countdown 28: living my life

"Life would be so great if I could just win the lotto! "

I think I wasted too much energy of late from wishing I would suddenly become a millionaire. This wishful thinking made me realize that I am getting a little desperate and that contrary to what I should be doing, I am not taking complete rein over the destiny of my life.

Did I allow myself to get so absorbed in my career that I got burnt out beyond recognition? Did I overindulge myself that I turned from being a workaholic to a lazy and challenge-averse adult? Did I allow failures and disappointments to disenchant me from living a charmed life?

What I know for sure is that I need to focus on the things that make me feel excited, fulfilled, empowered and just a bit scared. Because isn't that what life should be about?

Your mission in life is not to be without problems. Your mission is to get excited.


Lately, I found myself dreaming again and making plans - not those will-o'-the-wisp kind but tangible dreams and goals that can come true with hard work and determination. 30 should be a good time to start making a lot more dreams come true.

I found a helpful article aptly titled Words to the Wise by Martha Beck in the January 2011 edition of O, The Oprah Magazine. It is all about goal-setting but with a twist. If you want to give it a try, here are the simple steps:

1. Pick a goal, any goal. Fess up to your real desires then pick the biggest and most ambitious one.

I will become a millionaire.

2. Gaze into the future. Imagine what your life would be like if you realized your dream or goal.

I will be able to buy our dream house and travel with my son and hubby to any destination we want to go. I can go on shopping sprees. Etc, etc.

3. Generate adjectives. List the adjectives that describe how you feel in your dream-come-true scenario. Don't stop until you have at least 3 words to describe those lovely feelings.


4. Focus on anything that can be described with your adjectives. These words bring your goal into sharper focus. Put your attention on the aspects of your life that give you these feelings. Focusing on such things will make you happier right now and help you create future situations that will fulfill your true desires.

Playtime with my son and hubby makes me happy and gives me a sense of fulfillment and security.

I think the whole point of the exercise is to make one realize that those wonderful feelings you thought you'd only get when your particular dream comes true, can already be found in the here and now if we would just focus and give those things more attention and time.

To quote from the article:

The situational elements people crave - money, social status, possessions - don't reliably lead to an experience of well-being. By contrast, learning to find joy in the present moment (a.k.a. focusing on experiences you truly want in your life) increase life satisfaction, improves health and allows us to live longer, more fulfilling lives.

So each time I'd find myself in wishful thinking mode, I'd go fishing for adjectives then use them to identify the aspects of my life that are already drawing me towards my heart's desires. Sometimes, it could be as simple as cooking or reading a good book or writing down and sharing my thoughts.


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