Posts Tagged ‘Satisfaction’

This past fall I had a fascinating conversation with a friend while at the Farmer’s Market.  Among the many interesting topics we talked about, our conversation touched on the growing inequality in the United States and the SHOCKING distribution of wealth among its citizens.  This disparity was recently publicized by a video that went viral on YouTube. (You can view the video at the end of this post)


(Before you get your partisan knickers in a knot, to be clear, the point I want to make has nothing to do with privilege, politics, the right to make a living . . . let alone a fortune, or the opportunity this country affords anyone who wishes to set out on that path of wealth.   So keep reading if you want to mine the real gold here.)


dollars 2After pointing out the inequality, my friend and I started talking about what might drive such an imbalance.  I suggested that one reason might be the generally understood “game” in this country called, “The person with the most money, wins.”  We all seem to have unwittingly enlisted in this game to accumulate money and wealth over the course of our lives.


To this, my friend responded by saying something I found to be bold and beautiful.  She said,“Well, that is not the game I am playing. I am playing the game called ‘Be more kind.'”


She then shared with me that in looking at her life, she knew she was not always as kind as she could be and she was striving to be more kind to those around her.  She then followed this amazing statement with one equally as fantastic, saying, “I chose not to play the money game.  I could have played it.  I could have chosen to be a stockbroker when I got out of school in the go-go 1980’s when the focus in this country shifted to money, but I was too lazy and had no interest in that area.”




Such a powerful and honest declaration required two important elements, both of which are key for anyone to possess happiness in life –


  1. Awareness (of who she is and what she wants).
  2. Personal responsibility (acknowledgment AND ownership of the choices she made in her life).


All of which leads to the BIG question YOU must answer in order to find that same happiness and fulfillment –


What game are you playing in your life?


If you can’t answer that question, then you will always chase the Ghost of Contentment . . . one you will surely never catch.


The only games worth playing are the ones that bring you happiness.

– R. Largman


2014 just started.   Do you know what game you are playing this year?


It may be the money game for you. If so, go for it. But it may not. Maybe you want to play the kindness game. Or the creativity game. Or the parenthood game. Or the peace of mind game. Or the grow my business game. Or the . . .


Don’t get caught up in someone else’s game if it is not the one you wish to play. If you want to play a different game, be sure to know and understand what YOUR game is. Choose it powerfully, commit to it, and play it FULL OUT!!


Doing so will ensure that happiness is just around the corner for you.


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Here in America we are obsessed with winning. Obsessed with stories about persevering against all odds in order to finally, after great struggle, win the day. These stories are thrilling and inspiring, but they overlook the less glamorous, very un-Hollywood-like path to happiness and satisfaction – quitting to win.

A recent Psychology Today magazine published an article about three well-known entrepreneurs and businessmen who quit to win – Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Henry Ford. They all quit and left behind some aspect of their life in order to focus on another more passionate avenue that called to them. The article went on to point out that when faced with “complexity and uncertainty, most people lack the mental acuity to kill pet projects or close doors on distracting opportunities.” Yet, it is this exact quality that often opens the door to greater success for people.


Sometimes you have to quit to win in your life.


It could be that you are in a bad job, a bad relationship or a bad financial situation. Whatever it is you are suffering through, the true challenge is mustering the courage to quit that path for something you think, feel or believe is more favorable.


Often, we feel as if we need to persevere and endure the hardships of life, as if that pain and suffering will be what earns us the reward we seek. But this suffering more likely just gives us great dissatisfaction and stress, which actually begs a much simpler question:


Do you want to be a hero, or do you want to be happy?


Personally, I like to follow The Rule of Water: When confronted with obstacles in life, water gracefully chooses the path of least resistance and flows around the obstacle, leaving the fight and struggle behind.


Some would say this is taking the easy way out. But to those who see the water reach its final destination, they see it as victory.


Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.

– Osayi Osar-Emokpae, Impossible Is Stupid


Too many of us wear struggle and suffering as a badge of honor. It is as if that suffering makes the end result more rewarding. In elementary school, we all learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Every time we engage in suffering of some kind, consider it a deviation from that straight line and a detour from the end result you truly wish to achieve in your life.

