Last week, I found two lists I'd written during a time of my life when I was frustrated and felt lost. In early 2015, I realized that I wasn't where I wanted to be, but wasn't quite sure where to go next. I had a great job and family life, but something was missing. This excerpt from the book Dream, Save, Do really exemplified how I was feeling at the time.
"Our lives before were uninspiring, but from the outside looking in we had nothing to complain about. We had good jobs, a decent place to live, and enough money to eat out and go on vacation every year. We weren't unhappy, but we were far from fulfilled. There was something missing, and we kept looking to our jobs and money to find it. Maybe you feel the same way, a little bit adrift and somewhat guilty for not being happy with what you already have. All your basic needs are covered, but there's a hole, and you may or may not be clear on how to fill it."
Maybe you are struggling with the those same feelings. It could be frustration with your job, personal life, friendships, family or lack of self-care, but that feeling of frustration & discontentment can be very real and very pervasive when your life is misaligned.
The great thing about those feelings is that they can lead you on the right path for your life if you listen & take action. As for me, in retrospect, I can see how exploring those feelings lead me somewhere new and exactly where I was supposed to be...in this job & this place...and those feelings can lead you somewhere great too!
The same things that I listed way back then are the same things that drive my passion to help others & get up everyday:
1. Helping others to grow to their potential
2. Sharing knowledge; helping others gain confidence or find their best self
3. Figuring out the big picture & how to shift your perspective to make a difference
Interested to know how I found my way? One of the first things I did, way back in early 2015, was create a list - my "through list". A through list is unique to each person & really speaks to their driving force, or what is most important to them. To create my list, I started by looking at the connecting themes of my life - the times when I found myself most energized & writing them all down.
Once I had my list, I was then able to explore what I wanted more & less of in my life, creating a template of sorts to help me navigate what changes I wanted to make. I'm proud to say that I have now added every one of the items I wanted more of in my life & you can too, all it takes is spending the time crafting the life you want!
We all benefit when we understand our own "through line" as it helps provide a filter from which to live our lives & make decisions about what we will prioritize. Interested in finding out what yours is? Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Write down the times when you've felt most energized (work & personal).
2. Review the list & determine what these things have in common. How do these things speak to what you value in life?
3. Ask yourself if what you are doing on a daily, weekly & monthly basis align. If the answer is no, it is time to make some changes!
Now that you know what your through line is, here are a few tips for making changes in your life to make the changes you want to be more fulfilled.
1. Think about what you want more of in your life or what you find yourself wishing you could do more of? Write down 5-10 things.
2. Write down 4-5 new things that you are interested in learning or doing. Have you always wanted to take a photography class, learn how to paint or go skydiving? Think about those things that come to mind when you think "if only I had the time to..."
3. List 5-10 things that you wish you could eliminate or reduce from your life. These tend to be the easiest things to list, but make sure you focus on the biggest pain points, not just the small annoyances, and that you cover both personal and work issues.
4. Prioritize! Reduce your list to focus on the top 2-3 things from each one of the questions above. Focus on taking action on one from each list in the next two weeks. Intent inspires action & action creates momentum! Once you've been able to make that change, add another item from each list over the course of the following month.
5. Keep repeating until you've gotten through your list. Do this to the degree you can, of course! (I'd love to eliminate some chores from life, but the reality is that there will always be things you'd prefer not to do. Just try to figure out how to make those more efficient so you can spend more time focusing on the things you love!)
I will leave you with this final excerpt from the book, "The lesson in that story is simple but powerful. When you become disconnected from the joy that feeds your soul, you become disconnected with life, and you're just going through the motions. Nothing is really bad, but nothing is really great either."
You only get one chance at this thing called life; my wish for you is that you live everyday with a sense of gratefulness & contentment.
I spent over two years reading every book and article I could get my hands on about how to leverage your strengths, change careers, find your purpose, etc. before spending an incredibly productive three months with a career coach who helped me clear my head, find the right path & build a plan to get there. If only I had known what a huge impact having the right person there to help you on your journey could make...but now that I do, I want others to know that there is a better way! You don't have to suffer trying to figure it out on your own.
My mission is to help moms build profitable businesses quickly so they can leave corporate america for life and instead use their talents and skills to make a bigger impact in the world and at home.
If you need help gaining the confidence, clarity & right skills/processes to build a business that replaces your corporate income, let's chat. https://meetme.so/Blakeschofield
PS: If you are looking for a little inspiration to make a change in your life, whether it is saving more to travel, start a new business or leaping into the unknown and follow your dreams, the book "Dream, Save and Do" was a great manual to begin my journey, helping me me to explore my dreams & build a financial plan in order to get there.
* Excerpts from "Dream, Save, Do" by Warren & Betsy Talbot. This post is NOT sponsored.