Archive for the ‘Enjoying Life’ Category

The Hero’s Journey (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 7)

August 31, 2010

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 7, August 31, 2010
The Hero’s Journey

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In This Issue:

The Hero’s Journey
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

The Hero’s Journey

Last newsletter I wrote about how to Tell Yourself A Story – to reframe how you look at your life, your own story, your journey toward your goals and dreams.  In that article I mentioned the Hero’s Journey – the classic format for all tales of adventure.  When I was a little girl I used to love to read Trixie Belden mystery stories, a Nancy Drew like heroine who also solved crime.  Only unlike Nancy, she was average, insecure, awkward, in other words, just like me.  And I loved to pretend I was Trixie, with her home, and her family and friends, and solving crimes.

Today I am going to give you a quick overview of the Hero’s Journey.  Then over the next few months I’ll break it down, stage by stage.  My hope is that you too will find yourself in this journey, and be encouraged by the map, and knowing where you go from here.

The journey begins with life as is.  The  moment before your journey begins, before change is initiated, you feel unfulfilled, unsatisfied, unhappy.  Then you get “The Call” – this is your dream, the call to something more, better, bigger than where you are.  The dream that satisfies and fulfills, the one that fills you with excitement.  You have a Vision for how things could be, for you, and maybe even for others.  Then – “Initiation” – you take off.  Or, in this diagram, you roll down the hill.  It’s fast and furious and exciting.  It feels easy, and unavoidable.  You have to go this way! You have to do this! 

Then – you come to a screeching halt, your first break, and also the place that’s filled with traps to get you stuck and keep you there.  This is “The Pit”.  Doubts and fears kick in here.  We have monsters to fight and dragons to slay.  And we often, at some point, feel completely alone.  And we question, why did we do this? What were we thinking?  Hope falters here. 

But the journey is not over.  If we hold fast, we find others who come along and help us.  We find allies and opportunities.  The journey isn’t over, but we are no longer alone.  Hope arrives.  And we press on.  In the map, we go up.  It feels like an uphill battle here, exhausting.  Yet we are close now. 

Then, if we keep at it, keep taking steps, we have our “Breakthrough,” our “ah ha!” moment of clarity and focus.  We are re-energized.  The end, the achievement, is not far now.  We continue until…

The goal is achieved, the dream is realized, we arrive at last at the place we have dreamed of.  Then we celebrate, we reminisce, we mine our experience for learnings, and we revel in our accomplishment.

 The Hero's Journey - A Map

The Hero’s Journey is also a simplified but applicable view of the process of any change you may experience.  And as humans, the one thing that is constant is that things are always changing.  You may currently have some dreams where you are in “The Pit” with the dragons.  At the same time, you may have others where you’re nearing “Breakthrough.”  Some dreams take days, others years, but this is the basic journey for each of them.

When I learned about the Hero’s Journey, I began to see that I am really the hero in my own life story. (And how cool is that, I ask you?)  And when I began to redesign my life, to pursue my long time goals and dreams, I really saw myself on the hero’s path.  In fact, in times of significant transition or change, I carry a picture of the journey with me, and I often pull it out like a map, to see where I am, and to encourage and guide me along my way.

In the months ahead, we’ll explore each stage of the journey more deeply.  The goal is for you to understand more fully the process, the journey of pursuing your goals and dreams.  And through that understanding, you’ll be able to hold fast and stay the course until you your dreams are realized and celebrated.

As you look at the Hero’s Journey, think about the transitions in your life today.  Consider your dreams.  Where are you on your own hero’s path?  And where are you going next? 

Warm regards,

Lori Howard

p.s. Post your thoughts below!

Recommended Resources

To learn more about the Hero’s Journey and the process of change or transition, especially when it comes to life dreams, you might want to pick up a copy of these favorites.  

The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments by William Bridges
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin  

Check out my new web site: www.unearthyourworth.com.  And follow me now on Twitter @lori_howard.  

Contact Me

I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.

Tell me what you think about this newsletter by posting a comment below.

website: www.coachforabetterlife.com
blog: CoachforaBetterLife.wordpress.com
email: Lori@CoachforaBetterLife.com
twitter: @lori_howard

Click here to subscribe.
By subscribing to this newsletter, you will receive monthly tips, news, and information on how to live a more fulfilling life.

About this Newsletter
Copyright 2010 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.

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Tell Yourself A Story (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 6)

June 22, 2010

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 6, June 22, 2010
Tell Yourself A Story

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In This Issue:

Tell Yourself A Story
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Tell Yourself A Story

I received an email yesterday from an old acquaintance-friend, Sarah.  It was a letter telling me all about how wonderful her life has been over the past year.  A true adventure, the mythic hero’s journey filled with romance and castles, only without a wicked witch or any evil. 

I confess, as I read her letter, I began to compare my life to hers. And mine was sorely lacking.  I felt like someone kicked me in the gut and said “Hey, loser.  You’re wasting your life away.”  Lucky for me, my very close friend Cathleen quickly intervened.  “Sarah’s life isn’t better than yours or mine, she’s just a great story teller.  I’m sure she has problems like we do, only she just left those out.”

Then I wondered, what if I told the story of my own life over the past year in the same fashion that Sarah told hers?  What would my story be?

So I grabbed a cup of blackberry tea, and sat down with my laptop and started typing.  (more…)

Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 4)

February 22, 2010

By Lori Howard

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 4, February 22, 2010
Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours

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In This Issue:

Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours

No matter what your life, your dreams, it is important to know what you do well.  What are your strengths?  Do you know? 

I like to think of strengths as our very own superpowers.  We must know how to use them.  We can use them for good or for evil.  We can use them to pursue our own goals and dreams and to help others.

