I often say to my grandmother that life was surely tough in her time, but it was also happier. Apparently Mel Robbins knows about this and a bunch of researchers too. We have plenty of choices now and that’s one of our main problems. From a cognitive point of view, that’s overwhelming and stressful, which in turn leads to unhappiness and to the unsettling experience of being stuck in life. Have you felt this way? If so, you are not alone, and this was actually one the reasons why I decided to have a look at one of Mel’s books: I found myself stuck. Again!
I love listening to Mel Robbins’ talks and interviews so I thought I would give one of her books a go. I chose Stop Saying You’re Fine. As I’ve been doing for a long while now, I let my inner voice tell me which book would serve me best. I must say I was expecting more from her as an author because the feeling I got is that she has so much more to offer than what she wrote. I recognised her energy throughout the book but somehow I can’t say that I wasn’t expecting more. Although I benefited from many ideas and practical exercises, I thought it would be a juicier book. At some point, I got a bit tired of reading it because there was not much more practical “advice” to offer.
One of the exercises I found most useful is the creation of your own life map. I created one of my own, which I’m going to show you below this paragraph. You can find a much prettier example on Mel’s book but you can get the main idea by having a look at my not-so-fancy map. How does it work? You know you want to go from Point A to Point B in your life, right? We all do. We are never satisfied where we are apparently which is neither good nor bad. A little bit (or a lot) of insatisfaction can make us rock the boat and change our life in a different direction. The first step you have to make is to create a list of all the steps you think you may need to take in order to get to Point B. At this stage, don’t be shy. List everything – literally everything – that comes to mind.
The second step is to draw a rectangle or a big box and write the items from step one in it. Put a circle around each different item so it can be visually identified. If you look at the map I created, you will find items such as: hair cut, job applications, run 3 times a week, flexibility, power walks, start one chapter, respect my boundaries, rebrand, among many others. I also added a title to my map so that I can remember my end goal. The title says start from scratch because I really feel I need to rebuild my life by looking for a job that is closer to my soul’s purpose, training myself to be healthier and living life in a less stressful way.
Once you have your own life map, what then? It’s not enough to know and don’t act on it. You will find instructions in the book about what to do next but one of my favourite ways to go about it is to randomly pick one of the circles and then do something about it. So far, I picked job applications, power walks and flexibility. There is another exercise which can also contribute to your life map a great deal which is to perform a life assessment. This exercise requires you to look at your life across seven major areas: family, love, spirituality, career/purpose, friendships/community, body/health, and money. An assessment means you must rate all these areas and ask yourself how you would like them to change. In your answers you may find additional input for your life map.