Living Your Definition of Everything

If you are like me, on many days it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming of the some day when life just totally works out and you are everything that you want to be.

My father, who is an amazing poet, wrote a poem on this subject:

DAYDREAMS

A child can carry on,

Where we leave off,

With plans and dreams

For yet another generation.

My eight year old son

Captures the spirit properly

As he answers

(In response to an adult’s query

            about the future)

“I want to be everything.”

Me too.

Even now.  *

Some years ago, I was the kid in that poem.  When I was eight, being everything meant being able to work in all professions, to be a carpenter, a doctor, an airline pilot, a fireman and so on.

Now I realize that my definition of ‘Being Everything I Want To Be’ looks more like this:

Happiness + My goals and dreams + The activities and circumstances that are actually part of my day = Being Everything I Want To Be

This equation seems abstract, even to me, so let me invite our fictitious friends to help explain it.  Meet Samantha, Ken and Bob, three people who seem to have all.  They all want to be everything and all are in the process of making lots of money.  But which of them creates the confident and content feeling of Being Everything He or She Wants To Be on a daily basis?  Let’s see!  (I’m using making money as the goal that our friends share because it’s easy to illustrate.  As you read on think about your individual goals.)

Samantha wants to be a millionaire many times over.  To achieve this goal she knows how much she needs to make everyday.  But today she only made half as much.  Oh no!

As she’s trying to drift off to sleep after a hard day, she keeps thinking:

What I actually made ($10,000) ­minus my goal ($20,000) = (negative $10,000) and FRUSTRATION and Definitely Not Being Everything I Want To Be.

(Ok, I know most people don’t think in strange word and number combination equations.  Our friends may be a little unique.)

Now let’s see how Ken is doing.  Ken keeps comparing his results to Teresa who is a billionaire.  As he tosses and turns, his equation looks something like this:

What I actually made ($12,000) minus my realistic goal ($18,000) minus what I imagine Teresa made today ($2,000,000) = I’m a loser!  I didn’t even make my measly goal.  I’m nothing compared to Teresa, let alone Being Everything I want To Be.

Time to check in with Bob.  Bob has determined first and foremost that he wants to live his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.  A major part of his definition is being happy.  Like Samantha and Ken, he also has a goal of being a millionaire many times over by year-end, and he knows exactly how much he needs to make everyday to achieve that goal.  At the end of this particular day, he only made one-fourth as much as his daily goal.

He drifts of to sleep quickly thinking of this equation:

Today I was happy + I had the honor of making ($2,000) + I have the challenge of working to meet my goal tomorrow ($10,000) = I Am Being Everything I Want To Be.  (Bob frequently comments to his clients and friends, “You know, a huge part of success is actually enjoying being successful.”  He also has been known to say, “I’ve created the life I live today and my creation is good.”

 Now does Bob desire that his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be grow?  You bet!  And he has quiet confidence that it will.  As he is drifting off to sleep, he muses that his definition of being everything in second grade was successfully riding his bike around the block without falling.  Wow!  How his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be has grown through the years.

Notice that person who made the least amount of money during the day is the happiest because he is focused on putting happiness into his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be and then living that daily definition.  Bob has designed his life so that he is happy today, and will be happy when he makes $12,000 or $2,000,000 a day too because happiness is central to his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.

 * Something At Last: Dakota Poetry and Sketches  Poems by Jerome Freeman, Sketches by Jean Bailey, Pine Hill Press,  1993

Game of the Day 

  1. How can you more intentionally put happiness in your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be?
  2. At the end of each day, how can you acknowledge that today you lived your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be?
  3. Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be when you were a young kid.  Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be now.  How has your daily definition naturally grown?
  4. Now think in as much detail as you can of what you want your daily definition of Being Everything you Want To Be to look like a year from now?   Five years from now?  Ten years from now?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Deadlines are Freedom

When I was in grade school, high school and even into college, deadlines were the bane of my existence.

Now I very much appreciate (and even on some days love) deadlines because they help me focus my efforts and achieve the extraordinary results I desire.

When I choose to complete a task or project by a deadline, I let my creativity flow, take action and manage my time much more wisely. And, as a super bonus, once I get a project done, it’s done and I have more freedom to move on to other things.

Think of a time when you had a deadline and completed your project on time.  How did you feel when you were done?

As a writer, I traditionally have much preferred creating rough drafts to revising.  Before I made friends with deadlines, I kept creating rough draft, after rough draft, after rough draft.  (You get the picture.)  A very small percentage of my writings ever got to the point that they felt finished and I was willing to publish them.  I have boxes of unfinished writings that attest to my past unwillingness to revise and create a finished product.

