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Feel like your life is about making a living rather than making a life?

This statement hit home for me. At the age of 35, I felt tied to my work…to my desk. I worked as and independent consultant which can be looked at in two ways, you work for yourself and are your own boss, or conversely it may feel like you work for everyone else and all your clients are your bosses.

I was certainly in the latter stage. My natural tendency is to serve others to my fullest capacity. As a tech consultant, my belief was I needed to be present to my clients at all times.

Everything changed one day. Isn’t it funny how it often starts with—I attended a conference…or I read a book…or I was talking to someone. For me, I was attending a conference I was brought to by my friend. At the time, I was spending a lot of time in the SEO world [search engine optimization]. I considered myself an expert in the field, but truthfully I did not love every moment of it. I will not get into the details of all of my work related struggles, but I can say that I was at a point where I was completely open to figuring out where I may find deeper meaning in my daily activities.

To Do: Attend conferences when your friend invites you!

I didn’t know what that meant for me at the time, but I was ready to try to find out. I occasionally will make major changes on a whim, impulsively, but quite often I spend a lot of time thinking through my decisions, thoroughly.

I decided to influence my journey through some guided reading and workbooks. I took the advice of others and went through the book, “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins and pulled out my notebook, contemplating through every step.

I took the activity very seriously.

What I kept realizing was the area I was spending most of my time was not the area that I valued most in my life.

I have continued to follow similar exercises at length to further pick out my greatest desires in life.

I include my own version that has worked for me as a step-by-step guide within the 12 rules course.

Ultimately, I made an important decision to spend some time to look into my life, however long I have, and decided to spend at least some of my time working towards my biggest life goals.

For me, writing things down was a big eye opener. It is one thing to say “My kids mean the world to me.” It is another thing to say, I desire to have a life-long deep and meaningful relationship with each of my kids. This includes having many memories full of laughter. This also includes having many memories where we are open to share our thoughts, times we have failed, shortcomings, triumphs, and any other story.

To Do: Do write down your goals, desires. Question your current direction. Is it heading where you truly want to head?

This was the first step in the switch to build a life rather than feel like I was simply making a living. The next steps require setting up each day to ensure that you are making steps towards these goals. This sounds simple, but can quickly get lost in the daily grind. Keeping up with earning a paycheck.

Creating life on your terms does not happen over night. I didn’t feel the results of my change for at least 3 years. I continue to make more changes to my life to seek further improvement. It is an ongoing journey, but I am clear that my end goal has a deeper meaning to me than simply trying to make a paycheck.

To Do: Stick to your plans. Daily and weekly. Take steps to make it as easy as possible to make progress daily.

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