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?”

cropped-7.jpg

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 create the best personal development plan in the world… Ever

I believe that life is about reaching for your full potential and becoming the best version of you. But to do so, you need to grow and develop… and if you are anything like me, completing a personal development plan is a real pain!

Until now…

This is a short video that shares how to create the best personal development plan ever:

Winners quit fast, quit often and quit without guilt

Is quitting ever the right thing to do?

I hate to say it, but sometimes the answer is ‘yes’.

If you a regular reader of these posts, you will know I consistently preach that we shouldn’t quit… In the recipe for success, taking action everyday, is the most common ingredient. If any of us are going to be successful, then the reality is we have take action towards our goals.

So how does quitting fit in to the recipe of success?

What if you are trapped in a situation that is restricting your progress, limiting your potential or suffocating your dreams.

Is it right to stay and fight in that situation?

Well if your current struggle is a part of the journey towards your personal goals, then YES you should stick it out and keep on taking action to keep on getting better.

Have an honest look at the bigger picture of your life. Is your current reality is just a bump in the road or is it a dead end?

Ask yourself:

‘Have I changed and adapted myself to maximise this current situation?’
‘Have I tried everything? What else could I try?’

If you haven’t changed your approach and your mindset, then you shouldn’t quit! If you want to change ANYTHING in your life, start with yourself first!

However there are those times you should quit.

Ask yourself:

Does my current reality (job, life style, relationships or friends) have a fundamentally negative impact on my life goals?
Have I changed myself in that situation, to try and improve it?

If you have a negative impact in your life, that you cant change by adapting your mindset… then quit… now.

Life is far to short to spend it being miserable.

mood-girl-dress-color-hands-smile-summer-umbrella-umbrella-happiness-freedom-freedom-openness-warmth-plants-nature-field-sun-sky-clouds-background-freedomIf you cannot chase your goals, if you cannot become the best version of you, if you are trapped and being restricted then you have to to something about it.

Think about it, at the end of your life will you regret chasing your goals or would you regret not trying?

The honest truth is, if your situation is suffocating your potential, then you can quit and you will find a better environment.

If you go to work hating every second, without any hope of improvement… Quit… Find another job! The longer you stay, the less confidence and self worth you will have. That is no way to spend your working life!

The same goes for relationships in your life… If there is a relationship that is hurting you, which is having a negative impact on how you live… then quit.. You don’t have to stay in a relationship that hurts!

You can quit and become happy, successful and fulfilled.

Don’t live a trapped life. Live your life to the fullest.

Become the best version of you.

The Three Most Important Lessons In Life That My Children Taught Me.

When you first commence parenthood, you will probably expect to learn a lot, just like I did. 

What I didn’t realise when I became a father was that my children would teach me about how to live a fulfilled and successful life.

My children, who are now 6 and 4 years old, have taught me the most fundamental and critical factors that determine the quality of life.

These factors will absolutely have a dramatic effect on your life, if you choose to follow what I have learnt. This has nothing to do with parenthood and everything to do with how to live a fulfilled life. 

Here is what I have learnt from my children:

1. Don’t care about trying to fit in.

shutterstock_85725160In our society, the idea of not fitting in and being different can be quite terrifying! We are taught throughout our lives that fitting in and compliance are positive attributes. On the most basic level, look a school uniforms, we make unique and special individuals look identical.

 

We do this in our society consistently, slowly removing our individuality and building the concept that being different is bad or negative. After all we know what happens to those that are different… they are laughed at and made fun of.

Young children on the other hand simply do not care – they are absolutely true to themselves in every way possible. They are not bothered if other people see them differently, in fact it doesn’t even enter their minds! They live and embody the person they are with pride and passion.

Here is the kicker: It is IMPOSSIBLE to be truly happy when you compromise who you are. Spending your life trying to ‘fit in’ means that you will never give the world your full potential. We are ALL different, none of us ‘fit in’ to the stereotypes we have created.

You can stand out. You can be exceptional. You are amazing and full of huge potential. Be like a child and let the real you shine like the sun – The world deserves the very best you, You deserve the very best you… Be brave, stand out!

2. Live in the present moment.

“Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path to joy”

Sarah Ban Breathnatch

Children enjoy the magic of now. They see the world with wonder, savouring everything around them.

As adults we tend to spend so much time either worrying and thinking about the past or planning and worrying about the future. So much so that we neglect the beauty and magnificence of right now!

The feeling of being absorbed in the present is wonderful. Children do it all of the time and remembering we have this skill is a fundamental building block of happiness. Read any book on how to be happy and one of the key factors will be about enjoying and being grateful for the present moment.

Here are the facts: You can’t change the past, it has gone. You can’t control the future either, as you will never have complete control of all factors involved.

What you can do is control yourself and the actions you take right now – If you think about it, the present moment is the only real moment you ever have – use it, enjoy it, live it and love it!

This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the past or the future. Respect and learn from the past and have goals for the future. Just don’t spend all your time there. 

3. Don’t worry about failing.

216Children keep on taking action, they keep on trying until they win. It is as simple as that – Learn to walk? Keep on taking action until they win. Learn to stack building blocks? Keep on taking action until they win.

