How to create a life worth living

How to create a life worth living

“One day your life will flash before your eyes.  Make sure it is worth watching”

Reading the book ‘Happier’ by Tal Ben – Shahar, PHD something struck me about the value of having a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.

Yet what is meaning and purpose?  I recently found myself fascinated one morning at the hundreds of people in London striding purposefully along the road, all suited and booted with a look of determination on their faces.  Yet I wondered, how many of them would spend their day clock watching, wishing away the hours until they were free to escape or wishing away the week until the solitude of the weekend arrived?

Are you caught in a cycle of getting up each day and going to work, doing a job that is as someone described to me recently ‘dull as dish water’, only to do it all again the next day?

Yes we do need to work in order to put money on the table and a roof over our heads, but we also all have a choice in how we make that money.  As I read recently – never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.  So how do you create a life worth living?

I had spent many years working as a Human Resources Manager and whilst I enjoyed my career, I felt restless.  I knew I wanted to make a change but I didn’t know how.  I had always admired people who had taken the initiative to do evening classes and one day I decided I was going to take charge of my life.  I had always been interested in doing a course in Life Coaching and found one that was due to start a week later and had one place left – I knew it was meant to be!

Suddenly Monday evenings took on a whole new meaning.  Yes I was still working in HR, but the evening course made me feel alive.  I was doing something for me, something I found fascinating and I loved the feeling of empowerment and fulfilment it gave me.

Having got my juices going for the topic it led me to studying Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy and it was here I found the road to Damascus.  Less than six months after qualifying I left my career and set up my own clinic.

I wake up each day now and give a thought of gratitude that I have such a sense of meaning and purpose in my life.  Setting up a new business hasn’t all been plain sailing but the satisfaction I get from helping people overcome their problems is priceless.

We all have it within our power to create change in our life.  However in order for that to happen, let’s take a moment to think about what you do want.  As humans we are brilliant at focusing on what we don’t want. But what about what you do want?

How to create a life worth living

What get’s your juices flowing?

Have you ever stopped to think ‘what makes me happy and why?’.  Or to take a different angle, ask yourself, ‘what would make me happier?’

Look at where you are spending your time and whether it is making you happy.  Does watching two hours of television every night leave you feeling fulfilled?  Where could that time be put to better use?

I often hear my clients tell me they don’t have time for things in their life, but where is your time really being spent?

Key questions to ask yourself

  • What would you do if you knew your couldn’t fail?
  • What would you do if money didn’t matter?
  • The top five talents I have are?
  • The key things I love doing are?
  • Five careers I wish I’d had are?
  • What do people often tell me I’m good at?
  • Five things I’d love to try doing are?

Perhaps you are starting to sense a pattern emerging for what you’re good at and enjoy doing?

Be willing to learn

There are thousands of successful people out there running their own businesses, doing what they love and making money from it.  They are not people clock watching, waiting for the next 30 years to hurry up so that they can retire.  They are people who go out every day and make life happen.  They are also people who never stop learning.  If you are an accountant who wants to be a chef, then a period of training is going to be required!

Don’t wait for your life to change, change your life

You don’t have to go out there and overhaul your life in order to create the change you are seeking.  Throw a pebble in a pond and it will create a ripple effect.  Sometimes just taking that first step can create that ripple effect in your life as it did mine.  Sign up to that course, go to that local group, or buy the book on the subject your are interested in.

Need a little inspiration?

If you listen to the voice in your head telling you that you can’t set up a business, or you can’t change jobs, or you should stay where you are because the pension scheme is good or that the Country is in a recession, guess what?  You are going to wake up in ten years time and find that very little has changed in your life.

As David Schwartz suggests in ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’, take only positive thoughts out of your memory bank.  If you believe you will succeed you will.

One of my favourite stories about self belief comes from JK Rolling.  Now one of the richest women in the world, Rolling continued to feed her desire to write despite how tough life her life was.  Although she supported herself and her daughter by teaching English, she never gave up the dream to see her book in print.

What’s your daily intention?

What intention do you set each day?  Is it just to survive and get through the day until you get to 6.00pm and you can go home and collapse on the sofa?

Try this for 21 days, each day when you wake up set your intention for the day.  Not what you are going to do, but who you are going to be.  Try saying ‘I’m going to activate the best parts of me today’ and hold that feeling inside you for a few minutes.  Notice how good it feels to wake up those parts of you that are capable and strong and bursting with potential.  The more you hold the thoughts that fire you up, your body will actually start to release a chemical called dopamine in your brain, making you feel better about yourself and your life.  And with this natural wonder drug cursing through your system, I wonder what it will encourage you to do to allow you to fulfil your life’s purpose.

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.  Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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