Posts Tagged ‘life purpose direction coaching’

Have you ever tried to push a car round a corner from a standing start? It’s pretty difficult, isn’t it? But once you’ve got it moving, its much easier to make it go in the direction you want.

The same is true in life. When you’re feeling stuck its really hard to get up any enthusiasm for anything, let alone following your dreams. So the key is to get moving doing anything – really anything at all that will create some momentum. Once you’ve created some momentum you can then focus on directing that energy where you want it to go. That’s why it doesn’t matter where you start, just that you start.

Do some easy things, get that energy flowing and only then focus on what needs to happen to make your dreams come true. If you feel yourself getting stuck again go back to the easy things. Don’t let the energy falter in the early stages and don’t worry that you don’t seem to have any focus and direction, that will come.

Watch migrating birds to see how it should feel – they flap and flap and flap to create the energy and momentum so they can take off, then they seem to fly around aimlessly a few times until they get their bearings, then suddenly they all join up in formation with other birds with the same intentions and off they go.

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If someone was to ask you for directions to your house, your first question to them would probably be “where are you now?” Funnily enough, we rarely ask ourselves that question when we are looking to make our lives better.

If we want to map out a fantastic inspiring future for ourselves, it’s vital that the first thing we do is ask ourselves “where am I now?” The Wheel of Life is the best tool for doing this.

Here’s how it works. Draw a circle and divide the circle into 8 pieces, like a pie chart. Now label each of the pieces of the pie. You can choose your own categories, but for the first time you do this, I find these work best:

Health, finances, family, relationships, spirituality, fun, career, mind.

Now, mark how you feel about each of these areas in your life on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s important to mark how you FEEL, not how successful you are. For example, you might have millions in the bank but be constantly stressed about keeping it, so you would give yourself a lower mark than if you were relatively broke but inspired by what you were doing to change that state. Now mark these numbers on the wheel. The centre of the wheel represents zero while the edge represents 10.

Next, join up the marks on the circle and you have your personal Wheel of Life. Now, I’ve never met you, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t give yourself a perfect 10 in any category, let alone all eight of them. If you did I’d like to meet you! No matter how great our life is, we all have areas we’d love to improve – that’s not discontent, that’s human nature! Likewise, however tough your life is, I would hope you didn’t give yourself a zero in everything either! Let’s face it, a zero in health is dead! So now you’ve joined up all the dots, how does your wheel look? Pretty uneven, yes? And if this is the wheel you’re running your life on, is it any surprise things feel a bit bumpy sometimes?

The great thing about the Wheel of Life is you have a picture of what your life looks like right now, and you can use this picture to prioritise which areas you have to work on. Now, it’s human nature to want to spend our time and energy working on the things we enjoy. The result is that we get better at them and enjoy them more, and the more we do this the less time we have to spend on areas that are not so comfortable for us! We’ve all done it in the gym – there are certain exercises we love to do and there are others that we will avoid if at all possible, usually tucked into the end of a workout when we’re tired, and use that as an excuse for not putting our heart and soul into them! But in reality we should be doing these things first, when we are full of energy and enthusiasm, and leave the fun stuff to the end. Success expert Brain Tracy says “If you have to eat a frog today, do it first thing and get it over with – the rest of your day can only get better!”

The Wheel of Life shows you very clearly which areas do need working on first. Which areas are out of balance? The next stage is the fun part. Take a look at your lowest scoring area and try to imagine what it would look like if it was a perfect 10. What would you be doing, thinking, feeling? Don’t be afraid to think big here, all the most exciting goals are the big ones, the ones that look just a little bit scary! Think about it carefully and write it all down in as much detail as possible. This is what you are aiming for. Now, looking at that area of your life today, make a list of all the things that will have to change in order for you to get there. At this stage don’t think about how you are going to be able to do it, or you’ll probably get overwhelmed and give up before you’ve even started! Instead just think about what, in theory, would you have to do. For example, if you were to say “If I was a perfect 10 in health I would be able to compete in a triathlon” one of the “whats” would be to get fit enough to do it, another would be to find out how long it would take to get that fit. If you thought at this stage of HOW you were going to go from couch potato to triathlete you would never even try! Only once you have exhausted all the “whats” do you start looking at how you might achieve them. Go through all eight areas of your life and do the same thing for each one.

