1. Feeling constantly unhappy with our life, nothing seems to fulfil us. This points to a life totally out of sync with our values. It seems obvious but so many people live this type of existence either because they cannot see a way out, or they are living a life of habit and have forgotten what it feels like to live a life of purpose. This is a common situation for people who have gotten into a rut either through their work life , relationships or living situation.
There are a lot of statistics floating around that suggest up to 80 percent of the workforce are unhappy in their work, but if you look at society as a whole, especially in westernised countries, I'm sure that you will find high numbers of populations unhappy with their lives in general. Why is this?
I believe that for many, it's because our lives are not in sync with our true values. We live in a time when consumerism is rife. Many of us are stuck in jobs that we don't like just so that we can pay the bills and keep on buying stuff that we really don't need. We often learn this style of living from our parents or just fall into it after graduating from college or university and soon it becomes a habit.
What if we were taught how to live an intentional life as an alternative to cruising along on auto pilot? Living an intentional or purposeful life means living by our values and not everyone else's.
It's been over two weeks since writing my last blog post, I've been aware that I needed to write something, but nothing really come to mind, however, I have had discussions with people over the last two weeks which have left me pondering about life, career choices and how important it is to know our values so that we can design our lives around them.
A year ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to a woman who has spent the last 22 years travelling the world, often on private yachts working as a personal chef for royalty and billionaires. She has been lucky enough to lead a life which encompassed her passion for travel, adventure, food and people.
I found her story to be very inspirational and I feel many others will too. I think many of us dream to live a life that encompasses our passions but what happens to most of us is we get sucked in by mainstream ideas.
This has happened to me throughout my life. I remember I went and bought a tape player and radio with my first pay packet with the New Zealand Post Office, purchased my first car at 16 years of age, a better car at 17 years of age, my first house at 23 years of age, got married at 24 years of age, had six kids by the time I was 30. I joined the Police Force as a 19 year old thinking that that would be my career probably till I retired at 65 years of age.
I have learnt a lot since then. I wouldn't swap my nine kids for anything, but I so wish I had sat down before receiving that first pay packet, or taking out my first mortgage and taken the time to consider what I really wanted to do with my life.
Rather than living a life of habit, a life that mirrored mainstream thinking and consumerism, I wish I had worked out what my values were. I see many others doing the same things, spending their hard earned money on more clothes, a nicer lounge suite, a better car, a nice house.
I have found through experience that none of this makes us any happier. What will make us happier though is living an intentional or purposeful life based on our values. Values such as health, relationships with people important to us, connecting with nature, doing satisfying work, having a sense of purpose, having an abundance of personal time and opportunity to express our creativity. Matters of the heart, rather than possesions of wealth.
I have just finished reading an article written by Jim Rohn about life and how it really is just one big canvas. As individuals we all chose what we are going to fill that canvas with.
I appreciate art, some forms more than others. Street art appeals to me, black and white photography appeals to me. I also like old cars, their style, their simplicity. Even the basic Morris Minor, I love the curves that shape it and the chrome that you just don't see on cars any more, but I realise that what appeals to me doesn't appeal to everyone and that's what makes us different. The same applies to who we are attracted to, where we want to live, what foods we like, what type of work we enjoy.
I would suggest that it is a slow and challenging path for anyone starting out as an e-business entrepreneur. Once you have completed your apprenticeship though, it becomes so much easier and you will then see cumulative growth. If you have read Darren Hughe's book 'The Compound Effect", you will understand how it works, just building on your knowledge little by little over time will result in huge growth down the track. Keep this in mind when starting out as sometimes the initial learning stages can seem slow and that's when many people give up. Don't be one of them.
Thomas Jefferson once said " The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time." He was so right. How can anyone expect to grow their business without advertising? It doesn't have to be all paid advertising though. Today there are so many ways to advertise free using social media platforms, it really is possible for people with small advertising budgets to reach large audiences.
We are almost half way through 2016, probably a good time to revisit our goals and make sure that we are still heading in the right direction. I am constantly reassessing where I am with my goals. I feel that if I don't do this, some tend to get forgotten.
A strategy that helps me with my goal setting and planning is to write up my tasks for each week a week in advance, normally on the Friday afternoon of each week. I use a whiteboard so that what I should be doing each day is right there in front of me. Next to the whiteboard I have my three main Project Plans outlining each phase of each project and then they are broken down to individual tasks. Whilst writing up my weekly plan, I am constantly referring back to the Project Plans. Using this method serves two purposes. It ensures that I apportion time evenly between my main projects which I have already chosen as my priorities at the moment and it also ensures that any information I need to carry out my planning is right there in front of me.
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