by Kathy Gates
Could you accept an opportunity into your life if it fell in your lap right now? Or are you actually rejecting things every day because you don’t have a foundation on which to support it?
In order to live a full and happy life, you have to first spend some time building the dock, or the FOUNDATION, for that life. The Foundation IS what holds up your life. Without it, or with a weak foundation, things will always be rocky and susceptible to disease and pestilence.
People who build successful lives know that a strong foundation is vital to letting them pursue their dreams. It’s vital to being rewarded, instead of disappointed, when opportunities present themselves. You may be rejecting a good relationship, or financial security, or time with your family, or even just “being happy” because you are too busy bailing out a sinking ship (sick of the analogies yet?!)
Without a strong Foundation, you’ll always be digging out of the hole, always looking at your feet, instead of reaching for the stars. Instead, how would you like to be able to say, “No matter what happens, I still call the shots”? That means you are not a victim of circumstance. That means that you are able to withstand external pressures and live in a way you want to live. That means that your time doesn’t dictate what you can or can’t do; that means your friends don’t determine what emotional support you receive; that means you have resources that don’t require that you take any old job just to pay the mortgage. That’s having a solid foundation.
So how do you shore up a shaky foundation? There are many different parts to a strong foundation, like boundaries, standards, needs, integrity, values, reserves, family, etc. But here’s the best way to start…
1. Eliminate things you are putting up with by writing them down then taking specific actions to remove them, delegate them to someone else, or find another way to handle them.
2. Get out of the past and into the present by completing what you started – from a diet to a conversation, from a project to a commitment that no longer works for you, finish it!
3. Become conscious of how you spend your time, money, energy and make sure it’s how you really want to spend it, instead of just the next thing that gets your attention.
I can hear you all saying, “But I want to ADD a relationship, or ADD a career, or ADD some focus to my life to make it better”. So why do I suggest you start by deleting things? Because the items I listed may seem insignificant, yet when taken all together they’re an ENORMOUS energy drain, an enormous FOCUS drain.
Assuming you even had enough left-over energy and focus to add something to your life in the first place, no matter what wonderful things you put into your life – relationships, money, career — as long as these leaks are there, all the good things will leak right back out. Ever wonder why you can’t seem to hold on to the good things in your life when they do come your way? This is why. Because there’s no dock for that ship, and it just can’t stay around without a safe harbor.
In life, people who have a firm base to stand on are not only well adjusted and in control of their lives; they also have a better chance at succeeding with any goal they choose than those who are constantly fighting with life. Live your life from a position of power, instead of fear. If you’ve built the dock, you can successfully accept your ‘ship’ when it arrives. A firm foundation is more than just a “nice thing to have” — it’s essential to a happier, healthy, easier, better life. There are no shortcuts. If you try to shortcut life, you’ll always end up with the short end of the stick.
Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach, is the author of several E-books and Coaching Programs designed to help people solve Real Life Challenges, and live Happier, Easier, Better Lives. See her books and programs online at http://gatestherapy.com/ or call her at 512-814-6580.