As you are getting older–and if we’re lucky we all do get older–ask yourself these questions:

Do you have a clear vision of the future you want for yourself?  

How can you create that vision?   Once you have it, how can you carry it forward?

I am in my 70’s. People tell me I don’t look it. Not that I am beautiful or the perfect weight. But I am zestful and curious, which is what people say they notice about me. I have learned how to be more accepting of my strengths and weaknesses–to have a more balanced perspective about myself and other people.

 I feel happy most of the time, as a result. On a scale from 0 to 10, measuring the sense that Life is Good, I am usually at 8. I am not self-deluding, after all. Nothing has to be perfect.

The more I have learned how to create a personal vision and how to move toward it, the more satisfying my life has become.

As I make the effort to learn all I can about how to create a healthy, happy, long life for myself, I like to share what I have learned with anybody who is interested.

One big thing I have discovered: although you can’t always control what happens to you, figuring out how to maintain a high quality of life in spite of obstacles will help you stay energetic and optimistic.

Another big thing: people can change, if they have the right tools, guidance, and support. I have seen that in my own life. I wasn’t always as resourceful as I am now. It took a lot of thought and exploration. And more than “a little help from my friends.”

Over the past 30 plus years I have used my skills to help others, first as a licensed psychotherapist and now as a professional life coach. Like most professionals in my chosen fields, I do what I do because I am dedicated to assisting others’ growth into authentic happiness–that is, a life full of meaning and fulfillment.

I think and write about this all the time.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking along with me:

How have you tried to make positive changes to your life? What has worked? What hasn’t?

How clear a vision do you have of what you want for yourself in the future?

How can you best create that vision? What will help you?

What is the power of the word “vision”?

I have searched, and will keep searching, for the most effective ways to answer these questions for myself and others for as long as I live.

Because they are the key to a Good Life in every sense of the word “Good.”

Stay tuned for some of the changes I have made that have made a real difference in my life.

 

 

 

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Gaining Clarity about Yourself

by Lynne on May 30, 2011

  • When you want to achieve, and feel stuck, where do you start?
  • With yourself, of course.
  • How well do you really know yourself?  Probably a lot less well than you think.

I’ve spent much of my life studying minds and emotions–my own as well as my clients–and I’m still surprised when I discover blind spots in my own thinking…which both humbles me and makes me even more committed to helping my clients identify their blind spots, so they don’t keep tripping over their own feet in the dark.

  • What are blind spots? Here’s an example.  You are faced with a difficult life transition.  Maybe you’ve lost a job or an important relationship has gone south.  Most probably you are also struggling with questions about your abilities and self worth.

Often you try to deal with the pain by falling back on behaviors that “helped” you in the past.  Sometimes they are healthy–exercising more, setting up a structure to look for a new job, asking friends to introduce you to new people.

But sometimes (more often?) they are like comfort food–they help you manage your negative feelings for the moment but don’t contribute to building solid muscle for the long haul. You know what those kinds of reactions are.

In fact, you may tell me you know you shouldn’t do or feel A,B, and C–but you don’t really see the long-term effects of your choices, because you have naturally fallen into an old barely, conscious pattern for reducing anxiety.

  • Here’s the good news: once you can recognize these entrenched thinking patterns and appreciate how powerful they are, you stand a good chance of changing them.  The results can be amazing.
  • That’s why gaining clarity is such an important tool for life success.

Gaining clarity leads, as David Allen, the productivity guru, rightly says to “connecting to the highest levels of energy I have access to. There’s a relationship between those two things – the clearer the space, the easier it is to move around in terms of where my focus is, how I focus, and what I focus on.”

How does he do this?  Through taking time to meditate and reflect regularly, “staying engaged with what’s meaningful to me. . . . Connecting with people is key for me. I get weird if I unhook from directly working with people for very long.”

The effort he expends connecting with an inner clarity makes him aware of the strengths that really sustain him–connecting with people.

This knowledge allows him to operate from an energy that “is really a flow that’s not accessible in a purely passive state. Tapping into it requires high engagement. When we connect with clarity, when we manage our intentions and our attention, we increase our capacity for positive energy. For me, working there, figuring that out, is the ultimate game.”

David Allen    (To read his whole statement on lifebyme.com, click here.  You may want to contribute your own manifesto there.)

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Are You Struggling to Succeed in Life?

May 26, 2011

I know what that’s like. You lose confidence in yourself and begin to believe that life is always going to be hard for you.  You feel like a loser. Or maybe it’s not quite that bad.  Maybe you’re getting along okay, but you have the sinking feeling that you’re not living up to your potential. […]

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What Do You Want To Do In the Next Phase of Your Life?

January 12, 2008

The good news is that we’re all generally living longer, in better health than our parents. The good news is that many of us have more financial and personal resources than our parents had after the age of fifty. The great challenge is how to use this extra time and energy in ways that truly […]

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A Holiday Message from Your “Virtual” Coach

December 8, 2007

Side note: What is a “Virtual” Coach, you ask? Well, we may not be talking in person, but we can still have a meeting of minds in cyberspace, can’t we? As you continue to read what I write, I hope you will feel stimulated to explore and pursue the kind of life that has true […]

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Getting in Touch with Your Hidden Creativity

November 10, 2007

What do you want most for yourself? If it’s to develop an outer life that is truly congruent with your inner sense of what’s right for you, it’s never too early–or late–to start this process. I believe strongly that this process should be fun! Here’s a way to start:

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What does W.I.T. Coaching Really Mean?

October 20, 2007

I deliberately chose the name W.I.T. (Whatever It Takes) to describe my approach to coaching for several reasons that I think might be useful for you to know. First of all, the word WIT conveys the natural smile in my voice that seeks to encourage others to find and utilize their own sense of humor. […]

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Where Does the Energy to Create and Change Come From?

October 5, 2007

The other book I have found useful for writers and other coaching clients is Bill O’Hanlon‘s new book, Write Is A Verb. I’ve been a reader of Bill’s work for a long time, have studied Positive Psychology with him, and always find his approach and personal energy stimulating. He has come up with a neat […]

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The Demon Called Anxiety and How to Tame It

October 5, 2007

I coach writers a lot and am always looking for articles and books that explore, teach, inspire them to understand what might be slowing them down or stopping them from completing their work. Most of the information I come across is as applicable to my other coaching clients who are, say, making career changes or […]

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Tapping Into Your Good Energy To Reduce Anxiety

September 17, 2007

Visualizations and guided imagery are time-honored ways to do forms of meditation that work for many people in many situations. But as I said before, we’re not all alike, and even for ourselves it pays to have a treasure box full of different techniques to call on when we’re stressed. I thought about that this […]

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