"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Considering Beltlines and Treadmills…..

A couple of days of meetings in a great city this past week were good for my head and heart. Discussing the past, present and future of a certain Italian brand of four-wheeled design brilliance — with one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and passionate guys in the industry — was a great start.  A lunch meeting on the Beltline in ATL (which is a revitalized railway corridor that has incredibly transformed living, art, restaurants, fitness and great beer that connects 33 neighborhoods in ATL), lead to a deeper discussion of what it means to step off the monotony of the proverbial treadmill of careers and life. Avoiding the wearisome 75/16 journey back to SAV, I chose back roads, at times stopping to jot thoughts down. Today’s M5T considers what it takes to stay off the treadmill.

1.  Commit To Your Dreams 

We all have things in our careers, our lives and our relationships that we would rather not be doing. At those times you feel like you are on the treadmill, take time to revisit what inspired you in the first place. Remember and recommit. Ask yourself why and where you have become complacent. Let your dreams speak to you and take steps toward realizing them. Focus, then focus again on where you want to be. Understand what makes you hungry for your goals and dream… feed them and be relentless in the pursuit of what you want. Believe and be relentless in that pursuit.

2.  Center Your Motivation

Stay in the moment and focus on the positive, your successes and the end result of what you want in your life. Where you are today does not have to dictate where you will be tomorrow. The ‘what-ifs’ are toxic, destructive, and counter-productive. Avoid negativity in thought, action, word, and the inevitable pessimism of others. Know why you are doing what you are doing. Give no excuses and never give up

3.  Clarify Your Priorities

Cleanse your decision making by narrowing your choices down to the most important people and things around you at the time. Too many ‘priorities’ leads to decision fatigue which leads to poor decisions. First and foremost, know and guard the value your time, your effort, and your energy… despite what and where others say you should be focusing.

4.  Cast Your Fears

Worry is inordinately time consuming. It lowers energy levels and can be oppressive, strangling, and at times paralyzing. Learn to differentiate between worry and legitimate concern, then focus on solutions and actions to those legitimate concerns. Be single-minded on the issues that you can influence and change. Set your mind on the positive realities instead of potential negative outcomes that are unsubstantiated. Pause. Think things through… and just breathe.

5.  Celebrate Your Victories

It is fascinating that we can spend hours beating ourselves up over the smallest of mistakes, yet we overlook and fail to celebrate even small successes.  Celebrate. A lot and for good reason. Celebrating reminds you of why you are doing what you are doing; to reward yourself, to reconnect with what is important in life. Practice celebrating, even if you have to celebrate alone. Celebrate pushing through the turmoil of yesterday. Celebrate the good, the blessings and the focus that you have today. Celebrate that you haven’t surrendered, and that you are steadfast in not giving up on what you want in and for your life. Celebrate that you have made changes, small or large, that positively impact your life. Celebrate changed habits, or accomplishments towards your goals or dreams. Find something to celebrate about yourself and your efforts, each and every day.

Here’s to a week of boldly stepping off the treadmill toward living a fuller, richer life.

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved. 

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business.  He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.  

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com  and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook.  Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine.  His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome.  Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com