Now, there’s no way you can work on all eight areas at once no matter how good your time management is! So be disciplined and work on your lowest scoring areas first, and when you get tired or stressed spend some time in the higher scoring areas to restore your energy and confidence.

I recommend you redo your Wheel of Life every couple of months. Have you ever watched a tightrope walker on the high wire? They may look totally balanced but if you watch them closely they are making constant tiny movements to adjust their stability. And life is like that, when you are moving towards your goals you have to be constantly checking you are on course and staying in balance.  This way, you never get too far off course before you realise it, and the corrections you need to make are small and relatively easy.

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Hmmmm, comfort food! It’s such a lovely thought.  But have you ever wondered why the foods we crave when we’re feeling under the weather are very often not the best things for us? My particular weaknesses are chocolate (well, who’s isn’t?), Heinz tomato soup and toast and marmalade! Occasionally I even get an overwhelming need for Krispy Kreme donuts – but I’m proud to say I rarely fall that far! But none of these things have more than the tiniest bit of nutritional value and while they might feel comforting at the time, they’re not going to make me feel better in any real sense, in fact after the sugar rush is over I’ll probably feel worse! But honestly who, when they have a need for comfort food, has a craving for an apple pop into their heads?

Likewise with our thoughts! Whenever we’re struggling and things are not really going the way we’d like them to we tend to get stuck in a downward spiral of focusing on all the other things that are wrong with our lives too. And sometimes the most trivial things can get blown out of all proportion. And the worst thing we can do in those circumstances is phone a friend!

We’ve all got those friends, haven’t we? The ones who can be relied on to have a good whine whenever we need one, for whom the cup is not only always half empty, but its leaking all over their new shoes! Those friends always seem to have the time to discuss what’s wrong with the world but are far too busy to actually do something to make it better. And if you can’t get them on the phone you can always find them in the letters page of the local rag!


The minute you feel yourself getting sucked in by these energy vampires you need to run away fast! Negativity is like rust on the brain. Once it gets in there it’s a huge job to shift it so before it ever starts you need to make a strategy for dealing with it. Its like when you’re on a diet – if you have a house full of chocolate biscuits, the minute your resolve wavers, you’re going to scoff the lot of them without thinking! But if you only have good healthy nourishing things around you, you will do much less damage. So make sure you surround yourself with positive things so that when you need them, they’re right there.

So here’s some ideas for some positivity boosters that you can keep close to you so you can grab them when you need them!

Keep your desk and your office space filled with things that make you smile. Whether its pictures of your family and loved ones or uplifting artwork or maybe photos from your last amazing trip, keep them where you can just lift your eyes and see them immediately. Likewise if you have certificates of merit or achievement or letters from people who have appreciated you – keep them close at hand so you can reach for them instead of reaching for that negative newspaper.

If you’ve done a vision board make sure you make a reduced size copy of it and carry it with you at all times. If you haven’t made a vision board make one NOW! There’s a weekend coming up so you’ve no excuse to let another week go past without having your vision board to inspire you!
Get some friends on your case! Its time to ditch all those negatively charged drama queens (and kings) and surround yourself with some uplifting high-energy people who leave you with a smile feeling that the world is an ok place. Life is hard enough that we don’t need people to remind us how bad it can get. We need to surround ourselves with positive people who know how to have a good time. Research has shown that not only are optimists happier than pessimists, they are also more successful and even wealthier! Miserable people do not succeed and if they try to tell you to be realistic – remember they are talking about their reality, not yours!

