Let’s face it:
In our busy world, people have more than they’ve ever had before. But with depression rates at a record high, it’s evident that something’s missing—something so profound that we can’t live happily without it.
Perhaps you feel it. You want something from deep within—inner peace, passion, and a life driven by a powerful purpose.
Within these pages awaits the unique and simple yet powerful Best-Life Process. It can help you uncover the very things that up to now have felt out of reach. You can have the life you dream of.
Inside Your Best Life Yet, you’ll discover the following:
the secret to lasting self-motivation
ways to refocus on what it is you really want … and receive it gracefully
a recipe for releasing your true potential
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)|
Read an Excerpt
YOUR Best Life YET
A Journey of Purpose and Passion
By Marcia Ullett
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Marcia Ullett, MA, LMFT, CPC
All rights reserved.
This Time Is for You
I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. —OPRAH WINFREY
Because you picked up this book, I know one thing about you: You are a seeker. There is probably something in your life that's not quite working, and you want to find a solution. Your gut is telling you to look until you find it. Feeling stuck is one of the most aggravating, unnerving feelings. It can tear at the fabric of your self-confidence and lead you into the dark shadows of self-doubt. And it can take all your strength to resist the urge to just run away from these feelings.
Even worse than feeling stuck is feeling useless, unproductive, and confused about what you're really supposed to be doing with your life. It's a miserable feeling, this place of uncertainty; yet it is truly precious because of the profound message it brings with it. It is telling you that you need something more, something different, or something that points you in one direction or another. It's telling you, quite simply, to find your purpose.
Purpose and Passion
Eckhart Tolle, in his book A New Earth, says that once we've met our needs for survival (such as food, clothing, and shelter), we are confronted with questions about meaning and purpose. We begin to search for a life of significance. Often, however, we get stuck in our daily chores and forget about purpose and meaning until we wake up one day dissatisfied with our lives.
The core of Your Best Life Yet is about discovering your purpose. I'll introduce you to the Best-Life Process, which will help move you toward not only discovering but also fulfilling your purpose. If you're anything like me, you might be thinking, Okay, fine. I'd like that. But it all sounds pretty lofty. In truth, getting to the point where you live purposefully is full of little, practical, and down-to-earth steps. In a sense this book is a map for you to follow—a map that will lead you directly to your heart and your intuition. Discovery will come easily for you if you want it and if you are willing to believe that everything in your life has led you to this very place.
Everyone Has a Purpose
Every person has a purpose. There are certain fundamental questions that we ask ourselves at some point in our lives: What is life about anyway? What am I supposed to be doing? Why am I here? These questions are, you might say, what the universe asks of each of us. It's up to you to find your answers.
No matter what you've done, how you've been hurt, or whom you might have hurt in your life, you have an absolute right to find your purpose. In fact, it is already something you know. You need not look outside yourself because that's not where you'll find it. You can, of course, become inspired by life around you or by others who lead purpose-driven lives. If you do the work outlined in this book and look within, you will come to know your purpose. You will be able to get in touch with a part of you that has been there from the beginning, waiting for you to notice. This is movement toward your most authentic self. What could be better than that?
Finding your purpose does not have to take long. In fact, once you commit to the idea, it can happen in a matter of weeks or months. It probably will not happen instantly, but some of you might be surprised at how close you already are to finding your purpose. After all, you've already made lots of decisions, big and small, based on what you believe is right for you. You've thought, at least on occasion, about what means the most to you. You've done this through your perceptions and experiences. You might even already have a sense of what you want to give to the world.
What Does Purpose Look Like?
So what happens, exactly? Once you've defined a purpose for yourself, how do you know whether it's real? How does it affect your life?
Let's say you've been feeling like your life is meant to be more fulfilling than the one you're living today. So you go through the first step of this process, which is to identify your values. Now you're really aware of what moves you, what makes it all feel important and personal to you. You probably feel pretty good about getting that far, and maybe it begins to make you feel like you've started something that makes sense to you. So you talk about your values to one of your most supportive friends, and he or she likes what you've said and sees the importance in what you've done so far. This alone can help you with your commitment to go forward and discover what it is you're yearning for.
Feelings of hope, maybe even excitement, begin to stir within you, and you feel a new energy. You begin to feel a strong desire to uncover and manifest your dreams and move forward. You are on fire. You feel more passionate than you ever thought possible because your creativity has been sparked. And you are only at the beginning of this process! Imagine what the future holds for you. You stop going through the motions and instead wake up happy and energized to move into the day.
