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Life’s Too Short

Life’s Too Short

Is Work Worth Dying For?

Is your job killing you? Perhaps. If you’re working in a stressful environment it’s likely your life expectancy will diminish and you’ll devote more time and resources addressing personal medical needs. Many anecdotal examples exist that underscore the physical and emotional damages resulting from ongoing stressful situations. However, there is also ample empirical evidence, presented in data collected spanning dozens of studies conducted over the past half century, describing the personal risks associated with stressors.

Life’s Too Short

My father, a wise octogenarian, didn’t coin the phrase “Life’s too short.” However, my dad certainly adopted it and made those words part of the fabric of my life. My dad’s use of those three short words often become part of any conversation when something has gone wrong with relationships, employment, and plans; as well as the appearance of unexpected issues, situations, and needs. He firmly believes relationships are too valuable to squander because “Life’s too short.” For the same reason, he contends that no job, regardless of the number of zeros, is worth unacceptable stress, worry, or disappointment. He believes a person is better off happily poor, than wealthy and miserable.

His continual use of the expression, and its meaning, has become increasingly tangible to me as time passes. Those words are also extremely relevant as I consider them in the context of my experiences with a company that negatively impacted my well-being.

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Toxicity in the Workplace

I very much wish I’d taken my dad’s admonishments to heart during the time I was associated with that dysfunctional, self-aggrandizing corporate entity. My decision to remain with the company because of my friendship with the majority owner, and the handsome paycheck, was a huge error. The resulting issues were wholly unpredictable to me.

It was a toxic work environment where narcissistic manipulation was commonplace and “energy vampires” were everywhere. Truth and comity were often absent. Few took responsibility for their actions. Passive aggression at the highest levels destroyed self-confidence and hampered both production and trust. More than a few empire builders on staff were willing to destroy others in their selfish ladder-climbing quests for power and prestige. Two such individuals, with serious insecurity issues, made my life particularly miserable. One was a towering tree who carried a gun and threatened me on multiple occasions. On one such occasion he threatened me with his firearm.

Where was the business owner during those years? Present, but disconnected. An appeaser who chose to ignore underlying issues and ongoing victimization. That added to workplace stress.

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In retrospect? “Life’s too short.” My health and peace of mind would have been served well if I’d extricated myself from that untenable situation far sooner.

The Lesson

We should all consider the wisdom and love behind the reminder that “Life’s too short,” when those words are shared by loved ones or close friends who truly care about our well-being. Indeed, life is too short.

Workplace stressors can undermine emotional stability, aggravate existing physical and mental issues, result in cardiovascular damage and digestive disorders; as well as create relationship issues outside the workplace. Dietary changes will often occur and many turn to alcohol and other mind numbing escapes. Eating disorders and financial problems will often follow.

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Stressors can be associated with temperature, lighting, sound, smells, proximity to others, etc…  Physical and mental stresses: Influences involving harmful chemicals, drugs, and alcohol.

Steps to Solving Stress Problems

The first logical step is to extricate oneself, where and when possible, from stress inducing people, places, and things.

Second, seek spiritual relief.

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Third, seek direction from trusted family, friends, and associates.

Finally, become familiar with options to better your life. Doing these steps will help you to discover a better life path to follow.

Featured photo credit: Josue Bieri via unsplash.com

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Steve Fowler

Entrepreneur

Life’s Too Short

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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