How to Live a More Fulfilled Life Now
Ep. 153
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Why do you want to find your “dream” career?

Do you even know?

Most would answer with something like:
So I can feel excited and motivated about going to work. 

So I can feel like I’m doing something that is worthwhile.

So I can feel less stressed and overwhelmed.

All of our answers boil down to one thing: we are after a feeling

Ultimately, you want that dream career because you want to feel happy and fulfilled. 

Given that we spend ⅓ of our life at work, it’s easy to see how that can affect our feelings. 

And while I’d LOVE for you to find your dream career (and would love to help you do that), it’s not going to happen overnight. 

So the question becomes: how can you have that feeling you want in your life right now?

And that’s what we dive into on the podcast episode today! I’ll give you actionable tips on how to create a fulfilled life without changing much else. 

Show Transcript
This idea of like I don't know how to make the right decision because what if I take the wrong step and something else I could have picked would’ve made me more happy and we love to torture ourselves into believing like oh, if I had just picked that choice then my whole life would be perfect.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode of Lessons From a Quitter. I am so excited to have you here. I am gearing up to do a challenge next week, completely free, four days hanging out with me. What could be better? Nothing. That's the answer to that. Um it's going to be all about getting unstuck. I've asked you guys and so many of you feel stuck, which I don't have to tell you is a lie. You're not actually stuck. It's just in your head. Um and that's what we specialize in is mindset and how to get past those fears and get yourself moving. And so that's what we're going to work on next week. Every day we're going to deal with like one aspect of how you start figuring out what it is you want to do and how you start taking massive action. I want you to join me so that you can start moving. I mean, yes, it's focused on career but really it's just anywhere you feel stuck in your life. Even if you're know, you're not going to quit your job, but you want to kind of get moving and grow and I don't know, find something else, do something that brings you joy. You can join in, I would love to have you there. So go to quitter, one word U-N-S-T-U-C-K, and join the challenge. I hope I see you all there. Okay. With that, let's jump into today's episode, which, you know, is why I want you guys to get all unstuck so that you can live a fulfilled life right now. Right? So today we're going to talk all about what can we do, even if we don't like the job we’re in or there are other circumstances in our lives that we would like to change. How do we still live the most fulfilled life? Because isn't that the point of all of it. Now, if you're just tuning in, welcome, I would suggest listening to last week's episode first. It was all about destination addiction. Okay. About the idea, this addiction that we have, that there is some point in the future, some destination we have to get to, where once we get there, then we'll be happy, right? And so many of us put off our happiness, our enjoyment, our fulfillment, our play, our fun, all of it, in the hopes that one day I will get there. And then I can have all these amazing things. I mean, if you think about it, our whole society is set up like this, right? The whole idea of retirement and like work hard for 40 years and then maybe at 65 you can retire and I don't know what, sit around maybe like enjoy it. I don't even know. It's funny cause like the promise at that point is actually not that great but that's what we're all working towards. And so it's about reframing that, shifting that mindset and not putting it off. I think if you haven't listened to last week's episode, I would start there so you can understand how destination addiction really shows up in our lives, how it might be kind of sabotaging you right now so that we can then start figuring out how do we start enjoying right now. Okay. And so I'm going to break today up into two different parts, like how do we start living a fulfilled life, exactly where we are. I usually tackle this in my group coaching program in two separate ways. The first way that you start enjoying it is loving what is right now, like figuring out how do I enjoy what I have exactly as I have it? Okay. How do I start really not taking for granted the things that I would otherwise wish for. And then the second part is how do I change what I don't like and really start and even enjoy that process of changing it. Okay. So we're going to split it up that way. So let's talk about loving what is. Now this portion of it, more than the next portion that, you know, changing what you can does involve changing your circumstances, but loving what is really is all mindset. Okay. For the vast majority of it, not surprising because that's really what is the key to everything. And it's really what we focus on in every episode here. But I want you to understand that the reason you're not loving what is is not because you don't have the things that you think you need. Because again, as we talked about last week, even when you get those, you still have a 50/50 human experience. You still have stress. You still feel sad. You still aren't happy all the time. You're still not super grateful all the time, right? So it's not in the accumulation of stuff or degrees or jobs that is going to make you love what is. It's in changing the way you look at your own life. So to start that off, I think we've talked about this a lot, but it's just understanding your brain. Okay? So the first part of this I want you to understand is like how does my brain work so I can not give into the automatic features, right? Like if, if left alone, if left unmanaged, this is the way my brain is going to act. And once I know that, then I can use my more developed prefrontal cortex to kind of override that. So it's just understanding. We've talked a lot about the fact that we have a negativity bias, right? Human beings tend to look for the negative because that has evolutionarily been what has kept us alive. If you can see the problem coming, then you can watch out for it. We've also trained ourselves sort of from when you are a kid, when you're constantly looking for what's wrong, or what's making you upset, or what's hurting your feelings, you tend to focus on those things. And so I want you to think about the fact that when let's say you have a friend or a spouse and they do something that annoys you and then that's like all you can see, right? You focus on it to such an extent that like it goes from like a mere annoyance to something that makes you want to kill them. I mean, it becomes so big in your head, right? The thing didn't change, their little, whatever it is, their action, their tick, whatever the thing is, that doesn't actually change. It's just that you're so focused on it. Right? What you focus on grows. And so many people, I see this with, like I did this with my job. I look back now and I'm like huh, there was a lot of parts of my job as a lawyer that I actually liked. You just wouldn't have been able to tell me then because all I focused on was how miserable I was. And so when something would happen in my office, I would complain about it to my coworkers. And then I would go home and I would complain about it to my husband. And then I would, you know, become indignant and I would be so angry and I would keep focusing on this and it would grow and grow. And it would, seemed as though it was getting to this place where it was unbearable. Right. Where I was like I have to get out. But the reality was like it was just because I was choosing to focus on the things that I didn't like instead of really trying to shift my focus as to like what parts of this job are actually great. And so part of this is knowing that and really shifting your focus. That's why a gratitude practice works so well. This is why there's like 25 years of research on it. And it shows to like boost your mood and even boost your immune system and increase healthy relationships. And like just a myriad of other amazing side effects because it just gets you to focus on things that are going right. Like a million things go right in our life. And yet we'd focus on that one thing, right? The one person that cut me off on my drive or the fact that I spilled my coffee or whatever's, whatever trivial it is. And then when like I have had such a bad day, it ruined my day, not realizing like we just moved through the world and like a million things had to just go right for us to stay alive. But I mean, that's what we all do. I'm not calling it, I do it too, a gratitude practice is just the perfect way to help you reshift your focus. Every day all you have to do is write down three things you're grateful for. It starts reminding you how much has gone right. Like have you ever hurt yourself and you didn't even realize like you had that body part? Like you strain a muscle and you're like I didn't even know there was a muscle there, right? Because it was working right the whole time. Like you don't feel that muscle, you know, on your back right corner of your like your body or whatever, you know, like under your shoulder, wherever it is, some obscure place that you don't know about until something goes wrong.

