A client stopped in the other day to share a positive story. She didn’t have a booked training session. And she was in her street clothes but went out of her way to share how training with us for the past year has changed her life.
During the conversation certain themes came up that summarized what allows for a happy life. This list isn’t complete by a long shot. But sometimes it’s easier to start with the basics. Sometimes it makes more sense to start with a few things than to try and do everything.
Here’s a quick replay of three elements that will lead to happiness.
1. Invest in Yourself
Would you bet on yourself? It doesn’t matter what your profession, do you consider yourself among the best? Or do you consider yourself to be the best?
I remember being at a business event in Las Vegas and the presenter asked us if we would bet on ourselves. And he asked the room filled with hundreds of coaches and trainers who was the best. You can imagine that’s an usual situation for many people to be in.
If you put your hand up to identify yourself as the best does that make you arrogant? Or cocky? I don’t think so. Only if you believe you created yourself and you alone are responsible your accomplishments.
Otherwise if you give credit to God for your existence and for others along the way for the skills and abilities you’ve developed than you aren’t cocky or arrogant. You are simply appreciative of the gifts and opportunities you have had.
And you also realize that you have a responsibility to develop your gifts and abilities as much as possible. This not only helps us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be but also we are then better for everyone else that depends on us in some capacity. We are better spouses. We are better friends. We are better co-workers.
As you can imagine this perspective is associated with a more positive self-image of ourselves. And when we view ourselves as worthwhile and unique we then see not only the benefit but the necessity to invest in ourselves.
Think about this another way.
Imagine you bought a new vehicle. How likely are you to take care of your new car? Do you park far away from everyone else? Do you ban food and drink from your vehicle? You wash and clean your car more frequently compared to the old vehicle you had?
Or if you are a home owner do you take car of your yard? Do you get the irrigation system blown out in the fall? Do you decorate your home for the holidays? Do you put a little more time and attention into taking care of your home compared to a hotel room, a dorm room or maybe a condo you rented in the past?
Let’s go one step further.
Imagine a new mom with her first child. What quality of food will this mom choose for her infant? Do you think this mom might make special preparations and arrangements for this little person? Everything from special clothes, to car seats and laundry detergents are readied to make sure this new baby has the best the mom can provide.
Do you see a trend?
The more value we ascribe to something the more we will invest in it. The longer something will be in our lives the more we need to take care of it. Our body is the only place we will ever live in our whole life. And we need to recognize not only that we are good but unique and highly valuable.
What value would you put on yourself? Are you worth $20, $50 or $100 per day? Everyone will be a little different. Make sure you take some time to invest in yourself. This may be something to help you develop yourself and be a better person. Obviously from our perspective fitness coaching is one the best investments you can make in yourself.
2. Live Now
The other day I called a college buddy of mine. We were the two Canadians at this American university. And we were room-mates and pledged the same fraternity together. So it’s safe to say we knew each other very well. Even after 15-20 years we can pick up the phone and reminisce about events that happened when we were in school together.
Anyways, Frank was telling me how he and his wife planned to start travelling more. Not in 5 years. Not in a year or two. But now. You see they have a 16 year old son who’s turning 17. And soon this 17 year old will be working for the summer and then going to college. Pretty soon family vacations will just not happen.
Frank recognized this and decided to take action now. And this resonated with me. Not because we’re kicking Olivia out the house next year at the age of four but because some opportunities are rare.
I remember another friend, Ben, asking me once ‘You know what life’s for? It’s for living.’ And he’s right. It’s very easy to put off things that we can do tomorrow. And sometimes we think that different experiences will happen again if we don’t take advantage the first time.
Please don’t interpret this is a free pass to shirk all your responsibilities in the pursuit of scratching everything off your bucket list. Instead what I’m saying is that we need to recognize which events in our life may only happen once. A relative’s 90th birthday. Your best friend’s wedding. The birth of your children. Hopefully we make time for all of these and then some. Because life is too short and the future is promised to none.
3. Protect Your Time
This one ties in with the previous tip. If you are living your life you are most likely protecting your time. We need to think of time as one of the most valued things we have. Let me give you an example.
As a business person I’m always looking at growth strategies. How can we help more people live the best life possible? And in order to achieve that we will make investments in our team and clients that hopefully allow us to more effectively deliver better results in less time.
Most of the time I believe we make great decisions regarding the direction we are going at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. But once in a while things don’t work out as expected and we don’t see the return that was projected. And this might involve a financial shortfall.
I’m not too concerned about this because we can always generate more revenue. What I would be concerned about is wasting time and not changing course once we realize something isn’t working.
Since last year there is something I have made a concerted effort to do. And this is to spend money to save time. And not the opposite. Let me give you an example.
I love travel. And I really enjoy scouring websites and checking out flights, packages, hotels and everything to find the best vacation for my family and myself. But sometimes I can spend hours doing all this research. And while I may find this fun in a way there are better things I could be doing like playing with my daughter, calling an old friend, spending time with my wife or just reading a book. I now try and limit myself to an initial search and then pull the trigger on the trip. Not only has this freed up time for more quality activities it has saved me money as fares go up and packages sell out.
Take a look at your life and try and see where you are spending time to save money. Is it worth it? Are you really saving money? Could you pay someone else to do this work for you? And what could you do with the extra time you’ve saved?
One final way to look at this point is courtesy of a business coach I worked with a few years ago. He used the term ‘time vampires’ because they steal your valuable time much like a vampire would steal your blood. Take a look at your own life and see if you have any time vampires. If so, consider cutting ties with them or at minimum control how much and the quality of time you give them. Because unlike a bad business decision you can’t make more time in the future.
Going forward look to invest in yourself, live your life now and protect your time. Taking these three steps will be a great start to living a happier and more fulfilled life.