What Do You Really Want?

The Important Question

The first question I usually ask my Life Coaching clients is, “What are you wanting for yourself?” 

That’s a loaded question because, of course, we’re all wanting innumerable things. You could probably make a list of 50 wishes, or “wants” in the next 50 seconds…easy-peasy.

But what do you really want? What’s most important?

 Now, we get down to the meat and potatoes. You have to prioritize. What’s numero uno on your list? 

How Can You Know?

One way to figure out what you really want is to identify your biggest problem at the moment.

Once you’ve identified what you want, you can build your roadmap to attain this prized “whatever”. This means action steps. This is the opposite of wishful thinking, similar to how exercise is the opposite of sitting, which I hear is the new smoking.

Why Go It Alone?

Can you build your own roadmap? Or would you like someone to help you along the way…to serve as a listening ear, encourager, and accountability source?

As they say, “two heads are better than one.” 

Let’s cut to the chase. Maybe what you need is a Coach. 

Ok. You’re a mover and a shaker. Why would you want a Coach?

Yes, Why?

There’s a commercial on TV that says something to the effect,” An object in motion is likely to stay in motion, while an object at rest probably stays at rest.” 

I may not have the exact words, but you get the idea. Humans need motivation. A Coach provides motivation and keeps you accountable. This is why Mastermind groups work well. The members are accountable to each other. It’s harder to drift off course.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, as a Certified Life Coach, I’d love to help you stay on course. I’d love to see you achieve your goals. 

But first, you have to know what you want. Once you zero in, you’re on your way.

So, make a list. Dig deep. Prioritize.

What do you really want?

The Two Certainties of Life

You Guessed It

They say there are only two certainties in life…death and taxes. They’re both problematic. The truth is…you can’t avoid them, but you can save yourself a lot of angst in the way you deal with them. 

Take taxes, for instance. I know people who refuse to pay taxes. That’s like living with the ghost of Christmas Future breathing down your neck. Forgiveness may be a virtue, but don’t count on the IRS to be big on forgiveness. The IRS is like an elephant … it never forgets. 

Paying taxes is only one part of the fun of being an adult. I remember my first visit to the doctor as an adult. Not only did I have to deal with the anxiety of the visit, I discovered I was expected to pay for it! Wasn’t this my parents’ job? Maybe adulthood wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

But paying taxes is mainly an issue of responsibility. It only involves strong emotions if you’re dodging this duty.

Death, on the other hand, is a highly emotional issue. It’s so final. We know it’s coming, but its eventuality goes into the realm of repression and denial. If you haven’t put your affairs in order by the time you’re over a certain age, don’t worry…the funeral parlors will call you!

What Do I Say?

But what if it isn’t your own death you’re worried about? How do you deal with others in your circle who are in the process of grieving? It may be normal to want to avoid these people because you don’t want to say the wrong thing. After all, we’re not offered a class in Grief 101. You’re basically flying by the seat of your pants. 

After my mother died I recall certain people dodging me in the grocery store. I wasn’t offended. I knew the reason. They didn’t know what to say.

Why do we feel we have to have the perfect words before we can face someone who’s grieving?

The Truth

Well, here’s the truth. The grief stricken don’t need your words. They need your presence. 

At this time, you’re not the person who needs to talk. They need to talk. 

If you really want to help someone, be an ear. Just listen.

If you see them in the grocery, just say, “I’m sorry for your loss”. That’ll suffice. It just needs to be acknowledged. That’s all. In both cases, being responsible and compassionate is called for.

Death and taxes are inevitable. 

The Gifts of Introversion

Ever Heard of Rodney?

If you’re an introvert, you may feel, at times, like Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian who started every gig with the line, “I get no respect.” Let’s face it…you’re not an extrovert…never will be. You’re not the one dancing on top of the tables. 

Now, no one is totally an extrovert or totally an introvert. It’s a scale. A lot of people define themselves as part introvert and part extrovert. 

The Upside

But here’s the cool thing about introverts. First, they’re good listeners. Listening is a skill so important that part of my counseling requirements was to demonstrate “Active Listening”. 

After all, in a normal conversation, how many times are you half listening and half planning what you’re going to say next? That’s not actually listening…that’s conversational sparring. When you find someone who actually listens to what you have to say, you feel heard. You feel acknowledged. That person is a keeper.

Introverts are deep thinkers. Therefore, they’re capable of intimate relationships on a deep level. For this reason, they have fewer friendships, but probably know these friends more intimately. 

