This week it came to me that I live the ideal life; this is my ideal life. What counts in life is that it’s yours, not someone else’s. As a child I thought I had to please my mom, dad, brothers, pastor, boss etc. This list could go on and on.
How many of us think our ideal life is something we read out of a book? We need to realize that we define our own ideal life. We need to stop letting our parents, grandparents, friends, or the world outside tell us what is ideal. I thought about this a lot over the summer – when you ride a motorcycle for 30 days over 7,000 miles, you get to spend alot of time with yourself, thinking.
As a teen, I remember a speaker saying that teens, at some point, need their space. They want to spend time alone and that was true. I did want to spend time alone. Of course, that is when I learned the art of meditation: thinking through things and having my mind ready for the things in life I wanted or didn’t want to do.
So while on my motorcycle trip, the thinking started.
What is so great about my life, what do I want to do next, where do I see myself in 5 years?
Sound familiar? These are the questions asked of us all that come from people outside of ourselves. I did the thinking on what words I’m telling myself about what I want – that “self-talk” thing – because I know the words I speak to myself, become the seeds which I plant in my mind. These seeds make me take the actions that create my tomorrow.
With this thinking, I’m sure some of you are asking yourself what your ideal life is. I realize in my own life that I’m “Living the Dream”, a phrase I got from my friend, Nathan Jamail. This was something Nate mentioned to me at a men’s breakfast prayer group I had co-hosted a few years ago. So I started saying it too and before I knew it doors opened up to “Live the Dream” myself. Looking back, I have to say there are seven things that would define me and define my life as “My Ideal Life.”
Before I share those seven things I will state they are what make my life ideal. You have to put those things that make your life ideal together for yourself. Then decide if you are living your ideal life or if you need to start a list of things to work on to make your life ideal. I did ask for my friends’ input on this topic over the week of what makes their life ideal and I’ll share them later in the post.
1. PLAN YOUR IDEAL LIFE CONSTANTLY
Last year at my church, the pastor gave this great series on how to live rich. He started off with 3 points to make this happen. I’m only going to tell you 2. He held a broom handle in the palm of his hand and started to balance it. He was talking about balancing our money, but I’m going to use this as an analogy for life. The first point he said to balance the stick is to get a focal point. While holding the stick, he looked at the top of it saying the focus is the top while the balance point was his hand. Second point he made was the constant correction to keep it balanced. Those two things will be needed to make your life ideal, but first you need to write down what your focus is. For me there are these seven things I have to make a focal point. The rest is constant adjustment. That’s what makes my life ideal: I focused on what I want, then I have to constantly correct and change things in my life. This brings new things into my life to make my life ideal tomorrow, and then next week, next year, etc.
So I wrote the things that make my life ideal now, but they are under constant change. If I had written the list last year it would have been different then this year’s list. Next year’s will be different also – not because my goal of an ideal life has changed, but because the things that make my life ideal change. You will find that your ideal might be one thing today, yet be entirely different next year. First you need to feel your life is ideal and then you need to work to make it even better next year.
2. I DON’T DO LINES
When it comes to a calm, peaceful life, it’s a planned life. Two things come to mind on this:
- The old saying “poor planning on your part does not constitue an emergency on my part”
- Stop the blame game.
I will have to admit this is the reason that I started the subject of an ideal life. It happened while walking through the grocery store; I realized that I go to the self-serve line and go to a store at a time of the day when there are few customers. Each and every morning I spend about an hour at a Starbucks, reading, writing, and planning my life. This Starbucks is somewhat busy and very close to the part of Dallas where all the sports teams play. But each day when I walk in, there are at most 1 or 2 people in line in front of me. They start to make my coffee before I even get to the counter. Now this is a planned event on my part. I do this by not going when everyone is in a mad rush to get somewhere. And I tip them well, plus I always offer them a word of encouragement. So by planning my visits when there aren’t many people there, I am making sure I don’t stand in lines. With a little planning you can make it so you don’t either.
So what does this have to do with the whole concept of an Ideal life? Try planning your life around those events which stress you out. If you are always late to work, try leaving the house 10 minutes early and then when you get to work sit and have a relaxing cup of coffee when you get there before starting your shift. If you know that traffic is backed up on a route you take each day, find another route, or plan your day to not be stuck in the same area.
As far as the blame thing, it’s not the person who is making your coffee’s fault that you are late for work, don’t give them a hard time because their world is busy like yours. Instead, change your habits to make your life more peaceful.
3. BEEEEEEE PATIENT
I’m in a hurry to get things done, I rush and rush until life is no fun. What I really got to do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.
