“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Ismael Paramo

How satisfied are you with your life? Examine who you are on the inside and take a look on the outside to explore your intrinsic and extrinsic accomplishments.

How do your observations compare to the answers you would have offered from 5, 10, or even 20 years ago?

Which of your efforts — based on what you wanted — have come to fruition, and how pleased are you today?

EXERCISE:

Take the time today to count your many blessings. How rich do you feel?

Consider having a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague to expand the value of this exercise to more fully appreciate how far you have come.

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you least expect it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”

—Charles F. Kettering, 20th Century American inventor and engineer

Image from Unsplash by Jose Aljovin

The average inventor produces about three patents in their lifetime. A prolific inventor produces around 15. Charles Kettering, who founded Delco and worked for General Motors from 1920 to 1947, was the holder of 186 patents.

He was clearly a person of action, not one to sit things out on the sidelines.

Another one of my favorite quotes from Kettering is:

“My Interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently stopped in your life?

Where are you sitting it out, hoping that things will miraculously improve on their own?

Where is it time to stand up and get going again so that you can stumble on something that will add greater meaning and satisfaction to your life?

Friday Review: Satisfaction

FRIDAY REVIEW: SATISFACTION

What brings you the most satisfaction in life? Here are a few satisfaction-related posts you may have missed

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

“Happy millionaires do what they love.”

“Happy millionaires do what they love.”

—Ken Honda, Japan’s best selling zen millionaire

Image from Amazon

Someone once told me that money is a scoreboard for value. A second concept that I’ve taken to heart is: “Time is the Coin of Life.”

How are you spending your time, and what value are you creating in the world?

What is your current level of happiness and life satisfaction?

Research has proven time and again that intrinsic motivation – that based on deeply held values and beliefs – creates far more sustainable and lasting rewards than any external scoreboard could measure.

EXERCISE:

Consider taking a look at Ken Honda’s work, including his book, Happy Money. Lynn Twist’s book, The Soul of Money, is another excellent resource to help you live a more richly rewarding life.

“Your ‘I Can’ is more important than Your I.Q.”

“Your ‘I Can’ is more important than your I.Q.”

—Robin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series

Image of the book cover of "The Little Engine that Could"

The Little Engine that Could is an American fairy tale that became widely known in the 1930s. Through an online poll of teachers, The National Education Association rated it as one of the Top 100 books for children, because of its key message of the importance of optimism and hard work.

The story’s signature phrase, I Think I Can is a key memory I have from childhood on the importance of self belief and self determination. My wife Wendy and I did our best to instill this concept in both our children.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom would a bunch more “I can” and “I know you can” statements support greater achievement and life satisfaction in your personal and professional communities?

Here is a short video if you wish to recapture the memory or share it with someone you love.

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

—St. Francis of Assisi

Image of a sunbeam coming through a tree

Image from Unsplash by Darren Bockman

Who are the people in your world that light up your life?

Take a minute or more to make a list of these special people, and note the qualities and characteristics they exhibit that caused you to put them on your list.

On the flip side, note the individuals in your personal and professional communities that cast shadows over your world and reduce your aliveness and life satisfaction. What are their specific behaviors and attitudes that cloud your world?

EXERCISE:

Beyond spending far more time with the first group and less with the second, how can and will you personally bring more sunshine to those around you, for the benefit of all?

This effort will almost certainly attract many more sunbeams from others who also desire brighter days.

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.”