Episode 82: Four Things We Need to Thrive
Welcome back Catalysts! It’s so wonderful to have you here on the show with me. Before we dive in I just want to first thank you for listening and being a part of this extraordinary experience. It still blows my mind to think about the day and age that we get to live in. That we have this opportunity, the technology, and the freedom to share these tools and to connect in this manner. We really do live in an incredible time, right?
And second, I truly am so grateful for you. I’m grateful to those that have reached out and for those that have shared and are sharing the podcast. Thank you! So listen my friends, if you haven’t already, please head over to iTunes and leave a rating and review – that action will help determine the future of the show so if you like what you hear and you’re learning things from this podcast please head over to iTunes and leave a review – it’s super easy and will take less than 5 minutes of your time and I would be so grateful to you!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the topic for today’s show and it’s something I’ve thought about always but maybe my thoughts are just more concentrated on it I guess lately and I wanted to bring it to you this week. With the time we’ve had to reflect and grow from the pandemic and all that came with that coupled with my journey into essentialism last year and really going through each and every area of my life and taking a deep and intentional look at it and just asking why I have the things I have, why I do the things I do, why I surround myself with the people I surround myself with – I’m talking about every area and it’s been such a huge blessing.
We overcomplicate things – that’s nothing new, right? That’s a concept that we can all agree on and logically know but then it’s something completely new and insightful to really see the areas in your life where you do this. There’s beauty in simplicity – line upon line and even with our goals we think it has to be some grand complicated process.
Bruce R. McConkie once said, “It is human nature, especially in our modern-day, to complicate things, to look beyond the mark, whereas often the answers to life’s most vexing problems are simple and straightforward. And we frequently fail to see things as they really are because of our tendency toward abstraction.”
And the real problem is that we don’t even realize that we’re doing it. We’re just going with what we think the flow of life is and we just keep adding and adding and adding that after awhile we feel overwhelmed, burnt out, confused as to what happened, and insecure because we don’t know how to fix it or if we even can.
I like to tell my clients that we think 60-90,000 thoughts a day and for a while our amazing brain just keeps plugging along but without some maintenance, cleaning, organizing it builds up and creates a whole slew of problems. When my kids were younger they liked to put things in my purse and I’m not talking about good things, things like a gum wrapper, a half-eaten graham cracker, a toy they didn’t want to hold anymore or I’d add to it by throwing in my own things and after a while my purse would be a mess. Crumbs at the bottom, full of little trash and not only did it make it hard to get to what I was actually looking for but it was just gross.
So I’d need to dump it out, shake out all the crumbs, vacuum the bottom, throw out all the trash, toss the non-essentials, and only put back what I really wanted in there, which really was only like 3 things: my wallet, keys, and sunglasses, right?
Your mind is like this – we HAVE to dump out, organize and curate our thoughts or they’ll create a mess that distracts and/or limits our ability to create and become what we really want to. This process helps us look at everything and realize that most likely over half of what you’re carrying isn’t something you need to carrying, it’s just creating more mess, more weight, and more strain on your mind.
And I feel like that’s what I’ve been working on quite a bit especially this last year – just dumping it out, looking at it, and questioning why it’s there at all and if I want to put it back into my life.
The pandemic really helped with that because everything at first just kind of stopped. We took our son to his first baseball practice and the coach gave him his uniform and said, “season’s been canceled, see you next year”. All places we were driving to were switched to virtual or canceled altogether and we were just home and it felt still.
At first, it was kind of fun. My brain was still like, “Ah! We have to hurry or we’re going to be late!” And I’d remind myself, nooo…we don’t have to go anywhere. And I’d relax a bit and think, now what? I have an extra 30 minutes, what do I want to do? And it was like this for everything – you guys all know. So while I was cleaning out the physical sphere of my home and my world, the activities and events also got an opportunity to be examined as well.
And after a while when things didn’t just go back to “normal” when plans were canceled and our normal go-to activities weren’t an option like so many of you that extra time at home, getting a break from things just wasn’t as fun anymore and it exposed what we really missed and what we really wanted for our lives and most especially what I needed in my life to feel deeply fulfilled and complete.