Living with passion and purpose is about moving in the right direction—forward. You have a vision, and you know what you need to do to keep moving forward. Life feels real and meaningful. When you are involved in forward actions, you find yourself worrying less about the future (spending little or no time thinking all those thoughts that are based on your fears) and instead being absorbed in the present, in the task of working on behalf of your purpose and on behalf of your future. In short, you are working on behalf of your dreams. When you think about it, it just seems right, doesn't it? If you really want this, there is no time left to worry—only time to do what is before you.
As you put forward your desires and intentions, you begin to draw to you support in many forms. New choices open up to you, not only from within but almost magically, from the universe, as well. You meet like-minded people. You find ways to do whatever it is you are working toward. Solutions to problems present themselves. In short, your life opens up to you.
When you begin to do what you love, what you are truly passionate about, your life will be irresistibly pulled in directions you can't even begin to imagine.
—JANET BRAY ATTWOOD AND CHRIS ATTWOOD, THE PASSION TEST
Who Can Benefit from This Work
As a therapist and life coach, I see a lot of clients who yearn for something they can't seem to put their finger on. They come from all walks of life—rich, poor, young, and old—and from many different cultures as well.
I work with many young adults who want to launch their lives, looking for what might light them up and spur them on. I am always impressed when working with this age group because they know early in life that they want a higher purpose. They know that they want to move into their adult lives with excitement and fire. They tell me they want to move forward with intention.
Are you part of a couple? It could be that you and your significant other want to find a shared purpose or two that work well together. Think about how your lives can be even more fulfilling and close if you create a vision for your future that includes all that you want for yourselves and all that seems right for the two of you as a couple. You might not agree on everything, but if you support each other and your visions overlap and work well together, your relationship will benefit.
Parents: For Your Kids
If you want to teach your children about purpose, here's something to keep in mind: I have a friend who is a very successful doctor. He works with a lot of cutting-edge technologies and is dedicated. Helping his patients is a powerful purpose for him. When he was a child, his mom asked him and his siblings to make a list each night of five things they wanted from their lives. This started when they were very young, so in the beginning they listed things such as "ice cream" or "a new bicycle." As they got older, their lists began to include things like "making the football team" or "getting a date with Susan." Gradually they began to embrace bigger goals. I asked him how they are all doing today and whether they have lives filled with purpose. His response was very positive. Smart mother.
Parents: For Yourselves
Parenting is as much about what you do and how you live your life as it is about the kids. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or work outside the home, having your own purpose sends a powerful message to your children. Your purpose includes your children, no doubt, but it hopefully contains elements independent of parenting, such as self-care and self-expression. Discussing your purpose with your children and letting them see how you live it is powerful role modeling.
Evolving Purpose Seekers
Perhaps you had a purpose in your life, and now you need to add to it or discover your next purpose. Your purpose changes as you grow and as the circumstances of your life change. It's supposed to be that way. It's part of our evolution. The important thing is that you feel motivated by your life. I didn't get sober to feel blah about my life. My first purpose was probably to feel a little less miserable, to feel like I could bear waking up another day. After a while I began to yearn for something more for my life—something fulfilling. By the way, none of this could have been possible were I still drinking and using. Back then I was completely unaware of any of this. I couldn't see beyond my little world of fear, sadness, and self-pity. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with me. I couldn't even hear the voice of my heart telling me to find a different life.
You might be a parent whose children have left the nest, and you're asking yourself, What now? Even though you knew it was coming, this major change is likely a shock for you after so many years of childrearing. But it can be a wonderful time in your life—exhilarating and full of surprises and new beginnings. If you're thinking, I haven't worked in so long. I have nothing to offer—that could be your fear talking. Ask yourself, What would I be doing if I weren't afraid? How would I act? You might shock yourself again once you become aware of your many talents—the very ones you used for childrearing, for example.
People in Recovery from Addiction
Some of you might be going through other major life changes, including recovery from alcohol, drugs, or a behavioral addiction such as gambling. When I first got sober, I suddenly found myself with a very different moral compass; my values became paramount in my life, whereas I really hadn't given them much credence before that time. If you are in your first months of recovery, it's logical that your life looks very different through your new eyes. Life can be beyond better if you work on yourself and the issues you ignored while in active addiction.
Anyone Dealing with a Health Issue
Perhaps you have a chronic or life-altering health issue. It could be something like cancer or heart disease, or perhaps you lost a limb in a war. As difficult as this is, you are still alive. If you're still breathing, you can find a new purpose—a positive lifeline that will help you cherish your life. If your life has purpose and you have a positive plan to move forward, you can uncover many new possibilities.
