Someone once said that the universe is a feedback mechanism. It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? As I thought about it I began to see many different ways in which we get feedback if we are open to it.
For instance, our bodies give us feedback every minute. A headache is feedback. A stomach ache is feedback. A yawn is feedback. A pulled muscle is feedback. A pain is feedback. My body tells me whether or not I have slept well, exercised, eaten properly, meditated, or seen my doctor as needed.
Our homes give us feedback as to whether or not we have been paying attention and taking care of the shelter we live in. A leaky faucet, peeling paint, piles of unread newspapers and magazines or an un-mown lawn speaks to our level of involvement with our personal space.
Banks and credit card companies can give us some unwelcome feedback if we haven’t been paying attention to our expenses, bill payments or spending habits.
Friends can give feedback when we realize our emails or phone calls are going unanswered or when we find ourselves not wanting to talk to them. These are emotional feedback mechanisms that warrant attention.
Even the environment gives us feedback as areas get drier and experience more drought or areas get wetter and experience more flooding not to mention the amount of pollution in the air.
And I know that I often don’t pay attention to much of the feedback that is sent my way at least not until I start making my New Year’s resolutions. Wonder why I don’t pay more attention to those feedback signals? Maybe I am too busy to notice. Maybe I am too set in my ways and see the feedback as an invitation to change. Maybe I am just too lazy to develop new daily habits that would increase the amount of positive feedback I get.
Because not all feedback is negative. The universe also sends us feedback when we are in the flow, hitting our stride, making our goals, increasing our healthy habits, caring for our environment and developing friendships and life-giving relationships.
And to receive the positive feedback I have to be willing to make my daily habits and decisions ones that will bring me closer to realizing the results I want, the feedback that I really crave. Something subtle like “WAY TO GO, NANCY!”
This is where it gets hard because I have to decide whether to go on ignoring the negative feedback going blithely on my way through life clueless and oblivious to my effect on the universe. Or, making substantive changes that will fill my life with positive feedback and ripple out to the universe in my wake?
If I choose the latter there are a few things I need to do before anything changes.
- Make a list of the things/areas where I would like to receive positive feedback. It could be in my body which means I need to look closely at my diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation habits
- Develop ideas about how I could go about receiving positive feedback. If I want my relationships to be more life-giving, I need to find ways to add life-giving characteristics and ideas in my day-to-day interactions with those who are important to me.
- Keep a daily activity log where I track the things I actually do to see if I am getting closer to or farther away from my goals and if I am following through on my idea list. Skipping lunch or only getting a few hours of sleep is not going to make my body a happy feedback giver.
- Once I have done that consistently for a month or so I will have my own feedback mechanism to show me thumbs up or thumbs down. And most likely by the end of the month I will already know what the feedback is.
Funny thing…doing the things that bring me positive feedback from the universe around me actually lowers my stress.
How about you? What feedback is the universe giving you?
As Ken Blanchard says: “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Go be a champ!