Clients often ask me, “How do I get what I want?” The question comes in many forms like, How can I have better communication with my husband/wife/business partner? How can I make more money? How do I find “The One”? How do I lose the one I’m with? How do I hold onto the one I have? How do I find a career I love that pays me enough? How do I lose the 20 pounds and keep it off? How do I have more balance? How do I get out of debt? How do I increase my sales? How do I get my business off the ground?
No matter the question, I believe the answer is always the same and one of the many forms the answer has come in for me is an approach I stumbled upon years ago called, The Four Pillars of a Wonderful Life. The idea is when all four pillars are firmly constructed, their sturdiness holds up a life worth living. So, let’s take a look.
The First Pillar is to know ourselves. Imagine getting excited at the prospect of getting to know yourself more, every day, and liking what you’re discovering. Every experience we have is an opportunity to grow and become more of who we are. But we have to be open to the lessons and willing to see that everything that happens to us is happening for us.
As the Tao Te Ching, written 3,500 years ago, says, life is a constant movement toward our wholeness and our greatness. When we resist this, we suffer and become more estranged from ourselves and from the opportunity to connect to our inner experience, which is what gives our lives meaning. When we realize that Life is a conversation, one we can dance with, we become more relaxed and connected to our true selves, which inherently increases our compassion and openness to ourselves.
The Second Pillar is to love ourselves. This one can sound so cliché and yet it is so fundamental to being genuinely fulfilled and happy. How can you expect to live a life you love or even find the love of your life, if you don’t love, honor, and cherish your own unique and precious self? Usually we’re so busy telling ourselves what’s wrong with us that we don’t see how lovable we are. We often hold ourselves to ridiculously high standards and see ourselves as deeply flawed so we don’t think we deserve to be loved “until or unless…”. Our self-love is often conditional and comes with strings attached – it’s pretty flimsy and not the kind of love I’d want to settle for with anyone, let alone have with myself.
We then try to motivate ourselves to make the changes we desire from this disapproving, critical, and judgmental standpoint and, while that may give us the short-term results (think bootcamp and diets), it isn’t effective for lasting change.
The Third Pillar is to trust ourselves. Becoming trustworthy can mean that we know we can dependably rely on ourselves to take good care of our well-being in all areas: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This creates a self-assuredness and calm and that, in turn, builds our confidence. It gives us the ability to make choices that fuel rather than deplete us.
The Fourth Pillar is to inspire ourselves. How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m bored, I can’t think of anything fun and interesting to do. I’m just not motivated. ”
Life is filled with opportunities to connect with our creative life force and to make a difference. When in doubt, get out of yourself and go help someone else who is less fortunate. That is a great way to re-ignite your flame. Once your pilot light is back on, keep it burning by asking yourself, “What else can I try? Where else can I go? Who else can I meet? What else can I make?” Just like negative thinking and getting stuck in old beliefs of lack and scarcity is habit-forming, getting inspired is contagious, too.
TRY THIS: for the next 30 days, give 30 minutes each day toward knowing, loving, trusting, and inspiring yourself and see if it makes a difference in your life.
AND, for those of you who are interested in having more self-awareness, love, trust, and inspiration in your life, contact me for a complimentary coaching consultation. Say YES to living a life you love NOW because, “a year from now you’ll wish you had started today.”