My secret to happiness, fulfillment and overall badassity...
Stick to this principle and you’ll always be happy.
Dear fellow reader, as this is my very first article for Hinton Magazine, I thought it is best if I share with you my life principle as it gives you a great insight in how I tick and what I do.
I have used this motto in countless situations in the past and do still check in with all areas of my life regularly to make sure I am still aligned with who I am and true to myself. I also use it when working with clients or team members.
This motto even has a pseudo-scientific name; the LCL method. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? In the following article I am going to tell you all about it and you decide if you love it or not (well, it’s not really ‘you’ who decides it is more your set of beliefs and principles that decides for you, but that’s the topic for a whole new article). Are you ready? Here we go!
I can’t recall how or when I first came across the LCL-method but I know that it has stuck with me for at least 15 years. LCL stands for Love it, Change it or Leave it. At its core this saying means if you don’t LOVE an area or situation in your life you can either CHANGE it or LEAVE it.
So how do you know if you love your job, your relationship, your figure, your work-life-balance, your circle of friends etc or not? Simple! You just know. As soon as you go into justifying mode and try to explain (or debate) why you love something, you probably don’t really love it. You are simply trying to avoid the truth that you are not willing to change anything about it. Does this sound familiar: ‘I do like my job but I feel like I could do more/my boss is an idiot/my colleagues are annoying [enter your own reason]’? Then you are not loving it. Loving means you love absolutely everything. Your love is unconditional no buts or maybes. As soon as there is even the smallest ‘but’ you are venturing into the Change-Zone.
Now this is where things get interesting because this is the bit that most people avoid to not find themselves confronted with uncomfortableness. Yes, asking for things to change can be awkward and could even in the worst case scenario force you to go directly to the third step but more on that later. You are a valuable human being. Your wellbeing and happiness is just as important as your annoying colleague’s, so why are you so scared to tell her to stop using your coffee mug or shouting into the telephone? Yes, these are the sort of changes that you are entitled to; little adjustments on a daily basis that will keep you happier in the long term.
If you don’t like the way your boss talks to you, the way your partner dresses or the way your mother-in-law makes sarcastic remarks about everything you do, change it. Talk to your boss about respect, go shopping with your partner and ask your mother-in-law what her problem is (in the nicest way possible obviously).
Most of the time other people aren’t even aware that we get upset by things they do, so it is only fair to tell them and especially if they hadn’t even realised, chances are they will just comply and Tadaaaaa! Your situation has just been changed for the better. And if they are not willing to change or if we are simply talking about an aspect that you don’t have the power or energy to change, then Part 3 automatically applies.
This one doesn’t need much explaination. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel you can (or want to) change anything, then hold your head high and walk away from it. This might seem like a drastic step but in order to protect your energy and happiness in the long run it is crucial. Yes, it is scary to think about walking away from a job or a partner, but if you stay despite being unhappy, you are ‘settling’. You are playing small and you will never find out who you really are and what you are really capable of. This step might involve some very uncomfortable conversations, but no matter how long or how difficult a conversation is, on the other side lies peace and knowledge. This is how character is formed - by sticking to your guns and following your heart.
If you find the thought of changing a big situation in your life straight away too scary, start with building your changing-and-leaving-muscles by starting small: return your food in a restaurant when it’s not exactly how you want it, ask for refunds or ask a question in the office meeting. Once you realise your power to control every single aspect of your life and that you are 100% in control of how you react to things happening to you, you will get braver and in no time at all you might just find your path and everything you ever wanted.