Today, why not take a moment to reach into your heart and find the courage to quit that one thing that is sucking the life from you. There is no doubt that in doing so, tomorrow’s sunrise will seem much brighter!
Photo Credit: Brenda Tharp, http://www.brendatharpphotography.com

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I have been coaching for 12 years now, and during that time every one of my clients has achieved the goals they focused on.  Every single one.


That is not a testament to my coaching.  That is a testament to the human spirit and what is possible when we unleash the power within us and focus on our desires.


There is one important question that generates success like this and it escapes most people their whole lives — Do you know and understand your “why”?  In other words, what is it that drives you to do what you do?


This simple question is the difference between marginal living and fantastic success and satisfaction.  The more your “why” is connected to your heart and passions, the greater your commitment and success.  Without that motivation, life can appear as little more than a succession of days strung together highlighted by what might be on television or what you are going to do on your weekends.


That is not living with passion and purpose.  That is merely passing time.  And at our core, humans are not designed to simply pass time.  We are designed to make a difference in life.


Do you know your “why”?


If you don’t, or if you do but you are not aligned with your “why” and living it every day, then chances are there is some level of discontentment, unhappiness, and longing in your life.


Perhaps 2011 should be the year you discover it and let it fully blossom.


Knowing your “why” can power miracles you previously thought you were incapable of.  A wonderful example of what is possible when your life is powered by your “why” is demonstrated in the fun and inspirational movie, Saint Ralph.  You can see the trailer by clicking on the picture below.


Why not use January as an opportunity to find your “why” and not only power your success and satisfaction in 2011, but for the rest of your life?



The Universe is holding its breath, waiting for you to take your place.
                                                                                                                    – David Whyte


Each of us holds a unique gift to bring forth into the world.  Find your purpose and fulfill it.  Why not let 2011 be the year you finally give yourself, and the world, the gift we have all been waiting for – that unique “why” you hold in your heart that only you can bring forth.

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This summer the sports radio airwaves were filled with news of professional baseball and football players renegotiating and signing new contracts.  The amount of money being thrown around was dizzying, often in the tens of millions.  It didn’t take much to get wrapped up in a fantasy of acquiring wealth like that and achieving a level of fame and fortune these players had.
In thinking about all their new-found wealth I got hooked, especially since that is the game that is played here in America – and more and more, that is the game being played throughout the world:  Whoever has the most money wins and is most successful.
Then it dawned on me.  I don’t really want to be wealthy.  That’s not what truly motivates me or how I define success.  Sure if someone offered to pay me lots of money for the value I bring to the world I would enjoy every bit of it and be grateful for the acknowledgement, but it wouldn’t necessarily motivate me or fulfill me.  Having lots of money is not what I consider a true measure of my success.
For me, success is about helping people and inspiring them to a great life.  It is about making a difference in people’s lives and knowing that my interaction with them left them in a better place than where they were before we met.  To spend my life doing that is a dream come true for me.
Not surprisingly, understanding this distinction about what motivates me and how I define success shifted my focus and drive.  The idea of making lots of money feels hard to me. Like a chore.  But the idea of helping and inspiring people?  That is what I was born to do.  It is as natural as eating and sleeping to me.  And I have no doubt that in pursuing that goal, success, and more importantly satisfaction, will surely find me  . . . not to mention quite a bit of money.  🙂
So perhaps finding happiness in life is really about answering these two questions.
1) Do you know what your true desire in life is and what motivates and fulfills you?
2) How do you define success?

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying “Amen” to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
                                                                                – Robert Louis Stevenson


With the bombardment from media and popular entertainment these days, it is easy to get caught up in all the noise we hear about what it means to be successful, or popular, or cool, or fashionable.  But to define yourself by the standards others set for you is a surefire recipe for frustration and dissatisfaction.  Is it really worth “keeping up with the Joneses” if what the Joneses have has little to do with what you want in life?  The more you can look inward to find your true passion and satisfaction, the easier life tends to become.


Take a peek at the video below to get an inspirational look at someone who is clearly powered by what is inside him, rather than what swirls around him.


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