Do you have any areas of life where the absence of deadlines is affecting your ability to produce the extraordinary results that you truly want to produce?

I’ve found that there is a great deal of power to be had when we each create our own deadlines and do our best to stick to them. 

For example, I have the freedom not to post on this blog for months.   However, I have made a commitment to my readers and myself to publish at least two and usually three blogs per week.  If I want to remain true to this commitment, I have deadlines by which the blogs need to be completed and posted each week.  In the five months since I have been writing this blog, these deadlines have motivated me to complete and make public a far larger quantity of my writing, than I ever had before I began the blog.

Deadlines can indeed help us transform our ideas the extraordinary results we desire.

As I am writing this post, I have started wondering why we don’t say “livelines” instead of deadlines.   (I know, even with my newfound appreciation of deadlines, calling them “livelines” almost seems a bit too cheery.  But wouldn’t you rather complete a “liveline” on-time than a “deadline”?)

Game of the Day

What self-created deadlines could you create and become friends with?

How would these self-created deadlines help you create the extraordinary results you desire?

Today We’ve Arrived And Are Going Further

Today we have arrived.  Think of how many years, months and days you are old.  It took you that long to arrive at today.  This is cause for celebration!

However, if you are anything like me, on many occasions you have said things like, “My life will be happy when…” or “I will feel settled when….”

As small kid, I thought my life would be pure bliss the moment I got to decide for myself when to go to bed.  In childhood, I journeyed towards this goal.  Years ago, I arrived at the time in my life when I choose my bedtime for myself.  Now I take this freedom totally for granted as I yearn towards other goals.

While our goals give us direction and purpose, our daily lives give us countless opportunities for happiness.  There is the moment of crossing the finish line of our goal compared to the countless moments of our daily lives.

The moment we say we will be happy only when we achieve our goals, we limit our ability to feel happiness.  Too often, I find that we wait for an abstract future to be happy instead of exercising our ability to be happy right now.

Sometimes when we look towards our goals, we can even become deflated and downright unhappy because we feel that we have so far to go to achieve our goals.

One of my goals is to speak at conventions and schools across the country and around the world.  At this time, I have just given presentations in four states.  So, I have a choice. I can either create happiness only at the moment I reach my goal or I can create happiness on the moments leading up to the goal.  You better believe I’ll be happy the moment I reach my goal too!

Especially through my teenage and college years when I frequently needed the reminder, my Mom emphasized the importance of balance in all areas of life.  I think balance might be the key in this discussion. We have the opportunity to strike a balance between celebrating having arrived each day and attending to the steps needed to pursue our further goals.

Remember that today is a special day.  It has taken us years to arrive here.

Game of the Day

How can you savor the excitement of having arrived at this day in your life and at the same time continue to take steps to reach towards your goals?

Goals And Surprise

Goals may be most useful in that they focus our minds, words and actions on the good we desire.  We can create goals for the next day, the next week, the next year, the next ten years, or longer.  Whether it is around New Years or at some other time of a year, a goal creation party is important because in the process of goal creation we kindle a lighthouse in our future, something to set sail towards.

At the same time it’s empowering to remember that the lighthouse is very often not the destination of ships but only a generous guide to the shore the ship is sailing towards.

Goals can also be blinders.  For example, say your goal is to visit a park across town this weekend.  A friend suddenly calls and says she has an extra airline ticket to fly to New York, New York and she would love for us to come.  If you were firmly attached to goal visiting the park across town, you would say, “nope I already have plans.”  You would attain your goal of visiting the park across town, but miss out on the exhilaration of flying to New York for free on the spur of the moment with a great friend, as well as, the magic of being in that city.

Attachment to specific goals can lessen our chances of producing extraordinary results.  There are potentially millions of extraordinary opportunities that could fill us with joy, success and growth in the next year.  But if we limit our focus exclusively to just a few goals, we limit our ability to participate and find fulfillment in new opportunities.

Some of the best parts our next year may well happen when we aren’t trying to create success or fixated on a specific outcome but simply taking relaxed, joyful, present steps in the direction we want our next year to flow.  When setting a goal, one of my wonderful yoga teachers, Gretchen, always advised people to say, “this or something better.”

 Game of the Day

See what it is like to set a few goals today and plan to work towards them, while at the sometime acknowledging the surprise of life by saying, “this or something better.”