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Ignite Your Year: Discover The One Word That Can Help You Get Midlife Focus So You Can Live More Fully

Episode 11 | (00:00):

Hey there, friend, how you doing today? You doing okay? Uh-oh, I almost went into my Joey from Friends. "How you doin'?" I almost did it, but I didn't. Aren't you proud of me? ;)

Alright, so today we're going to be talking about your one word as we move into the holidays, though this is good for any time of the year. For those of you listening where it's not the first week of December, this is when I'm recording it: the first week of December.

You know, I watch folks plan and spend a ton of time looking for entertainment options or planning their food options, and planning a whole lot of different things. But you don't spend as much time planning for your life. And this is crazy important, especially at this age. If you're 40 years or older, when you hear people say, "Hey, life is not a dress rehearsal"...

(00:54):

You know why they say that? Because it's true. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. This is what you've got. Why not make the most of it? Why not make the most of next year and really start thinking ahead about what you want your year to look like?

And you can do that. You can create or design a life that's perfect for you, where you are going to experience all the peace and excitement and vibrancy that you want. But it does require a little planning, guys.

So this is going to be the first in a series of two or maybe three, maybe four episodes. I just don't know. I haven't decided yet. But I want you to just look at these as things to think about as you're getting ready to start your new year...or if you're listening at a different time of the year, as you're getting ready to get going on some goals that you have been procrastinating on, okay?

So that's what we're doing today. We're starting with your one word. It's a good one, and it is a book recommendation. I'm going to give you a little overview and then you can take it from there. So are you ready to go? Alrighty, let's do this! 

(02:48):

Hey there, Easy Agers. Before I get started today, I wanted to let you know that if you are loving some of the stuff that you're hearing on this podcast, go grab a coaching session with me. All you have to do is email [email protected]. I am leaving you a link in the show notes. Just email me. I'll get you some information and we'll help you start getting clear on what life has in store for you. 

I know I've mentioned this before, but I am a reader and every now and then, I'm going to give you a book recommendation. The book I'm going to recommend to you today is by Evan Carmichael, and it's titled Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matters. 

When I saw this in the store, oh, I don't know, maybe five years ago, I was immediately intrigued because the title reminded me of that scene in "City Slickers." 

(03:34):

Do you remember that scene? Where Jack Palance — I think that's how you say his name — Jack Palance was telling Billy Crystal about the secret of life because Billy Crystal's character was going through this midlife crisis. And that's why he was on this dude ranch or city slicker ranch. Jack Palance's character, who's this old grizzled cowboy who's been riding forever, he's talking about the secret of life. And he says, "One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean poop."

Okay, so he used a different word, but I prefer not to use that word on my podcast. But he's holding up his index finger going, "one thing." And you're sitting there on the edge of your seat going, "Oh no, what is it?...

(04:30):

What's the one thing what's he going to tell me?" I don't think this is a spoiler because hopefully by now, all of us have seen "City Slickers." But Palance's character passes away before he has the opportunity to tell Billy Crystal's character about the one thing.

So that's what made me pick up the book initially, and I really enjoyed it. It walks you through a series of questions to help you determine what's important to you and what makes you happy.

Now this is the part where Michelle is going to start preaching about clarity again. And the reason I talk about clarity so much, the reason it's part of my three-part proprietary process, is because clarity is very connected to your identity. You need to know who you are in order to know what you want, where you're going, what your first steps are.

(05:22):

Your identity is very much connected to all of that. That's why you have to be very clear on who you are. I mean, let's think about it. When we were little, we were very clear on who we were and what we wanted, right? If you were wet, you would cry. If you were hungry, you would cry. I mean, as babies, we were very clear and we were very vocal about the fact that we needed some attention.

Even when we were toddlers and kids, little kids growing up, if you wanted that blue crayon, you were going after the blue crayon. And it didn't really occur to you to think about who might be holding the blue crayon or who could get hurt as you were diving for the blue crayon, right? We just did what we knew was in our hearts and that's where we were coming from.

(06:06):

So it's very obvious that we have the ability to be clear on who we are and what we want. We just kind of got a little fuzzy over the years. So we need to get back to that clarity.

One of the great things about having this word is getting the clarity and getting just laser-focused on who you are. But another great thing about this word is that it can be interpreted however you want.

