Live a Life of Fulfillment

Live a Life of Fulfillment

Find what excites you in life. What rocks you to your core. A few days ago IGNITE had a blog post about this. But, what does it actually mean? Maybe you know right away. And, maybe you have no idea. The key to finding what excites us is to think about it as something we get fulfillment from. Ask yourself:

  • What excites me? 
  • Can I identify when I am doing things that I love to do? Or is this where I need to start?
  • What do I get fulfillment from?
  • Am I doing these things?
  • Am I doing these things every day?
  • How do I better integrate fulfillment into my life?

Do you truly know the answer to these questions?  My bet is that everyone knows the feeling they get when they are doing what they love do do. We all experience a heightened sense of awareness in moments of passion. It's as if everything just fits. We feel high on life. We get energy from the activity or task. We get satisfaction. We get enjoyment and pure joy. 

Maybe it's when we do a sport. For others playing a musical instrument. Maybe it's public speaking or teaching. Maybe it's negotiation or mediation. Maybe it's simply connecting with other people. The options are limitless because each one of us is uniquely infinite. Each individual is unlike anybody else in the world. Think of those possibilities.

Instead of trying to fit into the box that society has placed out for us. A trajectory of education, career, marriage, kids or any combination of those. Why not embrace what makes each of us unique. Why not live our own trajectory. 

Changing our trajectory takes effort, a shift in focus. First we must take a journey into ourselves and discover what's there.

I challenge you today to pick up this journey. Find some space to think deeply about this. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label the first column "Fulfilled" and the second "Unfulfilled."

In the first column, write down the things you love to do, that excite you, that times you get fulfillment from. Sometimes it's things we're not even all that good at but we love to do it. Write it all down. There are no limitations or rules.

In the second column, write down the things you do in life that are not fulfilling. You do them and it drains energy from you, you dread doing it, or you feel obligated to do it.

Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure in life.
— Tony Robbins

Now look at the difference between the two columns. How many items do you have in each column? Is one column longer than the other? How much time do you spend doing the items in the fulfilled column vs. unfulfilled? 

If you are spending half or more of your time doing things that are unfulfilling ask yourself - what the hell am I doing? Is this the life I want to live? When I am old and grey is this what I want to look back on?

Life is about living. Not going just through the motions day to day and pressing the repeat button when you wake up each morning. If you're not going to bed excited for the next day then you're spending to much time in the unfulfilled column. 

The goal is to live a life of purpose. We find purpose through passion. Passion is fulfillment. Success is living a life of fulfillment.

If you're unfulfilled column is taking up your life, time to make some changes and live the live you wish you did. Whether it's your job, your relationship, your financial situation, time, tired of doing the same thing or whatever is weighing you done. Time to make some serious changes. It's possible. You are the leader in this journey. 

The first step is to have the awareness you want the change in your life. That you are ready and motivated to start the journey. Next is to connect with the fulfilled column and strategize how to make more time for fulfillment. Then the big step is to face your fear to make the changes that will prioritize fulfillment and purpose.

This is where IGNITE and coaching can be huge advocates and support your move from unfulfilled to living a life of fulfillment. Schedule a free consult now. Make it happen! Live fully, live fierce.

Face Your Fear

Face Your Fear

Some merely cringe at the word "change." Others get a bit queasy. While others get a flutter in the chest. What is your reaction to change?

Imagine the last time you made a change or there was change in your life. How did you feel before hand anticipating the change? What thoughts did you have? What did your body feel like? Keep that in mind as you read this.

 We all have a reaction to change. Whether it's a change in our personal life or changes in the work place. Big changes like moving, a break-up, or switching jobs  or small changes like modifying lifestyle habits. One thing remains constant, all change is initially uncomfortable. 

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
— Arnold Bennett, adventurer & author

but, what is it about making change in our life that is uncomfortable? Maybe it's not knowing where to start, how to go about it, or even knowing what to change.

Ask yourself, what is behind the uncomfortable feeling? The feeling you thought about at the beginning of this article. What caused it?

Often what we find is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of (____). Fill in the blank. 

In order to make change in our life we must face our fears. We must become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. We must be willing to risk. High risk equals high benefit. 

So, how do we do this? Next time you have a change to make and you feel the fear creeping up. Run through these questions:

  • What's the worst thing that could happen?
  • What if you didn't make the change? How would you feel?
  • Are you ok with everything staying the way it is right now?
  • What's holding you back?
  • Are these things more important than the happiness or fulfillment you'd get by making the change?

Write your answers down. It helps to be able to reflect on them. Talk to someone about it. Sometimes just merely hearing ourselves say how much we want the change out loud is enough impetus for action. 

Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.
— Judy Blume, author
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
— Dale Carnegie, writer & lecturer

It's Saturday, Get Outside

It's Saturday, Get Outside

Following yesterday's lead of finding the things in life that excite you and making space for them in your life. It's the weekend - a perfect time to make time. 

Get outside. Go on an adventure. Do something that that you love to do, that gives you that rush, and leaves you with a big smile on your face.

What Rocks You to Your Core?

What Rocks You to Your Core?

Today ask yourself these questions:

  • What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
  • What do you love thinking about, talking about, dreaming about?
  • Will you do these things today? 
  • Are you doing these things every day?

If you answered no to both or either of the last two questions. Then ask yourself, "Why the hell not?"

Often when we sit down to make short-term or long-term plans we ask ourselves, "what do I want and what are my goals?" Instead we should be asking ourselves, "What excites me?" The things in life that excite us motivate us to our core. These are the things in life that give us energy, our passions. On the other hand, the things in life that do not excite us usually bore us or we end up dreading the task or activity. 

