Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Need to Become the CEO of Your Life

Working in the world of associations is such a fulfilling and rewarding opportunity. We get to live out our passion for helping people, while watching our efforts having a dramatic impact on life, business, and industry.

However, sometimes it becomes more like a job, than a passion, and we begin to feel burnt out with all the demands that can come from serving people. I remember hearing a speaker say, “We aren’t growing burnt out because we are over-worked. We are burnt out because we have forgotten why we do what we do.” That was so profound to me when I heard it, and it caused me to look internally at myself. The person was right…you can not give what you do not have.

In the world of non-profit work, we need to have passion and purpose in our own lives, so we are able to give passion and purpose to our members. However, with our own personal lives as busy as our work life, it can be a real challenge. In those moments of your life when you think your circumstances are at their worst, remember…things are never as bad as they seem, and you have more control of your circumstances than you think. It is at that moment, that you need to become the CEO of your own life and take control.

As I listen, study, and look into the lives of the thousands of people I meet every year, I’ve come to believe that each one of us has a “quality of life” in mind that we would like to be living on a day-to-day basis. It’s a quality of life that brings fulfillment, passion, joy, love, rewards, and a stress-free life. For most, when they look at where that quality of life is, and the actual quality of life they are experiencing, there is a gap. For some, the gap is small, but for many, the gap is huge.

Many are waiting on life to happen in some fashion. Waiting on enough spare time to begin to enjoy life. Waiting on enough business to seize opportunities in the market. Waiting on enough money to have a child. Waiting on the market to change to buy a house. Waiting on the ideal life partner to make you feel loved. Waiting on retirement to start experiencing your bucket list.  Waiting, waiting, waiting...  Waiting for WHAT?
One day you wake up and you’ve lost 20 years of your life waiting in the rut of work, kids growing up, and just life happening. Your soul feels lost, your heart passionless, and your energy tank is on empty. It’s time to stop waiting.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that life doesn’t happen to you, life is what you make a choice to do, and what opportunities you seize when they come your way. Everyday, people have opportunities dropped in their lap, yet they choose to NOT seize the moment and take advantage of them. A great quality of life doesn’t just come to you. YOU make it happen.

In my opinion, to make the quality of life happen that you desire, there are four essential areas of life that you must have a plan for. Your plan isn’t some, “I’ll wing it” type plan, but a plan that has been well thought out. For each area, you need to work through what you want, the threats to making it happen, and the steps you need to take to achieve it. The four areas of life to plan for are:
  1. Career
  2. Relationships
  3. Financial
  4. Physical Health

Each of these four areas drive everything in your life from family, retirement, to professional development. If anyone of these areas is lacking, it will have a negative impact on your ability to achieve the quality of life you want.

To help people achieve maximum success in these four areas, I’ve developed what I call The Path to the Ultimate Life visual. The Path to the Ultimate Life visual has four blocks on the inside that I call “Pillars,” and four words on the outside that I call “Characteristics.”

The four Pillars on the inside are the four forces that have the most impact on the four key areas on your life mentioned earlier. They are:
  1. Choices (How you make them)
  2. Money (How you spend it)
  3. Time (How you invest it)
  4. People (Who you surround yourself with)

The four words on the outside are the four Characteristics that you must have to do the fours Pillars with excellence. Those are:
  1. Attitude (It must be positive and good)
  2. Ability to Adapt (You must embrace change)
  3. Communication (A skill set you need to master)
  4. Perseverance (Nothing worth having is easy. Never give up)

I contend that if your life is not going the way you want, or if you are not getting the fulfillment out of life you want, one or more of the four Pillars are out of alignment, or you lack the skills in one or more of the four Characteristics.

The questions for you to ask yourself are:
  • How big of a gap do you have between the quality of life that you want, and the actual quality of life that you are experiencing?
  • What Pillars are out of alignment, and what Characteristics do you need to work on, to make change and close your quality of life gap?
  • What steps do you need to take to make it happen?

Life is short. The time to start living your passion and purpose is now. Everyone from your family, friends, coworkers, and members will see a difference in you as you begin to live the quality of life you desire. Work on the four Pillars and four Characteristics, and bring them all in alignment with your quality of life goal.  Good luck in your journey to living the ultimate life.

This blog is a part of an exert from my new 25-chapter book, on How to Get People to Scream Your Name and Beg For More. See full details at ScreamYourNameBook.com.

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