Monday, July 24, 2006

1st chapter of my book--yet to be published

Chapter 1
Why Are You Where You Are?
To understand where we want to go we first have to understand where we are and how we got here. In my years of work in outside sales I have spent more than one hundred nights per year in hotels. I have my favorite hotel chains and usually stay in the same brand of hotel. The downside to this is waking up and not knowing where I am. Usually this occurs on the fourth or fifth consecutive night on the road. I wake up look around and can't remember which city I am in.
The interior of the room is the same as the interior of the rooms I have stayed in the previous several nights. But where am I? I'm never really sure until I am fully awake and look at the room key or my day planner to determine exactly which city I am in. Knowing where I am is compounded when I leave the hotel for dinner and return and can't remember my room number. Five nights, five different room numbers. "Let's see was it 325 or 315, no wait that was last night."
Just how did we get here? How did we get to this place where we are so unhappy, so unfulfilled? For most of us it has happened over time. We are consumed by the demands of daily life. In the book First Things First by Stephen Covey, the author talks about living by the compass and not the clock. Taking care of what is important instead of focusing on what is urgent.
There are so many demands on our time we often feel we are constantly running to the next 'urgent' task in our life. We forget to take the time to look at the important things and prioritize the important over the urgent. We are so busy with these daily demands we forget to stop and look around and ask ourselves, "Why am I where I am?" Most often it is because we have not paid attention to how we got here let alone why we are in this place.
The rut we find ourselves in has gotten very deep and very steep. And it may not seem worth the effort to get ourselves out. We are content to stay where we are no matter how unhappy we may be. It's just easier to park ourselves and have our own personal pity party rather than actually do something about our situation. We sit feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling there is no sense in trying to change. It won't make any difference if we try. So we choose the status quo rather than work towards fulfilling our dreams.
So many times I have spoken to individuals who are absolutely miserable with their current station in life. They are working in a dead end job they hate. With no prospects of advancement or fulfillment in their lives, they are simply going through the motions of living. Dragging themselves out of bed each morning, rushing off to a day of unhappiness at work. Feeling their only purpose is to bring home a paycheck. Then coming home and sitting through hours of mindless television before retiring for a night of unrest as they toss and turn over the day's futility.
(need an illustration)
It absolutely amazes me how these people complain and carry on about how truly miserable and discontented they are with their current situation. Yet they are not willing to do anything about changing. Too tired, too complacent or just too lazy, I'm not sure which. I am sure of one thing--As long as they don't do anything different--nothing will change.
What about you? Are you in the rut, unhappy with your lot in life? Are you miserable? Let’s begin to figure out why. When did you begin to feel unfulfilled? Think about the last time you were really happy with your life and the direction it was taking. For you, it may be easy to identify life-changing events, which forced you to make decisions taking you in a direction you had not planned. Or you may have to go all the way back to your childhood to find a time when you were really happy. It’s possible you have never felt truly fulfilled in your life. It is important to identify the beginning of your feeling of being unfulfilled. So you can begin to understand what it is which would make you feel fulfilled with your life.
What caused you to continue on this path of unhappiness? Life can get in the way of living our dreams and fulfilling our passion. It may be circumstances, which were out of our control. Financial need, family obligations or the demands of others may have caused you to fall away from the path, which you really wanted to follow.

Whatever the case--change begins today. Right here, right now. Procrastination and hesitation are now over and the time for change is now! As you begin this journey to a more fulfilled and passionate life there will be many detractors. Those things may include: current job security, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, outsiders telling you it can't be done, among many others.
Understand, the course you have chosen will not be easy. If it were you would have done it long ago. In the chapters, which follow, we will help you understand your passion, qualify it as a true direction for your life and help you to get started in realizing your dreams.

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