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Are You Really Living YOUR Life, or Is It Living You? By Christine Arylo

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February 2009
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So many ambitious and motivated women and men go through their life on autopilot, driven by what they think they are supposed to do, be and have, but never finding that happiness and sense of success they seek. No matter how much more they do, how much more money they make or vacations they take, a satisfaction that “life is damn good” just never sticks.

What they don’t know is that they are stuck on the “escalator to death,” a linear path of life where one blindly goes from one station of life to the next as if it were the only choice – college, job, marriage, house, kids, work at a job maybe you like but probably not, retire and die. Most don’t even realize that they are on this escalator to death, going from floor to floor of life but never getting off long enough to explore what they truly want. Nope, most of us are standing right behind the person in front of us, following along on how live is “supposed” to be lived. Most people live and die this way. Some of us wake up, but usually only after we get smacked with a 2×4 from the universe. Mine happened at the age of 30, rising marketing executive and m.b.a. student, who got dumped by her fiancé two hours before our engagement party. It was the worst feeling and the best thing that ever happened to me because it woke me up to the fact that my life was living me, I wasn’t living it. I didn’t want to marry this guy, be a brand manager for a consumer products company, or live in a mini-mcmansion in the suburbs. I wanted to be and do the life I live now – entrepreneur, San Francisco resident, author, coach, speaker and really, really happy person.

What I have come to realize through my own journey and that of many of my clients is that there are droves of smart, motivated people who achieve success on the outside but never quite feel that lasting “YAHOO!!” on the inside. Why? Because most never stop long enough or go deep enough within themselves to know what it is they really want. They live in the land of shoulds, expectations and “this is just how it is,” plugging along to fill their 401k, buy a bigger house and get the next promotion. Always going to where they want to be but seldom happy with where they are.

The good news is, life doesn’t have to be this way. True success comes from being successful on all levels – physical, financial, and emotional – and that kind of success takes a good dose of self-awareness, self-discovery and self-honesty. You can get off the escalator to death and into a much more dynamic and fulfilling life if you are willing to buck society and challenge your old beliefs and perspectives… and if you are willing to dig deep and see the true you, and live that person.

Uncovering who that real ME is a journey, it’s not something that you can put into a 60-day project plan. But there are some questions you can start asking yourself today to get closer to your REAL ME, and to start living your life as you. I always start my clients off with their ME Core Four – the four essences of you that when fully expressed get you that YAHOO! life. Here’s one to get you started:

GIFTS.: What are the talents I have just because I am ME?

You were born with these gifts. They come natural to you. These are the things that people often compliment you on or notice about you, but that you find hard to accept. We all have them, and when we find them and build them we can excel faster and further than others whose gifts are elsewhere. Think Tiger Woods. The guy was born to play golf and because he has practiced and dedicated his life and profession to the sport he has been wildly successful. You could be a good golfer and practice 4x as hard as Tiger and still never be as good as him. It’s his gift. You have a gift just like that. You just have to find it, or more importantly listen for it, believe in it and then start practicing and building on your natural talent.

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Listen to Christine speak on Are You Living Your Life or Is It Living You? at http://www.Paragonstrategies.com on March 6 at 12:15 pm.. Hosted by Jerry Ervin

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