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DOES WORK BECOME PLAY?
is another thing I truly like about my definition: it changes my attitude
towards my work. Knowing that I
am consciously CHOOSING to do what I do makes all the difference.
course, each one of us at some level is choosing what we are doing every
moment. It's the 'consciously'
part we may be missing. It's
possible that we spend time complaining bitterly about our lives without
ever actually admitting that we've created our perception of it and our
reaction to it. Sure,
difficulties arise and, with it, stress.
What we do then is also a choice. There is just no escaping that
'choice' thing even though we have hundreds of well-rehearsed reasons and
excuses to justify and maintain our discomfort.
I was coaching a young woman of forty who recently had her first child.
She had returned to work after only nine weeks with her baby.
Her husband works out of town all week and they live on the outskirts
of a major city to make life more affordable.
As we chatted, her tears flowed.
Why? Because she is
running as fast as she can, multi-tasking all the way, justifying every
decision on behalf of finances. She
is exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And, for
five and half days a week, she is alone.
She is definitely not retired by my definition.
We spent our session reviewing her choices.
of the greatest travesties of our current culture is that we are constantly
being bombarded with advertising and information to suggest we 'should' be
able to do it all without pain, stress or loss IF we really had it all
together. Unfortunately that
often translates to if we cannot manage every aspect of our lives every
minute of our lives without distress, we're simply not good enough.
Have you ever felt that? The
world works hard to keep us believing its true, but, it's not!
have to take back our lives. Review our position.
Reflect on our choices. Re-consider
our values. Re-define success. Re-construct our plan.
Re-design our use of time. As
you read this, are you noticing that you are feeling something like
disappointment, a sinking
feeling, or a desire to cry? This
will tell you right away that you need to step back and do the following:
FOR TAKING BACK YOUR LIFE:
a weekend just for yourself. Wear
only comfortable clothes. Turn off the computer, the phone, the cell phone.
Have a brand, new journal and pen ready.
This is your time.
the first twelve hours sleeping because most folks are chronically
over-tired yet another symptom
of our 'be-everything, do-everything, have-everything myth'. When you wake up, luxuriate in the knowledge that this time
is just for you. Nowhere to go,
no one to please, nothing that has to be done.
When is the last time you could say that? Notice that, too.
good food that nourishes your body, eyes and soul. Eat leisurely and just eat.
Don't think about anything except enjoying the food, your
surroundings and the leisure.
Then, relax. Sleep if you need to.
your body and mind have rested, take whatever time you need to fully
consider these three questions and write your answers your new journal:
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, MOST VALUABLE AND MOST SIGNIFICANT TO ME IN
may be character traits, relationships, habits, aspirations, events and
possessions. There are no right
answers, only YOUR answers. Do
not evaluate your list on the basis of what others may think. Start with a
clean page. The first change in
your thinking will be to find only the things that honestly reflect what YOU
value. No 'shoulds, ought-tos, or musts'.
Not what anyone has told you is right.
Just what is important to you.
IF I BASED MY LIFE CHOICES SQUARELY ON MY ANSWERS ABOVE, HOW WOULD I
SPEND MY TIME, MY ENERGY AND MY MONEY?
good way of developing this answer is to create an ideal week for yourself.
As you do that, beware of the 'should' gremlins looking over your
shoulder. It is your week in
your life. Your responsibility
is to have it reflect what you say you value. Notice what fits and what does
not fit. You may have to
prioritize. Stick with the
project until you have a week that is so appealing you can hardly wait to
let's stop for a reality check. Have
you designed a week's vacation or a week that truly reflects what you want
your life to be all about? Your
optimal design will be for a week that you could repeat forever, one that
you would feel very good about in every way.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BEGIN MATCHING YOUR
CURRENT LIFE WITH YOUR IDEAL LIFE?
this in small steps. In fact,
take it in what I call TTDC's, Teeny, Tiny, DoAble Chunks. Choose five small things you can accomplish or change this
you are changing your physical surroundings, your relationship, your
attitude or your behavior, start small. Celebrate often. Progress is cumulative.
Just keep going forward.
regularly to review your progress, re-commit to your values, and choose the
next five things to do. Once
this becomes a habit, you're on your way to your ideal life.
You are on your way to being 'retired'!
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