Thomas S. Monson said, “this is our one and only chance at mortal life – here and now… I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not” (2016)
And today I want to share just 4 things that every human being needs to really thrive. To take this one and only chance at our mortal life and make it one full of love, fulfillment, and genuine satisfaction. A FULL, exciting, life that even though a pandemic causes you to look forward in anticipation and deep gratitude.
Now, just a note: What I’m going to share with you today go beyond the bare basics of survival and getting our physical, spiritual, and emotional needs met – we need those just to survive, I’m talking about things we all need as human beings to really thrive and live a deeply fulfilling life.
I work with so many beautiful souls that just want to feel satisfied and fulfilled in their lives and so we go to great lengths to try and fill these voids we feel, like we’re missing something and maybe this will fill it, right? The 4 things I’m bringing to you today will help you fill those voids. It will help you cultivate a life you really can get excited about and you know what the best thing about these 4 are?
They’re not contingent upon the circumstances being any one way. You can create and cultivate these even through a pandemic or whatever else might come our way.
1.) So the first is needing something to look forward to.
I can’t tell you how important this aspect is. If you’re not excited to get out of bed every day then you’ve got some work to do. Now I’m not talking about living a fairytale life where everything is rainbows and sunshine so of course, it’s easy to have something to look forward to – that’s not it – like I said, the circumstances don’t matter – you need something YOU especially YOU can look forward to.
There is something deeply connected to our spirits that thrive on anticipation and excitement. Think about your goals and not just goals but the things you look forward to.
I saw this documentary from National Geographic about this man, Billy Barr who lived alone in the woods for 40 years. Without anyone near him, no keeping up with the Jones’. He said, “I had nothing to prove, no goals, no anything …so I started recording things because it gave me something to do”
So for 40 years twice a day he’d go out and measure the snowfall and interact with the animals. Now the data he recorded is gold to researchers and scientists that study climate change.
But what I found so fascinating with this is we tend to overcomplicate things – we choose goals because we think that if we achieve them we’ll somehow be worth more as a human being or we’ll feel better – like, if I reach that goal weight then I’ll feel confident and happy but in the meantime, we’re just miserable hustling and trying to make ourselves do things.
So what if we’re missing the mark on this – what if it didn’t have to be overcomplicated? What if it really can be as easy as asking yourself, what do I want to think, create, or do that would be really fun?
Every day we need something to look forward to. It doesn’t and won’t replace life’s 50/50 – there’s still going to be things we do that aren’t fun but having something to look forward to does wonders for your soul.
This is number one because it’s so often the thing that most of us don’t ever do or completely neglect for ourselves because we’re too busy hustling over the things we think we have to or need to do and so we mistakenly think there’s just no time for yourself but this is like the fuel you need to keep going, to not just survive but thrive in your life.
When you have something to look forward to it makes the mundane or the not-fun things in your life more doable and even dare I say, more enjoyable. Don’t overcomplicate it, it doesn’t need to look a certain way, it doesn’t have to be 100% planned out and organized – just a simple question, what would be fun for me this week? This month? Or if you’re just starting out – today – just start with a single day – what can I think, create, or do that would be fun for me?
This is an easy goal that you can set for yourself that will create a huge return for you – when you invest in yourself and create more anticipation, more excitement, more genuine fun it expands your capacity to create and go and do. When I feel excited or am in a state of anticipation even if it’s something small – like really small – it changes my model.
I have this light that is just always glowing, always there, always acting as the spark that ignites greatness and comes on…it’s FUN. We need more FUN in our lives.
So start pondering, what would be FUN for me today? And then follow through with it – don’t overcomplicate it! When you have something fun to look forward to you WANT to get out of bed in the morning. You want to keep moving forward because fun feels amazing and is a key ingredient to thriving and living a full life.
Make this not just a “yeah yeah”…lighthearted kind of thing – this is like Drs orders – everyone needs to have something they can look forward to.
Journal, garden, set aside time to just read or meditate or bake something while watching the GBBS. I try to take this to its fullest because life just feels better when you’re having fun. Take Mary Poppins sage advice, “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun” and I’m not talking about again, overcomplicating things – it doesn’t need to be a grand event or something that your whole family engages in – sometimes those things turn out not to be as much fun as we anticipated – so just you – if others want to jump on the bandwagon, great but this is a need for you first.
What would be fun for you today? And most often the most fun things are going to be small and simple things. Start making a list of ideas, carve out and guard with your life some alone me time to follow through. You’ve got one life, one chance at this mortal life – make it fun.
