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Motivation - How to Design a Life

"Have you ever felt like you've become the worst possible version of yourself?" - Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail"

Have you ever been relaxing at the movies, enjoying a nice lite movie, only to get blown away by a line said in passing?

That's what happened recently as my wife and I watched "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The couple are having an ongoing email courtship, exchanging messages in the wee hours of the night, when this question comes out of nowhere: "have you ever felt like you've become the worst possible version of yourself?"

And I thought we were just going to the movies.

I think the question is so striking because most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. I know I have, and so have lots of the folks that tell me their stories every day.

Here's a story emailed to me (thanks Aunt Jan) that does a nice job of setting the stage for designing the kind of life you want:

"An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter.

"This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It's the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project."

Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today." - Author Unknown.

I'll close with these two questions:

1 - Are you happy with the results of the attitudes/choices/decisions you've made that got you here?

2 - What do you need to do, beginning today, that will support you in being happy with the attitudes/choices/decisions you've made 3 months from now? six months? a year? 5 years? 10 years? and the rest of your life?

Visit for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.



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