People with Demanding Jobs
Maybe you have a big life but at great cost. It could be that you are longing to spend more time with your family, but your work schedule is too demanding. Maybe you have even made efforts to change your hours, but it has not made much of a difference so far. You might be thinking that it can't be done. It is a tall order, but impossible? The Best-Life Process will help you think outside this box. Certainly you'll never know if you don't try.
Maybe you are retired from your job and have no idea what to do with yourself now except maybe to go to the gym or play golf. Just filling your spare time doesn't really appeal to you. Maybe you're feeling that you'd like to open a whole new chapter of your life. That's a great idea. After all, retired is just retired from a job, not from life. Maybe it's time for your consciousness to expand. Maybe it's time for you to discover a whole new part of yourself that you had no idea was there because you had never really given it much thought.
Widows and Widowers
It takes time to be able to move on after losing a life partner. At first it seems impossible to believe that you can move on. Your life is forever altered, and it's possible that you don't want to or are not able to return to the life you once had. Looking at your values, working on your purpose, and creating a vision for your life will help you move on and find a new and rewarding life for yourself
The Best-Life Process
Regardless of where you are in your journey or whether any of the above descriptions fit you, you can learn the Best-Life Process and begin to experience a meaningful connection between work, self, relationships, and the other parts of your life. Each step is fairly simple and easy to understand. I recommend that you work them in order. They were created to build on each other, the previous step being the foundation for the next. Each step can be done according to your own clock. But to maintain the momentum and excitement, try to do at least one thing to move forward each day. Here is a snapshot of the process:
1. Know your values.
2. Discover your higher purpose.
3. Create your vision.
4. Determine your goals.
5. Leap into your action plan.
Seems simple enough, right? Before you get started on the process, though, take care of a little preparation. Ensure you are in the best shape mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally so that you can build and sustain a strong foundation on which to discover your purpose. This might sound like a tall order. It is. But it's doable. The goal is progress. If you expect perfection, you will likely feel stressed, and few of us can be creative and lead with our hearts when we're too stressed.
The Best-Life Process doesn't require that you have all your ducks in a perfectly straight row. It just requires that you are aware that some of your ducks might be out of order and need some attention. Some of you might want to skip the preparation and launch right into the process. This is probably a sign that you should slow down and consider some of the points in chapter 2. Remember, no one is suggesting that you be perfect. The preparation portion of the process is there to make you aware of some common issues and to help you make some progress in dealing with them so they won't get in your way as you move forward.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. —ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Creating the foundation for your life going forward is kind of like building a foundation for your house; it needs to be solid or storms might cause the house to crumble. Likewise, if the foundation of your life isn't ready for the challenges that come your way, it might fall apart during hard times.
What are some common elements that could destroy a foundation? Fear is a big one. Others are impatience, dishonesty (or lack of honesty), anger, lack of commitment, poor physical stamina, and a negative attitude. Whatever your shadow side looks like, there are a few ways to bring it into the light and make friends with it so it does not have the power to hurt you. In chapter 3 you'll learn some solid tools you can use to overcome these foundation destroyers. For now, let's take a closer look at some of the more common human issues.
Fear: Friend or Foe?
As you consider making changes in your life, you might feel fear lurking in the shadows of your mind. Fear usually raises its head when you pause for a bit to explore new territory. Fear is a part of the human condition and often comes with change. It's powerful enough to convince you to stay put.
Fear has many masks. It's clever enough to disguise itself as anger, sadness, hopelessness, and an assortment of other emotions. I have felt a lot of fear in my life, usually in the form of restlessness, anger, and sloth. I just thought I was fickle, mad, and lazy. The fact was, though, that I was terrified—of failure and of success.
Excerpted from YOUR Best Life YET by Marcia Ullett. Copyright © 2013 Marcia Ullett, MA, LMFT, CPC. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Allen Berger, PhD.................... xi
Part I Setting the Stage for Success....................
Chapter 1 This Time Is for You.................... 3
Chapter 2 Preparation.................... 13
Chapter 3 Tools for Your Journey.................... 25
Part II The Best-Life Process....................
Chapter 4 Step 1: Know Your Values.................... 43
Chapter 5 Step 2: Discover Your Higher Purpose.................... 57
Chapter 6 Step 3: Create Your Vision.................... 71
Chapter 7 Step 4: Determine Your Goals.................... 95
Chapter 8 Step 5: Leap into Your Action Plan.................... 111
Part III Putting It All Together....................
Chapter 9 Your Life in Balance.................... 131
Chapter 10 Onward.................... 141
Connect with Marcia Ullett.................... 145
About the Author.................... 151