walking path

Back in March, I had a wake up call that made me realize I was living my life on autopilot as I was simply trying to keep my head above water following the death of my mom and a divorce. I was so focused on making sure my dad’s and my children’s needs were met that I completely neglected my own. Grace intervened. Sometimes your soul is not hearing or seeing the warning signs that you are veering off your path and a greater force needs to wake you up. My soul was asleep due to my preoccupation with all my urgent tasks to keep my family on their path to their best life despite the hardships we were experiencing. Fortunately, I was open to leaning into all the pain and grief I had been stuffing deep inside of me and I opened the flood gates to let it all out. I cried for what seemed like a solid 24 hours and I felt 10 pounds lighter after releasing it. This was followed by a period of self-reflection, time with myself to listen to my gut feelings, an observation of the consequences I had created in my world every day and the realization that I alone was accountable and responsible for my life’s achievements and mistakes. Sometimes this realization is one people are never willing to accept, leaving them no choice but to live at the effect of life.  However, when you choose to live at the cause of life, you get to decide how the remaining chapters play out. I wanted to find out who I really was and what ignited that spark in me so I could begin to live passionately. I did some values exercises and gained clarity on what I desired in life and I put a plan in place to live according to those values. I hired a coach and she held me accountable. Soon, amazing opportunities started knocking on my door. It felt like a streak of luck and later I realized that the blessings I was receiving on a daily basis were the result of a shift in my thoughts, beliefs, attitude and actions. My conscious choice to align my life with my core needs and desires had put me on a path to realize my unlimited potential for success.

On Intentional Living this week, Steve McClatchy talked about his New York Times Bestselling book, Decide. He talked about two forms of human motivation – gain and prevent pain. Prevent pain tasks simply prompt us to do what we have to do every day…these are the urgent tasks that bubble up each day and often make us feel like our entire day is spent putting out fires. Gain tasks are not urgent. He explained how important it is to put gain tasks on your calendar every day to find fulfillment and live authentic to your core needs. Steve explained a scenario in which you have planned a vacation and you are gearing up for it the week before. Have you ever noticed how the prevent pain tasks are a lot easier to accomplish when you have something to look forward to? When we incorporate tasks that bring us satisfaction we increase our motivation to get the urgent tasks done and feel more energized. With each small step, you will see improvement and build momentum. Incorporating gain tasks allow you to reflect on the values you hold important and take steps to achieve important pursuits like going back to school or writing a book. Moving toward a meaningful goal that will improve your life helps you achieve balance and prevent stress. So when you approach your day today, think about how you want to spend your allotted 24 hours. What tasks can you incorporate today that will help you battle burnout and help you align on your path to live out your dreams? Decide to move your life forward…it’s all up to you!