In my effort to binge watch all of Grey’s Anatomy, which is a huge goal considering I’ve never watched it, I’ve found that there are a lot of mini-lessons within the episodes. One of the more recent lessons is from the episode where Derek asks Meredith when she is going to tell her housemates to find a new place. Besides all the other things that go on in that episode, Christina tells Meredith’s psychologist that Meredith lives at a pain level of 8. That having her friends around dims the pain down so that it’s not all she focuses on. Mind blown.
Then it made me think about the Level 10 life that many people have talked about in reference to Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning. We live our life according to our values and are at different levels of success that we determine for ourselves. But overall we are searching for a way to get to the level 10. We spend our time, money, attention, and other resources to achieving what our “best life” looks like.
Understanding What Your Level 10 Life Is
We all have different ways of imagining what our life would be like if… There are journal exercises, visual exercises, and whole books dedicated to figuring out what your ideal, level 10 life looks like. Look on Pinterest for some journaling exercises about discovering your ideal life. Try making a vision board. Write your life as a story. But most importantly be as detailed as possible.
Details matter to the Universe or God or whomever you believe in. Yes, God/ the Universe has a plan for you. One that involves greatness in your own right and following their Light. But you also have a role to play in making your dreams a reality. Those dreams are not there by accident. If this path seems right to you and as though it was meant for you, dream as big and detailed as you can be so that you have something to look forward to.
Figuring Out the Current Number
Just like Christina was able to point out what level of pain Meredith was living at, we have a responsibility of knowing where we are in our own lives. Most of the time, we do this by comparing ourselves to another person whom we look up to or to someone that is in our orbit. Other times, we compare ourselves to the imaginary checklist of things that we think we should be following. But neither of these is all that helpful.
Taking a break to just write everything out that is going on in your life is a great way to start finding your number. Try making lists of things you want to try and improve on. Map out your ideas and see where they lead you. Get to know what your thoughts and feelings are about where you are now, rather than comparing.
Then take a look at everything. Compare where your life is now to the one that you have set up for you in your head or on a vision board. If the ideal is a level 10 life, where does your life rank in comparison to that? Be gentle when you do this. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to our expectations. Just bask in the number you are in now, with no pressure to change at this moment.
Now that you’ve found the number that you are living at, find ways to increase that number slowly. Baby steps are always important when taking action towards a drastic change. In my effort to run a 5k, I’m not going to expect myself to run for 10 minutes straight if I haven’t gone running in years. I start by walking, then adding some bursts of running, then adding more running time, until I eventually can run without stopping.
Leveling up also takes a lot of time. Just like we spend a variety of our resources to live our “best life” (which looks nice on the outside but isn’t so nice on the inside), we need to do the same to get to a level 10. If we feel like we are living at a 4 because of our health, then what steps can we take to boost our health mentally, physically and emotionally. Or if we’re at a 7 because we don’t spend enough time on passion projects, take the initiative to do something that inspires you. Like I said, this isn’t supposed to be a quick and easy fix. The process is long and slow, but it is worth it in the end.
Knowing When to Stop
There is always going to be something that needs to be fixed or altered in order for life to be better. But there is a difference between leveling up and nitpicking. Leveling up should feel good once you get to the next level. It should feel natural and as though that change needed to happen. Nitpicking is often draining and leaves us feeling a little disappointed because there is now another thing that needs to be fixed.
Although we all aspire to be at that level 10 life, sometimes we need to stop. Rest days are important when working out because it allows the muscles to develop and to strengthen as the workouts get harder. The same goes for our lives. In order to maximize our growth, we need to take a moment to just relish in the level we are at. Even if you are at the very lowest of steps, use it as a way to motivate yourself by recalling the why behind the change.
Find a way to make the rest useful. Keep up with habits that positively impact your life, develop new meanings of what a level 10 life is, and breathe. Change is good, but rapid change is overwhelming. I’ve done this with my workouts. Sometimes it’s good to just walk instead of pushing myself to run. It keeps burnout at bay and I still get in a good sweat. It does not mean become stagnant. Know the difference, it will help in the long run.