When we think of the world that we live in today, it’s hard to imagine it without all of the hustle and bustle that makes up a large proportion of our working and personal lives… Each and every day, so many of us are engaged in what I like to call perpetual business, to the point where we lose track of exactly why we’re so busy in the first place!
And while I will admit that working hard is often necessary for professional success – at least to a certain extent – all of the business that we pile onto ourselves begs the question: What is the real purpose of all of our business? Is perpetual business truly an aspect of life that we all covet, or has it become a concept that is so mainstream we automatically assume that keeping busy 24/7 will plunge us into the life that we truly wish to lead?
This week on Episode 125 of Productivity Paradox, I had the pleasure of sitting down with author, broadcaster, and host of The Ken Coleman Show to talk about how we can stop submerging ourselves in perpetual business so that we can effectively start bending time to start living a life that we envision for ourselves instead.
While our conversation touched a lot on the number of reasons that people in the workforce often report low levels of satisfaction at their job… some of Ken’s advice on how we can overcome that sense of unfulfillment really had me thinking, as I believe that it applies to all of us on a professional and a personal level.
So, without further ado… let’s take a look at the two questions that Ken mentions on this week’s episode that we need to ask ourselves (think of them as practical first steps on your own journey of fulfillment) in order to buckle down and start living the life that we truly want to lead.
We have touched on this on the podcast and in blog posts before, but I think that this is an important question to pose when we imagine our dream life…
Before we dig into it, I want you to consider this: If you’re constantly surrounded by negative or toxic individuals – whether we’re talking about the people we have in our personal circle (friends and even family members) or the individuals that make up our team at work, how often do we feel inspired to be our best self?
They say that misery loves its company… And I believe that it’s so, so true. Negativity breeds negativity whether we are fully aware of it in the moment or not. And as much as we may hate to admit it, the energy of those that we surround ourselves with often has a habit of leaking into our personal space and affecting our own energy (mood) as a result, no matter how hard we try to rise above.
When we are constantly surrounded by people who always seem to be in a bad mood – or worse, by people who are not at all supportive of us or that do not encourage us to be the best that we can be, it can take a huge toll on our mental health well-being!
So, when it comes to the life you have always imagined for yourself, I want you to turn any negative space that surrounds you right now on its head and consider exactly who you need to know in order to take those positive steps forward toward that dream life.
If, for example, you’re a working professional and you are unsure of how to obtain your dream job, look at the industry you’re in or that you’re looking to get into and consider the people you can seek out for more information on getting you to that spot. In other words, look for those people who can help give you the insight you need on what it takes to make it.
By considering this simple question, we can start to overcome some of the uneasiness that we often experience when we’re faced with any amount of change, thereby taking a “scary concept” (i.e. taking what we perceive as a risk – moving out of our comfort zone and on the path toward our dream life) and turning it into something practical, easy to maneuver, and positive to boot.
One of the major aspects of my conversation with Ken on Episode 125 this week is this: Your dream life stems on two things – People and Locations.
So naturally, the next question we should consider when we are envisioning ourselves in an ideal situation, living our best life, is this: Where do I need to be in order to make my dream life a reality?
Once you’ve narrowed down the people that you need to know – the people that will essentially provide you with more information about some of the things you may need to learn (and so on), the next step is to consider where you need to situate yourself in order to gain the knowledge you need to move further along the path to your ideal.
Before you start thinking that your dream life isn’t possible unless you relocate, I want to reassure you that for the purpose of these first practical steps, the “where” in our second question simply relates to where you may need to be in order to attain the knowledge you need to keep moving forward.
Maybe your where is not necessarily in any other city or state, but in the form of a webinar where you can learn the skills necessary to give you a boost toward that dream job; perhaps it’s a class at the local college that you may want to audit, or maybe – depending on what your ideal life looks like — it’s a place nearby where you can volunteer your time!
No matter what your dream life looks like, considering who you need to know and where you need to be in order to turn that dream into a reality is a practical way to get over the uneasiness of change…
As Ken mentions during our conversation this week: Considering the two questions above calms the brain and nips a lot of our discomfort – the discomfort that comes when we imagine ourselves taking a perceived risk — in the bud…
When we narrow down the “who” and the “where” in a concrete form (I recommend writing your answers to these questions down!), our brain automatically begins to formulate the next steps we need to take on the path toward our dream life, and it helps us create a plan of action that continues to propel us forward.
Now, for a little bit of homework this week… ask yourself who you might need to know and where you might need to be in order to make your dream life a reality, and feel free to share your answers in the comments below!
And to hear even more about what Ken Coleman had to say about bending time and pushing yourself to be the best that you can be… Be sure to tune into Episode 125 of the podcast!