As a Life Coach, my ultimate goal (and my life’s purpose) is to help people live their most joyous life. Many of the tools I use help clients let go of painful thoughts, of either the past or the future, that spin on repeat in their brain. Other tools are more meditative and help them live in the present moment and shift their awareness to watch what their mind is doing, what emotions are flowing in the body, and notice the physical sensations corresponding to that in their body. Once they’ve grounded in this from an observer perspective, they can calmly and peacefully be centered in the present.
Being completely present and experiencing moments as they unfold allows us to also be grateful for the gifts here and now, and find serenity at home with ourselves.
For me, personally, I’ve found my elation comes from exploring and experiencing new things. Whether that’s through new foods, new activities, new cultures or new places, it is in those moments that I am most present and feel most alive. Doing something new requires my focus and a heightened awareness. My mind doesn’t go to the past or future, it stays in each millisecond as I actively participate.
For example, when we were on African safari in Tanzania, I was so enthralled with the watching the lions interact with each other, their smooth movements, their massive and muscular size, the flies on their faces, the yellow in their teeth, the softness of their orange fur, how enormous and expansive their yawns were, and how vibrating their deep voices. I am sure we stayed there for hours and yet it felt like minutes…to the point where we only left because our poor tracker, Bilal, had to urinate and he wisely chose not to do it in front of a pack of lions.
Visiting somewhere new allows my mind to watch in amazement and appreciation while soaking in the ambiance of sights, sounds, tastes, smells and often touch. It’s exhilarating!
Traveling the world, while it would be a dream come true, isn’t a reality for me at this present moment. It’s for this reason, I’ve challenged myself to find something new to experience each day here in Southern California…and to share it with you in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to also add something new to each day. No matter how small it might seem, the act of creatively seeking a new experience builds new thoughts in our minds, and the act of doing creates awareness and presence. Both done frequently, I’m betting will have the side effect of elation.
Learning something new has the added benefit of personal growth. Often, and especially once we have achieved a certain level of societal success, we become content moving in auto-pilot and our risk-aversion to failure outweighs the reward of potential growth. The higher we climb, the more we feel a stronger expectation from “everyone” that we must always be successful. It is then that we stop being comfortable with, and welcoming of, failure.
A former mentor, Harry Conlin, once told me early in my career, “Dare to fail.”
I am daring to fail both in the new activities I will try and even in the challenge of doing something new every day. In doing, I will gain so much more than resting comfortably on my complacency.
What would you do if you couldn’t think the thought “I might fail?”
Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you care to follow my adventures, I’ve created a new and dedicated blog site, Elation Explorer, which already has a few entries starting on Monday. Or you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook.