Having a clear vision for your life and a plan to get there are essential for the life of your dreams. After all, it’s really difficult to hit the target if you don’t know where or what the target is and you’re blindfolded.
That being said, some people love planning and others don’t. So while there are tons of commerical planners and planning systems on the market that will help you detail every moment of your day in support of your larger goals, there’s not a lot for people who value variety and uncertainty highly in their lives.
Something I like to do for people who are scared of intense structure is to create a much looser, free-flowing structure that STILL supports what you want in the bigger picture - a planning system for people who are excited by the prospect of uncertainty and variety - people who genuinely don’t want to know what tomorrow may bring.
It’s super simple and it will help move your life forward while also keeping your days fresh and filled with enough variety so that you don’t get bored.
The last few months, based on the people I've interacted with, and what I see in the media, I've been really concerned about people feeling small and unimportant.
There’s so much noise online. So many people work for companies that find them dispensable. People who are lucky enough to find a romantic partner often are ill-equipped to be ideal partners and thus even when not alone, they find themselves tearing each other down rather than building each other up.
There’s a thousand reasons to feel insignificant in a large world that feels even larger than it is where it is almost impossible to be recognized for our own amazing talents or even noticed.
From the little fights I see between neighbors, friends, and strangers on the internet, to the bigger picture stories that define our times - drug addiction and death, mass shooters, street violence, and political violence just to name a few. This dark feeling of insignificance is becoming an epidemic.
Are you helping or hurting the people around you? Are they helping or hurting you? While it is well known that the people you surround yourself with is extremely important to forming who you are as a person, too infrequently do we stop and ask ourselves how are we helping and hurting those in our lives.
What negative identities do you own and what negative identities are you giving to those you love the most?
It is sadly too common for people to have negative identities that dictate what they do and don’t do with their lives. A negative identity is often given to us as a small child or it is something we are currently giving to our children, spouses, coworkers, and family members without even realizing it - something I see more and more with the rise of sharing personal information on social media.
So what is a negative identity? Negative identities, a concept put forth by therapists like Cloe Madanes, are a “general value judgment that limits your options.” Common ones are “I’m too impatient to ever be a mother,” or “I couldn’t do that because I have ADHD,” or “I’m not smart enough to do that,” or “I’m too ugly to be an actor.”
What is the role of stress in your life? Do you have too much of it? Do you manage it well? Do you avoid it all together?
Stress, left unmanaged and misunderstood, is both a silent killer of the body and the spirit. Stress, in the proper amounts and combined with the appropriate rest, is also the source of all your mental and physical growth.
Spending time with my 3 month old baby Francis is like getting to a watch a growth machine. A baby’s life is rapid growth and a constant cycle of physical and mental stress and rest leading to extreme amounts of growth from a blob to a functioning human being.
Watching him struggle with basic tasks like raising his head and rolling over and even just moving his arms and legs reminds me that stress isn’t something to be avoided, but something to embrace.
Master stress in your life by doing two things.
One of the major areas of life that Americans struggle with is achieving optimal health, their body, and their body image. While there are new businesses, trends, and fads sprouting up every day to help people achieve better health, the basics are incredibly well known - eat less, move more, and sleep enough.
Yet every day, people give up on their fitness goals whether that be running a marathon or just fitting into the next pant size down.
So what’s going wrong in a relatively simple and well-understood process? Is a life coach the missing key to weight loss?
People get stuck on the mechanics of time management which are relatively simple.
The thing that will make you feel less stressed about your time is being able to connect your day to day time usage with the bigger picture of you want to be as a person.
Does your time usage reflect your values?
There’s a scene in the classic comedy Zoolander where the main character’s life has fallen apart. He has had a singular focus his entire life - on his modeling career - and he feels that modeling career slipping away from him. He then sees his reflection and in a puddle and contemplates out loud “Who am I?” As a kid I watched this movie a ton with my friends and my brothers and now this question has become a jokingly serious mantra around my house.
Something I am constantly doing in my own life, and encouraging my clients to do, is evaluating and re-evaluating my values and goals. This is doubly true when I am at a crossroads or transition in your life as the lack of clarity will cause you much more stress in your moments of decision.
It’s no secret that who you spend time with determines who you are. Your friends, family, coworkers - every second you spend with them you are being shaped. Hopefully someone’s told you this and it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that if you are spending your time with optimistic, happy, winners - that you are more inclined to be optimistic, happy, and find ways to “win” (however you define winning).
If you want to be happier, you should extend this to the media you consume, as much as you do the people with which you associate. In the era of podcasts, 24 hour news/entertainment, and social media, you are constantly telling your brain what to look for.
Almost everyone at some point in their life had a co-worker or a boss who was difficult to get along with (or just downright hateable). At its core, a professional relationship between two people isn’t really different than a friendship or a romantic relationship with someone - other than the fact that it feels forced because you both need to be there for other reasons like having to pay your bills. And when we recognize this, we have tremendous opportunity to grow in our professional lives by treating these office problems as the interpersonal problems they truly are.
People today are working so hard that burnout is on the tip of all our tongues -especially those of us who are students of exceptional performance or are exceptional performers ourselves.
Hard work has always been valued in our culture, but has made a strong comeback with the “hustle culture” promoted by personalities like Gary Vaynerchuk (who clearly leans on tip 3 and 4 btw).
The thing about hard work is that, like almost anything, it is a skill that people need to practice to become proficient. If you don’t master the skill of working hard then you’re going to flame out or burn out and people who are burnt out aren't going to inspire people with their performance.
If you have been feeling down about your job or are thinking about moving on or starting a new career, then you're probably burnt out.
Here are the best ways to deal with your burnout:
Your life coach.