This is the chorus of a great song by Alabama, the country trio who named themselves after the state they’re from. The song is on my playlist of motivational songs that I’ll get to later.
We only get one chance on this earth, so why are we rushing through it? When I was chasing dreams other people told me I needed to have, I always found myself trying to get things to happen today. I wanted it and wanted it now. I soon found out that if you take a step back in life and plan, you can get most of what you want, with less effort, and in a shorter period of time. If you want to become self -employed, take 2 years and plan it out. If you want to be married for life, take time and plan out a marriage together instead of a wedding for 3 months because life is longer then the wedding. If you want to raise your children to be free-thinking leaders, then take the time to teach them step-by-step till they get it.
In the past 10 years of my life I’ve buried 2 close friends. One was in his 30s, chasing after so many different things at once that he was always stressed out. The other was a man in his 50s who died in my arms, yet when you looked at his life, you could see he was at peace with where he was, what he was doing, and where he was going. He died doing one of the things he loved most: riding his motorcycle with the love of his life, his wife, arms wrapped around him. Life is short, don’t rush through it. Learn to live each day to its fullest Don’t worry about the things of tomorrow for they will worry about themselves.
Both of them died, but the lives they led and the peace they had in life was very different.
4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
This life was meant to be loved, I tell people all the time to Live, Love and Rock on. No matter what you are going through, love your life. Maybe not the struggle that you’re facing, but the life you are living while you struggle.
Love the people that are in your life at this time. I find that every few years I seem to have a new batch of friends. I don’t hate my old friends, it’s just that our lives are now lived in a different place. Five years ago I was going through rough times. The struggles I faced and the hurt I was in are things people commit suicide over. I tell people how in my own life I have fought depression for over 18 years. I still refuse to take a pill to make me happy, and there have been times I have thought about ending it all. Yes I had to deal with thinking that many times. But I decided that I was going to beat it and learn to love my life, no matter what I am going through. I am going to love the friends I have while they are in my life. When our lives move to different places I will still love them, but it will be time to move forward in my life, as I hope they are also doing.
In my life I’ve had the loss of separation more then once. I’ve gone through tough a divorce. I’ve lost “the love of my life.” I’ve moved away from my best friend. I’ve buried a best friend… We all lose. This should make us think of the good things we have and love them, not hate.
5. WHATS MINE IS MINE; WHATS YOURS IS YOURS
This blog and the book that will follow in the coming months are exactly what this “ideal” is about. I have a great list of things that make my life ideal. They are mine. A few of my friends have written to me telling me what seven things make the ideal life for them. In the comment section would be the place for you to write your own. This list is mine and you may find things here you can relate to. You may adopt some of it to your life for a while. It’s ok to follow someone else who has a dream or to share someone else’s dream. But ultimately you must have your own dream, your own ideal life. So there are certain things that you must decide for yourself. Maybe for now you’ll use my ideas to get a starting focal point, then you can correct it to your own ideal life, your own focus, once you start moving forward.
As I said some others gave me some input and I want to share with you the ideas they gave me. Maybe it will help you to see another point of view and not just mine on this subject.
My friend -and a person I look up to- Charley, listed things that make his life ideal; God being first, his wife, his dog, friends and other people in his life are a few things he listed. But he also listed that he liked helping people, which is how I met him. He was helping people at a seminar in the Dallas area called “The Road Adventure.” These are great keys he already has and he looks at his life as Ideal.
My Daughter, Jess, gave me her list of seven things that would make her life ideal as well. She listed God first (again), her family (Love ya Jess), friends, good health, a safe place to call home, financial security, and her iPhone. She put iphone there but tryed to edit it out as editor of my writings. I put it back. I love my daughter and it was a joy of my life to buy her that iphone. But I know that her writing that in my input section was t make me laugh. Jess can make you laugh, ill get to that later, I know one she didn’t put down that means alot to her( she gets it from her dad) Freedom, she wants to be free and set her life up to be free just like her dad.
My biker friend, Gisela Macedo, listed that she needed friends, family, health, brain food, ability to travel, safe haven and laughter. She was the only one to list laughter. She will hate me but you should have seen the time she dropped her bike at the gas station and was laying on the ground kicking like a 7 year old kid. We all rushed to her and she was just mad at herself for where she dropped it.
My West Coast friend, Alison, listed the following: “The confidence to do what I believe in, fantastic friends to share life with, the love and support of family and friends, a healthy mind and body, coffee, motorcycles, and music.” She is a true lover of life and in the small amount of personal time I got to share with her, she is enjoying this life even though she has faced a challenge or two. Rock on girl and stay cute.
