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Living Your Best Life

Living Your Best Life

LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE   

by Jim Ognibene, Visioneer Consulting and Coaching

 I am not much of a blogger – never have been, probably won’t ever be.  After starting my freelance coaching business 5 years ago, my friends say you have to blog.  Don’t forget to blog.  Blogging is it…!

 I am not sure why I don’t like to blog. It might be because I feel that as soon as something is in writing it is already outdated.  I don’t want to be prescribed to one perspective or another, as life is such an evolution, each and every day.

 What about this thing we call life? We are here for such a short while.  We are given choices.  Every day we wake up we are given even more choices.  Those choices are ours.  We live in a part of the world that allows us many freedoms.

What are the choices you have been making?  How do we manage the myriad of options posed to us each and every day?  The smallest decisions start to have magnitude as they become the foundation for larger decisions. This describes many career “paths”. Over 65% of employed people chose what was easy, close or convenient when looking for a job.  And they stay in those jobs that are not a good fit because it takes too much effort to break away, i.e. money, family, etc.

 What is my perspective as someone who helps others move and grow in space, we call work?  I like the word, livelihood.  What is your livelihood?  It is where and how we contribute to the world around us.  I believe, at the very core of our being, there are gifts that are uniquely ours.  When you know what those gifts are and are in a position to manifest those gifts, sometimes called strengths, you will find more joy and less resistance in life.   Strengths can be described as behaviors.  These strengths are sometimes something we can see, if we look close enough to take the time to understand and define.  In addition, there are elements in life that drive what we do, they stand as a foundation “below” strengths.  Clinically, they are called archetypes.  The 12 Jungian archetypes are the things that drive us to do what we do.  When we can see and name our archetypes, we can start to understand WHY we do the things we do.  When we align ourselves with these drivers of behavior we begin to move closer to our whole self.  When we move in our strengths and core drivers, we are more ourselves.  When we are more ourselves in our work, we will find our contribution is stronger and more vibrant.  Today we call it authentic.  I enjoy meeting authentic people; people I describe as living their personal truth.

 An understanding of values is the third corner of our triangle.  Social structures are changing such that values are not “imparted” the way they used to be.  As recent as 40 years ago, most people connected with the values of their closest social constructs, such as family or church, etc.  What does this mean?  I see this to mean that each of us would be better served if we took the time to define our list of personal values.  This requires introspection.  In our fast-paced world, we seem to have less time for introspection.  There is less “down time” today, as we find ourselves squeezing every ounce of productivity out of every day, whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not.

 

To sum it up, strengths, drivers and values are the foundation for finding a healthy livelihood.  After conversations defining each of these separately and together, we can then confidently talk about behaviors that relate to work and livelihood.  The choices we make towards choosing a certain line of work will be more based on our unique self, not on what others expect of us, i.e., parents and significant others, etc.  When we are working in our element, we are more likely to look forward to each day, and the excitement and newness it can bring.

I am five years into my freelance consulting business. It is an honor and privilege to do this work. It was the scariest thing I ever did to leave a secure job in a community that valued and appreciated my contribution. Yet, it was one the best decision I’ve made. There are good days and bad days, of course there are.  But I can honestly say I work and move in my strengths, drivers and values every day.

My contribution to the world is to enable others to take the step necessary to build a successful livelihood.  It is a great pleasure to lead this visioning process with my clients.  Thank you for giving me that opportunity.