The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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Want a wonderful life? Then start NOW.

[Second part of two-part series]

Whether we project managing our work projects, our careers, our finances or our personal relationships, the concept of focusing on what can be done “NOW” to improve our situation is critical.  This is the second part of a two-part series.  Hope you enjoy it.

Body example at age 25:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • I’m young.  I’ll live forever.  I can eat and do whatever.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • I’m in great shape.  In high school I learned early to take good care of my body.  I was heavy into various sports and wanted to keep my body fit.  I take in the proper portions of things.  I avoid heavy drinking, smoking or drugs.  I keep a good exercise, toning and aerobic balance.  I still play sports and go out dancing.  My recreational time isn’t artificially generated; it comes from within.

Body example at age 35:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • I’ve put on some weight.  Everyone does.  Probably because of the beer.  But my job and family life is bothersome.  I need the recreational drink to get through.  I know I need to do something about my body and health – but I don’t have any time to go to the gym or workout.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • I feel pretty wonderful.  I’ve kept good eating and exercise habits.  My family shares the same thoughts about a healthy lifestyle so it’s been very easy to stay on track.  My family is wonderful.  Although I don’t go out and play as much organized sports as I used to – I’ve blended many new choices into my busy schedule.  I am more involved in my children’s sports.  I coach and practice their sports with them.  As a family, we ride our bikes together.  I do much of my office networking in the corporate gym.  I arrange to take walking breaks with my mentors either around the office or around the lake area.  I also find excuses to walk – by either parking a few block away from my destination, walking to the corner store for those few items, walking the dog with the family, etc.

Body example at age 45:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • I can’t seem to do the things I used to do.  I’ve lost my job.  I don’t have money for a gym membership.  I have to stay focused in making some money and spending less.  The cheaper food items like pasta and cheap fast foods fit better in my financial situation than anything else.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • Starting a new company is challenging on both my funds and my time.  As I am getting older, my body metabolism is slowing down.   So it’s even more important to stay active and be aware of the chemicals or type of fuel I put into my body.  I read that it’s better to reduce my meal size, but supplement with various healthy fruits and nuts during the day to keep my metabolism burning throughout the day.  My family is having fun planting our own fresh vegetables and fruits.  And I will be downsizing my meal size, and adding some small snack portions.   Even though my caloric intake will be reduced, I’ll be eating something every 2-3 hours.  Although I was able to eat anything when I was younger (because of my metabolism), I’m be aware that processed foods are not the best fuel for my body at this age.  I’ll continue to increase my physical activities by incorporating my family as well as my new business networking groups.  I’ll make a point to have networking business meetings around an activity like walking, the gym, or hobby like golf, tennis, racket ball, etc.

Relationship example at age 25:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • I’m in my new place but don’t have any friends.  I couldn’t wait to get out of my parents’ house –but now I am lonely.   I can go to bars and pick-up friends.  That will help with the loneliness.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • Even though I am starting a new job in a new state, I am going to keep in touch with my past friends.  Facebook and social media makes that very easy.   I will be making new friends at the office as well.  I will be aware of the risk of mixing business with pleasure – and will be careful.  I will also keep an eye out for new friends as I pursue the things that I love.  When pursuing things that interest me, I will cross paths with folks of similar interest.  And that will make for good friendships.  If I keep doing the things I enjoy (at work, at play, at life), I will attract more things that fit my wonderful life.

Relationship example at age 35:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • My spouse and children have left me.  Everything I’ve work for is now gone.  .  All our friends are now HER friends.  I have to start all over again.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • My spouse and children are all growing into their own.  My spouse recently went through a “mid-career-crisis” period and is pursuing some of his/her own separate business interests.   We’re not growing apart – but we are expanding as a couple.  It is interesting to watch my spouse develop into a strong entrepreneur.  Even though the home-business is small and more like a hobby at this stage – we’ve been able to make it work.  We’ve agreed that while my spouse is exploring with this business, he/she will be the primary care-giver to the children.  But I also realize that this home-business and taking care of the children is a full-time job.  So when I am at home, we’ll split the chores and make it work.  If things don’t get accomplished, then it’s not a big deal.  The extra home-business income also helps with the extras in life.  Life is good.

Relationship example at age 45:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • My second spouse has left me.  I can’t keep a relationship.   What’s wrong with me.

What can I do NOW to assure that I continue to have a wonderful life?

  • Starting a new company is challenging but my spouse’s experience has proven invaluable.  We’ve been able to incorporate both companies.  Its lots of fun being partners in this adventure.

You can get here from there.

Even though everyone’s definition of a wonder life is different, we all know what a wonderful life feels like.   A wonderful life feels joyous, happy, and full of appreciation.  So – if we continue to live each day with the purpose of feeling joyous, happy, and appreciative – we’ll have a wonderful life.

But how do I transition from the depressed, no money, no family life version to the “wonderful life” version?  Well, maybe we can’t get to “wonderful life” right away.  But we can certainly get to “a better life” quickly.

So focusing on “What do I do now to have a better life” is a great transitional question.  It does two important things.  It validates that we’re at east with where we are today.  And it helps us continue to excitedly anticipate our next steps.  Both these steps are important aspects to attracting more exciting.

Let’s take one more look at the following scenario and see how we can turn it around (no matter where we are).

Body example at age 45:

What do I want to be when I grow up?

  • I can’t seem to do the things I used to do.  I’ve lost my job.  I don’t have money for a gym membership.  I have to stay focused in making some money and spending less.  The cheaper food items like pasta and cheap fast foods fit better in my financial situation than anything else.

What can I do NOW to have a better life?

  • I could be in better shape.  I have time to put some inexpensive exercise programs into my daily routines.  Walking and toning exercises don’t need to be done in a gym.  Getting into some league.  Planting my own vegetables and fruits will save me money as well as healthy lifestyle.  Cutting down on the alcohol and smoking will help my financial situation and allow me to afford healthy fuel for my body.  I’m feeling more energized and confident as my body is positively responding to my new healthier lifestyle.  I feel that my new positive attitude is contagious.  My spouse is noticing my new physique and positive attitude.   My family is joining me in my healthy lifestyle and exercise program.  I’m taking more interest in their individual self-improvement projects as well.   My confidence is proving positive in my interviews.  My life is beginning to turn around.

Conclusion:

So, it may not be critical to know “for sure” what you want to be when you grow up.

Who’s to say we’re even supposed to “grow up”?

Maybe we’re just supposed to “grow naturally” (i.e. “grow toward our nature”).

Growing toward our nature” should be pretty easy because (by definition) it’s already inherent in us.  We just continue to follow the path or the thought that feels better.  As we follow that better feeling path, we feel better and better and better and finally wonderful!

While these are just example, I hope they give you some ideas on how to take better advantage of what is happening NOW to lay a positive ground work for a wonder life.

About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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