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Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of next promotion, bigger paycheck, larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted color of our kids' eyes, way melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live.
I learned to live many years ago. Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be hardest lesson of all. I learned to love journey, not destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all good in world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider lilies of field. Look at fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in backyard with sun on your face. Learn to be happy . And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived."
Just Do It!
"Time is most important currency, but once you spend it, it's gone." -Rod Steiger
If you struggle to "get a life," here are some concrete action steps you can take, beginning TODAY!
==> Action Idea #1: Identify what you love to do.
∑ If you had more time, what would you do? (Or, if you had a terminal illness, what would you want to do with time you had left?) Write down your response.
∑ What is holding you back from doing this now? Do you choose to wait for a terminal illness to come along before you make time for what you love most?
∑ Get your calendar out and schedule time to do some of things you wrote down.
==> Action Idea #2: Identify your values.
∑ Jot down names of 10-20 people whom you admire. They do not need to be living, and you may have never met them or known them personally.
∑ After you've completed your list, write down qualities that you admire in each person you listed. For example, if I listed Mother Teresa, I might describe these qualities: compassionate, generous, unconditional love, lived with meaningful purpose. The qualities that you admire in others are YOUR values.
∑ How do you honor your values regularly? What is getting in way of you honoring your values?
==> Action Idea #3: Identify your priorities and passions.
∑ Pretend that you are attending your 100th birthday party and your closest friends and relatives have gathered to honor you. What would you want them to say about you? What would represent a life well lived with no regrets?
∑ What matters most to you? What are you most passionate about? Write it down.
∑ What one thing could you do, that if you did regularly, would make biggest difference in your personal life? For your professional life?
∑ Get out your calendar and begin planning to do these things regularly.
We get what we settle for. It's never too late -- or too early -- to settle for more. When you are ready to settle for more -- professionally or personally -- contact me.
Kathy Paauw, President of Paauwerfully Organized, specializes in helping busy executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs declutter their schedules, spaces and minds. She is a certified business/personal coach and professional organizer. Contact her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at http://www.orgcoach.net and learn how you can Find ANYTHING in 5 Seconds -- Guaranteed!