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Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 6 9/10/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

Service Door Painting

Chapter 6 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Contribution

“As you grow as an individual, an amazing thing tends to happen: you have more of yourself to give. It’s an incredible cycle: the more you grow the more you can help others grow and the more you help others grow, the more you’ll grow in return.”

This week I feel like I am preaching to the choir. So many people that I am now in contact with on a regular basis contribute regularly to others and their community. You know and experience this wonderful cycle of giving.

I feel as though I am just at the beginning of prioritizing contribution in my life. I for so long rationalized that “writing the check” to organizations was enough. I have not stopped doing that, it fact John and I give to more meaningful causes then we ever have, but contribution is so much more.

If you are contributing to individuals and your community, keep doing what you’re doing! Your contribution makes a difference!

If you are like me and for so long talked about it, but did not do it. JUST DO IT! That is now my motto. Find someone to do it with. Its always easier with a friend!

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Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 5 9/9/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

raise the bar

Chapter 5 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Growth

This was a great reminder for me. I am at a place that I am taking small steps and it is time for me to raise my standards and bring my growth to another level. Like all aspects of this process it is exciting and challenging. But I need to sit down and add to the picture of my future to give me the strength and excitement to move forward.

Constant Improvement: Raise Your Standards

“so if you want to continue to grow, you must continue to raise your standards.”

“Getting outside your comfort zone is an important part of growth.”

“Over time, your gradually raised standards will add up to changes larger than you could have imagined.”

Consistent Action

“The key to real growth is consistency. Consistent gradual action taken every day is the way we changed our lives. It feels like a slow climb at first, but once you build enough momentum you won’t want to stop growing. It’s the growth that makes you feel alive.”

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Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 5 9/7/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

feet sand

Chapter 5 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Growth

Now that you have taken the time to paint a picture of what you want your future to look like, the next questions is “what small thing can I do today that will move me in that direction?” What is my next small step?….then, what is my next small step?…what is my next small step?…

Take Action

“Once you decided to make a change in your life – once you have enough leverage – it’s important to take immediate action towards making the change.”

“…you should take one small baby step in the right direction. You must build some momentum first. Otherwise, you will expereince large amounts of dissatisfaction and your change won’t last.”

“We didn’t know that making this many changes was possible in such a short period of time, but when we look back at it, we’re incredibly thankful we decided to take some gradual daily actions that changed everything for us in just a couple years.”

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Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 5 9/5/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

woman painted desk

Chapter 5 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Growth

Deciding to Change & Finding Leverage

“The first step in any change, big or small, is making the decision to change. We’re talking about making a real decision – one in which you make the change a must in your life – not something you should change someday when it becomes convenient for you.”

“Leverage is your ability to associate enough satisfaction with the change that you have no choice but to make the change a must in your life.”

“…the satisfaction you’ll experience on the other side of the change is so high that you must make the change a reality.”

This is what the “Life Planning” process did for me. One of the steps in the process has you think about what you would like your life to look like in 10, 20, 30 years. It made me think about the fact that I want to be living a very positive and active lifestyle when I am 70 years old. It has given me a picture of a future that I want, but I have to make changes in my life today to ensure that it happens. A great example of this happened just a few months ago. I had very severe back pain to the point where I could only lay down. I went to a physical therapist and he said that it all pointed to bad posture. This was no surprise to me because I have had bad posture most of my adult life. But suddenly I had the motivation to do something about it. Why the motivation now? Because I have a picture in my mind of dancing and having fun in my 70’s and 80’s and I know if I don’t take care of my back now, I will not be dancing then. FYI – there are a number of free life planning tools available. If you are interested, let me know.

“Whenever a change doesn’t last, it’s always because the person doesn’t see enough long-term benfit from the change.”

“But once you can associate an immense amount of satisfaction with the change, it becomes a must for you.”

“To get the leverage, we started to associate dissatisfaction with our current sates. Then we began to assocate immense amounts of satisfaction with the daily changes we had made.”

Paint a picture of your future! What does it look like? Does it get you excited enough to make the changes you need to make today?

