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Posted: July 27, 2011

Top 10 tips for living life your way

It's time to reclaim your personal power

John Heckers

Too many people have given away their personal and spiritual power. If the Great Recession has done anything good, it has hit people upside the head with a cosmic 2 X 4 and helped them to re-evaluate where they're going and what they're doing in life, returning their personal power to them. Here are some ways to begin to reclaim who you are and become "more you" now.

1). Find your voice. Too many people tiptoe around, afraid to speak the deepest desires of their hearts, because the boss or society might not like it. To heck with the boss or society! Speak up. Let your voice be heard. (Civilly, of course.)

2). Stop worrying. There is very little you can do these days to absolutely insure that you're not going to be in the next wave of layoffs or the next victim of some sort of ubiquitous corporate greed. So forget about it! There is a certain freedom that comes with being out of control of the situation. Control is an illusion anyway. So why worry? Let go.

3). Who cares what the Joneses think? Too many people work jobs for show, gain possessions for show, or behave in ways they hate for show. Whose life is it, anyway? At the end, you are the one who will have lived and died, not the Joneses. Ignore their opinions of you (as well as those of society as a whole). So long as what you do is not illegal, unethical or immoral, do what you will. There is an old quote I love, "If you're going to skate on thin ice, you might as well dance!" Dance away!

4). (Expletive) your "lifestyle." I see people every day who are giving up their dreams to maintain a "lifestyle." By that they mean that they are selling themselves out for stuff. Stuff the stuff! Beyond a certain amount, "stuff" weighs you down. Most Americans have become enslaved to their material possessions. Money and material possessions are fine servants, but terrible masters.

5). Get your priorities straight. In most cases, if you're going to a job you hate every day, your priorities are messed up. You're, at that point, a slave and nothing more. Your freedom and happiness are more important than virtually any reason for hating your job every single day of your life.

6). Do what you are. If you're a pacifist, you probably shouldn't be working at Lockheed Martin. Does your work life reflect the person inside? Is your work allowing you to express your deepest values? If not, do something that does reflect the real you, and watch how you change.

7). Do your relationships support the real you? Now might also be a good time to re-evaluate your relationships. If you are not able to be "you" in your marriage, your friendships, or your work relationships, change something. Have a talk. Get counseling. In some cases, get rid of the relationship. The people around you should allow you to be you. If that isn't the case, you're not in the right relationships.

8). Find your life purpose. You are here for a reason. There can be no greater priority than finding out what that life purpose is and doing it. It is larger than "making money." It is even larger than "taking care of family." You are here to make a difference to humanity by serving humanity. If you're not doing that, in some very real way, your life does not have the meaning it was meant to have, and you will never be deeply and fully engaged.

9). Begin. There is quote, usually incorrectly attributed to Goethe, that goes, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." Whoever actually said it, it is true. If you begin something wonderful, all sorts of people and circumstances will come to your aid. Get started!

10). Ignore the naysayers. Heinlein quipped that, when beginning a venture, we should solemnly listen to all of the experts on why something couldn't be done...then go do it. Great advice. Prepare. Be wise in your preparations. But don't let someone derail your dreams.

Do what you are. Live and work your values. Have relationships that support you. And sing the song you were meant to sing. These things can be scary...and exhilarating. Stop being afraid and move it!

Meet with your colleagues for highly effective job search networking August 8th at the DAC. Executives, go here. Management, business, professional and technical, go here. NO VENDORS and nothing is sold.
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John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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Readers Respond

Thanks John, I've sent you a message privately. By Barbara on 2011 08 19
So, come talk to me Barbara. Let's have coffee, and maybe we can figure it out. It might be easier than you think. Congratulations on getting laid off and being able to really start your life! By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 08 17
This is a wonderful article; however, I find that at 56 years old, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I do know that getting laid off from a job that I hated going to more every day was a blessing. Now the problem is to figure out what I should be doing... By Barbara on 2011 08 17
Good peice John. As you know, Camille and I are embracing these issues as we begin our "gap year" - your No. 8. In our process, we've found items 1, 4,and 5 to be critical. Of course number 9 is most critical: Nothing can be achieved if you don't start - put it in action. Thanks, Scott By Scott Woodard on 2011 08 01
Thank you Jerry, Tony and Beverly. I really appreciate your comments! By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 07 29
Just want to tell you how much I've enjoyed the last few articles you've written, John. I even used your "moral obligation to help those most vulnerable" line when calling my Congressman and Speaker of the House about our budget issues. Overall, you provide great advice that I use with students every day. Thank you!! By Beverly Kratzer on 2011 07 28
Great tips, John. All are designed to help put oneself back in the "driver's seat" to become a conscious creator of our life, enjoy a fulfilling career, attract empowering relationships and achieve inspiring goals. By Tony Peccolo on 2011 07 27
Another great piece. Perhaps you are reiterating what Janis Joplin told us a while back, "...freedom is just another word for having nothing left to lose." An acquaintance once told me that when you think you have nothing is when you have gained the world. However, too many people have gained the world these past three years and that needs to be changed. By Jerry on 2011 07 27

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