Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your Best Possible Life

by Kathy Gates, 

Professional Life Coach


How do you define happiness? Is it a beach cabin
in Hawaii? Is it having freedom to do what you
want to do? Is it having a good relationship with a
special someone?

Happiness is indeed an individual definition. For
our purposes, let's agree that it would mean a life
that's working and comfortable in several different
areas: Time, Environment, Work, Thoughts, and
Relationships.

Every day, you are given a day to use any way you
choose. You choose how you make your living,
who you spend time with, what you think about,
read, or listen to. You choose where you shop,
what internet sites you visit, and what you learn.

You choose what TV shows you watch, how your
furniture is placed, what color your walls are. You
choose how much how much you smile, what you
wear, and what you eat. Are your choices
contributing to your best possible life?

1. TIME: How do you spend your time? Is it
wasted time, or refreshing time? Does it take your
toward your goals, or away from them? Are you
consciously spending time, or just letting it happen?
Does the way you spend your time reflect what you
say is important to you? What you do today is
important because you're exchanging a day of your
life for it. Write down how you spend your days,
your week. Include sleep time, grooming time,
wasted time, relaxing time, work time, etc. Be as
specific as you can. You'll quickly see if you're
spending your time where you WANT to spend it or
not, or if time is passing you by.

2. ENVIRONMENT: What is no longer working
for you in your space? Are there broken appliances
or outdated equipment? Are there unfinished
projects that were important at one time, but no
longer intrigue you? When you look around, does
your environment make you feel good? Make you
smile? Research shows that your environment has a
big impact on the way you feel. Color and lighting
can improve your mood. Changing the direction
your desk faces can give you a different
perspective. Make some small but dramatic
changes. Add color to your walls with some
paintings. Try a fresh coat of paint. Use things that
make you smile.

3. WORK: Do you feel fulfilled and happy about
your work, whether that's a domestic engineer or a
CEO? Or do you dread doing the work, and just
count the minutes until time off? We've all been
overly influenced by shoulds, oughtas and have-to's.
So much so that what you want truly want in life,
what would truly make you happy, may be
suppressed WAY down deep. Remember things
that you enjoyed as a child or young adult, and ask
yourself why you don't do them anymore. Ask
yourself if you had 1 minute with all the world's
attention, what message would like to give them.
These clues help you know what your purpose is in
life, and what would make you feel most proud,
happy, and fulfilled.

4. THOUGHTS/SELF TALK: Do you talk to
yourself like your best friend, acknowledging the
wrongs, but supporting change? Or do you talk to
yourself like the neighbor your despise? Do your
thoughts inspire and motivate you, or hold you back
from your best self? As scary as this thought
(pardon the pun) may be, you are living right now
what you thin. Everything begins with your
thoughts. You have direct control over how you act
and what you think (feelings and physiology are
indirectly affected). Feeling better begins with
controlling your thoughts.

5. RELATIONSHIPS: Do the people in your life
support you and your goals? Are you proud to
introduce them to others? Do you learn from them?
As you've probably noticed, you don't live in a
vacuum - whatever you do affects other people, and
what they do affects you. While you absolutely
cannot change other people, you CAN set up your
life so that the people closest to you provide support
and encouragement. Build reciprocal, healthy
relationships, such as working with other people
who want the same changes that you do, or who you
can support in their own activities. Seek them out.
They're looking for you too.

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