5 Lessons I Learned From A Month of Soul Searching

Hey everyone! I am back writing. I have been gone a while because I have needed to take some time to myself. You see. I was getting really caught up in creating results and trying to launch everything into a business that I was beginning to lose track of what really mattered to me. I began to lose purpose and meaning. I felt like my time was being stretched like taffy and I was getting thinner and thinner. However, the past month or so I have learned some valuable lessons that I want to share with you now. My hope is that you won’t make the same mistakes as I did and be better prepared.

1. Before you chase after your dreams, you need to know what you want.

While I was blogging a month ago I was working on a business plan to get my health coaching business started. The biggest roadblock I was encountering was determining who were my customers. This always stumped me and every time I thought I knew, I didn’t. In order to discover my customers I needed to know my niche or even just who I was and what I was doing. I came to the conclusion I didn’t really know what niche or even what kind of coaching business I wanted. At this point I still don’t know completely, but I am beginning to find a great joy in the adventure that lies ahead to find out.

2. You can love a job you hate.

The lesson learned here is kind of a sad one. I currently work with people with disabilities and about a month ago I was hating my job. Yes, I was helping these people and I could feel proud that I was making a difference, but I didn’t like it. I wanted out. However, I came to the realization that if I couldn’t be happy at this job, I couldn’t be happy with any job. I decided to change my attitude and put more effort in my job. I wanted to embrace it. The past couple of weeks I have grown to love my job. In fact, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I learned that any bad job can be turned into a good one if learn to totally immerse yourself in it. Putting your whole effort into it and allowing it to change you for the better.

3. Time is a 3-dimensional space.

Many people feel they don’t have enough time on their hand. The truth is most people take more time than they need to. There are countries where high paying full time employees only work 30 hours per week. This is the principle of immersion. If you completely immerse yourself in your work or play or family, you don’t create more time, you create an experience worth more time. Most people imagine time as a pie chart that must be divided up. While in reality time has depth to it similar to a real pie. I know don’t think about how to shorten or lengthen my time on something, rather I ask myself: “How can I make this a deeper experience?”

4. Make Priorities

The past month I have heard a lot about the rule of the top 5. The rule is simple. Make a list of your top 25 priorities and then narrow it to your top 5. Then keep your top 5 as your priority throughout the day. As I have implemented this I have felt less stressed about getting things done. I feel more satisfied with my day.

5. Take time to reflect.

Before this last month, and still now, I would read and hear things that would tell me not to waste time and get up and go after your dreams. Go and create something. To me this always seemed like a urgent call, that I needed to immersed in my dreams now. However, this is the same trap that leaves college students and middle age adults asking “what am I doing?” or “Is this what I wanted?” We feel so rushed to make decisions about our future that we never take time to reflect and see if the direction we are heading is the one we want. Even when we know what we want, we need to take time to slow down and examine ourselves. We need to look at our path and see if the path we are on isn’t leading to happiness, but is happiness. I am not talking about instant gratification, rather we live the life we can live till die yet seek for more. If we never reflect we will never know if we are on or off course. I now try to take time to see where my life is going and discover what I want.

I don’t imagine this being the last time I will learn these lessons, but I look forward to using and teaching these in the future. Time is a valuable thing. We shouldn’t waste it, but more importantly we should always savor it. Each new day is such a wonderful gift. It is a gift to us and our families. It is my hope that we may all learn to immerse ourselves in the present and find joy and peace here and now.

-Sean Merritt