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Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 5 9/3/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

baby steps

Chapter 5 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Growth

****This weeks chapter gets me pumped! It gets me pumped because I have seen this chapter come to life in my own life, I am seeing it come to life in the ladies I am coaching, and I am also challenged to continue to grow as well.

What do you think about the author’s definition of the meaning of life? “…the meaning of our lives is to grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways.”

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying; and if you’re dying, then, by definition, you’re not living a meaningful life.”

It can be hard for us to see that we are “dying” in our 30’s, 40’s & 50’s, but I right out of college I worked at a Retirement Community and the above quote really came to life. I saw individual that were done growing, and they were literally dying. But I saw others who were determined to grow and impact other people and they “lived” until the day their body’s died. I have made the decision now that I am in my 40’s to never stop growing and to surround myself with others that are living and growing!

“Thus, we’ll be focusing on the most impactful changes in your life: the baby steps – because it’s the baby steps that generally allow you to take the giant leaps.”

Daily Incremental changes
“Most change happens gradually. Wherein you don’t take a one-time giant leap, but you make small, gradual changes in your life, which, over time, amount to massive changes in your life.”

“As you make these changes, your day-by-day life does change, but when you look back through life’s rearview mirror, everything is completely different.”

I just took a look in my rearview window just recently. I looked back one year and 5 months and was amazed at what I saw. In April of 2011 I started being Coached by Joy Wilson. At that time I was not having much “fun” in life, I had all but given up on dreaming of what I wanted in my future, and I said I would NEVER own a business. Through life experiences, new people I have met, and my intentionality through coaching I can say that all of those things have changed for the better! John and I are spending time with fun people, finding things that we enjoy doing (me and a group of ladies are starting a belly dancing class this week), dreaming of what could be down the road and yes, we started our own business. And that is just the start! I am more confident, I am healthier, I am more disciplined, and we have a financial plan. And it’s all goes back to small steps I took for the last 17 months.

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Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 4 9/2/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

kayak falls

Chapter 4 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Passions

Turning Your Passion into Your Mission

“If you want to learn how to turn your specific passion into your mission, the fastest, most efficient was to do so is to emulate someone who is already doing it.”
“Your assignment is to do the same thing; find at least three people who are making a living doing what you’re passionate about.”
“What’s important is that you find some people who are doing what you want to do and you learn from them, soaking up their knowledge and then taking massive action.”

****Light bulb moment for Jen: I need to do this! I need to find time to do this! I need to schedule doing this on my calendar or it will not happen!
“Hell yeah it’s easier said than done – we know because we’ve done all of these things ourselves in the last two years.”

“Of course it wasn’t easy, it took a lot of action to remove those anchors, it took a lot of courage to reject certain social imperatives so we could live meaningful lives. But it was worth it, and it’s worth it for you too – you deserve to love your mission, you deserve to live a meaningful life.”

****I am realizing more and more that there are very few people who are willing to do what it takes to life a meaningful life. IT IS HARD! It is hard to stay motivated. It is hard to stay disciplined. It is hard. But it is so worth it. John and I have not arrived, but we have made it to the point where we are seeing change. We are loving life more. Life is simpler, but better.

Keep going! Don’t give up!

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Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 4 9/1/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

thoughts

Chapter 4 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Passions

Finding Your Passion

“What would you do with your life if money wasn’t as object? Most people who are searching for their passion are still deeply anchored to some (if not all) of the four anchors mentioned above, which causes them to articulate a fairly common response: I don’t know. If you don’t know, it’s likely because you’re still anchored.”

Write down your answers to the following:
When was the last time you felt overwhelmed with excitement?
What were five other (different) experiences like this?
Why were you excited each of those times?
Which experiences were you excited about for the longest period of time?
Was there a common thread among the things that excited you?
What did excitement look like? (How did your physiology change in these situations? Posture? Facial expressions? Breathing? Heart rate? What else?)

****Please don’t rush through this. If you are not sure what you would do if money was not an issue, take time to reflect on the above questions. John and I were just talking at dinner last night how we do not take the time or even appreciate the concept of stopping and thinking, rolling things over and over in our minds, picking them apart piece by piece. I think our busy culture is in conflict with this type of thinking, but it is so valuable! Think about it and don’t let it go until you start seeing pieces come together.

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Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 4 8/29/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

Moving Couch

Chapter 4 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Passions

Removing the Anchor of Certainty
“Certainty feels nice – it makes you feel comfortable, it makes you feel warm and fuzzy – but it’s often the biggest underlying reason you don’t make the changes you want to make in your life. That is, you’re not happy with your current situation, but you’re comfortable enough today for something that could potentially be less comfortable tomorrow, thus you don’t change. In other words, you associate more pain with changing than you associate pleasure with the change.”

This one is a tough one. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure jump out at me! I guess it is about focusing on the pleasure that comes with the change. Hmmmm (That’s me thinking)!

Removing the Anchor of Money. We recommend the following changes:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Sell your house.
  • Get rid of cable at home.
  • Cancel your bills (other than utilities).
  • Get rid of the Internet at home.
  • Get rid of your TV.
  • Sell or donate anything you don’t use.
  • Stop buying material possessions.
  • Pay off, sell, or get rid of your car.
  • Walk instead of drive when possible.

John and I have started the process of tackling some of these. I have not started “walk instead of drive when possible”. I think I am going to try to work on that one. What do you think of this list?

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Coach Jen Coaching Simplify

Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 4 8/27/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

escape key

Chapter 4 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life: Passions

“Unless you’re doing something with your life you’re passionate about, you will not feel fulfilled, you will not experience a meaningful life. This is often the root cause of that empty feeling so many people experience.”

Removing Anchors to Find Your Passion:
“It is often difficult to discover your passions because you’re stuck in the vapid muck of your daily routine. It’s easy to embrace the uninspiring lifeless cycle of your everyday work. Lather, rinse, repeat. It seems too easy. That’s because it is too easy. It’s easy to get anchored down by our daily lives, and it’s much harder to free yourself of those anchors.”

*****This is key! My life was so cluttered with “things to do”, “stuff I wanted”, “stuff I had”, “maintenance on the things I had”, “things I felt obligated to do”, and on and on. I had so much “stuff” around me that I could not and did not have time to see anything else. Simplifying in life (and that will look different for everyone) is so important because then you start to have time to discover your passions and start to live them out!
Removing the Anchor of Identity:
“People get so wrapped up in their vocation as their identity that it’s hard for them to realize they are so much more – they are beautiful in so many ways.”

“You are a growing person, a contributing person, a healthy person, a person who is capable of so much more…What other meaningful labels can you use to identify yourself?

****This is great homework! Schedule some quiet time this week to make a list of meaningful labels of yourself.

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Thoughts on “Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” Chapter 3 8/25/2012

For the next 7 weeks, starting on Monday 8/6, I am going to read a book called “Minimalism: Live A Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I am reading one chapter a week (as suggested) and see where I end up. I want to invite you to join me for the next 7 weeks if it sounds interesting to you. Post what jumps out at you, I would love to compare notes!

all about me

Chapter 3 of Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life

Changing Yourself and Making Difficult Decisions:

“We all change over time. Sometimes we grow closer to certain people, sometimes we grow apart, sometimes we fall out of love, sometimes we change together. Just because someone has changed, doesn’t mean they don’t love you, it doesn’t mean they don’t care about you immensely; it just means they’ve changed.”

“The only person you can change is yourself. When you change yourself – when you lead by example – often times the people closest to you will follow suit.”

“If the best version of you shows up to the party, you’ll be able to bring the best out of other people.”

The previous quote is both exciting and incredibly exhausting for me. I want to “be the best version of me” but it gets really tiring after a while. Sometimes I want to be lazy. Some times I want to only think of myself, sometimes I want it to be “all about me”. I guess we all get that way at times, but it is the best…when we can be our best!

Changing Yourself…Making Difficult Decisions…Be Your Best!