If we haven’t mastered our strengths, if we don’t know how to wield them effectively for our purposes, they can become our weaknesses and undermine us.

Think of someone you know who is very observant and detail oriented.  They do precision work.  They obsess over quality.  We need these people, we need these skills – they give us quality work and beautiful things.  But these same attributes, applied to the wrong situation, can suddenly become a drag.  Overly analytical, slowing down progress, giving us a detailed price analysis when all we need is a quick “finger in the wind” estimate.  You see?  Good vs. evil.  Superpower to Achilles’ heel, because the person didn’t know any better. 

So what can you do?  How do you master your strengths? 

Step 1: Know your strengths – by name.  What are you good at?  Do you know?  One quick way to find out is to ask the people who know you, who have some experience of you, in whom you trust.  Try this quick assessment: Send an email to 3-5 friends or coworkers and ask them what are your top 3 strengths and your top 3 skills.  Let’s define strength as a character trait that you possess, and let’s define skill as something you do well. 

Want a more scientific approach to finding out your strengths?  Pick up a copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, and you’ll have access to your own personal strengths assessment based on their extensive research.

Step 2:  Now that you know your strengths, be conscious of when you use them throughout your day.  Select one strength to focus on over the course of your day.  Ask yourself: is this attribute needed here?  Does this situation benefit from me engaging this strength?

Also notice when you DON’T use it.  Ask yourself the same questions: Is this attribute needed here?  Would this situation benefit from me engaging this strength? Would using this strength make it worse?

Step 3: Take one whole week and practice the use of that one strength.  Look for opportunities to use it, and observe the results.  Focus on mastering your strength, learning when to use it, when it helps, and when it doesn’t. 

Step 4:  Repeat for Step 3 for each of your strengths over the next month or two.  Master your superpowers.

Now, what are your strengths? Your superpowers? I invite you to discover your own strengths and practice using them.  Then, visit my blog to share what you learn as you master your own superpowers.

Post your thoughts below!

Recommended Resources

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a link to the StrengthsFinder 2.0 website, so here it is: www.strengthsfinder.com.  It’s one of the few assessments with some research behind it that you can take yourself. 

Contact Me

I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.

Tell me what you think about this newsletter by posting a comment below.

website: www.coachforabetterlife.com
blog: CoachforaBetterLife.wordpress.com
email: Lori@CoachforaBetterLife.com

Click here to subscribe.
By subscribing to this newsletter, you will receive monthly tips, news, and information on how to live a more fulfilling life.

About this Newsletter
Copyright 2010 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.

How to Find Your Passion (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 3)

January 18, 2010

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 3, January 18, 2010
How to Find Your Passion
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In This Issue:

Happy 2010!
How to Find Your Passion
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Happy 2010!

Do you know what your dreams are?  If you want to make 2010 better by pursuing your passion, your dream, but don’t know what that is, this issue is for you. I have a collection of exercises I have successfully used with clients in our one-on-one sessions. This month, I share my favorite one with you.

(more…)

Just Don’t Quit (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2)

October 26, 2009

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 2, October 26, 2009
Just Don’t Quit
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In This Issue:

Enough Already!
Just Don’t Quit
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Enough Already!

We all have times when we feel overwhelmed or exhausted from our efforts, and think the answer is to quit. I must confess, fall has been particularly challenging for me. I had planned to be busy with projects, but not with the multitude of unexpected challenges added to my life (e.g., hit and run car accident, confrontation with a neighbor, leaky windows, and broken bed, to name just a few).

I wrote this article before things got particularly difficult. (Interesting, eh?) I find as I review it now, that I feel less overwhelmed, and I am inspired to get back to work. I hope you find it helpful as well.

(more…)

How to Re-Ignite Your Passion (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 11)

July 20, 2009

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 1 Issue 11, July 20, 2009
How to Re-Ignite Your Passion
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In This Issue:

Greetings!
How to Re-Ignite Your Passion
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Greetings!

How has your summer been? Mine feels like it’s flying by. I’ve also managed to come down with a summer cold the past few days, which really put a damper on my enthusiasm. So, once again, I find I’m applying the newsletter article to my own life. Just a few minutes doing the exercise below has been helpful for me as I press on. I hope you also find it useful.

(more…)

Craft Your Ideal Day (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 7)

March 16, 2009

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)
Craft Your Ideal Day
Volume 1 Issue 7, March 16, 2009

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In This Issue:

C’mon Spring!
Craft Your Ideal Day
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

C’mon Spring!

Spring is just around the corner. You can feel it, right? The days are getting longer, and temperatures warmer. A time of birth, creation of something new. What better time to look at what you’d like your life to be like? To craft your ideal life. That is the process we’ll begin in this issue.

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My favorite exercise – designing your Ideal Day

March 16, 2009

This is excerpted from my free report: Five Days to Goals That Inspire You, and inspired from many sources (including, in no particular order, Barbara Sher, Paul McKenna, Jennifer Louden, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Martha Beck).

Start by imagining your Ideal Day. Set aside an hour and allow yourself to daydream. Imagine what one ideal day in your ideal life would be like. Picture yourself 5-10 years down the road – (more…)

Flush Your Positive Attitude and Embrace a Tirade (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 6)

February 9, 2009

Live A Better Life Newsletter – Tips and Tools for Intentional Living
Flush Your Positive Attitude (and Embrace a Tirade)
Volume 1 Issue 6, February 9, 2009

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In This Issue:

Greetings!
Flush Your Positive Attitude
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

(more…)

Your Year in Review (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 5)

January 19, 2009

Coach for a Better Life Newsletter
Your Year in Review
Volume 1 Issue 5, January 19, 2009

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In This Issue:

Happy New Year!
Your Year in Review
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

(more…)