3 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Life
Rethinking Your Personal Mountaintop
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”
― Andy Rooney
My career had given me all the typical markers of success: money, autonomy and influence. I had climbed the mountain, making more impact and money than my peers. Somewhere along the way success had gotten easy.
I thought I would like it easy. I thought I would love being my own boss. I had autonomy, freedom, money and status.
I thought I would relish making it to the top.
Instead I felt trapped, frustrated, lost and alone. This is not what the top of the mountain was supposed to feel like, is it?
My executive coaching clients come to me, secretly wondering if they are the only ones feeling this way. The answer is no. This is a symptom of the fact that you have stopped growing and learning. We are achievers, we either grow or die.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to burn it all down, you don’t have to sell all your belongings and move to Peru. There is another way, and it’s not as hard or hippy as you might think.
You don’t have to change everything to find fulfillment. Change is typically small tweaks, rather than u-turns. There are unlimited shifts and steps that can move you too feeling better sooner rather than later. The simplest of these shifts is:
If you are languishing you are probably no longer learning. Literally everything in life that is not growing is dying. Even if you're dying a little each day you deserve better.
There are unlimited classes one can take. If you’ve plateaued at work, look into a class that will compliment your job. If you are a manager, take a course on emotional intelligence. Try to identify some areas of development you need, find a class or book and start learning again. By reengaging you will not only be able to translate new skills into the mastery of your current job, but you’ll start to feel as though you are moving forward again.
When you’re feeling even more daring, try something new that you’ve always been curious about. Maybe try throwing pottery, or carving wooden spoons. Take up the guitar. Try exploring something new, growing just for the sake of growth.
So you’re not feeling on top of the world at the moment. Maybe you’re stuck and underwhelmed...maybe you’re stressed and overwhelmed. Either way you need to feel more purposeful. We all feel more purposeful when we are contributing to a cause we believe in. We feel more fulfilled when we bring something to the community we are a part of.
You don’t need to quit your job and start a non-profit. If you have the time, try volunteering at a charity or cause in which you find purpose. Join a board, help use your coveted skillset, and network to make a real impact.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, donate your money.
It can also be something as simple as focusing on being more present with your kids after work. Coach a little league team. Take the team out for ice cream once in a while. It can even be as easy and painless as committing to reading to your kid 3 times a week.
Taking time to pursue things that give life meaning and attaching ourselves to something more significant helps one find purpose in the world. When we do, it can help us to discover the joy and fulfillment that we've been searching for.
You’ve got this. And if you need help, I’m here.