What are you passionate about?
What are the things that truly light you up and make you feel alive?
Do these questions feel familiar to you?
You might have been asked them by a guidance counselor when looking for colleges – or by friends or parents as you chose your career path or pivoted into a new career.
But 36 years ago when I first started my journey into coaching and personal development, no one was asking these kinds of questions, except the few of us that were on the personal development path.
I fondly remember the woman I worked with at my corporate job in Houston, TX in my 20’s who first convinced me to attend a personal development seminar.
She was always talking about how she was going to follow her dreams, move to LA, and become an actress.
I was fascinated, because I had never heard anyone else talk like this. I didn’t know anyone like her who was living a life they loved on their own terms.
When she invited me to that first seminar, I knew I had to go.
I sat down in front of a room of people and the trainer asked me, “What do you want” and “What lights you up?”
Now, these might sound like the simplest questions in the world, and in some ways they are… but the truth is, up until that point, no one had EVER asked me what I wanted! This was a turning point in my life!
Over the years, the world of coaching and personal development has grown to a billion-dollar industry and these questions are now commonplace. It seems like everyone today is talking about passion, aliveness, and what lights you up.
But there’s an important distinction I share with my clients that helps them actually measure their aliveness, and create a life that gives them the fulfilling feeling of being truly on path with what they want in their lives.
I always begin by explaining that, “At every moment, your vitality is either increasing or decreasing.”
And in order to live a life where you feel lit up, alive, and on path – you need to know whether the things you’re doing are increasing or decreasing your vitality.
The process I’m about to share with you is based on a coaching framework I developed that we use with our clients and teach in our life coaching certification called “Charting Your Aliveness.”
There are several steps to this process, but today I want to share the first step with you, so you can begin implementing it and making powerful distinctions to increase your aliveness.
Here’s how it works:
For the next 2 weeks, start paying attention to the things you’re doing when you feel the most alive, the most peaceful, or the most like yourself.
Each time this happens, jot down in a notebook what you were doing.
Then, begin tracking the things you’re doing when you feel bored, tired, or drained. Write these down too and begin to notice the distinctions.
For most people, this takes less than 5 minutes per day.
This process may sound simple, but I’ve seen over and over again the powerful results it yields.
In fact, many of my clients come back to this exercise again and again over the years and each time, they discover something new about themselves.
Once our clients gain an awareness of what brings them alive, we invite them to start adding in more of those activities, people, and places.
For example, if someone tells me they feel alive when they are running, but they rarely make time for it anymore, I might suggest they go running 3 days a week for the next month, and notice how they feel.
Most of the time, people come back and they don’t even have to tell me how different they’re feeling, because I can already see it!
Their demeanor changes, their eyes are brighter, they look younger, and you can see and sense that they have more vitality and a kind of “glow” about them.
Here are a couple of examples of before & after pictures from past students in our Aliveness Mastery life coaching certification who did this exercise, as well as the others we teach in the program…
What do you notice? Are the pictures the same or different?
This shift is palpable because the more you do the things that bring you alive, the closer you get to your true essence. It’s like your soul is literally shining through!
Often, people’s entire perspective on life begins to shift, simply by adding in one or two things they identified as “Enliveners” in this exercise.
As they begin feeling more alive, the challenges in their lives feel more manageable, and they begin to see possibilities where before, they only saw problems.
Next, we help people see how they can eliminate, delegate, and/or change their approach to the things that are draining their energy. But the first step is always to focus on their aliveness.
If you want to feel more alive in your life, give this exercise a try.
Track your “Enliveners” for a few weeks, and choose just ONE activity to add in regularly. Once you do, reach out to us and let us know what you discover. We would love to hear from you!