Four Practices for Free-Living and Mind-Blowing Success
By MARTHA MOORE
I remember the good old days when I was 25 years old, and my biggest concern about the future was that I would be successful and living my dream life by the time I turned 50. I had such grand visions then! And while my life isn’t miserable now that I’m in my 50s, it certainly isn’t what I thought it would be when I envisioned it at age 25.
It’s funny how our dreams start to morph as we get older. How we discover that our “success” and “dream life” are not what we thought they would be. Somehow along the way from age 25 to 50, responsibilities, routines, and obligations, start to take over our lives. For many of us, our dreams become smaller, our definition of success is minimized, and we become content to satisfice with what we’ve got.
So, what happens along the way? How does the success and dream life that we see in our 20s turn out to look like this? Why do we spend so much of our time doing what we believe we “should” be doing rather than what we really want to be doing?
The love that parents feel towards their children is indescribable and something that they would never, ever want to do without. I’ve seen clients completely give up their own dreams to give their children everything: from the constant travel around the country for sports weekends which completely takes over their lives both in time and financial responsibilities, to the hectic daily schedule that takes over and becomes the norm for years.
While children should have these opportunities, when it comes to interfering with the parents being able to live their own lives and follow their own dreams as well, what kind of example does this give the child? What does it lead children to believe is waiting for them when they reach adulthood? Will they also be expected to give up their dreams to do the same things for their children?
Years ago, I visited a friend from The Netherlands who was in her mid-30s and had three daughters aged 4, 7, and 9. I spent a couple of weeks with her and her family and the difference in their lifestyle compared to the ones that I saw in the United States was striking. She lived close enough to town that when her daughters had a dance class, they rode over on their bikes. They only had a couple of after-school activities, and then they were home and did all the artsy-crafty things that one did in the days without cell phones and tablets. I loved the relaxing pace of their days. And best of all, my friend had time and energy for her own goals and dreams which were running her own business from home, writing, translating and teaching foreign languages.
What about those of us who decided not to have children? While you would think that it would be different, the kinds of questions that pop up when the age of 50 rolls around are the same: Where’s my dream life? Am I truly successful? What does success really mean? And finally, what do I do about it now?
The good news is that it’s never too late to begin taking steps to change your life in any way you want. In fact, if you incorporate these four practices into your life, you’ll start to see changes immediately:
- Take Stock– Begin by taking stock of your life and everything you do, think and feel. You want to be completely honest with yourself and admit everything. You don’t have to announce this to the world so don’t hold back. It’s important to see, acknowledge, and accept what your life looks like now before you can begin to create the life of your dreams.
- Make One Change– So many of my clients have a laundry list a mile long of the things they want to do. And yet they can’t take one step forward. The list is overwhelming when you look at it in its entirety. There’s a saying, “There is only one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time.” The only way to start is to take one step that will begin you on your new path. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap. Simply pick one thing on your “to do” list and as Nike says, “JUST DO IT.”
- Find Your Cheerleaders– Everyone needs help and support along the way. Any story you read of successful people includes the significant moments in their lives when mentors, teachers, and coaches gave them some vital piece of advice, cheered them on, or pushed them to go further than they thought they could. Find those people for you and surround yourself with them. And don’t be afraid to change up the squad. My cheerleading team is always evolving based on what I’m doing and the help I need at the time.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat– Keep working on steps one, two and three – over and over again. You never stop evolving or changing so why not make it a conscious evolution? One that you get to choose and not one that just happens to you as you sit by and watch.
The good news is that it’s not too late to experience free-living and mind-blowing success in your life. Don’t give up. While it can feel like it’s more challenging than when you were younger, the sooner you begin to make the changes, the sooner you will live them. Let your colors fly! Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah!!!
Martha Moore, CPA, MBA Transformational Life Coach & Founder of The Free Spirit Project, LLC
Martha Moore is a transformational life coach known for her unique style of no-nonsense and insightful guidance. She started her career almost 30 years ago, receiving her MBA and practicing as a CPA for several years, before leaving a successful career behind to follow her heart by travelling the world. She worked her way around Australia for two years, spent three months on an African safari, travelled alone through the Middle East and volunteered for a year in India. After years of international travel and study, she settled in Colorado to become a life coach, teacher, author, and mentor. For the past 15 years, she has devoted her life to helping others discover the joy of following their own hearts and uncover the courage, strength and passion that is within.