How To Stop Being Dysfunctional And Become Highly Functioning

Photo by Nick Harris1

We Are All Dysfunctional

At some level, each and every one of us is dysfunctional. As human beings, we all have issues.

We all have a past. We all have hang-ups that have the potential to drag us down in life.

At a certain point, though, something has to change. We need to grow up. We need to stop letting life control us. We need to get in the driver’s seat of where we want our lives to arrive in the future.

If you desire to move into renaissance living, then you must first move out of dysfunctional living.

Moving Beyond Dysfunction

Yes, we all realize and agree that we live with a certain level of dysfunctional behavior. But, how do we move beyond our dysfunctional patterns and move to a higher level of living? In order to move beyond dysfunction, you need to be “functioning” at certain levels in order to even begin the process.

I would like to offer the following steps in moving from dysfunction to highly functioning:

  1. Recognize your dysfunction. This probably seems like a “duh” statement, but you can’t change something in your life before recognizing you have a problem. This is similar to a family doing substance abuse intervention on another family member. Those who struggle with substance abuse aren’t going to change unless they are forced to recognize that they have a serious problem.
  2. Decide to change. Again, this may seem overly simplistic, but there is power in making a decision to change. As soon as you decide to make a change, the change process begins. It’s like pressing the start button!
  3. Set a new standard. Once you’ve come to the place where you have decided to change, it’s time to establish a new standard. Your old, dysfunctional behavior is no longer acceptable. You’ve decided to “rise higher” in your life. Seek out high functioning role models you can pattern your life after. I believe this one step is where massive change begins to take place in all of our lives.
  4. Employ the “rocking chair” technique. This technique is so simple. Pretend you are in your 80s or 90s, sitting in your rocking chair on the front porch of your house. As you sit there, you’re thinking back over your life. You envision what your life would look like if you continued living in your dysfunction; and you can visualize what it would look like if you made massive changes and became highly functioning. How do you feel? Is it really worth it to continue in your dysfunction? Is this really what you desire your life to become when you get older?
  5. Seek the services of a professional counselor. If you suffer from moderate to severe levels of dysfunctional behavior, then you really need to unpack your issues with a professional. They’ve been trained to assist you into better living.
  6. Establish new habits to replace the old dysfunctional habits. Old habits truly don’t die until we have replaced them with new, better habits. Get clear on your new habits immediately.
  7. Establish better goals. Write down exactly who you want to become. Then, establish goals that will get you from where you are today to where you desire to be tomorrow.
  8. Take massive action. You can write down all of this stuff. You can be crystal clear on the direction you desire to go. But, in order to make the changes you desire, you have to take massive action. One step at a time. One day at a time.
  9. Rinse and repeat. Each day when you get out of bed, you need to put one foot in front of the other and continue with the changes you have decided to make. It’s all about the choices we make each day.

Dysfunctional or Highly Functioning?

So, after reading this post, where to you see yourself? Are you in massive denial? Are you highly dysfunctional and need some major help?

Maybe, you’re in the process of making some of the choices and changes I outline above. That’s great! Start wherever you are at today, make better choices, and move beyond dysfunction to highly functioning. Embrace renaissance living at the highest levels possible.

The Wrong Way And The Right Way To Make An Impact Before You Die

Photo by Chuckumentary

Death At Any Age

You could be one breath away from death. Have you ever contemplated that fact?

While doing research on my last post, How To Pursue Excellence Like Andy Griffith, I ran across the website This site has a picture gallery for celebrities who have passed away within the last few years.

As I quickly scanned through this gallery, I was struck by the wide range of age in these deaths from young to very old. This gallery includes celebrities who have passed in their mid-30s all they way up into their 100s.

As I looked at the cause of death, especially in many of the younger celebrities, I saw a pattern of wrong living. I saw young celebrities who have made a horrible impact on those around them. But, I also saw others who have lived amazing lives.

What would be considered the wrong way and right way of making an impact in this world before you die?

The Wrong Way

If I could boil it down to one key characteristic, I would say that the wrong way to make an impact in your life here on earth is to live selfishly. Don’t give a flying flip about what your spouse, immediate family, extended family, friends, or co-workers think. Do whatever you want, and the heck with whatever anybody else thinks. Hey, it’s your life not theirs. Chase after every pleasure under the sun. Make life all about you.

These type of people have the statistical tendency to end up dying from drug overdoses, drunk driving, drive-by shootings, and suicides. Or, they have so abused their bodies and minds that they can barely make it into their 50s and 60s. They die younger than expected.

The Right Way

Conversely, if I could boil the right way down to one key characteristic, I would say it’s about living a generous life. I’m not taking about giving money, either. If you have a generous spirit, you care about others. If you care about others, especially those closest to you, then you’re going to take care of yourself. You’re not going to abuse your body into an early grave.

If you’re doing things the right way, then you will be making major contributions into people’s lives. You will spend time with them, care for them, inspire them, and learn from them. You will be a positive influence and major force for good in the lives of others. You will care more about others than yourself.

Living life the right way, of course, is no guarantee for a long life. Awesome, clean-living, generous people die young too. The difference, though, is that even after living a shorter life, they were still able to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Which Way Are You Headed?

So, are you headed down the wrong path or right path? Are you living a life of selfishness or generosity? Do you care more about yourself or others? Do you even really care about making an impact in the lives of others? When you do pass from this life into the next, how will people remember you? Will they remember you as being a selfish or generous person?

I would encourage you to take a long, hard look at your own life and determine which path you’re currently on. If you’re headed down the wrong path, figure out a way to reverse course as quickly as possible. It’s never too late to make a positive life change.

Have you experienced the impact of right or wrong living in your life or as a result of someone close to you? If so, feel free to share your story in the comments section.