2.) Find and cultivate AWE. I just taught a bonus class to my Catalysts on this because it’s an incredible practice and one that so many people search for and struggle to find but again, it’s because we like to overcomplicate things – Awe is an amazing feeling.
This feeling of awe is a deep sense of gratitude and richness. It allows us to connect beyond this mortal sphere and to tap into something greater than ourselves. Something that calls to remembrance a portion of your true identity as Child of God of Infinite Capacity. It’s transcendent because it elevates you from the daily minutia, constant mind chatter, and mental drama and leaves you in a state that feels too beautiful to even articulate with words.
This awe includes the whole picture of you – not just the here and now or even your past or future but beyond time and space. It allows you to get to a place where you can see yourself, your life as something bigger than just the here and now but as lasting and a part of something divine – that you are divine.
And this feeling of Awe is just that, it’s a feeling which means that you invite this awe by the thoughts you allow yourself to sit with and to cultivate.
The poet W.B. Yeats once wrote, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
This feeling of awe isn’t something you go and do – it’s a feeling which you know comes from what you’re thinking. And I love that again, the circumstances get to be whatever the circumstances are and it has no bearing on being able to create awe.
This feeling of awe really up levels your life and creates a rich and lasting fulfillment because you get to be a part of something so miraculous and amazing. I read recently from another coach, “it is the honor and privilege of a lifetime to get to be me” – we can create awe just by allowing ourselves to step back and see what a wonder we truly are – you with your unique and amazing talents, thoughts, perspective, preferences, tastes, passions, interested, etc.
Sometimes I’ll be swept away in awe when I hear a certain song pop on the Alexa or just thinking about things creates awe. Feeling awe connects us to something greater than this season of your life – it reminds you that you are part of an amazing eternal existence and not in a small diminishing way but in an exciting – I get to be a part of this kind of way.
Every day is a new day. I absolutely adore the quote from Maya Angelo when she said, “I love today. I’ve never seen this one before”
We all have routines and tasks that can seem mundane and just flat out not fun but this ability to create awe eases that load. It doesn’t take the hardships or the routine away but it reminds you that there’s more than this season. There’s more than this current pandemic. There’s so much more.
Make an intentional effort to create and cultivate awe on a daily basis. Scripture study, prayer, music, mediation, nature all inspire and invite awe. I go walking just about every day and I’m always circling my long court and I make it my intention and my goal to notice how today is different than before. The sky is always changing, it helps me to see the little things – today I had 2 more daffodils blossom, these little things create awe and gratitude and you know what happens when you cultivate awe?
You feel better and when you feel better you do better. The messy house isn’t such a pain anymore. That snippy remark from your coworker doesn’t seem to hold as much weight. The daily tasks aren’t as mundane anymore.
Creating Awe on a daily basis helps you to thrive because you’re not waiting for some grand result in your life for you to enjoy it or feel fulfilled – this is you every day creating that so you get to enjoy your life NOW and from that enjoyment, you go and create even more amazingness.
3.) That all humans need to thrive is to Focus on their core values – knowing who you are and what your purpose is pivotal to a fulfilling life.
This is the guide and rutter of your ship. It allows you not to be swayed or influenced by others because you know who you are and where you’re going and if you don’t – then start now and ask yourself.
What do I value?
Who do I want to be?
How do I want to show up?
There’s a calm confidence that comes from spending time with these questions. Knowing the answers to these helps us to shake off the loud voices and influences of the world. It’s easy to let others be wrong about you when you know you.
No matter is happening in the world these core values won’t change.
No matter what closes I know that I’m always going to value and appreciate kind people and appreciate when I show up kind and compassionate.
I don’t know what the 10-year forecast really looks like – I’m still planning and moving forward because I do know that I’m always going to love my family, that I’m always going to be growing and focusing on my virtues.
When you know who you are the less you need the opinions of others. The less their differing personalities will bug you because that just doesn’t matter. Sure it’s there but that’s not where your focus is. Your focus is on who you are and where you are going.
What do you value?
Who do you want to be?
How can you be a little more like that today?
Before your head leaves the pillow in the morning – ask yourself, how do I want to show up?
Then all throughout the day you don’t have to react – you’ve already predecided how you’re going to show up- isn’t that fun?
