How Will You Measure Your Life?

When you reach the end of your life, will you be able to look back and say you lived a fulfilled life? A successful life?

Will you know?
What measurement criteria are you using?
Are you measuring yourself by that same criteria everyday?

This video asks all of these questions… and offers some ideas to help you ensure that when you do look back, it is with pride, achievement and joy.

Can you REALLY find fulfilling work?

As the new year begins, we all have the opportunity to reflect on our past, set goals for our futures and maybe dare to dream of a little bit more than just paying the bills…

And in this moment of thoughtfulness, I have to ask: What do you want from your career?

Of course there are predictable answers, such as more money/status/position, but the most common desire is to have fulfilling work. Work that is enjoyable. Work that connects with your values. Work that utilises your skills. Work that contributes in a way that fills you with pride.

Although the idea that work can and should be fulfilling is a relatively new concept, it is now one of the primary expectations of todays workforce.

do-you-know-the-real-value-of-hard-workIt’s not like the old days, were work was so horrid and boring that the only way anyone would do is was to be paid.

No, in todays world we don’t only desire money for our labour, we also desire deep meaning and satisfaction.

The thing is… fulfilment is a big ask – and can probably explain why we all have career meltdowns after being on holiday or reflecting on our lives at new years – we desire fulfilling work.

So how realistic is it? Here are three ideas that might help you find fulfilling work:

1. Being confused about career choice is normal.

Again, it’s not like the old days when you only ever had one or two career choices depending on your social ranking. Today is different. Today there are so many career options open to us it becomes difficult to choose. The fear of making the wrong decision and then being stuck in a job you hate for the rest of eternity can literally stop you in your tracks and stop you from choosing a career path.

Don’t let fear take hold, any choice is better than no choice. It is better to take action and learn, than take no action at all. Even if you are wrong, you will be one step closer to finding out what is right!

2. Know Yourself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”

Aristotle

Answering the question, ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ is easier said than done.

Understanding your deepest values and purpose is an emotional and difficult process. It is, however, tremendously rewarding too. Spending time to learn more about who you are and why you are here will help direct your work life.

In the simplest of terms, a job that is in line with your values and beliefs will be the best and most fulfilling job you have ever had!

3. Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

book_questionmark_600x369The more time you pro-actively think about how you are feeling and why, the more proficient you will become in bringing more positivity into your life.

If you feel bad… reflect and try to understand why that is. The same with feeling good. Once you have a clear understanding of the factors that generate specific emotions within you, then you can develop strategies on how to connect and attract the positive influencers and remove the negative factors.

This knowledge will then allow you to make more educated career choices, as you will know in advance what type of work will be the right type of work for you.

Putting it all together

We all desire fulfilling work. In fact we deserve it.

The best ways to reach this utopia is to take action and learn. Take time to understand who you are, explore the purpose of your life and reflect consciously on your feelings.

Fulfilment starts and ends with you… decide to become the best version of yourself.

Education. Job. Promotion. For What?

From the moment we are born we are sold and told a narrative about life.

This narrative is focused on preparing us for a future. A future of what is a successful life.

This story is told to us by everyone. By well-meaning parents, family and friends… Who themselves have all been influenced by the same things we have.

We are told that happiness is material. That success and fulfilment will be yours just if you have the right amount of money in your bank account…  specific car… a type of house… the lifestyle of a celebrity.

Just look at pretty much any TV advertisement, it will literally tell you that to be happy, cool or sexually attractive, you should purchase their product. Every major marketing campaign in the world attempt to show you that their product will improve the quality of your life and of how you feel.

You already know the problem… happiness, joy and success don’t come from a store

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Pablo Picasso

We have taken what a successful life is and twisted and contorted it into about buying things… the more things we buy, the happier we will be… or so the story goes.

Therefore we need to follow the narrative we are told… Work hard at school to get good exam results, so you can get a good job, which you will have to work long hours and very hard for, so that one day you get a promotion or two, so that you have enough money to buy slightly nicer versions of the things you have.

FOR WHAT?

We spend so much of our lives preparing ourselves for “success”, yet success hasn’t even been defined by us!!

Does the narrative we follow create happiness, joy and fulfilment in our lives? Does happiness come from a job or an amount of money? Does it come from buying a new TV or the latest gadget?

