Monday, December 30, 2013

Lynne's Three Life Lessons for the New Year


Kent Julian, a fabulous speaker and friend, recently asked a question on his blog;  What would you say to help people live into their bigger story?   I love this question!  It recognizes that we are all living a story for others whether we mean to or not.  Secondly, it acknowledges that we have a large measure of control over that story.  Of course, we can't engineer all the circumstances of our lives.  We don't choose our families and we certainly don't have control over other's choices.  However, we can determine to a large extent our reaction to the circumstances of our lives.  Here are my three life lessons that steer my course and I believe help me live into my bigger life story.

Live Life on Purpose 

So often people let life happen rather than making it happen.  This has been the greatest lesson I've learned.  My early years were spent wishing, waiting and wondering if I'd be able to accomplish my dreams.  I thought that the stars had to align, the universe had to  be generous and the right people had to wander into my life.  I gave away my power to anyone and everyone.  I didn't set goals and I certainly didn't create an action plan to make my dreams reality.  I had an exhaustive to-do-list and I was very busy but without any clear direction.  Living life intentionally has changed my focus and my life.

Look for the Opportunity in Everything 

Living intentionally doesn't mean that I don't face opposition, failure and tragic circumstances.  Of course my life, like yours, has events and relationships that are discouraging and disappointing.  Sometimes I can make changes that improve the situation.  Sometimes I can't.  But I can say that if I look hard enough there is always an opportunity in the midst of it all.  Maybe it means that I change my perspective.  Maybe it means that I learn something that I can share with someone else who is going through a similar concern.  Always it means that I have grown and changed in someway for the better.

Learn Something New Everyday

There have been times in my life when I tended to cling to the same routine, the same habits and the same environment.  My goal was to feel comfortable and keep the status quo.  Being open to learning means being open to change.  It means moving beyond your comfort zone into new territory.  This is true in simple things as well as in the bigger events in my life.  Here's a recent example of my being resistant to change and learning.  I've driven the same way to work for 20+ years.  It involves traveling down a winding, dark two way road before the sun is up.  It is fine early in the school year, but once we move into the winter months and the weather involves rain, fog and even occasionally, snow the drive in the dark is treacherous.  Nevertheless I persisted in traveling the same road believing that to change and drive on the expressway to  my work would be even worse.  This year when my arrival time was made even earlier, I finally decided to try it one day and see if the drive was better.  Guess what?  It is a huge improvement!!  Why did it take me so long to try something that was so simple?  It was an unwillingness to learn and try something new.  Learning something new is an ongoing challenge but I continue to look for ways to learn and change even though it means doing things that are uncomfortable.

What about you?  What advice would you give to others to help them live their bigger life story?

Want to spend an entire day learning to live intentionally, finding your calling and making it a reality?  Join us for the Called Woman Conference-The Reinvention Convention 2014:

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  1. I can't decide which life lesson I like most. They are all so powerful!

    I think "finding the opportunity in everything" has been the one I've had to work on the hardest. I love the phrase, "That's not a problem; it's an opportunity looking for a solution." Puts this concept into perspective.

    Great post, Lynne!

  2. Lynne, your experiences so mirror my own life as I learned to be and live more authentically. Thanks so much for this wonderful, inspiring advice, my friend!