Introverts are rarely bored. Their active brains are constantly percolating. 

They’re naturally creative, and are usually full of ideas. 

 I once asked my ninth graders, “How many of you can entertain yourself when there’s no one around?”

I looked at the raised hands in the room. “You are the lucky ones,” I said. “You’ll never be bored.”

More Contributions from the Introverts!

For all the above reasons, introverts also make good CEO’s, and many are heads of companies and corporations. They’re good leaders. They make smart decisions because they listen to the opinions of their employees, and don’t make judgements in haste. They deliberate before deciding. Impulsivity isn’t a part of their toolbox.

If you’re an introvert, you have the power to make changes in the world. If you don’t believe me, here are a few famous introverts, and these are just the ones we know about… Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, JK Rowling, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs may not have been an introvert. This fact is still debatable, but he was smart enough to partner with Steve Wozniak, who definitely fit that bill.

So, claim your gifts and embrace your nature.

You go, introverts!

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Are You An Introvert?

Are You In the Majority or the Minority?

I want to expose a fallacy, at least a fallacy in my own mind. Just because the majority outnumbers the minority doesn’t make the majority better, more superior, or right. It just makes them the majority. No group has a patent on correctness. Ok…maybe Snopes.

 It’s said there’s power in numbers, and I don’t argue with that. But let’s face it, it’s more fun to be in the majority. You have more people who agree with you. You’re in a bigger club. What’s not to like?

Introverts

This is where introverts tend to get the short end of the stick. Nature didn’t make as many. We’re in a smaller gene pool.

In my counseling practice, I rarely met an introvert who was proud of their introversion. In fact, they were almost apologetic, as if it was a personality flaw. 

Introverts are not extroverts. But they’re drawn to each other and often require each other’s company to feel complete. You’ve heard that opposites attract. Just look at married couples. You’ll often find an extrovert married to an introvert. But they have different needs and interests.

Parties

Let’s take parties, for instance. Extroverts love parties. The more people, the better. Extroverts are masters at small talk, and parties offer an endless audience of people.

 I now cherish my introversion, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember taking the Myers Briggs test where your personality type is defined. I was initially tempted to check the “I love parties” box because that’s how I wish I felt.  

So, here’s my take on parties, from an introvert’s perspective. I’m not a fan. I pretty much regard large parties the same way I feel about airplane travel…2 hour flight, ok…3 hour flight, tolerable…4 hour flight…get me out of here! But, before you judge me as a total dud, let me explain.

I have nothing against small gatherings.  But as far as large groups, I find trying to listen to more than one conversation at a time short circuits my brain. At these soirees, I can’t keep up, much less add to the chat. My only salvation is to corner someone and start a one- on- one conversation. Now, that’s fun!

 You know you’re an introvert if people come up to you at parties and ask, “Are you having fun?” That’s a dead give-away. Well, here’s the answer to that question. “If I’m still here, I’m having fun”. My advice to introverts is…  “take your own car”. That’s your ticket to a fun party.

 So, if you’re feeling apologetic about your introvert status in life, my next blog will be about the gifts of introversion. With any luck, it’ll change your world view.

The Gifts of Aging

You’re More Resilient Than You Think

One of the gifts of getting older is the awareness that time is your friend. You learn that few things last forever, and that you’re a lot more resilient than you give yourself credit for.

During your teens, a breakup can be a devastating event, throwing you into what seems like the depths of despair. The pandemic, with the school closures and social distancing, has been at least partially indicated in the teen suicides that have recently occurred. 

At this tender age, setbacks can seem like a life sentence. The agony is acute. Just knowing that time heals could be a balm, but let’s face it, that’s little condolence when you’re in the fray.

You’re Older Now

As an adult, health issues come and go, friendships endure and dissolve, and work issues can seemingly never end. 

Time, actually, is a double- edged sword. Our bodies decline while the depth of our wisdom expands. Maybe God planned this so we could start the process of detaching from our bodies, all the while recognizing that time is the great healer.

I remember my mother used to say “This too shall pass.” In spite of the patience required to wait, while we wait, patience is both our strength and our reward. 

Even so, the gifts of the spirit can be hard earned.

The Silver Lining

However, if I look back on the traumas of my past, there was always a “coming out on the other side” moment, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.

I’ve read we have a life review when we cross over. 

The good news is, you don’t have to die first. You don’t have to wait. 

Look over your life, both the agonies and the ecstasies, and maybe you’ll begin to view time as your friend too.