Are You Thinking that Your Life is “As Good as It Gets”?
Is this as good as it gets?”
In my practice, I often hear this question verbatim or see it in the eyes of the Leader sitting across from me. It wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve asked the same question once or twice.
You may of said it (or thought it) regarding your marriage, career, health, finances or social life. It doesn’t come in any single size or shape. What is more universal is that it tends not to be said “loud” enough to act differently.
In fact, the likelihood that you have it “pretty good” compared to most is part of the dilemma. You feel guilty when emptiness or deep fatigue takes over your day.
- “I shouldn’t complain.”
- I have it better than most.”
- “What’s the matter with me – I should be grateful”
Unfortunately, the feeling of guilt and the voice telling you to “suck it up” and “quit complaining” create (or perpetuate) the “stuckness” you experience.
The consequence? You “endure” rather than “evolve.” Your life goes through the motions instead of taking a Deliberate Journey.
This is the dynamic I challenge you to change. Stop “enduring” life and start “living” it. You are not the “tail” – you are the “dog.” Lead your life where you want it to go.
A richer, fuller, more satisfying life is well within your grasp.
Need a playbook to follow – start here. Work on these three elements first:
- Add Depth
- Build Breadth
- Focus your Direction
Let’s look at each…..
1. Add Depth
If you are like most, you gained a degree of competence, but don‘t have the time to create real mastery. The demands on your time seem to keep the opportunities to learn, grow, develop and master just beyond your fingertips.
You are succeeding, but no longer thriving. The growth of your career and learning start to peak – you are plateauing. Knowing you haven’t reached your peak potential – there is little more demoralizing than plateauing before your time.
You need to get back on the path of growth and development. Make time to excel (not just answer the mail). Add to your toolbox of knowledge, skills and abilities.
Getting better at what you do builds you sense of purpose and value. New knowledge and skills enrich lives (and the lives of other).
2. Build Breadth
This is the opposite, but complementary, to Depth. In this case you must broaden and extend your life. The goal is to add richness and variety not expertise and mastery.
For this you often don’t have to look far. Reflect on any dusty dreams, desires or interests that fell to the backburner during the crazy pace of life. Common areas I hear are “learn to play the guitar,” “coach my kid’s sport teams,” “study the civil war,” “take a class in Economics,” “help my wife start a small business,” “learn photography.”
The potential is endless. The key is to select what you desire.
This doesn’t require 20 hours a week. You would be amazed at the level of satisfaction you can get from a 1 hour guitar lesson and a couple of practice sessions during the week. See how quickly this dimension can add spark and color to your weekly routine.
3. Focus your Direction
Most successful people are goal driven. Interestingly, while they can quickly recount work-related goals & objectives, ask them what personal goals they are pursuing and the conversation gets quiet.
Without a goal, objective, dream or target, life can feel like you are working to pay the bills (versus working to build your desired future).
Don’t set a direction or goal too far off or too vague. For example, “I want to retire at 65” is not a focused direction or an inspiring goal.
Create mile markers that represent progress and celebrate them when attained. Be able to close your eyes, picture the direction (and destination) and smile!
Being on a Deliberate Journey doesn’t require constant change. However, when you make it to the Sweet Spot – take time to add these three elements to maximize the ride!
Tackle any of the above and you’ll feel the difference.