Employ Your Life!
"How good is man's life, the mere living! How fit to employ all the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy" ~Robert Browning
I want to start this blog with something light. I want to begin by exploring some basic concepts that will help you to be the boss of your own life. Give your life a job description, make it have purpose. The great thing about this is that sometimes jobs change, right? We start a job we stay there for a while, we learn something about ourselves that triggers a passion or desire and we move on after we have absorbed and learned everything we could from that position. Well, I believe life is similar. We journey through life working different “jobs”, but our goal should always be to be EMPLOYED. A motto that I live by is “every interaction you have in life is an opportunity to learn something and to teach something”. So, I will now employ myself as a teacher and share with you what I have learned.
Every morning is an opportunity to employ these techniques in your life to become productive, aware, and successful at whatever “job” you are doing.
Empathy is underrated. I admit this is difficult to accomplish and can really seem like a job at times. But empathy is the root of all that is positive. Its base is in love and compassion and it cannot surround itself with negativity or judging. Empathy forces you to look outside of yourself and hear someone else’s heart. Success, in whatever capacity, can only be reached when someone is willing to hear, learn, and truly listen, to another person. Look at most of the leaders that we would call “great” and were truly great (not just called great because of status or title). Most had the ability to make others feel heard, to give others a voice, and to take into account the feelings and/or insight of others. I challenge you today to try and find at least two opportunities to show empathy to someone today. Not only will you touch a life, but you might learn something about yourself.
M- Make to-do lists.
Now, I know, there are some of you who undoubtedly become anxious by to-do lists. You become overwhelmed that you will not be able to finish the list, or you think of a whole other list of to-dos from the list you already have (ask me how I know..) I want to encourage you! They key to to-do lists is to keep it simple. Select a specific number of things to put on your list for the day (that you know you can handle). If you find your mind wandering because you are thinking about all the other stuff you have to do that are not on the list, then plan out your week with a list for each day. If you have been lucky enough to have coaching session with me we explore, more often than not, more ways in which to-do lists can be a help in achieving life goals instead of a hindrance.
Now, though I am a lover of the earth, and most things nature, that is not what I mean. However, it’s not a bad idea and I might add that to my own personal life’s job description. No, I am talking about planting seeds in the earth of people. Intentionally finding ways to help out in the world. It might be the earth, but it might be a friend. It might be a cause that you stand for but it might be by stopping and listening to a stranger who wants to talk. It might be by doing a favor or it might be by serving at a soup kitchen. I have found that it is usually in these moments when we connect with a deeper part of ourselves, the part that is connected to our purpose. We often get little clues as to what we are supposed to be doing with ourselves when we follow our heart, instinct, curiosity, and set an intention to help others and plant seeds of love wherever we go. (Hint: this is hard to do without empathy…)
Dirt is dirt! Whether that is clutter in your house or clutter in your mind. Find any opportunity you can to get rid of something today, whether that is a piece of clothes, a mug (who has a mug addiction? Who said that? Not me…) or a thought that has been clogging up your head space. LET IT GO, it is doing you more harm than good.
You may not have SAD, but research has shown that getting time outside in the sun and elements has a positive effect on your mood (vitamin D levels and all that jazz). SO, let the outside work for you! I personally find that I am most at peace, most centered, most rational and most productive when I am outside. The trick is, not just being outside, but BEING outside; really taking in your surroundings, soaking up the good mojo from around you. Yes, yes, I know some people are not “outside people” but even the smallest amount of intentional time outside can make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed, try it! Step outside today and take a few deep breaths…. Now tell me you don’t feel good and in control of yourself.
So this may be the most obvious but in order to employ your life you have to be willing to employ yourself and not in the most literal sense of the word (though this would be helpful). What I mean you have to be open and willing to change. You have to direct yourself to listen, be empathetic, let go, get outside, plant, and make plans. We have to be willing to be the change we want to see in yourself. Without yourself as a willing participant in life, you will succumb to mediocrity and complacency. Do something unfamiliar, try something new, and put yourself out there. Life is given to us as a gift, but it is our JOB to make something of it, or not; but the choice is always yours to make.