Posts Tagged ‘Meaningful Life’

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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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.

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…)

Get Experience without Starting Over (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 12)

August 17, 2009

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

Volume 1 Issue 12, August 17, 2009
Get Experience without Starting Over
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In This Issue:

Gear Up for Fall
Get Experience without Starting Over
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Gear Up for Fall

It’s the time of year we start thinking of school days. Fall is just around the corner, and school supplies are on store shelves. And that can lead us to think about our own education and learning, and how that can serve us in our career of choice. It can also trigger anxiety when we think of how much we need to learn, especially if we want to change what we do. This newsletter will help you manage that anxiety with some practical steps to take. (By now, you know I’m all about taking action to get unstuck.) Try some of these ideas to find out what kind of knowledge and experience you really need.

While we’re on the subject of education, I’m excited to offer some new workshops in and around Chicago in September and October (click here for details). I’d love to see you there.

(more…)

Live Your Dream Life Today – really! (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 8)

April 13, 2009

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

Volume 1 Issue 8, April 13, 2009
Live Your Dream Life Today (really!)
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In This Issue:

Greetings!
Live Your Dream Life Today (really!)
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Greetings!

Spring is a great time to take action, large and small steps, toward your dreams. This issue we are continuing the process of crafting the life you dream of. It’s closer than you imagine. And perhaps to your surprise, you will discover you’ve already begun to make it happen.

(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.

(more…)

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…)

Week 5 of Enjoying and Appreciating Life As It Is

December 18, 2008

This week’s tip is a quick one.  Take 10 minutes and spend it petting or playing with your cat or dog.  I’m a huge fan of this form of “fur therapy” in cold winter months and in stressful times.  Nothing compares to the love and affection of a pet.  If you don’t have pets – visit a shelter and spend a few minutes with the animals there!   Shelters love visitors, even if you can’t take someone home.