Episode 004 What does it mean to “live a life you’re proud of”?

Ever walked into a room and forgotten why? Or gone into a store for three things and can’t remember them all?

You’re getting through life, trying to juggle a dozen balls without dropping any of them
You know what everyone around you is demanding and are trying to deliver.
Who you are, what you want, the dreams and aspirations you once had, often feel lost or drowned in all the noise…

Are you living the life others expect? Or are you living your true life?

If I focus on living a life I’m proud of, isn’t that a bit selfish?

Some underlying assumptions…
Humans are shaped to be in community and to strive for something beyond just ourselves; my faith in God shapes this belief.

Many other belief systems also point to a general higher order need (once food, shelter, clothing is taken care of) for humans to have reasons beyond themselves to exist.

With this base understanding you can look at taking care of yourself as a starting point, a spring board for you to more effectively do the work you have in the world, serve others more deeply, more effectively, more genuinely…

It’s for you, for the sake of the people around you; people in your life, people you’re called to serve…

If you’re only focused on yourself, your needs, your goals, what you want, there’s no long term satisfaction in that; in the end it won’t be a life you’re proud of which is why that’s my tagline…

OK but, living a life I’m proud of every day??? That sounds exhausting!
When do I get to veg out, watch TV, go to the bar with my friends, sleep in late…

We’re playing the long game here! Everything important doesn’t need to happen all at once. There’s an ebb and flow to life.

A marathon runner at the Olympics isn’t concerned with the timing of each quarter mile as much as how it evens out over the course of the entire race. Analogies do break down at some point so don’t push that one too far…

Focusing on living a life you’re proud of also means there will be times of rest and fun! Fun is an essential part of life AND more life-giving and energizing than simply “vegging out.”

Behind my focus on living a life I’m proud of is thinking about my death bed…
Lets go back to the scenario we talked about at the beginning of the episode.
You’re getting through life, trying to juggle a dozen balls without dropping any of them.
You know what everyone around you is demanding and you are trying to deliver.
Who you are, what you want, the dreams and aspirations you once had, often feel lost or drowned in all the noise…

When an end of life nurse compiled all the regrets people on their death bed expressed to her the number one most common regret was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
[See death bed regrets: http://www.bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying]

Many of the other top regrets centered around relationships; the quality, time spent and depth of relationships within a person’s life.

Hearing people express regrets over not living a life true to themselves while also expressing regrets around their relationships and not putting more into them drives home the point that living a life you’re proud of – figuring out who you are and what you’re shaped to do in the world – is the best for you and the best for the other people in your life.

Focusing on living a life you’re proud of isn’t selfish; it’s appropriately self-focused for the sake of benefitting others.

The goal is to one day – if I’m privileged enough to be in that space of reflection on my deathbed – be filled with gratitude, not regret.
Living a life we’re proud of now, being grateful now, is a potent way to work towards that long-term goal.

End of episode coaching question:
Do you feel you’re often living the life others expect? If so, What would it take for you to have the courage to discover and live your true life now?
If you feel you’re aware of and working to live into your true life, what’s one area of chronic struggle? What will help you persevere in that area of your life?

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