Do you struggle with the idea of being impactful and reach your full potential while you remain humble and grateful?
Ever wonder how simplicity, joy and humility can be an advantage in your quest to make your life count?
Do you dream of living your very best while you remain close to your heart and what matters to you?
Me, too and I am still seeking. As I have just returned from a 2-week long trip that took me around three countries both for business and pleasure, I started to understand a little more about this yearning. There has to be a way to remain who we are while we create the life we truly want and as I settle back in the quiet of the Andalucian mountains, the lessons I found seem to organize themselves around the ideas I have been coaching, teaching and writing about.
Life offers us a triangular struggle- firstly; we have our needs and desires. Big, juicy dreams we want to accomplish. Secondly, we have our potential that is challenged on every front, our humility often crushed and we find ourselves becoming arrogant in expressing that potential. Thirdly, we are compelled to believe that we must adopt attitudes wholly alien to us if we want to be successful.
So here is the simple list of characteristics I consider essential in our triangular struggle to live a HeartSmart life:
Loving life is one of the most important life skills we must have if we want to live our true destiny. You gotta love the ever-changing mysteries of life, how it presents you with exactly what you need at exactly at the right moment. You gotta love how it plays the tunes of change totally out of our control and while you are invited to make sense of it all, you also know that some things you will just never ever truly understand. The universe is friendly, so instead of fighting it, learnt to love it.
2. Cultivate to be Mindful
I know from neuroscience that there is no such thing as multitasking, only doing multiple things with divided attention, which means you are not really mindful. The brain loves attention and when you focus on the one thing you are doing, your brain will reward you for it. You will be able to be clear-headed, make better decisions and most importantly, you will be able to listen to your heart.
3. Cultivate Compassion
Being compassionate, for me, is a synonym for understanding people and their individual journeys without holding them in judgement. The more people I coach, the more humbled I am by their journeys, internal and external struggles and the more I see that judgement is a lethal weapon to build meaningful relationships.
Optimism is not a natural state for the brain. We, coaches, say that the brain is Teflon for negative and Velcro for positive. It is three times more likely your brain will interpret an unknown thing in a negative way, so it does not come naturally that you can put a positive spin on events. Optimism is something you have to learn and condition yourself to and it is a set of skills that requires diligent efforts.
Learn to be Wilful and Confident
Willpower and confidence are the two wings of making your life a success. A lot of people mistake confidence for arrogance and willpower for stubbornness. You need clear willpower and a natural glow of your true talents (read: confidence) to make sure you are following your own path without being derailed by events, tempting side roads or people who advise you otherwise.
When I was a little girl I wanted to be an archaeologist. I obsessed about Egypt, its history and I dreamed of being the adventurous woman who will unearth the secrets of the gods and pharaohs.
Today I am a coach who helps people unearth their dreams, their strengths and help them see life as a playground, instead of a battlefield.
The principle that drives me is the same: I am inquisitive. I love asking questions. I am always curious what else is there to learn about human nature.
7. Overcome Fear
Being a scaredy cat is not the best way to live in this world, I can tell you that much. I have been one all my life. I know one fat truth about fear: it is not Fear that is the problem; it is our allowance to be living from it that makes us miserable. Fear will never ever disappear in your life and the best we can do as humans is to learn how to use it to our advantage. Make fear your ally and your life will change.
Learn to Be Grateful
I just spent the last week in a spiritual place where I met people from all walks of life. I heard heart-breaking stories; I saw bodily dysfunctions, destitute and despair in the rawest forms. I was challenged to my core but I realized that being grateful and expressing our gratitude is what makes us our best human self. Cultivating gratitude is like tending our own heart, without it we are empty, shallow and disconnected.