Don’t be satisfied with stories

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

—Rumi, 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet

Image of a woman watching TV and eating popcorn

Image from Unsplash by Jeshoots.com

One of my daily rituals is to read the Word of the Day provided by Merriam-Webster. You can subscribe by email at Merriam-Webster.com.

The word of the day on which I wrote this post was vicarious. It pertains to today’s quote in that we gain a particular experience in our imagination through the feeling and actions of another person.

Consider all the secondhand and surrogate experiences we take in through television, movies, sporting events, social media, and of course, good old gossip.

How does ingesting vicarious stories and experiences truly contribute positively to your world, beyond the distracting, entertainment value?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you live, moving forward, to become far more of the main character of your own life story?

An object in possession seldom retains

“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.”

—Pliny the Younger, lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome

image of a hand placing a piece in a jigsaw puzzle

Image from Unspash by Ryoji Iwata

I recently saw the film Puzzle, in which Kelly Macdonald plays a woman living a dull and predictable life. One boring day, she finds a puzzle on the shelf and decides to give it a go, only to discover a wondrous joy in putting it together with great speed and mastery.

Consider life as a puzzle we piece together over time, sorting the variety of colors, straight edges, and of course, those all-important corners, to frame our picture of an extraordinary life.

For some reason, there seems to be far more interest and attraction to fitting in the new pieces that come our way, and a bit of taking for granted what we have already accomplished and put into place.

EXERCISE:

How would a greater appreciation for who you are and what you have provide more satisfaction as you purposefully pursue the pieces needed to complete your picture of a wonderful life?

Contentment Makes Poor Men Rich

“Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.”

—Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father

Image of Benjamin Franklin

Image from prachnhachivit.com

Did you know that for over 50 years the citizens in many countries have become wealthier with no increase, and often a decrease, in their levels of happiness?

There is increasing evidence that the effect of income on life satisfaction seems to be transient, with many people seeking the next fix. Perhaps one of the most disturbing examples of this is the phenomenon of hoarding.

Being content, as today’s quote suggests, describes wealth through emotional criteria rather than material criteria.

It is our attitude about who we are and what we have that frames our views on life.

EXERCISE:

Consider exploring the work of Clayton M. Christensen, who wrote the book, How Will You Measure Your Life?

 

To Set the World on Fire

“To set the world on fire, warm up to your job.”

—Arnold Glasow, 20th Century American Humor Writer

Image of a match on fire

Image from Jayroeder.com

If time is the “coin of life,” then what we do and who we do it with in our careers has a huge cost.

How satisfied and fulfilled are you in your career?

To what degree do you think and feel it is time well spent?

Unfortunately, 60-70% of the workforce doesn’t leap out of bed every morning. That fire, or even a hint of a spark, is missing.

What if we could rekindle the flames of enthusiasm and passion we had when our careers were just starting, or when we transitioned into a new venture?

EXERCISE:

Examine your current job through a fresh set of eyes. Look for what is working, what can be improved, and what’s possible, to fire up your engagement and fulfillment.

Consider picking up Adam Grant’s book, Originals, to explore many new and innovative approaches to making this important part of life more “toasty.”

Regret for Time Wasted

“Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains.”

—Arthur Brisbane, 20th Century American Newspaper Editor

Image from Unsplash by Matthew Henry

How many more years do you expect to live, given your current health status and general life expectancy statistics?

How delighted, satisfied, disappointed or regretful are you regarding your current levels of professional and personal accomplishments?

I’ve found that virtually everyone I coach has a heightened sense of urgency, wanting to squeeze even more out of the time they have remaining.

For whatever the reason, they often seek out the support of a coaching relationship to achieve more, at a faster rate, than they have experienced up to the current moment.

EXERCISE:

The time we all have on this earth is limited. How will you maximize the use of what remains in order to achieve the success and significance you desire?

Glimpses of Heaven

“There are glimpses of Heaven to us in every act or thought or word, that raises us above ourselves.”

—A.P. Stanley, 19th Century Dean of Westminster

Image of Thor's Helmet Emission Nebula

Thor’s Helmet Emission Nebula 
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

I love the idea that if we shoot for the moon and miss our mark, we will still land among the stars. How often do your eyes rise to the heavens to explore and pursue the possibilities of life? How often do you navigate your world looking down or only at your next step?

With the right lens or perceptional filter, today’s quote suggests we can use every action, thought, or word as a catalyst, to become a better versions of ourselves.

EXERCISE:

Ask and answer these three questions, to open up the heavens even further:
• What did I learn from the action that I just took, to improve my current situation?
• How can my current thinking be more hopeful, optimistic, and creative?
• What do I hear or read that can inspire me toward a new level of excellence?

Consider creating a question or two for yourself that, once answered, can raise your life to new levels of success and life satisfaction.

Your Work is to Discover Your Work

“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.”

—Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism

Image from Unsplash

No quote captures my business and personal coaching work purpose better than this one!

A large percentage of people I work with in the business world rarely experience a perfect fit between who they are and what they do.

I see this most often when people seek coaching because they have a heightened awareness of this gap in their fulfillment and satisfaction, and choose to make an intentional transition with this huge chunk of their life.

EXERCISE:

To put you in closer touch to the work you are meant to do, consider reading these books:

Of course, you can always contact me to explore how I may assist you in this effort.

How satisfied you are

FRIDAY REVIEW: SATISFACTION

How satisfied are you with your life? Here are a few satisfaction-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full message.

 

“Most people’s lives are a direct reflection of their peer groups.”

 

 

 

 

“There must be more to life than having everything.”

 

 

 

 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

 

 

 

“When you stay away from your soul…”

“When you stay away from your soul the distance you have traveled is measured by the aching of your heart.”

-Dodinsky, author of “In the Garden of Thoughts”

Image from BeautifulRumi.com

Image from BeautifulRumi.com

On a scale of one to ten, how well do you live consistently with the phrase, “To thine own self be true”? If you score high in this attribute, my guess is that you experience great personal power and life satisfaction. If you score yourself considerably lower, I’d expect you may feel and experience an aching loss of power and fulfillment.

EXERCISE:

Consider completing the Life Vision Exercise, and consider sending me your personal Top Ten list. Rate yourself on the same one-to-ten scale with regard to how consistently you express these values in both your professional and personal communities. Determine what new and different actions are required to heal your aching heart, to experience the full soulful power within in.

The Life Vision Exercise

List your top 20 – 30 core values.

  1. Cut this list in half, and then in half again, to get to the real core.
  2. Next, create a life vision statement, using all of the final list and perhaps most of the second list of values.
  3. Wordsmith this vision until you feel it is 100% you.
  4. Now use your vision statement as the context to inspire your actions in every area of your life: it can help you become happier and more fulfilled.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward…”

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

—Ernest Hemingway, American author and journalist

QC #789

Photo from Flickr by Jonty

If you examine the statistics related to life satisfaction and happiness, you will discover a fundamental trend. Those who are satisfied and happy consistently engage in their own life journey with a strong sense of meaning and purpose.

Far too many people lack this drive as they begin the day. They often wish parts of their lives away as they look forward to a weekend, or a vacation. In some cases, they look forward to retiring from what they experience as a dead-end job.

EXERCISE:

How can you be more of a map-maker and explorer in your professional and personal life, in order to make each day a fulfilling and satisfying journey?