I Know What I Want. Don’t I?

Since I’ve made it my career to help people identify and live their true purpose, people often ask me “But what if I don’t know what that is”? As far as I know, that is the absolute best way to start a very important conversation. If we all knew what our true calling or purpose is in life, there would be no need for coaches like me!

It’s true, some people do know, and have always known, just what they were put on this earth to do. They’ve always “followed their bliss”, and life – with its inevitable ups and downs – has evolved for them just as they wished and expected.

There are also many who have sensed a deep longing or yearning that they are here for some purpose but they’re not quite sure what that is. And then there are many others who ask the question posed above because they would like to live a more meaningful or fulfilled life, but don’t know where to start, or if it’s even possible.

Whether or not you are consciously aware of what your life’s calling is, one does exist for you just as it does for everyone else.

Well, let me assure you of three things right off the bat:

  1. Whether or not you are consciously aware of what your life’s calling is, one does exist for you just as it does for everyone else.
  2. It is entirely possible for you to identify exactly what that passionate, yearning part of you is trying to say.
  3. There is a proven process you can follow that will help you build a life based on your unique passion, calling, or purpose (select one or add your own!)

When I first heard this, I have to admit I felt doubtful I could live my best life as I defined it. I heard how others did it; I saw how fulfilled and joyful they were, and I knew it was possible. For them. I just didn’t believe it would be possible for me. The way I looked at things made me a bit depressed – would I ever have what seemed possible for others to have? Would I ever be able to hear that tiny voice deep within that had something profound to reveal? The answer to both questions was of course “yes”, but my habitual way of thinking and interpreting the world around me was part of what was getting in my way.

I’ve come a long way now towards my purposeful life, moving toward my calling, and enjoying the rewards – as well as the journey along the way. In fact, it will always be a journey since I don’t believe there is an end point. Once you arrive at one destination, there is another one just ahead that lengthens the journey and deepens the purpose.

If you just open your mind to the possibility that you can have a life of abundance, begin to think about what that life would look like? What would you be doing? Who would you be helping? What would be making you feel complete?

Authenticity & Soul Firemen

Au-then-tic-i-ty (as found in The American Heritage College Dictionary): the quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine – is a rather dry and concise explanation of the liveliest, most dynamic, freshest, creative, and amazing (and sometimes confusing!) aspect of each human being. However, it’s also very accurate in that when we are at our most authentic and genuine, we are also at our most trustworthy.

Have you ever taken time to think about how authentic you are, how true you are to yourself? Although I’m in no way implying that you’re a fake, how well do any of us really know ourselves? How well do we know our talents, our strengths, our needs or potential? How many of us live our lives as something we’d rather not be or do? The phlebotomist who would rather teach philosophy; the CEO who yearns to preach from the pulpit; the analyst who would rather be a triathlete? There’s absolutely nothing fake, per se, about any of those things, but they’re not totally genuine either.

There are so many reasons we end up doing something for years that is not what we really want to do. Messages drummed into us as young adults to follow in the family tradition and be a doctor, lawyer, candlestick-maker, etc. Emulating somebody we much admire; falling into a career because the opportunity was there; simply choosing to do something because nothing stronger jumps out; the list goes on and on.

How about taking some time to peer inside and see what you find, to see what might ignite the fire in your soul? Ask yourself some tantalizing questions and answer from your gut if you can – be ruthlessly honest, nobody will hear you or laugh at you. What would you rather be doing if you didn’t have to pay the bills? What gets you burning with excitement? What did you love to do as a kid? What do others compliment you about most often? These are just some questions to get the juices flowing.

What so often happens when we answer these question out loud, or have answered them in the past, we’ve heard dampening messages in return: oh that won’t work, you don’t have a degree, you won’t earn enough doing that, live in Asia, are you nuts, you can’t even get a visa – you know the score. Here is where firemen come into the picture. Firemen, bless every one of them, are great to have around when your house or car is on fire. When your soul is on fire? Not so much. Avoid the soul firemen in your life and get those matches going to ignite the fires within.

Have fun!

 

My Bahama Beach

P1010050Whenever I need a little boost to my confidence or motivation, I go to my “beach in the Bahamas”. Maybe you sometimes need a beach in the Bahamas.

 

We all have moments when fear, anxiety, and other feelings bring us to our knees, or when our futures look bleak and we feel we’ll never achieve the life we yearn to live. Because of the inevitability of moments like these, it’s a good idea to develop skills that can diminish the negative impact they have on us. One of the best ways I know of to diminish anxiety or create motivation or enthusiasm is to have access to a powerful visualization that can instantly give a boost to flagging confidence or courage. I call this my “beach in the Bahamas” therapy.

I kick my “beach in the Bahamas” into gear whenever I need it. I see myself lounging in a sumptuous beach chair, my legs stretched out luxuriously, toes in the warm sand, dressed in feather-light cotton, eyes closed in ecstasy as I drink in the sunshine, hear the gentle lapping of the waves, and feel the tropical air caress my skin to a vibrant aliveness. I open my eyes and devour the beauty before me – azure water, white sand, cloudless blue sky, lazily waving palm fronds – and it fills me with indescribable pleasure. In the purest way this visual evokes an extremely sensual experience and one that is deeply calming and motivating for me.

From a little kick to get through a particularly boring Monday morning to calming the jitters before a sales presentation, to major support in recovering from significant disappointment, we all need to feel and believe that life can hold better things for us. Having ready access to a visual or sensual cue that overcomes the negative feeling and evokes a more positive one allows us to break the spell the negative event has on us and take control of the situation.

If you don’t already have a Bahama beach visual, how do you create one? Here are some tips:

  • There are no rules in developing your visual, you can visualize the impossible if you so desire. Just as long as it evokes pleasant or calming or motivational feelings.
  • Flesh it out with all your senses: what do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste? Feel yourself there, fully.
  • While enjoying the sensations it evokes, make a physical cue that will serve to take you there in an instant the next time you need it (such as joining the tips of your index finger and thumb of your right hand). Your physical cue can be anything, but it’s best to keep it low key or inconspicuous.
  • Now when you feel the need to return to that experience, use your physical cue and enjoy the break!