The concept of failure isn’t even in their minds – they don’t worry about looking silly, they don’t quit or concern themselves with what other people might think. They don’t care if they fall, it is just a part of the process. So they fall, they learn, they take more action…until they win!

Yet in our adult lives the fear of getting something wrong can be terrifying – So rather than take a risk, we will play it safe. We won’t take the action we need to take… instead we will take the action that is easiest to do!

That will, of course, limit us.

It will affect the quality of our lives dramatically. Take your current life as an example – Once upon a time you had a dream (maybe you still do). To achieve that dream you will have to take risks, you will have to fail lots of times and you will have to show real grit and determination to keep on pressing forward until you win.

If you are fearful of failing, then you simply won’t take the action required to win.

However, if you do take the action required everyday… Then you will experience hardship, BUT over time, you will become significantly closer to your dream. 

This is true with ANY goal… Take the required action… everyday… no matter what… and one day you will win!

Children know this. Maybe we should all be more like them?

The top ten excuses to give up on your goals

When you have big goals, you will know bringing them to life is hard work. Often it is easier to tell ourselves our goals are not achievable. Often we tell ourselves we should compromise.

If you have a goal you are finding difficult to move forward, here is a list of the best excuses you can use to give up… Of course, I have also added my thoughts to why you should never quit with these excuses.

1. My goals are unrealistic

Good! Being realistic is the fastest way to becoming average! Anybody who ever achieved anything of note was unrealistic… That is how progress is made. Congratulations, you have joined a very special club of people. People who can change the world around them!

2. I am not good enough

This is probably true… You might have some natural talent, but it will only take you so far. The only way ANYONE gets to be ‘good enough’ is hours and hours of practice. If you are not good enough right now, practise harder, longer and more consistently than ever before. Over time you WILL become good enough.

3. Other people will think I am stupid

woman-saying-no1Other people will ridicule you, laugh at you and tell you you can’t (they will even do this when you have achieved your goals!!). At the end of your life, will you measure success based on how bland and average you were or will you measure success on achieving your potential?

If you want to be bland, give up on goals now, don’t do anything worth any attention. If you want your life to be measured on what you contributed… Then you know you can’t quit.

4. I don’t know what to do

If this is your excuse, you are probably accurate. What the most successful people in the world do in this situation is simple. If they don’t know what to do, they find out! There are so many people out in the world who are living out your goals, find out what they did, copy them!

5. I will probably fail

Yep… this will most likely turn out to be correct. The bottom line is, people who achieve massive success have failed more times than you. The difference between success and failure is that the successful learn from failure. They recover from failure. They keep taking action until they they don’t fail, they take action until they win.

Failing is inseparable from success. You just have to choose how you will face failure… If you want to achieve your goals, then embrace failure, learn from it and become better from it.

6. I don’t have the time

“To busy is a myth. People make time for the things that are really important to them.”

Mandy Hale

This is simply not true. If you MUST do something, then you WILL do it. If you don’t have the time, it is because it is not a MUST… instead it is a SHOULD. The difference between must’s and should’s is the fracture between taking the action you need and letting other stuff get in the way.

If you don’t think you have the time ask yourself this “If someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to take action on my goals, would I find the time?”.

When things become a MUST, those things happen.

7. It is not perfect yet

This is just another way of saying “I will probably fail”. There is no perfect time, there is no perfect moment. You have to create the time, you have to create the moment. This will ultimately mean there is a risk of failure involved. Embrace it, learn from it and become better from it.

8. I don’t have the resources

pragmatic-resourceful-educator-life-skillsPlease refer back to excuse number 6, about MUST’s and SHOULD’s. You can generate and manifest more than you can imagine.

Please don’t take offence to the following question: If your closest loved one needed an operation in six months or they would die and it cost half a million dollars/pounds, would you raise the money?

Of course you would, you probably have no idea how, but you wouldn’t stop until you did it. Now take away the horrible situation. You have the capacity to raise half a million in six months! Don’t say you don’t have the resources!

9. I have already tried and it didn’t work

The difference between winners and losers is that winners keep on going until they win. Losers will try, fail and then stop. It is impossible to succeed without failing, winners know this! Losers don’t stick around to find out!

10. I need to earn a living, so can’t chase my goals just yet

Chasing your goals doesn’t mean you have to give up your job, just yet! Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, didn’t quit his place in Harvard until one year after Microsoft had become a world wide success! If chasing your dreams, while keeping your job is good enough for people like Bill Gates, it is good enough for you!

If you practise, practise and practise achieving your goals and keep on learning and getting better, after a few years you will be in the top 2% in the world at what you do.

There is a massive amount of money available for anyone who is in the top 2% in the world at what they do! Do what it takes to master your craft, be relentless and the money worries will dissipate… Then quit your job!

Bringing it all together

It is easy to tell ourselves we can’t achieve… But when you hear that voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough or you feel afraid of failing, tell yourself a different story, tell yourself you can. If you believe it, you can achieve it.