Living the Good Life

by Doreen Rainey

If you watch most shows on television - including the news, read a variety of magazines or talk to most people, there's a generally accepted definition of what it means to live "the good life".

Society typically dictates that material success is a strong indicator of whether you are living "the good life". It's usually based on things like:

    Where do you live?
    What do you drive?
    Where do you work?
    What do you wear?
    How many vacations do you take a year?
    Where do you vacation?
    How big is your bank account?
    Where did you go to school?

Now, there's nothing wrong with having a nice home, the car of your dreams, vacations that excite you and money in the bank, but is that an indicator of whether you are living a "good life"?

Of course not!

There's story after story of people who seemingly "have it all", and yet we watch as they suffer in misery, sadness or are unfulfilled. It's not just celebrities I'm referring to. We probably all know at least one person who seems to having it all, yet doesn't appear to be completely happy and joyful.

That's because no matter how much material success you experience, it must be coupled with the following two things to truly embrace the definition of living "the good life."

1. Express Your Unique Gifts and Talents.
I spoke with a woman years ago who's annual salary was over $100,000/yr. She had graduated from college with a degree in a field that promised to pay well - and she took a job that did just that - payed her well. But she wasn't fulfilled. She was good at what she did - actually excelled at it, but she had a desire to do something different with her life that allowed her to use more of her natural gifts and talents. It took her some time, but she eventually transitioned out of that job into one she enjoys more, and while she initially took a pay cut, she's now doing quite well.

What talents and gifts do you have that are being suppressed? Maybe you feel that there's no time in your life for them. Maybe you can't use them fully in your current job or business. Perhaps you haven't thought about it and aren't sure what your gifts and talents are.

Whatever the case may be, being able to express your talents and gifts is an integral part of living the good life. It may not be what you do "at work", but you should definitely find time to incorporate more of them into your life - even if you start with just a few hours a week.

2. Honor Your Core Values.
Whenever a client comes to me frustrated - whether it's with their personal or professional life - the first place I start is with their core values. I take them through an exercise to identify what their values are and then we look at ways they are not honoring them.

Living the good life means you are living, honoring and abiding by your core values. Is family a core value for you? How do you honor that? Is your spiritual life a core value? How do you honor that? Is integrity a core value? How do you honor that? Is financial security a value? How are you honoring that?

Usually, they can begin to identify how being out of alignment with at least one of their core values results in frustration, restlessness or anxiety. Living the good life means that you are able to be clear about what's important to you and then demonstrate that by the decisions you make, how you spend your time and how you spend your resources.

So while there's nothing wrong with material success - be sure that it's not your only measuring stick. Have those "things" - but couple them with expressing your gifts and talents and honoring your core values.

Now that's a good life!

"RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL - by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at www.doreenrainey.com."

© 2013 Doreen Rainey

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