnation’ caused me to start asking serious questions about the meaning of life. Of course I had been seeking to know my purpose like nothing else before this event. However, this event helped me to put everything else on the back burner and focus only on knowing more about my essence. It is from that experience that I got to write the following words about my purpose: My purpose is to speak a word in season to those who are weary.
When you find yourself stagnant, do not ask the wrong questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” (Although that is a good question with a good answer too). Ask empowering questions about your life, your family, your impact and legacy on earth. Seek to find answers and prioritize that seeking over anything.
This is a good way to grow while you are still stagnant. Again, you must have known what your purpose is before you got stagnant. If you did, then you can still refine the impact you have had with it.
Reading instructional and inspirational stuff is the wild card of personal development. In our day and age, you must schedule the time and the place where you will have this done. Sometimes when we are stagnant, we easily resort to watching movies and series to make time pass. I am not against that, but I am saying that there must be a ratio between your Education and your Entertainment. The Education must be scheduled since entertainment has already been scheduled by someone else for you.
As much as we have loads of entertainment available even with no Cable TV, we also have hoards of inspirational stuff available in books, e-books, videos, and audios. If you are stagnant, make sure that you have something that you are reading and gaining from. Something that calls you to action after inspiring you. Again, this ought to be a discipline even when you are not stagnant. However, if you find yourself stuck, do not say that you have no options, go for this daily and see how life changes for you.
This is a good one. The idea is that you are not a loner in the world. There are other people who might even be going through worse situations and you can help them. The idea here is to find something you have, whether time, skill, talent, used shoes, clothes, or food and find someone or a group of people that can benefit from this. Do not expect to get anything in return, just do it as if it is a ‘job’. Of course put some heart in it, put yourself in their shoes (this should be easy since your shoes are also ‘torn’ in some way right now).
If not, try to do some volunteer or some community service and see how it goes. I dare you to try this one, it’s one of the most beautiful and most rewarding exercise to do, especially when you are stagnant.
You have the power to decide how you day will go. That is why I have already said that there is no problem watching movies and series…if you had already scheduled the time for them. Make sure that your timetable is balanced enough to include at least 4 of the things documented above.
Go a step further and create a tracking system for all the activities that you are engaged in daily. The tracking system should award you some ‘marks’ one you actually implement the activities to the fullest. It should also help you plot a simple line graph for progress. In a month’s time of doing all this, am sure your meaning of the word ‘stagnant’ will have changed.