A close friend -and someone I look up to for business help- J.R. Atkins gave me a great list of his: “Peace with God, fullfilling my purpose, love of family, fun and friends, meaningful work, relaxing and renewing, and personal growth.” I will say this about J.R., when I got to spend time with him it’s like that bible verse “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.” He truly lives his purpose in life, enjoys his passions, and loves his sail boat.Each time I get to spend time with J.R. I come away with a renewed knowledge of life.
I received many more on this but because of space I’ve only include a few of those in this blog (but look for others in my upcoming book on this subject). Also, if you would like to submit yours own points, put them in a comment at the end of the blog with your email address. If I choose yours for the book I’ll write you to make sure proper credit is given to you in print.
6. GET YOUR OWN DAMN COFFEE.
First, I want to say these headliners come from things that have happened in my life and they help me relate to how I came to use a certian idea. This statement, “Get your own damn coffee,” came from when I was working at starbucks and they started selling instant coffee. As a joke some of us behind the counter decided our motto for selling the instant coffee was going to be “Buy this and make your own damn coffee!” We thought it was funny, to be in the coffee business and selling product to get our customers to make it at home and not come to see us. I’m not putting down the product. I do use it when I’m on a motorcycle trip and it’s good instant coffee. I know they call it something else, but I’m not here to promote their coffee.
This section is to let you know that I make my own fun in life and, yes, many times I’ll even make fun of myself. I am always pulling a practical joke on a friend and usually the first one to throw out a one-liner when someone says somthing. One night, I got police tape and taped off a “do not cross” banner outside my work, drew chalk outlines around me and coworkers, and basically made up a “crime scene”. I did it so the people who beat me to work the next day would wonder what happned after they left the day before. It was my boss who gave me the idea to do it, but only because she was not going to be the first in that morning.
Life is too short not to laugh and have a good time. Laugh, enjoy, do something that makes you just want to get up and dance in life. If you can’t joke in life, then find a partner who can, and hang with them for a while. I spent years trying to get this into my only daughter. She had it at t the age of 7, when she was first diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. We were in the doctors office, getting her checked out. The doc asks Jess, “How do you feel?” She puts her hands in the air and waves them around and says “With my hands doc.” (guess you’d have to be there) It was funny, even the doc laughed at that. She learned to not take life seriously all the time… after all no one gets out alive.
7 ROCK ON
Last on the list, is to Rock On. Coming from a guy called “Rocker” you have to expect this. I rock at what I do. I live like a rock star in my mind. Yes, I have long hair and I don’t wear suits or ties. When you hear me speak, I’ll be in the same clothes that you would see me in if you ran into me on the road on my bike. Be who you are and find the life that is yours. You may be the person who always has a suit and tie on and that is great, if that is who you are. I had to find a way to work and look the way I do. It was a struggle to build a brand of who I am, the way I am. Let’s face it, this article is not about money. I am not a rich man, I’m not really looking to be rich in my life. I am a free man.I can live life on my terms and that is a life that rocks.
I have a playlist on my iPod that says “Motivation.” It’s a list of songs that motivate me to keep growing and become a better person. It’s this list that gets me going on the days I’m feeling sluggish. This week is one of those sluggish weeks, as it seems that I finally have gotten some sinus infection. But I keep going, doing what I feel must get done. That list changes on a regular basis, I find new songs that just rock and got to hear on a daily basis.
My music list is mostly rock songs, Hair Bands from the 80s, Metal songs from the 90s etc. I’m a Christian man. When going to a Christian motorcycle event – or even pulling into my church – my sound system on the bike is playing Ace of Spades or Back in Black. It’s not Christian or worship music you hear on there. I do have lots of worship music on my iPod, but it’s usually a Rock ‘n Roll song that has me going. So Pastor John forgive me for playing ” Runnin with the Devil” pulling into the church parking lot last Sunday.
Well, there you have it – seven important things. They may not be what makes your world ideal but it’s my ideal life. And seven isn’t a magic number; this is an exercise about finding out what is important to you, what makes an Ideal Life for you. I hope from reading this you are motifated to create your own ideal life. I hope you make list of things you’re thankful for, a list to create a New You and become the person you want to be.
If I can help, write me. Rocker Life Coach is based on my personal belief that you should all rock the world you are in. I have weekly emails of encouragment; daily posts to help you rockin’; I host group coach events to help people get life rockin’; and, of course, one-on-one coaching plans to fit every budget.
Look me up or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Until next time. I’m Tim Gillette, Rocker life coach.
LIVE.. LOVE.. ROCK ON….