We often view these as obligatory, a means to an end. The ironic thing is these are the things in our life that often take up the most time and effort. But why work so hard at an end we're not excited about? That's a whole lot of wasted energy and time.

Instead think if you sat down, dug deep, and figured out what excites you. Then you'd have this immense amount of motivation to make those things happen because you have so much passion and fire to put towards it.

Sounds easy right? 

It's usually not. The tough part is: making time for the things that invigorate us, get us going. We have all these obligatory things already seemingly set in stone that take up our day: our jobs, our day-to-day. This is where we make excuses why we can't always do the things that excite us because we have x, y and z to do first. We end up not prioritizing our passions. 

Now ask yourself - what if I did prioritize my passions? What would it look like? How would my life be different? What hurdles are in place to make this happen?

This is the first step to making it happen. Prioritizing your passion and analyzing how you will make it happen. This usually involves making time for it. What ever "it" is. Often this means getting rid of the things in our life that are not serving us: jobs we dread, long commutes, over-committed social lives, long work days, or stale relationships etc. Getting rid of these things can take a lot of effort and sometimes it seems impossible how to go about doing it. Most commonly, we fear doing it because of the uncertainty that lies on the other side.

Usually what we most fear doing, is what we most need to do.
— Tim Ferriss

So, today think deeply about what excites you and what hurdles stand in your way of making it happen. 

The Power of a Smile

The Power of a Smile

I will never understand the all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.
— Mother Teresa

I am a firm believer that laughter is medicine. To smile is the beginning of laughter. So, what's the power in just a simple smile? Smiling is contagious. Go ahead and try it - smile at a stranger today and see what happens. All across the world humans smile. It's innate and one of our most human qualities. 

But, what is happening inside our brain when we smile? Smiling stimulates reward pathways in our brain that increase feel good chemicals and decrease stress hormones. It also reduces blood pressure. It not only can lift your mood, it can make you more healthy.

Smiling also benefits others when you share it, by spreading your smile and the feel good stimulation that comes from it.  A study from Penn Statue University found people who smile are perceived as more likable, courteous, and competent. Thus, increasing our positive social attributes and has potential to affect our life on a greater scale.

if you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.
— Vivian Giang

Shawn Achor in The Happiness Advantage made a case for practicing more positive thinking and smiling which ultimately creates a happiness loop. So, if smiling has such a profound effect in our lives and it's one thing in life that is absolutely free and one of the simplest things we can do - why not go out today and just smile. Smile to yourself and share it with others. 

Check out this great Ted Talk by Ron Gutman on the power of a smile.

Brain Food

Brain Food

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
— Thomas Edison

Today take a risk.

Challenge yourself to do something you think you won't do perfect or be very good at. Put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Open yourself to the experience. Then when it's done, sit back and reflect.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
— Albert Einstein

A Tale From the Dirtbag Diaries: A Slosh in the Bucket

A Tale From the Dirtbag Diaries: A Slosh in the Bucket

Place yourself in the way of opportunities where there is no choice but to move forward... you create momentum that in the end propels you to new levels of experience & engagement.
— Wade Davis, professor & anthropologist

The Dirtbag Diaries is an awesome podcast created by Fitz Cahall all about adventure, exploration, living life hard, and making dreams a reality. Recently, I was headed up into the mountains for an adventure of my own and listening to an episode called, "A Slosh in the Bucket." Eric Johnson is the author of the episode and he tells his tale of how half-way through his thirties he emptied his retirement savings to buy a raft and learn how to become a guide. 

Without giving too much away, because you should really just listen to the actual podcast by clicking play below, he hits home why we should always choose to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Face our fears head-on. Even if it's just a small fear. 

Instead of giving ourselves reasons why to not do something, we should say, "Why the hell not?" 

The main obstacle we encounter is our own self-doubt that we can't do something. Growth never happens without challenging ourselves and dreams are made. So, make it happen! 

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

What's the difference between people who come up with an original idea and turn it into a reality vs. those that have an idea and walk away from it? Adam Grant studies the dynamics of success and productivity. In his TedTalk addresses what it means to be an original thinker. Originals drive creativity and change. They not only dream up new ideas but they activate a plan and make them reality. 

What are the habits of Originals? They are moderate procrastinators that allow the time and space for the best version of an idea. They are open to failure. In fact, they welcome it because in their failures they find the spark of improvisation and creativity. 

They are not self-doubting. They are idea-doubting which ignites refining, reshaping, and testing. According to Grant Originals, "take initiative to doubt the default and look for a better option." And, they won't stop until they find it. Determination and resilience. 

Find motivation by doubting your ideas. Take your failures and turn them into success. Don't just have an idea but tackle it with abandon, even when you might fail. Because our biggest regrets are our inactions not our actions.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the humans forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
— Steve Jobs

IGNITE is born!

As a nurse practitioner I often see health qualified as the absence of disease. But, it's so much more than that! Imagine if we all starting supporting the idea that health is overall wellness. Wellness is made up up physical health, emotional well being, relational happiness, sexual vitality, professional passion, and energy left over to do the things in life we really love to do!

Wellness is living to our fullest potential. Both in our personal and professional lives. That way when the rodeo is over, and we are all looking back on life we can smile and say, "That was one hell of a ride!"

But, we all have trouble changing bad habits, "Old habits die hard" has been passed down as an adage over the years for a reason.

I've discovered through working with clients both as a behavioral therapist and as a nurse practitioner that the most effective way to change habits, behaviors or ways of thinking is behavioral modification. That's why there's a whole science dedicated to it. It works!

I wanted more of this in my practice and in my life. I wanted to share it with others. 

So, IGNITE was born. 

I want to make a difference in this world with you. Dream big, make it happen! Lets create change together and leave the world a better place. IGNITE is just one idea I've had to do it... Now, what's yours?