Last week I started telling you all about my experience at Jillian Michaels Maximize your life talk at Beacon Theater. If you missed it you can find the post here. In it I shared 7 tips that will help you learn more about your body, what foods you should be eating, what type of exercise to do, and how to find the motivation to start achieving your goals.
This week I want to complete it with a focus on my favorite part of the talk, 7 Tips on how to find your purpose and live the life you have always dreamed of! Jillian believes that if you really want to accomplish something, you need a plan, so let’s get you clear on how to come up with a game plan that works for you so you can reach your full potential and live your purpose.
“Dreams, are our destiny, will you go after them? Will you prioritize yourself?“- Jillian Michaels
Most of us are busy living the life we think we should be living, not the life we want to be living. Jillian blamed this on the “responsibility sandwich,” in other words, we let all our responsibilities and guilt get in our way of being our true selves. Instead of our wants dictating our actions we let shame, fear, regret, and judgement tell us how to be and what to be. The rules set by society and expectations our families set for us are what govern our path in life instead of our own inner compass.
“Your feelings are a compass they tell you when you are on or off course, feel it all, including the pain. It all motivates you. ” -Jillian Michaels
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to change course. Ask yourself, is what I have going on in my life, in any area, working for me? Did you know it’s okay to change your direction? Only 27 percent of people actually use their college major, I know I’m not using mine at all. My friend who was a poli-sci major is a marketing director and another friend who majored in French and philosophy first worked in finance and is now in sales. We are lucky to live in a country and in a time where we can question the rules and expectations, we can let things go that are not working for us. Think of this a a privilege, not all people around the world are free to follow their dreams and change their lives. The alternative, we can hold onto these rules, but it’s a choice we make. Jillian said that we perpetuate patterns so you need to find out what the behavior that is keeping you in this place is affording you. Then ask, what is this costing you?
“The way we respond to tragedy is where the control comes from.“- Jillian Michaels
“The masses lead lives of quiet desperation.“- Thoreau
With all the messages we receive to stay in line and conform, that’s the way most people live; quietly unfulfilled, inwardly struggling, outwardly successful. As Jillian says, we only have one life, and each of us a purpose, most of us are ignoring that purpose. We need to contribute our passion and opinions into the world, by doing so you will “lend a beautiful perspective that was not there before.” This is the reason I think there is room for all of us to support each other and be successful in our own right.
Tip 2: Don’t compete, don’t compare, support and you will succeed (and be much happier). You being you and being a success does not diminish me being me and will not hold me down. There are enough pieces of the pie to go around and the comparisons are only holding us back. What if we all supported one another, what would happen then?
Tip 3: You have a purpose, fate created you just the way you are for a reason, find out what your contributions are and show them to the world. What are the chances of any of us being born? They are so slim that we are all small miracles, and we need to share the unique gifts we each possess, we were born into this world at this time for a reason. Don’t settle, instead ask, why not me? Be bold, be beautiful, be you! Don’t ever dumb yourself down to fit into a mold imposed on you by society. Wouldn’t the world be better anyway if people were happier and freer to be themselves? Now obviously as I write this, I struggle with it, easier said than done, but something to aspire to and actively work toward.
Tip 4: Be a good person. Okay, this I loved, Jillian said: “One rule to follow on your way to success- don’t be a dick.” In her typical blunt, humorous way she summed it up pretty well and I totally agree with this. We have all dealt with people who look down on others, who try to get ahead by exclusion and manipulation. Don’t be that person. Respect and nurture your relationships, spread your wisdom and hold yourself and others up to the same pedestal, again, there is enough to go around, and you have to look in the mirror at the end of the day.
Tip 5: Be Present. Jillian really stressed this one. How can you figure out what moves you and what you want to do if you are always distracted? It’s the only way to connect with and then cultivate your passion. We miss out on so much of life because we are overstimulated and living in the past or future instead of taking in what is going on around us at any given moment and checking in with what is going on within us in relation to those ever present stimuli. This isn’t the first time being present has come up for me. I took Marie Forleo’s B school last year and there was a whole introductory section on being present. I did the Artist’s Way Workshop with Julia Cameron at the Open Center and we did a whole week of no media and silence after work just so we could be present with ourselves and our thoughts. It gave us an opportunity to tap into our inner workings in a way we were usually too distracted to contemplate.
Presence is doing things now and not waiting until something else happens to pursue your why. We numb out and walk through life like zombies to turn off unhappiness but doing that shuts everything down, including our joy. As I listened to Jillian, even as I write this, I know that working on being present is my biggest challenge. My own way of checking out is reading. I read, like all the time, I read to not have to face what’s actually going on, I read as a escape from stress, I read to step into someone else’s world instead of living in my own. I also read because I love to read and love character studies but I fall into this too often and I’m definitely using it to numb out. BIG message for me. Time to put down the book and listen to my heart.
Jillian’s Tip to cultivate presence: Set your alarm for every hour. Each time it goes off, take inventory of what you are doing at the moment and how that action is making you feel.
Tip 6: With clarity, comes action. Once you wake up and realize what your passions are, take educated actions to achieve your goals in these areas. Jillian believes that if you pursue the things that really interest you, the universe will help you get what you want because it’s what you are meant to do, it’s your unique purpose and the universe will support you in achieving these pursuits. The only reason we don’t pursue our dreams? We are afraid that we are not capable and that if we commit fully and it doesn’t happen then we will be embarrassed and devastated.
“Fear is temporary, regret is permanent.”- Jillian.
When you are old, you want to feel like you did everything you could with the time you had, and you want to be proud of your accomplishments, not regretful that time has run out. When you are afraid, ask yourself, what is the best case scenario? Jillian explains that this is your why, it’s what will give you the motivation and courage to work through your fear and uncertainty. If you realize you love animals, and are really happy when you are walking your dog, start a dog walking business. If yoga lights you up, go take a teacher training and start teaching classes. Do something to move you toward your goal.
Tip 7: Failure is an integral part of success. It’s how we learn and become wiser and failures give us a new way to re-approach our goal. Don’t give up! Failures are only temporary setbacks and shouldn’t derail you. What if you do nothing? What if you focus on your fears and they paralyze you? The Secret teaches, the more you focus on something, the more you bring it into your life, so what does this mean in relation to your fears? “The more you take action to avoid the things you fear, the more you will inevitably manifest them into your life.“- Jillian Michaels
“Rejection is protection.”- Jillian Michaels
She explained that if you have ever tried for something and been rejected those experiences were preparing you for the right opportunity that is still waiting for you. When something has not worked out as planned, it’s not what you are meant to be doing, your opportunity is still out there and it will get you where YOU are meant to be.