Create Your Legacy


 

Abstract:
 

As a multipassionate, I used to have trouble deciding on what to do with my life. I seemed to drift from one thing to the next, never truly settling for anything. I come across this dilemma with many of my clients as well, especially the multipassionates.
 

Stephen Covey recommends to “Begin with the end in mind” when you create your legacy. He suggests to put into writing what you’d like people to say about you at your funeral, in a eulogy. I remember learning a similar exercise in my Coaching studies.
 
 

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Why think about a legacy?

 

Life’s full of distraction. There are books and media, movies and TV programme, hobbies, friends… And of course, work and family are enough to fill every hour of every day in and of themselves.
 

The issue with this is that “busy” doesn’t necessarily imply doing anything meaningful. Often enough, we’re just wasting time with, well, busy work, instead of working on leaving the world a better place. What you should be doing is create your legacy.
 

legacy
 

Finding your “Thing”

 

I recommend you take some time to actually write down your thoughts on this. It might seem a little morbid to you to think of your funeral, so if you like, call it the impact you’d like to make on this world in your life.
 

If you’re still having trouble, find out what people already say about you. Ask five of your closest friends what they think your “thing” is. Ask yourself if you’re happy with their answers, and if you aren’t, it’s time to make changes.
 

Clarity comes first. It acts like a compass in the midst of life’s distractions, and it’ll take you back, time and time again, to what really matters and the legacy you’d like to leave behind.

When Your Passion’s Unprofitable


 

Abstract:
 

In my work, I talk to a lot of people about their passions. When I point out that in my opinion, passions should be front and centre in life, a lot of them answer with a variation of: “That sounds great, but you see, my passion just isn’t profitable.”
 

Experience shows that a passion-centered life always provides for your needs. If this sounds vague, it’s because the actual path looks different for each individual, as my Coaching clients show. Here are some example to get your imagination going!
 
 

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Essentials in life

 

When people think of essentials, they think about paying bills. Ask yourself if you would still need a big house and car if you were outrageously happy and fulfilled?
 

This is not to say material riches are bad. What I’m saying is that people get the order of things wrong. If you focus on the material first, you’ll get stuck on that level; when you focus on passion, the material will follow.
[bctt tweet=”If you focus on the material first, you’ll get stuck on that level; if you focus on passion, the material will follow.”]
An example is a friend of mine who left a well-paying career to follow her passion for travel and became a tour guide for a few years. Now she considers starting her own tour company, which could potentially be very profitable.
 

passion centered
 

Manifold paths

 

It’s not always as straightforward as selling what you create with your passion, or the service you provide. One of my previous clients followed her passion for the history of her country into a career and now leads a cultural heritage centre. Others reduce the “necessities of life” like jobs to a minimum, in order to be able to fully focus on their passion.
 

Some actually do find their passion profitable. This often requires a lot of work on things like self-esteem so you don’t undercharge people just because you love your work. Earning money doing what you love should be the norm, not an exception.

Do You Profit From Being Stuck?


 

Abstract:
 

Not too long ago, I went through a period of little progress in my business. I worked hard but had little to show for it. After a while, I noticed that being stuck felt oddly familiar and even comfortable, because it confirmed my old lack of self-confidence, not feeling good enough and it satisfied the nagging voice asking: “Who am I to try and change the world?”
 

I figured I might as well use this opportunity to heal some old wounds inside myself. It took some digging but I eventually got to the bottom of it.
 
 

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What’s really going on

 

You may experience being stuck in any number of ways: You may suffer from writer’s block, a lack of creative ideas, relationship problems or a dead-end job. That’s the surface issue, but there’s always something underlying as well.
 

In my case, it was a fear of losing the people I love if I “grow beyond them” and become successful or wealthy. Yours might look completely different, but in most cases it’s about not wanting to leave a safe zone where you feel protected from whatever it is your subconscious fears.
 

being stuck
 

Benefit outside of being stuck

 

The process to get un-stuck has two steps:
 

  1. Be very good to yourself. This happens to everyone who achieves anything, so don’t beat yourself up! Be kind and most of all, patient – the process may take time. Practice self care, get enough sleep, good food etc.
  2.  

  3. Try and get the benefit in some way that doesn’t require you being stuck. In my case, I reached out to get reassurance from my loved ones. Whatever it is for you, create the same benefit in some different way, and then your block will dissolve, because it’s no longer needed.

What Your Life Could Look Like

dream life

I’ve always had big dreams. When I was a teenager in Germany, I dreamed of visiting Ireland. As a university student, I spent two years in Ireland and later moved here altogether. From childhood on, I knew I wanted to see other countries, and during my 20s and 30s, I lived and worked in four different countries.
 

When I discovered Coaching and experienced the fastest and most profound personal growth in my life with the help of my first-ever Coach, I knew I’d found my calling. Years later, I became a Coach myself, eventually studying for and gaining a recognised qualification in Personal and Executive Coaching. Then I dreamed of having more time and space for Coaching and my other passions and made that happen in 2015.
 

Now my dreams include growing my business and living a more sustainable life surrounded by people I love. I’m working on it, and I’d say that judging by my track record, I’ll achieve this one, too. It’s a wonderful feeling dreaming up one’s perfect life and then going for it. Nothing quite compares to it!
 

What does this mean for you? I’m going to attempt to paint you a picture and help you give shape to your own dreams, so you’ll be able to look at your life a few years from now and say: “That was when I first dreamt about xyz, and now I’ve achieved it.”
 