And when you start doing a gratitude practice, it just forces you to start focusing on everything that's going right. And I promise you, it shifts your mindset. You start looking for things going right every day, even when you're not writing it, like as you're driving, as you're walking, as you're with your friends, you're constantly like oh, isn't this nice, look how fun this is, I'm so blessed to have these friends. It's so beautiful out today. Look at that beautiful flower. It just starts getting you to see the world in a different way. Then the constant ugh I'm late. I have so much stress. Things aren't going my way. My boss just yelled at me, whatever, like what our normal standard is. So that's one, okay, is that negativity bias and really shifting your focus. Another thing to understand about your brain. And again, this is a very developed area of research in psychology and it's the effect of choice on our brains. Okay. So as much as we love to think that we want for choice, study after study shows that the more choice we're given, the more dissatisfied we tend to be, and this is because we have FOMO or if you don't know what that means, the fear of missing out, right? So they've done studies where people go into a grocery store, there is like six jars of jam that somebody is taste testing like giving you as a taste. And when they do six jars then there's like a 25% chance that people buy the jam or even stopped to taste it. And then when they increase it to 20 jars that number like plummets to like less than 10% because people are overwhelmed. And when you start tasting and you're like I don't know, is this one better or is that one better? If I get this one, am I going to like that one? And they've even done studies when people do like end up buying one, like let's say, if you have the choice between two pairs of jeans and you buy one, you are more likely to be satisfied with your decision than when you have 20 options for jeans. Because you're constantly thinking I probably picked the wrong one. Maybe, I didn't get to try all of them on. Right. There's so many jeans out there. I don't know if this one is good enough. And you’re overall unhappy with your choice. Now this is something good to just be aware of, right? This whole fear of missing out. It's not a real thing. It's just something your brain is lying to you. And it's just good to kind of redirect. So when you make a decision about something, you can, again, focus on what you're happy about that decision. So that the idea becomes, you know, if you go into a doughnut store and right now you have zero donuts so if you buy one, right, you're already up one, you're doing pretty well. But if you look at it as like there's 99 donuts and I only got one, I'm missing out on 98, you're not going to be happy. And so it's just, again, a conscious shifting of what you focus on, the thoughts that you have about the thing you choose. Now I hear this all the time with my students and the reason so many people feel stuck, which is what we're going to work on in our challenge that you should join, is this idea of like I don't know how to make the right decision because the underlying fear is what if I pick the wrong one? What if I take the wrong step and something else I could have picked would’ve made me more happy or would have been different. And we love to torture ourselves into believing like oh, if I had just picked that choice, then my whole life would be perfect. I would never run into any problems. Everything would be great. Right? I'm going to sit in regret. I'm going to beat myself up. I'm going to go through all of these like needless intellectual exercises to just tell myself how horrible I am. Now when you start realizing this, you can start shifting that thought. You can catch your brain doing that. Right. You can catch your brain being like I don't know if these jeans are good enough. And it's like no, they are because we chose them. They're perfectly fine. I love these jeans. They look great. Sure, maybe something else might also look good but that's okay. Right. It's a matter of like choosing thoughts that are going to serve you, that are going to get you out of this like FOMO brain of like there's something I'm missing. And so when you're focusing on what can I love about my life right now? It's not that you can't decide I want to change something, it's the constant idea that there's all these other things that are so much better than what I have right now. And even when you want to change, it does not serve you to think that thought because all that thought does is make you feel overwhelmed and keep you more stuck. As opposed to understanding like okay, this is good for these reasons. These are the things I don't like. Maybe there's something else I can try. And I don't have to pick the quote unquote right one, it doesn't have to be the very best choice. It just has to