I was asked by a client of mine, “If you had one year to live what would you do?”
I thought about this for a bit. I could not think of anything that I would change. It is not that I don’t want to do things more than I have already but there is nothing that I have not done to some degree –enough to be content.
I even questioned myself about it, “Can that even be true?” But still I felt like I would wake up and keep living the way that I have been living.
But then it came to me: I would eat more ice cream!
No but seriously, there have been times when I asked myself this question and the answers I got were not so light-hearted.
I am an independent and individualistic person. And still, I have woken up some days to realize that I bought some way of doing things in my life that is not right for me but I chose because I either did not know enough to make my own choice or because I was concerned that the way that I wanted to do it was the wrong way.
Point is, this is going to happen so matter who you are and how focused you are on your fulfillment. We all get off track from time to time and it is part of the process of learning and growing to try different things and have some of them fit and some of them not.
However, to make sure that we create the lives we really want, we need to continuously check in with ourselves about a few things:
1. Know yourself. Take time for inward reflection so that you know what you are feeling and are clear on the actions. This is vital for creating self knowledge and a life that really works for you.
2. Evaluate your life on a regular basis. We need to take time to take stock of our lives. What areas of your life might you be neglecting?
3. Do a regular house cleaning. Pay attention to what is dragging you down or outdated and clear it out. I mean this both literally and internally.
4. Focus on what you want. To really have the life that you want you need to spend time actively attending to what you want to create.
Having the life that you know is yours to create takes a little bit of work but the rewards far outweigh the effort.
My upcoming book is called Apathy is Noxious: The power of giving a damn. I really like the way it is shaping up. The book is a step on the path to getting what I believe is the most important message: Care More.
After thinking a lot about it, I realized that if I could change one thing in the world. It would be to get people to care more. I believe that harnessing our power to care is life changing, world changing, and downright transformational on every level.
It might sound trite but think about it for a second. How often have you said to yourself “I think that if I just cared more that would solve this problem?”
How often have you thought, if that person or group just cared more then this problem would be solved?
Kind of interesting right? Most of us have found ourselves lamenting the lack of care that we see in another group of people. Maybe even sometimes getting upset because how much we care about something is getting in our way: We care about a person and they hurt us. We care about a cause and we see it fail our ideals. We care about an aspect of our life and we loose it.
Then it turns into blame. It must be someone besides us that is messing this all up, right?
What if I were to tell you, no?
What if I were to tell you that if you really cared about yourself and others that it would blow the doors off what you have been up to now calling your life.
The truth is that there is a place inside of you that is so full of love for you and for everything around you that when you tap into it you will no longer be caring because you are expecting an outcome. You will care because it is who you are.
When you look at an aspect of your life, you will know that it is not like that because you don’t have the right amount of money or because you couldn’t get the love of someone you were interested in but because you did not care enough to do what it takes to make it something different.
And that is something most people do not want to hear.
Because it means that they are both the problem and the solution.
So, look at your life, look at your relationships and your work. Are they the way that you want them to be? Ask yourself am I caring as much about myself as this other person, idea, or thing? And, am I caring as much about this person, idea, or thing, as I am caring about myself?
Is there a way that I can care more? What would I do if I was willing do care more?
Ask and act on these questions and, trust me, your life will change.
Donald Trump has failed as many times as he has succeeded and ultimately he has succeeded, at least financially.
While I cannot claim to be enamored with his personality (or his hair) I think he illustrates a very powerful point: Your life and your work depend on you being willing to take risks.
You have very likely heard the expression bold action gets bold results. And, well, it does.
So, if it does, then what scares us so much? The plain fact is that the results of our bold action are bold for sure but not always positive. A certain amount of the time we are going to fail. If it was a guarantee, then it would not be a risk, right?
Somewhere along the way many of us learned that failing was bad. Maybe it is our grading system. Where else in the course of life is the goal 100%? For example, what if in soccer players got 100% of the goals? We don’t even consider this. Under these conditions getting a CHANCE at the goal is seen as an accomplishment.
Embracing failure as a likely outcome and being willing to learn from it and make adjustments is the cornerstone of success. Perhaps this is why so many successful entrepreneurs were C students!
Ok, so if you are convinced now that taking risks and even failing might be in your best interest then how do you get yourself to take action when you are on the edge and gearing up to take that major leap to create the life, love or work that you really want?
In the book that I am currently writing a book called “Apathy is Noxious”, where I talk about this very subject. One approach to move out of inertia you need to intensify the discomfort of staying the way that you are.
Another approach is to adjust your perception of what “good” results are. What if instead of success and failure you looked at the outcome of your bold action as valuable information that is letting you know how to make your next bold move?
*A footnote for those of you who leap before you look. LOOK. Taking risks requires reviewing the situation and taking educated risks.