Then all you have to do is ask yourself- what would that look like? What would that say? What would that do?
This is beyond a survival principle – this is a life-shaping thriving practice.
4.) We need someone or something to love. We know that the desire to care and love others is deeply hardwired. I know you know how it feels to love someone or something and how good it feels to offer that love. It’s the reason when you taste something amazing you have the immediate desire to share it – taste this, try this, check out this recipe. That expression of love and kindness benefits not just the recipient but the giver as well, if not more so.
Our lives don’t seem or feel complete or fulfilled unless we can share our love. It’s in our nature to love and love is life-giving – love can’t help but share. This is one reason why we’re so keen and driven to want and have a desire to do something in life where we help people – where we’re in a position to influence, help, and lift another person. We need it – not because we’re coming from an elevated stance – but rather because of what loving creates in us.
Love connects and creates strong personal bonds. Love is a basic need to even survive – to be loved but I’m talking about loving something or someone else. We adopt and have pets not because of what they give us but because it gives us the opportunity to love someone outside of us. Loving feels good and when we feel good we do good and we create more goodness in our lives.
If you want to do more than survive, find something or someone to share your love with. I’m not talking about a romantic partner but friends, pets, your plants, Tom Hanks and his volleyball Wilson, someone to love, something to think about, someone to share your innate goodness with. If you want to feel more fulfilled in your life then focus your attention on who or what you could share more of your love with.
Friends, pets, plants, strangers – when you offer your thoughts, goodwill, and kindness with others it makes you a happier, thriving person and the more you thrive, the easier it is to create a life of confidence and fulfillment. The easier it will be for you to keep adding to this amazing life, to keep thriving, and to keep creating a life you are excited about.
Remember, 4 things we humans need to thrive:
1.) Something to look forward to – that feeling of anticipation – deciding everyday to do something FUN – excitement
2.) To find and cultivate AWE – Gratitude
3.) Focus on our CORE values – Identity and Integrity
4.) Someone to help and love
And it you really think about it – it isn’t the action that we really want but the feeling that our thinking in that direction creates for us.
Having something to look forward to is a thought that creates anticipation and excitement. We thrive when we’re excited and we move forward because there’s something good up ahead.
I love the quote from Anne of Green Gables, “I don’t know what lies around the bend but I’m going to believe the best does” – something to look forward to
Cultivating AWE is more than awe – it’s deep and sincere gratitude and ultimately what this awe creates is a sense of belonging, belonging to something greater than just this world, than the drama that surrounds you, that you are part of something divine, eternal, and limitless.
Focusing on our core values creates a sense of integrity and morality – that we are just and right and on the right path. It helps us find conviction and purpose.
And lastly, Someone to love isn’t the act of loving but who we become as we think about loving. We think about love, we create a feeling of love, and then we put our more love into the world. I believe this is the supreme feeling and one in which when you’re able to cultivate it, you absolutely thrive.
We want to feel excitement and fun, gratitude and awe, Moral and Right, and Love.
These four virtues will not only help you to feel confident and fulfillment in your life but they’re the gateway to thriving and flourishing in your life.
I wanted to come up with a fun acronym to help you remember and the best that I could do is FAIL – which adds a really fun take on our formula for thriving, right? Because we try and somethings work and somethings don’t. So we try again and little by little, line upon life, small and simple things we’re able to thrive.
So here it is:
Fun, Awe, Identity, and LOVE
Definitely adds a new spin on failing – okay, friends, Don’t overcomplicate this. Just ask yourself what am I looking forward to today? How can I cultivate AWE today? And hey, sometimes it’s just a song you listen to that transcends the daily minutia and routine. Who am I? What do I value? Am I showing up as that person?
Then lastly, someone to love – who can I love today? In the membership we have a goal – we’re talking about friendships and showing up confident in our friendships and there’s a goal/bonus project to think about 15-20 friends and write about why you love them. It’s been so richly fun and just fills my heart with gratitude for these spectacular humans in my life. And I just feel all the more love for them today. Who can you love today?
That’s it – these four are guaranteed to help you thrive in your life.
Okay, my friends – don’t forget, please leave a rating and a review – It’ll help me determine the future of the show and what other amazing things I can bring your way – so head on over and leave a rating and I’ll see you all next week!