How to run your life, and not let it run you

We were lucky enough to spend the weekend with our kids in New York City, watching the Yankees handily beat the Red Sox. Our son, a true student of baseball noted, “the Red Sox are doing their best to lose their chance at the wild card.” Along with seeing our daughter and son so grown up, that comment caused me to reflect on how quickly life passes, and with what ease our dreams can slip away – if we don’t actively take charge of creating the future that we want.

As a coach, my goal is to help my clients take hold of their lives and consciously mold them into the biggest and most fulfilling lives they can imagine. I frequently begin the process of coaching by asking my client to fill in the Wheel of Life, an exercise that routinely illuminates several areas of the person’s life that they would like to improve.

Take a few minutes and examine your own life. Place a line reflecting how satisfied you are (a “10” means you’re 100% satisfied) with each aspect of your life at this time. For example, if you don’t have a significant other in your life and would like a stable, close relationship, you might rate your satisfaction low. But if you aren’t currently interested in putting your energy into a relationship, you might rate your satisfaction a “10.”

Now, select one area that you would like to be happier with. What would be happening in your life if it was a “10”? What would that mean to you? How would your life feel different? Let your mind run free and think of 5 things that you could do in the next week to become more satisfied with that aspect of your life. And then choose one of them.

Promise yourself that you’ll do that one thing in the coming week.

Using this tool and consciously selecting one thing each week to move an aspect of your life closer to a “10” will gradually place your life in the hands of the person who should be in charge of it – you.

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About Helane Fronek

Over the past 28 years I have had a fascinating and fulfilling career in medicine, initially practicing as a general internist and then as a procedural specialist, caring for patients with vein disorders. As Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC- San Diego School of Medicine, I’m thrilled to be teaching medical students crucial communication skills along with many other aspects involved in the practice of medicine.
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