I’m delighted to have award-winning author and Harvard-trained adaptive leadership consultant Kathy Andersen as my guest today. She teaches people to master change in their lives, businesses and organizations. Kathy’s new book, Change Your Shoes, Live Your Greatest Life, shows how anyone can overcome difficult circumstances to achieve their dreams. Today she has tips for mastering your life. Here’s what she has to say:
Step Out and Master Your Life!
By Kathy Andersen
Have you ever thought there is more to life, yet you haven’t quite been able to put your finger on what that “something more” is? Well, it’s easier than you think. In fact, it is just a step away. We all know Lao Tzu’s saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Today, in our over busy, super-fast, technology-filled world, those words are more true than ever.
Why? Because in our busyness and our desire to take multiple leaps and bounds as quickly as we can, we often leap over the single step right in front of us that can take us in the “right” direction. Instead, we leap into many directions that simply expend us, rather than expand us. We miss the opportunity to pause in our step and to sense whether we are stepping in the direction that will take us closer to a fulfilled and purposeful life. We lose the opportunity to master our lives with each step, and instead risk becoming slaves to busy and active, yet ultimately unfulfilled lives.
So how do we master our lives, and keep up with our lives at the same time? The answer to mastering life, one step at a time, begins with a simple pause before each step. Before you take the next step in your life, take a “step out,” and ask yourself three simple questions:
1. “Where do I ultimately want to end up after I take this step?” This seemingly simple question will quickly reveal whether you are habitually putting one step in front of the other without thought, or whether your next step is filled with intention to step toward your dreams and aspirations. Imagine the path you will walk if every step is consciously filled with intention to take you to the life of your dreams. Before your next step, visualize that dream and step into it with full consciousness and intention.
2. “Do I take this next step filled with goose bumps of excitement, or butterflies of anxiety? Do I feel at all?” In the quest to constantly move faster, we act so quickly, and fill our minds with a thousand thoughts such that we lose sense of our senses. We start to allow our lives to be directed by all that is happening around us, rather than our essential self within us—our soul, our higher power, our divine consciousness. We respond to every beeping text message, or are so switched off that we become desensitized. We ignore the subtle whispers from the voices within—our internal compass that sends vibrations to steer us in the right direction. Before your next step, allow that step to be directed by the senses that arise from within you, not by all that is buzzing around you.
3. “Are the shoes I wear, the shoes that will take me to my greatest places?” Think about your “shoes” in terms of how well equipped you are to take your next step. Are you doing things for yourself every day that fill you with all you need to take you to your greatest places? Do you take ten minutes every day to acknowledge the gifts within you? Do you take five minutes to give yourself daily affirmations? Do you do at least one kind thing for yourself every day? Have you taken the time to list the things you need in order to embark upon the journey of your dreams? Have you “packed your backpack” with the things that will nourish you, and discarded the things that drag you down? Before your next step, consider whether you need to change your shoes.
To master life, master each step before you. One step at a time. One day at a time. Start with these three questions, and ask yourself the same questions as you start each day. If you commit to keeping a journal of your answers every day for thirty days, you will uncover your own secrets to mastering your life that will come directly from that which you call Source, God, Universe, Soul, or that to which you do not put a name. It simply is. It resides with you. It awaits your attention to reveal its answers. Then, you will have mastery of your authentic life that will take you to your greatest places.
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