You Are the Only One Who Can Honor Your Life Choices

You Are the Only One Who Can Honor Your Life Choices

This afternoon my son had his Science Fair, and before school, I asked him how many parents were going to make it – it was scheduled for mid-day. He said less than half the kids reported that their parent would attend – they had to work.

We talked about the life I’ve created to be able to be at the fair. Saying YES with my eyes fully open and saying NO to things that take me off course. (With a fair share of yes and no in the wrong direction and later course correction.)

There was a time I traveled weekly, was taking calls and texting about work 24/7, and prioritized work over many other things a lot of the time. I had to do it. I had no choice. Or, then again, maybe I did have a choice but didn’t take responsibility for my life choices. Instead, I made up stories that defended and protected me from my constant go-go-go largely professional focus instead.

Are You Honoring Your Life Choices?


Four years ago, when we moved to Australia and moved to a small town in the Outback, life changed as did my business. Interestingly, my way of thinking about work vs. life did not make the leap with my body. I was still pushing for “success,” yet not really making choices that honored the life I said I wanted.

For the past few days, messages have been pouring in on LinkedIn congratulating me on my work anniversary; seven years of Break the Frame. What they can’t see in a status update is what’s going on behind the scenes or, more accurately, behind the screen.

One year ago, I had a medical diagnosis that forced me to make a decision about major, life changing surgery. It turned out that the decision became easier once it was a choice. I did more than make up my mind (made the decision)… The moment of choice I stepped into my power.

Still, it’s not easy.

It’s not easy to make life choices that you tell yourself other people would judge if they only knew about them. Choices that slowed down my success trajectory in exchange for simply living my life. For the first time in my adult life, I chose to work less, prioritized self-care and time with family outpaced my desire for a robust bank account and professional success… but I rarely talked about it publicly or wrote about it here. I was slowly but surely reframing my definition of success into one that consciously prioritized satisfaction.

Now, a year later, my brain is still catching up with my body, but things have changed.

  • I chose to be at the Science Fair.
  • For the past week, I chose to have live flowers in the house.
  • For the past few months, I chose to up my commitment to the gym.
  • For the past year, I chose not to travel for speaking, consulting or conferences.
  • For the past four years, I chose to take my kids to school most mornings and pick them up in the afternoons.
     

Over the years I’ve worked with many clients who echoed words I have said far too often. They complained about their crappy projects or long hours and lamented that they had no choice. I’d ask,”Who’s forcing you? Who’s making your choice for you?” For the past year, I’ve been asking myself those same questions.

Choices, Ripples and Mindfulness


Some of the choices we make are small and others more significant. The things they share in common are ripples and mindfulness.

The ripples are the impact of our life choices that move beyond each one of us and mindfulness is taking responsibility for being present in your experience.

We need to be responsible not only for ourselves but our ripples. There is a movement that says we need to put ourselves first. However, you may wake up one morning only to discover that everyone else is gone. Mindfulness enables us to see our ripples and make choices that reflect beyond our bubble of one.

Mindfully choose happiness – it’s the ultimate success

Are You Choosing or Floating?


You and I, we can go through life like we’re on a raft on a roaring river being bounced about, holding on for dear life and moving forward (so it feels like progress) OR we can pick up the oars, get off the rapids and move with mindfulness, conscious choice, and whole-hearted intention.

Downshifting is a choice. Closing your business is a choice. Doing what you love is a choice. Being with people you love is a choice. Travel is a choice, and adventure is too. Creating a startup is a choice. Working late on a daily basis is a choice along with trillions of others.

Want to honor your life choices? Stop worrying so much about what others think.

One year after my first of several surgeries, the biggest and most important choice I’m making is to choose happiness. It’s time for my mind, body, and spirit to get into alignment. It’s time for a new chapter, and my son’s Science Fair is one of the pages I’m highlighting as I write my story.

I’ll be honest, what’s next is cloudy for me. I suppose that’s not something we’re supposed to admit or publish on a blog about personal leadership. However, I believe, it’s accepting those cloudy moments that creates the space for what’s next; resisting keeps us stuck.

Confusion precedes clarity. Keep exploring. 

Alli Polin
Personal Development
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Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: May 22-26

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: May 22-26

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, May 22-26, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Capturing the Attention of Millennials: Be Relevant and Digital


I know Gen Y are stereotyped as being transient, digital natives who are impossible to capture, but that is just the world we live in today. Technology has caused a proliferation of advancements and the financial services industry is (or should be) feeling the pressure ... — Missy Pohlig

2. Factor in a Smarter Approach to ETFs


Combining an alternatively-weighted index with a multi-factor stock screening process can diversify uncompensated risk, potentially leading to less volatility in down markets and an overall smoother experience for investors. But what are factors and why should they be a major consideration for every ETF investor? — J.P. Morgan Asset Management

3.  Don't MAKE the List ... DO the List


There is something gratifying about jotting down all the things you need to do. It quenches one’s thirst for being organized and for wanting some control over one’s life generally complicated by too many things to do with insufficient time and financial resources to do them. — Roy Osing

4. Smart Financial Advice for Those New College Graduates


College graduation is a time of celebration and pride. It’s also a time of significant financial transitions—for new graduates as well as their parents. As an advisor, this is a great opportunity to connect with your NextGen clients to help them make smart decisions that position them for greater financial success throughout their working lives and even into retirement. — Laura McCarron

5. Advisors: Why You Need to Show off Your Bench


Let your prospects see what working with you will be like, including exactly who will be holding their hand along the way. — Paul Kingsman

6. Why Investors Should Have Confidence in the Future of Investment Management


How should investors feel with all the advances in robotics and technology in our industry in the near future? — John Alshefski

7. 2 Things to Take Your Business From Startup Into A Great Business


Want to know how to grow your business fast? Discover here two things that you need to smash in order for you to take your business from startup to a great business. — Stewart Bell​​​​​​​

8. The #1 Marketing Asset Every Financial Advisor Should Hold in the Portfolio


Unlike many other industries, most people in finance confront the reality on a daily basis that a market downturn they have no control over could cast them out onto the street. — Sara Grillo

9. The Gutless Generation: How Risk Aversion Is Inhibiting Millennial Success


One year after I risked everything to launch my own venture, I penned a short article chronicling my journey up to that point. One commenter responded with near-vitriol, wondering how I could be so misguided as to influence – encourage, even – others of my generation to take on extensive levels of risk in order to successfully launch a new business. — Brian Hart

10. Are Your Marketing Priorities Out of Whack?


People are automating hellos and introductions instead of taking 3 seconds to personally do it. Folks are requiring followbacks if they give you one. Everyone believes that ads are the answer. And business owners think they know what’s best for their social channels. — Ahna Hendrix​​​​​​​

11. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Alliances


Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio