What’s Your “Pigeon of Discontent?”

You never make it to the gym. You bicker with your kids. You can’t quite
finish that forever project. Your problem might be pigeons.

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend breaks down the barriers that
are holding you back.

As the New Year is moving on, and now all of our well-intended “New
Year’s Resolutions” are starting to hit the wall of reality, I was interested in
a metaphor on happiness taught by Gretchen Rubin on her blog called
. She discusses how our battle to become the “Bluebirds of
Happiness” is constantly interrupted by the plague of the “Pigeons of
Discontent.” The pigeons of discontent she describes as the endless list of
things that you never seem to accomplish or that continue to show you
where you just might not be good enough. This never ending list
eventually scares away the Bluebirds of Happiness, and in the end you’re
just sitting alone in your home with a bunch of pigeons. She shared
examples of some pigeons, like the fact that you never make it to the gym
or how you bicker with your kids each morning. She talked about how your
closet is a mess or how you haven’t had time to read a book in months.”
No matter how many times you shoo away these dirty, messy, birds…They
just keep coming back to roost. In an effort to help you find happiness
with the pigeons in your life, here are a few ideas to help:

Let Pigeons be Pigeons

We could ask, why aren’t the Pigeon’s on my roof Eagles? Or why can’t my
Pigeon talk like the parrots at the zoo? Well the answer is simply because
it’s a pigeon, for crying out loud! Just as every bird can’t be an eagle that
soars over a state park, so it is with our life! We can’t only have the
beautifully easy, fast, fun and exhilarating experience in life without some
of the less pretty, difficult, boring and mundane realities. We need a
pigeon or two for every blue bird that we have. In fact,without the pigeons
in our life, would we ever really ever notice all of the bluebirds anyway. At
some point in our life, we need to learn the value of having trials and
challenges in our life. We need the pigeons or difficult tasks in our life to
truly value the Blue Birds beneficial parts of our life. We need the night to
appreciate and understand the day.

Either Let It Go or Create a Plan to Grow!

Once you’ve come face to face with the pigeons in your life, you really only
have two questions to ask yourself. First, am going to let the Pigeon (or
the goal that constantly haunts me) go? Or am I going to create a plan to
grow? In other words, am I going to simply quit trying to lose that weight
that has always been burdening me and come to peace with my new reality?
Or am I going make a plan and begin to eradicate my weight problem and
understand it better? Honestly, many times being real enough with
yourself to accept that you’re not going to ever be a size 6 again may be
the most freeing thing you can do in your life. However, if you find
yourself unable to let the pigeon or challenge go, because it’s just too core
to who you are, then it’s time to create a plan to grow! There is fascinating
research that shows that people who are most likely to feel “optimal”, or in
a state of happiness or “Flow”, are usually in the midst of some pretty
significant challenges and tests. According to the research of Mihalyi
Csiksentmihalyi, in his book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,”
the biggest key to living an optimal life Is whether the person being
challenged has identified a reasonable way or “plan” to deal with the
challenges that they are facing. The simple fact of having a plan to deal
with the Pigeons in our life can put us on the road where we may actually
accomplish something. In the end, the plan is only a part of the key,
maybe more importantly is the fact that we must be actively working on the
plan we have designed. Challenges or Pigeons in our life are inevitable,
but our ability to make a plan and live a plan will be the best way to find
happiness in our trials. Whether we choose to let our pigeons go or create
a plan to help them grow is entirely up to us, and in the end will determine
the greatest source of happiness for us all.

Find Your Happiness in Your Principles Not Your Perch

Victor Hugo once said, “We must be like the bird, who halting in its flight,
on a limb too slight, feels the limb give way beneath it, yet sings, knowing
that it hath wings.” Our confidence and happiness in our lives can not
come from the perch where we sit, or the type of bird that we claim to be.
Just as the bird was able to sing because it has the wings to fly when the
perch gave way beneath it, our confidence should come from our ability to
effectively utilize and handle the principles of life. Our voice should be
able to sing in eventually the most difficult circumstances if we understand
the principles of happiness. Principles like patience, presence, forgiveness,
character, appreciation, acceptance and compassion just to name a few.
Our happiness won’t come from never having our life fall around us, but
instead knowing that if and when it does, we’ll have the principles etched
in our heart to help us through that trial.

For more relationship advice, attend a special
Valentines Date Night
with Matt Townsend and Peter Breinholt
Cost: $50
Date: February 14, 2012
To register: 801-747-2121

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