I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just feel sad and lonely. Down, dejected, and hopeless. Upon further reflection I remember what I should be doing to make myself feel better, but, now and again I rightly feel as though the energy it would take just isn’t worth it. At these times I assume that feeling the way I do is preferable, perhaps even beneficial to the alternative. I don’t feel like pushing myself to go to the gym or for a run, to participate in life at all.

We all need a strategy for life.  A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.  A way out of our pain and misery, back to being a happy, healthy person again. What we get in life or how we feel day in and day out, reflects our activities – our daily habits. We presume our decisions will get us what we want and where we want to go because we figure our feelings and desires point us in the right direction. Right?

We both know that what we want, our urges, are not the same as our goals, things that we put careful thought to. Most of us learned about delayed gratification in our families or in grade school, college or university, or when we wanted to buy our first home. Oh ya, remember? It should be something that is still actively robust in my life, almost daily. But I’m one of those guys that just can’t have too many shirts, and so I make a lot of decisions spontaneously, impulsively. But what if I’m hoping to buy a new Lexus in the spring? Or I’m looking forward to a romantic vacation with my spouse on the Mexican Riviera this March. Well maybe I can have them all and perhaps I cannot.

One thing is for sure, that whatever we want from life, if we don’t stop to plan and reflect upon our more long-term goals, we’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. Living life spontaneously, responding to the day to day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is. I may have a closet full of shirts, but I’m driving a 10-year-old Civic, plus I’m getting flabby around the waste and feeling miserable about life.

The fact is, we all strategize, even if at a subconscious level. Perhaps we should be more careful of how unconscious decisions are affecting our lives. Maybe also give “time for reflection” a modicum of respect by adding it to our weekly agenda. I’d like to remind us all – and especially myself – to consider creating regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. If we’re not slowing down, actively gaining control over or deliberately instituting positive goals, beliefs, and expectations into our psyche, maybe we’re really living a life of unconsidered habits, evolving in a way directed by our short-term urges, impulses, and not our well thought out plans. Be cautious, for one day your future may come calling, and you may not like what it has to say, or how you feel. That’s what I’m going through right this moment.

So is there any good reason why we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increasing our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?

Let’s get things going in our favor. Let’s make things happen. Let’s change the direction of lives so that they’re unfolding in our direction. Let’s experience more joy, better connections. Let’s explore, feel proud of our lives and of what we’re creating and what we’re contributing. Because we cannot, not participate.

What if we both had all the time we needed to talk and reflect upon our own personal strategies?

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As an Executive coach and licensed Psychologist, I assist professionals, individual entrepreneurs, and corporate clients with interests and challenges related to personal and professional leadership. Posts reflect client concerns and actions. You don't need to be an executive to secure coaching for yourself, but you should have a degree of ambition. Strategizing on how your career or life might improve and move forward takes time for reflection, either on your own or through dialogue. Opportunity is required to reflect well upon new and detailed information regarding your strengths and weaknesses. Sound consideration leads to a strategy that produces informed action, which precedes success. Wear your strengths like a badge of honor, and be cautious of areas you may tend to error in.

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