As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 19th Century German Writer & Statesman

Image from wordandspiritministries

What is it to live a good life?

How does one measure a life well lived?

What intrinsic and extrinsic factors are your gyroscopic guides on this great adventure?

Many people are giving more thought to this, particularly as they look in the mirror and see the aging process in effect, or pine on what they were once able to do years earlier.

Many experts, happiness gurus, and people who live “in the moment” encourage all of us to explore our emotions and feelings in order to tap into these trustworthy cornerstones of how to live.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you more fully tap into your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to assure yourself that you are indeed on the right life path?

The secret to living well

“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”

-Tibetan Proverb

Image from The Queen of Small Things

Over the six year life of The Quotable Coach, we’ve shared hundreds of posts exploring the concept of living longer and happier lives.

This Tibetan proverb could replace all of them with its simple wisdom.

EXERCISE:

Put forth an extra effort to practice the following ideas:

  1. Pay particular attention to the portion sizes and the quality of the foods you eat. Consider reducing your servings to 2/3 or 1/2 what you normally take, just to see what happens over a period of time.
  2. Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us! Where and in what ways can you expand your level of physical activity in this new year?
  3. Milton Berle used to say that laughter was a mini-vacation. How can and will you bring more chuckles and belly laughs into your life?
  4. Where and with whom would an abundance of love and affection brighten your world?

Make a Life

“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”

—John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach

Image of today's quote

Image from quoteaddicts.com

Who do you know in your professional circle who has a great deal of regret because they did what today’s quote warned us against?

Over 30 years ago I had dinner with Frank, the Senior Vice President of the pharmaceutical company where I was a rookie sales representative. He had a huge job running the U.S. sales for what was then a four billion dollar Fortune 500 organization with more than 1,200 sales people in 20 regions spread across The United States.

On the surface, he exuded great success and accomplishment. Yet at the end of our dinner, he confided in me that his marriage, his relationship with his children, and even his health had suffered due to his job. His coaching for me was to not make the same mistake.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you change yourself so that making a life and making a living can be part of the same great journey?

Reclaim Our Life

“We must reclaim our life agenda once more.”

-Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author

QC #0186

Image from Flickr by Roland Urbanek

One of the most fundamental elements of people leading full and satisfying lives is autonomy, or as some might say, the ability to guide and direct our own lives.

For many, the ability to chart our own life course has been taken over, or at least overshadowed, by the professional and personal communities within which we operate.
One simple self-test to see if this is true for you is to examine how often your inner voice says, “I don’t want to…” when you are asked to do something.

EXERCISE:

How and in what small or big ways can you reclaim your own life agenda, to lead a fuller, more satisfying life?

Life is Very Short

“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”

—John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles

Image from storypic.com

Image from storypic.com

I am currently coaching an attorney who wishes to make a career transition to something far more in line with his vision and values. Ask him about what he finds distasteful about his current career and his response is clear: he does not enjoy all the fussing and fighting.

Examine your professional and personal worlds to determine just how much of your time you and others spend fussing and fighting. If the amount is unacceptable, examine the cost to your health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

What steps can and will you take to neither initiate nor participate in fussing and fighting?  Lennon’s coaching and life is for all of us to appreciate and be reminded of just how short and precious a life can be.

“Forever – is composed of nows.”

“Forever – is composed of nows.”

– Emily Dickinson, American poet

Honey

A few weeks ago, we had a new member of our family join us on our vacation in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania: my daughter’s 11-month-old puppy named Honey (see photo).

Our time together playing with our “grand-puppy” was the highlight of our week. Whenever we returned from one of our many adventures, meals, excursions, and activities, Honey was ready in each “now” moment to engage and delight us with her playful enthusiasm, energy, and loving nature.

Exercise:

If you happen to be lucky enough to have a pet you love dearly, take a bit of coaching from them regarding their uncanny ability to forever delight you and make your world a better place.

A great quote from Lao Tzu

“The reality of the building does not consist in the roof and walls but in the space within to be lived in.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

562Image from Flickr by jillyspoon.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the wedding of my son Dan to his beautiful bride Carla. I am not a wedding planner, thank goodness, and I was amazed at how many venues it took to pull off this celebration.

Included were:

  • A restaurant to host the rehearsal dinner
  • The rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for the ceremony
  • The ballroom of a wonderful, supportive hotel
  • A breakout room for a Sunday morning brunch
  • And even a local dance studio where the family and guests got to learn swing dancing

In each case, loving, joyous spaces were created by everyone who attended.

Exercise:

How can you, and those you care about, make the spaces within the buildings you live and work in even more special?

“The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.”

“The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer

437Image from Flickr by gagilas

It is a Saturday morning following the Christmas and New Year holiday and I am reflecting fondly on the memory of the time I’ve just spent with those closest to me. I am feeling a wonderful sense of success because we all lived well, laughed often, and loved much during this time.

Exercise:

My challenge to you (and myself as well) is to plan to live more successfully based on Stevenson’s criteria – throughout the year, not just during those infrequent “special episode” holidays and gatherings.

Please reply to this message and let me know some of the ways you plan to experience greater success in the future through living well, laughing often and loving much.