Although a new job, a better car or a bit more money is nice… It doesn’t make me happy long-term.

In fact, I can recall a time my annual earnings were ten times LESS than they are right now… I wasn’t unhappy. If I’m totally honest I felt about as happy as I do now.

I believe that the only place we can find happiness and success is in the here and now.

What is the point of working towards what we are told is success, if it won’t actually create any  real fulfilment in your life.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t have goals, they are important. What I am saying is when you are dealing with feelings such as success, happiness and fulfilment, then you shouldn’t hope to find it in a new job, a better car or the latest gadget.

Success is a feeling. You can have that feeling right now, if you choose to.

Rather than chase a narrative that has been sold to you, about how life should be lived; instead ask yourself

“What do I have to do to feel totally and completely fulfilled?”

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Yes we need money, but when your time is up… How will you measure your life?

Will the cash in your bank account or the amount of time you immersed yourself in what you loved mean more?

Be the best version of you – It is the only true goal in life.

How to stay positive all the time

Have you ever been making good progress towards your goals and all of a sudden something happens that stops you in your tracks?

Or has it ever seemed like everything is going against you?

Yeah? Me too… More often than I would care to admit.

If you are anything like me, you will know that, once it takes hold, negativity likes to linger and grow. If it is not dealt with efficiently it can consume you completely.

The truth is, everybody feels low and negative at some point in their lives. In fact, when you are pushing yourself to be successful, when you are trying to improve yourself… then by definition you will encounter many set-backs and rejections, which will in turn, make you feel negative… if you let it.

Luckily, I have discovered and learnt some great strategies, from personal development experts such as, Tony Robbins, Dr.Wayne Dyre and Brendon Burchard, that have enabled me to bounce back in the quickest and most effective way possible.

I would like to share the strategies that work the best for me, maybe they can work for you?

Acknowledge, understand and forgive.

forgiveWhat I tend to do, when I feel low, is beat myself up for feeling negative! What I can promise you is that two negatives do not make a positive!

Rather than being annoyed with yourself for being negative, try acknowledging that you feel low. Then forgive yourself… after all you are only human.

Being able to say “Yes I feel down. I forgive myself for this and I will now decide to move towards positivity,” is a powerful tool. Give yourself permission to move on.

Focus on your blessings.

When I feel down, it is so easy to just focus continually on the negative feeling.

This only makes things worse! Pro-actively decide to spend some time thinking about what you are grateful for in your life.

I find it particularly powerful to acknowledge the simple things in life. My surroundings, nature, friends, family, health… anything and everything!

Completing this process breaks the flow of negative feelings. It stops them growing. Once you have broken the momentum and growth of negativity, then it is much easier to go back, face it and beat it.

Write down your life goals and what they mean to you.

1325443867_goals-settingThis is my absolute favourite strategy!

I write down my life goals and the feelings I will get from making progress towards these goals. When I have finished, I feel amazing and any negativity has disappeared. 

Most people don’t write down their goals… even less people write down the feelings they will have and what those goals mean to them. Yet it has been scientifically proven, time and time again, that this process triples the likelihood in achieving them. 

It’s invigorating, it creates laser sharp focus and you instantly feel positive and energised towards making your life goals a reality. 

Take some action… any action

"When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on"

This saying is true when it comes to being positive… when you fall off you have to dust yourself off and get back on it.

Momentum is a huge player in how we live our lives. Taking one step forward, will start to turn the tide in how you feel… No matter how small that step is, take it and take it quickly.

Every single success story has the history of more set-backs than you can imagine. The main contributing factor of success is the ability to keep taking action no matter what.

The most successful people in the world continue to take action towards their goals… No matter how many times they are told “you can’t”… No matter how many times they fail… They take action until they succeed.

Taking action will instantly make you feel better and it will get you one step closer to where you want to be.

Putting it all together

It is impossible to be positive all the time… Everybody falls off the wagon at some point. The difference between ultimate success and everyone else, is the ability to bounce back quickly.

When you feel low, acknowledge and forgive yourself. Be thankful for what is good in the world and on how far you have come. Re-focus on the feelings achieving your goals will give you in the long-run and finally… take action! A small step is better than no step at all.