Hey, Would you Summarize those Cliff Notes into a Tweet?

Yes that’s right, I am asking for cliff notes in 140 characters or less, and bonus points if you can sum up the content in 5 emojis.

That is how short all of our attentions spans have become. Am I writing with a broad brush, of course I am, isn’t that what we do nowadays?

People are always asking me for quick fixes on how to change.

As a writer, I am constantly frustrated to have to get attention through a headline and keep attention within the first six words. As a trained therapist and professional coach, I am frustrated by being asked to sum up the 2 things that one can do to lose weight, have a successful marriage, earn more money, get over an addiction, or have a happier life.

I spend the majority of my time working in the addiction field. Both families and addicts want the change to be as fast as the addiction. I can’t give you that; fast solutions to hard changes do not exist.

In this day in age, we say out loud we intellectually understand that the great things in life take time, hard work, commitment, and dare I say, sacrifice. However, we are all still outwardly, or secretly, reading those quick fix articles in hopes we will be given the gift of the magic wand.

So here are my thoughts for you; there is no magic wand. However here are a few ideas in roughly 140 characters or less.

Losing weight: Calorie in, calorie out. Your diet is 80% of your weight.

Financial Success: Start saving for retirement early. Live below your means. Work your tail off. And if you have a great idea, talent, or skill, work harder than everyone else around you.

Love: Love yourself first. Let go of your expectations and get real about who you are, before you demand things of others.

Marriage: It’s hard; no matter who you are or how great your love. It will be tested. Your marriage will be a testament to how committed the two of you are to the work.

Life: Do whatever you can to be kind, loving, and grateful without expecting anything in return. (It’s much harder than you may expect, but if you do it, life will be a whole lot less complicated).

Addiction: Do not go it alone, you don’t have to. Help is out there.

Now cliché’s you may have heard from those who have been there and tried that:

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffett

“Try not to be a man of success but rather a man of value.” Albert Einstein. (Yes, some of you may find that quote sexist, but I am not going to change the words of someone who has earned the right to be exactly quoted).

“Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake, – it’s everything except what it is.” William Shakespeare

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dali Lama

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dali Lama

Forget the 5 to 7 things, the quick fix, the here and the now; change comes from within. If you really want to change or improve; dig in. The change will not be in a pill, it will not be fast, and it will most likely not be all that easy; but, it will be worth it. And the harder you work, the more likely it is to last!

Sarah Stewart, MSW, CPC

Life Coach and Author

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