4 Steps To Having the Life You REALLY Want!
Over time, the TIP's Letters that receive the most response have dealt with creating and living the life you really want. Many of us are incredibly frustrated at not being able to reach our dreams and have the life we want. I believe there are 4 simple (not easy, but simple) techniques for getting there. You really can achieve your goals and live your dreams!
1. CLARIFY EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT! Many of my clients have never defined what "better" or "happier" really means. How many dollars do you want to earn? How much time together as a family? Working from home doing what? What, precisely, would a better relationship look like? This can be hard work, and it involves tough choices.
One client wanted to stay home with her children, improve her marriage, and make more money, but also wanted to break the "glass ceiling" and be recognized in a profession that is notoriously competitive and involved traveling several times a month. All of these are worthy, wonderful goals, but to some extent they were mutually exclusive and she had avoided the process of choosing and writing down what she wanted most. We worked together (with her family's help and input) to design a clear and attainable balance that she was able to pursue very quickly, ending years of frustration!
2. COMMIT TO PAYING THE COST IN ADVANCE! Any worthwhile project is going to cost a lot. An Olympic medal will require hours of training every day, and that means paying costs in terms of social life, postponing a career or education, and "blood, sweat and tears."
Whatever you most want in life will require that you say "NO!" to other things. Making money means less recreation, writing a book means watching less TV, being closer with your partner or children may mean changes in your work, hobbies or social activities. A few years ago, many people were talking about the frustrations of women who felt that a part of the feminist message was that they could "have it all". Well. None of us get to have it all! A recent client quit coaching when he realized that his dreams of being "the kind of father I never had" and spending time with his wife and children conflicted with pursuing his career the way he had always done it. He "couldn't" turn down a call, and was "out there" developing leads and closing sales seven days a week. Unwilling to choose, we decided coaching wasn't useful for him at this time.
3. RE-COMMIT TO YOUR GOALS EVERY DAY! Every day, remind yourself of your priorities and re-commit to them. For some this means time to meditate or pray. For others, it means a quick call to their coach, a friend, or members of a mastermind group. I encourage clients to start their day by writing a brief statement of where they are going and what they value in life.
Every day, 1001 minor tasks and distractions will interrupt you. The phone will ring, the boss will give you a "special" project, the kids will interrupt. Life will get in your way. Count on it! Plan for it and innoculate yourself. Every pilot and ship's captain knows that winds and currents will take them dangerously off-course. This is a natural process, something they know about, expect and plan for. It is not a surprise or source of frustration! Every day, plot your location, check your direction, and make sure you stay on course! It only takes a few minutes, and it is essential.
4. EVERY DAY, TAKE ACTION! This is perhaps the most difficult step. Rarely, does life give us a "big choice". Most of the transforming moments in life start as a chance meeting, a casual conversation, or an article in a magazine. We all know this, and yet when it comes to pursuing our most important goals we wait for that "big moment", that magical day when the stars are aligned and everything is "just right". For most of us, that means we will never reach our dreams or have the life we want.
To become fit, go for a walk. To create the business of your dreams, call someone today. Want to be a better parent and have a more satisfying family life? Tuck your kid into bed tonight, hold hands with your mate, and tell them how much they mean to you. Want a promotion or a raise? Make that extra contribution today! We've all heard the saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", but no one ever adds that the journey also requires, according to my math, 5 million, two hundred and eighty thousand additional steps after that first one! Every day, take one step closer.
QUICK TOOL: Every morning, get a 3x5 card. On one side, write a brief statement of your biggest goals and most important dreams. Jot it down using whatever words seem right at the moment. Then, on the other side, list one or two specific actions you will take TODAY that will bring you closer to your goal. Make them specific, do-able, and clear. Put the card in your pocket, purse, or on the dash of your car, and go about your day. In 30 days, I promise you will be astonished at the changes in your life!
IN SUMMARY: Life will distract you from achieving your dreams. It will blow you off-course and you will be confused and frustrated at times. So what? Today, and every day, declare your commitment to what you really, REALLY want. Write it down and talk about your dream. Understand, and agree to make the necessary sacrifices - you must pay the costs of developing the life you want - and take action! In the end, only action counts! You can have whatever you want, when you decide to pursue it intelligently, with all your heart and with all your passion. Just do it!
© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. This article may be copied and used in your own newsletter or on your website as long as you include the following information: "Written by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com
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