 

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There’s nothing wrong with you

 

Before I continue, I’d like to make one thing absolutely clear: I believe in dreams and always having a goal, but I don’t think people are broken or that their lives aren’t perfect the way they are. Too many self-styled “Coaches” try and tell you that your life’s all wrong and needs fixing (usually, followed by an offer to fix it for you – for a substantial amount of cash, of course).
 

I don’t believe in making people feel bad about themselves. Moreover, it’s my belief that everything happens in perfect timing and that we’re always exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we need to learn.
 

What’s even more important is the insight that this is simply the way life works. Everything that lives, grows (a tree that’s stopped growing, simply dies). Sometimes, we’ll find ourselves in situations, jobs, or relationships we don’t like. At other times, we’re on top of the world.
 

Wherever we stand at the time, it’s always a good thing have a dream in order to continue growing. It doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t like where we are. On the contrary, a dream is more powerful if it isn’t created out of desparation but out of a feeling of happiness and gratitude for the present.
 
 

A passion-centered life

 

Whatever your dreams for the future are, they probably include a very happy you. In my experience, human beings are happiest when they live aligned with their purpose, and that purpose is ususally connected to their passion (or multiple passions). In order to create a dream of a happy future, I therefore suggest you paint a picture of you focusing your life on what lights you up.
 

What would your days look like if they revolved around your passion? What would you do? Imagine money wasn’t an object, because believe me, it never is once someone truly puts their passion front and centre. Somehow, a solution always presents itself, even if you can’t see it just now. That’s why I suggest to not concern yourself with this particular detail.
 

Instead, pretend you didn’t have to worry about money or a place to stay at all. See a perfect day in your life, fulfilling your purpose and doing what lights you up. How would you feel first thing in the morning, when you wake up and realise you have only fun things to look forward to? What would you say to your loved ones during the day? What would you think about falling asleep at night?
 

Paint this picture in as much detail as possible. When I say “paint”, I don’t just mean you should imagine it like an actual picture, but to use all your senses. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, feel what you’re touching or holding. Bring the scene to life as much as you can.
 

Finally, it’s time to distill the main cornerstones of your dream and put them down in writing. Out of these, you can craft your next goals and go for them. Keep doing this, because life is too short to spend it without striving for something beautiful which excites you. You’re just like that tree: for as long as you live, you’ll grow and evolve, and you might as well do this consciously, after your own planning, rather than leaving it to chance.

Are You A Success?

success

A client once told me that she has issues with the word “success”. She explained that to her, it smacks of stressed-out stock market brokers and old men in board meetings, smoking cigars. I laughed and asked her what was so bad about that, if it’s what these people want?
 

Her answer was revealing: “There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not an idea I relate to.”
 

It was revealing because it showed that the only problem she had with the idea was her rather rigid notions of what success constitutes. She had a point, too: Most people will answer along the same lines if you ask them how they define “success”.
 

I’m here today to challenge these ideas. Of course, we live in a world where certain expectations have become the norm, and achievement in education and the corporate world are part of it. However, this doesn’t mean success can only be achieved within these parameters.
 

Why is this relevant for you? Because it provides you with a different way of evaluating your life. I hope it’ll also give you confidence in creating a successful future, even if it doesn’t conform to society’s concepts.
 
 

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Defining “success”

 

The dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. Isn’t that interesting? “An” aim, not any particular one. Not riches or a great career.
 

For Stephen Covey, it’s up to the individual. He recommended thinking of what you’d like people to say at your funeral. That’s the best indication of what success means to you.
 

In one of the personal development workshops I’ve visited over the years, I heard the definition which makes most sense to me personally: Success is moving towards your goals in all areas of your life. This of course assumes that you have (written) goals and review them regularly, because that’s the most effective way to keep track of everything and measure progress.
 

In a way, my approach includes Covey’s, because your goals should of course be aligned with your purpose and your overall vision for your life. This is also were passion comes in: Whatever lights you up, should feature prominently in your goals. It all fits together.
 

Here’s how you can make it work in your own life.
 
 

Time to get personal

 

Definitions aside, it was a huge relief when I discovered how open the term “success” really is. I don’t have any particular hunger for outside validation, but it’s nice to know even just for myself that I’m doing something right.
 

So what’s success to you? What are you accomplishing, which goals are you progressing towards? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it’s time to go back to basics and write down some goals. I firmly believe this is the most basic, fundamental step towards success.
 

The next step sounds a little wishy-washy, while it’s actually the most accurate measure I know of. It the joy-and-passion meter! How often do you feel excitement and passion? How many of the five main areas of life – health, job/business, finances, relationships, self – light you up with joy?
 
 

Thriving

 

In my opinion, the best measure of success is thriving. At first glance, the joy and passion you feel might not have anything to do with you moving towards your goals, but they are deeply connected. Here’s why:
 

If you don’t have goals in each of the above five areas, review them regularly and take steps towards achieving them, any passion or joy you feel will be short-lived like the proverbial flash in a pan. For joy to become a steady flame, it needs to be fuelled by regular, consistent action.
[bctt tweet=”The trick is realising that joy and passion aren’t static; they need constant evolvement.”]
When you progress towards your goals, being lit up becomes your natural state. The trick is realising that joy and passion aren’t static; they need constant evolvement. It doesn’t matter if you change your goals on the fly. In fact, achieving your goals is almost secondary to what you experience along the way of working towards them. Even if you end up changing your mind and going for a new, different goal, nobody can ever take away the experiences and the growth you’ve gained in the meantime.
 

When you keep evolving along whatever lights you up, you can’t help but thrive. You’ll feel alive and you’ll be in constant motion. Other people will be drawn to your flame and swept along in your joy, and these are the things which make you the greatest success you can be.