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Are You the Author of Your Life?


Several years ago, while doing a yoga teacher training, I was asked to rate 18 areas of my life. I was encouraged to describe the ideal in each area, in present tense. Here is a portion of what I wrote for Career:

I love my job. I wake up in the morning excited to work. My day is varied - sometimes I'm in the office, sometimes I'm taking a client to lunch, sometimes I'm at an outside meeting. My day is full of positive interactions with people. The role is challenging intellectually, and the environment is one in which I feel safe to challenge myself, to grow. I am proud because I've worked hard and sacrificed to create this career and follow this path - helping people find peace and overcome challenge in their lives.

I share this because - I did it! I created this vision, believed in its possibility, and now I am living it. I authored my life. 

I highlight the belief in possibilty, because it is crucial for creating change. From the article, Self-Efficacy: The Key to Financial Well Being, written by Carol Anderson of Money Quotient, "Self-efficacy is the most powerful determinant of an individual's thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and accomplishments." In the words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't - you're right." If you believe that you can master difficult tasks and challenging goals - you will. If you lose interest when the work gets hard and give up easily - you won't!

Whether we're aware of it or not, mindset plays a big part in how we live our lives. It's not our technology that's distracting us, says an article in Forbes. Instead, we're using distraction to relieve our discomfort and pain. For many, the work environment comes with high expectations and little control over outcomes. This feeling of loss of control can lead to anxiety and depression. According the the article, the distraction we're experiencing from our cell phones, email and social media is "a symptom of cultural dysfunction," NOT the cause.

Recognizing this, how do we begin to change our mindset and author our lives?

Start by becoming more aware of your triggers that lead you to distraction, and consciously decide how best to spend your time. Perhaps it is time for a Soulbbatical, jumping off the corporate treadmill to become the "Chief Soul Officer" of your life. Shelley Paxton did just that, leaving a corporate job at Harley Davidson to travel and do "deep internal work" (after consulting with her financial advisor, of course!) Or perhaps you need to consider how to make the job you have better for you and your well-being. Small mindset changes can help you experience more enjoyment during the day, and less stress.