Most importantly, laugh! Having a sense of humour is one of the most powerful ways to keep us human and being able to laugh at ourselves is something only the most evolved creatures can do. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or uninspired one of the best ways to restart your brain is to have a good laugh. Go into YouTube and watch some of the cat videos, or some of the great comedians –or even check out my website – I’ve got a page of inspirational and fun videos at http://www.outwiththedots.com/pages/health/healthy-mind.php and I guarantee you won’t be able to watch the shopping list one (2nd down) without laughing till you cry no matter how black your mood! I also love to watch Ice Age when I’m feeling down. Its impossible to feel sorry for yourself watching poor Scratch the squirrel lose his acorn for the 500th time! And I learned something really interesting the other day, laughing not only uses calories – it actually gives us energy too!

Now, I’m not saying that sometimes a good rant can feel really nice! Sometimes we need to let off a bit of steam. So if you need to, have a shout and a scream and feel sorry for yourself. But don’t go live there. And don’t hurt other people in the process! Just let it out, tidy up and move on. And if you can do all of that in less than a minute you’re really getting somewhere!

You cannot move forward in your life from a negative place. That’s like driving along the road facing backwards! I know it seems like plenty of people are doing just that sometimes, but its not a great survival tactic! Turn round, face forward, smile and think about that lovely crisp apple!

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Summer is a great time to slow down and contemplate where we are in our lives. There’s nothing better than lying on a beach pondering the meaning of life – well, ok, I can think of a few things! But how about this summer, instead of reading a trashy novel, you spend some time thinking about why you are here.

There’s a wonderfully simple process I always use when starting a new project. The beauty of this process is you can use it for a new project or for your whole life and it works just as well at both levels.

I’m going to break it into three parts so make sure you go back to the beginning so you can follow the process through to the end. Its important to do each part in order to get the best results.

The first part is Purpose.

Knowing why we are doing something is probably the most important thing we can know, but it’s amazing how rarely we actually take the time to think about it. “Why” is such a little word but it has the power to determine whether we will see a task through to the end or give up as soon as the going gets tough.

Have you ever asked yourself what your true purpose in life is? It’s not an easy question to answer for most people. In fact it may be one of the most profound questions you can ever ask yourself. But once you have an answer life becomes incredibly simple, decision-making is effortless and goal setting takes on a whole new dimension of excitement. People who live their lives “on purpose” are always happier, healthier and wealthier than people who just wander aimlessly through life. In fact of you are not living your own purpose, you are probably spending much of your time and energy helping someone else live theirs!

Don’t believe me? Well, give it a try.

We were all born with a unique set of talents and abilities. Some of us can draw, some can sing, some are born communicators or teachers. Our innate talents may need nurturing but we all have within us something, or a group of things, that we are uniquely good at. For some people these gifts are obvious from an early age, others may have talents that get covered up and lost, but they are still there, waiting to be discovered if you are prepared to take the risk.

So how do you uncover your life’s purpose?

First of all ask yourself what it was that you loved to do as a child. Did you love to draw pictures, or maybe you could make beautiful music? Or maybe you were always making up stories, or taking care of animals. Try to remember what it was you could lose yourself in completely while you were young.

What did you dream of being when you grew up? Maybe you’ve achieved that dream, or maybe you followed someone else’s dream instead. But it’s never too late to start following your dreams. Look at that wonderful singer Susan Boyle, she never gave up her dreams and now she is blossoming at an age when most people have given up on the idea of become a rock star!

Now think about what you are naturally good at. Your life’s purpose is what you were meant to do so it makes sense that it’s already part of your life in some way. If you are already talented at something there is a pretty good chance it has something to do with why you are here.

What would you do if you didn’t have to earn money doing it? This is about finding out what you truly love to do. Now the truth is that most people who are living their purpose are earning money doing it. But, if you asked them they would probably tell you they would do it for free, if they didn’t have bills to pay!

What would you do if you knew only had six months to live? This question is about what is truly important to you. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow”. In other words, do what matters in your life and try not to get caught up in clutter and trivia.

And finally, think about what you would really like to be remembered for. Our life purpose is nearly always about how we can contribute. Winston Churchill once said, “True wealth is not about how much we can get, but about how much we can give”. No one really wants to be remembered as the person with the best car, or the biggest house or the best dress sense. That’s not what life is really about.

Next post I will be telling you how to create a powerful vision for your life that will pull you forward no matter what the obstacles.

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