What is easier than you think? Having it all!


Most of us have given it thought.  Most of us have even talked about it, dreamed about it.  But if pressed, most of us would probably admit that deep down, we don’t really believe in it.

What am I talking about? The idea of having it all:  Great health, a vibrant community life, a nurturing intimate circle, meaningful work, a secure future. Somehow, we’ve accepted the limitation that something has to give.

Certainly this was the case for me. But my belief did in fact change. And once the belief changed, everything changed. The change in my belief didn’t happen as a starburst.  There was no magical moment.  No wands were involved!  In fact, assembly was required. Because before I could get to that place of knowing, I had to be willing to let go of some very comfortable excuses.  And I had to re-focus myself in areas that supported a better result.

Think of it like being a farmer.  Our life isn’t the plants, the rain or the sunshine.  Our life is the soil.  We have to get the soil right before anything else can really flourish. Oh a few plants can come through, even thrive.  But they have to work so much harder and they zap all of the available energy resulting in a very sparse garden. I learned that if I focused on taking care of the soil, the rest became much easier.

How exactly do you do that? It’s not what you might expect.  It certainly wasn’t what I expected.  But I did find 5 keys that are serving me and the results have really been astonishing.  Curious? Good! That is one of the keys!

keysThat’s right! The first key is to have a curious expectation.  When you have a curious expectation, you are anticipating.  That means you are scanning and searching and moments that matter are not going to pass you by.  You were looking for them.  You expected them.  Even before you knew what they would be.

The second key is to practice having a joyful response to everything in life.  That can be a tough thing to do.  Not everything that happens around us is wonderful.  Everything does, however hold the potential to bring something wonderful for or from us.  And there is the joy.  If we see the thing that happens as a bearer of a gift, we look past the pain to see the gift.  Gratitude is another way of describing this.  But it’s an essential key.

There you have the foundation: curious expectation and a joyful response.  Perspective and mindset.

What’s at the center? The third key is being connected in the moment. This is what I believe is the essence of what we think of as balance in our life.  If you ARE wherever you are, then you are balanced.  You are aware, you are centered and you are actively engaged.  That’s balanced.  Balance isn’t that everything is equal.  Balance is that everything is working together.  It is also the epicenter of “having it all”.  What is the point of having anything if you can’t experience and enjoy it?

What is the key to connecting? Consider that it just might be disconnecting.  That’s right.  You can’t be where you are if your mind or your heart are somewhere else.  I once heard someone say that for a vacation to be a real holiday, it needed to be more than a change in geography.  So true!  If you are just physically showing up, then you can’t possibly connect to where you are.   This is written here from the perspective of place but it applies across relationships as well; personal, professional and everything in between!

The last two keys are a bit more pragmatic but just as important. The fourth key is to begin early and the fifth key is to develop sustainable energy.  You need to start early and be able to go long.  That takes energy.  Going back to our analogy of life as the soil, it means there has to be some slow release nutrients involved.  How do you do this? By taking care of yourself first.

In Robin Sharma’s success programs, one of the actions he encourages people to take is to start their day at 5:00 am.  My initial reaction was skeptical.  I didn’t see how that would make a difference; we’re not all morning people after all.  What I’ve learned is that it’s less about the hour and more about the sacredness of personal time.  Most of us do start our days at 7:00 or 8:00.  And we’re starting when everyone else is starting.  It’s much more challenging to protect that sacred space we all need for thought, for introspection, for prayer, for centering.  Following his advice, amazing changes started happening with my productivity and my overall sense of well being.  Why? Because I had created that space for myself and let my own vision create the day before it began.

The power that comes from that personal focus also delivers a longer burn for energy.  But we still need to keep the fires going.  And that’s where our personal habits come into the equation.  When we eat well, when we move, when we rest well – all of that works together to make our bodies run efficiently.  Unfortunately, it’s one of the first places where we deny ourselves.  We don’t “have the time” or “the money” or “the energy”. Sound familiar? I didn’t think I did either.  Until I ran out of all of them because I didn’t take the time, invest the money or cherish the energy.  There is nothing more precious we can give ourselves than the energy to do the things we want to do; the things we must do.

These are my five keys. Perhaps they are yours as well.  If you already “have it all” I salute you.  But if not, here’s my challenge: pick just one and work on it over the next 30 days, see how things shift for you.  Imagine that you have it all now but that the picture is just out of focus so you can’t see it.  With each of these five keys, you sharpen the focus. Once focused, your life is exactly the vision you imagined it could be.

Crave what’s next, practice gratitude, be connected, start early and take care of yourself along the way.

Sound good? It’s going to feel even better!

Enjoy the journey.  Begin now. Live today like you want tomorrow to be.