Now, a few episodes ago, I talked about the meaning of "fly" and I said, "Hey, draw a picture of the word "fly" or tell me what "fly" — f-l-y — means to you." You would have people coming up with birds or helicopters or kites or even drones. There are just so many different options when it comes to that word.

So the meaning lives inside the people. That's why you and I could have the exact same word and that's okay.

(07:00):

It doesn't really matter because your meaning lives inside of you, and my meaning lives inside of me.

Your one word is primarily there as your reminder. It's your personal motto or mantra for how you're showing up in the world, how you are choosing to be in your relationships, in your work and your personal life.

I want to be really clear about one thing. Your one word is not a New Year's Resolution. It's not a word that you use for a certain phase or a certain season of life. And it's not something you randomly come up with.

Your one word is who you are. It doesn't change. It stays constant throughout your life. So you can consider it the rudder to this little boat we call "life," and it's always steering you in the right direction and keeping you on track with who you truly are, helping you remember what's important to you.

(07:55):

I know there are some of you out there thinking "Michelle, one word to define me? Ugh. I am so much more complex than that."  Yes, one word to define you.

Now, if the thought of you needing more than one word to define you is running around in your head, I just have to ask, "Do you have a tendency to overcomplicate things?"

I mean, trust me, once you discover your one word, it is the opposite of complicated. It's simple. It's easy. That's the beauty of it. So don't make it too hard. Don't make it too overcomplicated, okay? 

Winston Churchill said "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word." And Albert Einstein said, "Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex." So understand that with discovering your one word comes simplicity.

(08:50):

As I was working through the questions, I realized that so many of my answers were around a central theme and that theme was "authenticity." Being real, being true in my relationships with other people, in my relationship with myself and my relationship with my God. Just being true and honest and living with integrity because I really like it when things are real.

Have you ever had one of those relationships — romantic, platonic, anything in-between, even if it's a work relationship — it's this great moment when you hit that point where the facades are dropped? They just fall off, and we're both free to be ourselves.

I mean, you know, you know that moment I'm talking about. You're thinking, "Oh, this person's going to be a friend of mine for a while," then, "Oh, this feels so right. This feels like somebody I can open up to, somebody I can talk to."

(09:42):

That's what real means to me. Because personally, I cannot do inauthentic in relationships. If I feel like someone is pretending, I know that we're never going to be real friends. I mean, we may hang out occasionally, but it takes a brave soul to be honest and vulnerable. And I am honored to call just a handful of those brave souls my closest friends. I mean, there are five or fewer.

When I was younger, someone would have a surprise birthday party for me and 150 of my nearest and dearest were at this party. I don't know about you, but I just don't have the energy to do that anymore!

So by this point, you may be wondering what my word is. Well, my one word is true. That's my one word, true. It's based in authenticity, and getting real, and being real, and helping other people to be real as well.

(10:38):

That's my motto, my mantra, my exceptionally short manifesto, if that's what you want to call it, personally and professionally. I apply the word true in all sorts of situations, whether I'm determining if I'm being true to myself when I'm making a decision, whether I'm helping my clients stay true to who they are and what they want in life.

Staying true is really the only way for me to fully enjoy my life. My mission and my ministry are to encourage others to stay true to themselves, to be brave and to go after their dreams, and to live intentional hopeful lives of excellence and enthusiasm.

Do I hit the mark every time? Oh, absolutely not but that's okay. I'm giving my best every single day. And my one word does help me stay focused on what matters to me. It helps ground me. It helps gently encourage me to come home. "Come back home, Michelle, you've wandered off a bit...

(11:33):

You've been distracted by other things, and now it's time to get refocused on what matters."

So let me tell you, if you're serious about your goals for next year, you'll want to discover your one word and consider it your personal motto for life. I do encourage you to go through at least the first part of the book. It's only about 70 pages. It's a quick read, it's not that hard.

Just answer the questions, read the examples and think about what your one word could be.

If you have a business, you might want to read parts two and three, but if you're just looking for your one word for yourself, go through the first section and you'll be fine.

So that's it for me today. I do hope you'll check out this book and I'm leaving you a link in the show notes so you can do that, or you can check it out from your library. And don't forget, if you want to grab a coaching session with me so you can start off the New Year right, just email me at [email protected]. Until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!

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