|Originally Posted 12/03/10
If I had to
simplify 30 years of experience working with so many young fitness
professionals it would be this: most never succeed because they don't know what
they want or where they are going.
The Ralph Waldo Emerson line stating that most people live lives of quiet
frustration applies to most everyone I talk to who is seeking help and guidance
in this industry. This quiet frustration is something in your soul where you
know that you should be doing something bigger or more important with your
life, but understanding that higher calling is difficult because it appears
vague and always seems to be drifting in the shadows just outside your grasp.
This failure to understand your destiny is what leaves you somewhat hollow and
is what haunts you during those quiet moments when you become angry about the
work you are currently doing. Somewhere in your mind, you know that what you
are doing is not what you should be doing.
My favorite exercise to break through is to take a quarterly Starbucks moment.
Every three months for the last 20 years or so I take a notebook to Starbucks
and sit quietly for several hours projecting my life ahead. What is next in my
life? Am I doing what makes me happy?
Am I in balance or more of a lost soul? Where do I want to be in three years,
or five? Writing the answer to these questions keeps me in focus and drives
away the lost feeling of wasting your life and time doing something that is
I am doing a lot of personal coaching these days. As I have gotten older and
grayer, with the hair remaining, I find myself doing more life coaching than
actual business consulting. There are many people out there who just don't have
anyone to talk with about their careers and life choices and few parents are
even prepared to actually tell a child that what he or she is thinking might be
wrong for them and doing the considered action would be a bad choice.
I seem to fill that void for a number of people and many of the folks I work
with are the seekers who most of you would already consider successful. My
guess is that this small dedicated group is successful simply because they
never stopped reaching. If you are a person dedicated to constantly expanding
your mind there is always another level of growth awaiting you. These people
win because they have focus and this is what separates the people you respect
from the many others who simply exist until they die doing work that is
meaningless to them and that fails to define their life and their dreams.
The simple thought is that if you don't know where you are going then no one
can help you get there. Your journey should always be open to new adventures
but it also should be based upon a constantly expanding plan focused on
maximizing every step. If you are feeling that nothingness that comes from a
cloudy personal vision, seek change today by sitting for a few hours writing
the answers to these questions. These of course aren't the only ones to use,
but this is a good first step. And remember, if it isn't in writing, then it
isn't real. Keep the notebook and update your focus every three months:
*What kind of work do I want to spend my life doing?
*Am I doing work that gets me excited everyday?
*Where do I want to be in three years?
*How much money do I want to make?
*Where do I want to live?
*Do I want my own business or do I want to keep working for others? Why?
*Is my life in balance?
*Am I prepared for the future? Am I saving, planning, and preparing for the
next five years of my life?
*What can I do now to learn more about my life's work?
*What personal habits/issues do I have that prevent me from reaching a higher
*What is holding me back from being more successful?
*Am I taking personal responsibility for my own life or blaming others for my
Again, these are just a few questions to get you started. There are more you
can use and over time you will find the ones that trigger the best responses
for your own growth. If you have a spouse/significant other, involve that
person in the process as well but make sure you spend time working on your own
It is your life and the canvas is blank. Focus gives you the ability to paint
the picture as you want it allowing you to live the life you create rather than
merely settling for the life you have.