be the next choice that I'm going to make in my life. And then we can talk about that another day because that's more of like how do you move on with things, but I just want you to start becoming aware of it. And the last thing I will say about kind of really being onto your brain is giving up this idea that you're doing it wrong. Right? We have this all the time with everything in our life. And part of it is like, you know, work-life balance. Like we, all of us think we're failing at that. And I'm definitely going to do another episode fully on kind of this myth of work-life balance and why it's impossible to achieve the way that we have kind of set it out in our culture. But just really thinking about this is that like we add on so much guilt and stress about like how we're sort of failing. And that is, you know, antithetical, it's impossible to love your life if you're constantly thinking you're doing it wrong. And so a lot of is dealing with the mindset of guilt and shame. It's shifting your thought process to have so much compassion for yourself. It's understanding, like we did an episode about how there's seasons of life, so like maybe in certain seasons you're working more and maybe in certain seasons you're not, right? You’re more with the family. And maybe in certain seasons you're kind of hustling and you want to start a business or whatever. And maybe in some seasons you just need rest. And part of this is giving up on this idea that there is a right way to do it or that anybody else can tell you what's the right way for your life. And that like if you're not doing it perfectly, that something is wrong as if like any of us can ever get it perfectly. So understanding that and working on the thoughts that are creating you to feel as though you're doing it wrong. Part of it is just really acknowledging how well you're doing, going back to kind of like the gratitude practice and the shifting of the negative bias, part of this is really being able to have self-compassion and pat yourself on the back a couple of times, right? I mean, I hope you do this every day, where it's like I'm doing a good job. You know, of course I'm going to drop the balls on something. Whether that's with my kids, whether that's with my work, like every week I’m gonna. If I'm trying to juggle 80 balls like some of them are going to fall and that's okay because I would rather have all these eighty balls kind of juggling instead of having like two and not getting to anything in my life because I'm so terrified that like I'm going to fail at something. And so a lot of this is dealing with the guilt, dealing with the shame, dealing with the idea of perfection, dealing with the need to kind of be some superhero that does everything right. And I would love to work on that with you like it's hard for me to dive deep into like how do you do that. Obviously on the podcast, we talk about thoughts and like how do you change your thoughts? And so it's changing thoughts of like I'm not doing it right. I'm terrible at this. Like I'm failing as a mother or whatever the thought you have. It's working deeper on those. And that's what we do in my six-month program. So if you're interested in that, feel free to join the wait list,, but that's really where you need to start working, right? Because when you can start shifting your focus on the positive, when you can start shifting your focus away from missing out on things, when you can start alleviating that guilt and that need to prove yourself and the need to constantly be perfect, it makes it a lot easier to start enjoying where you are. Right. It makes it a lot easier to look around and take a deep breath and relax and see that you're doing a great job and really enjoy what you have in your life right now.

And so one exercise I want to give you that I think can help with this, because obviously the mindset work I think is like deeper work that you're definitely should work on and you're going to work on for a long time. But one kind of quick thing to kind of put into perspective is I want you to sit down and write out what your dream day would look like in your like dream life, when you make it to whatever that destination is. If you had the money that you wanted, if you had the career that you wanted, what does that dream day look like? And just let yourself explore, right? Let yourself go wild. Because here's the thing: a lot of times we want to believe that we're going to have these like really insanely extravagant experiences. And maybe that is part of it, right. But like a vacation or, you know, even like buying something, those are usually like one-time events, right? They happen here and there. It's not your day-to-day life. And so most of us, if we're looking for that dream day of our, like our regular life, it's usually things that don't really cost money, right? Maybe they cost a little bit, but usually not. It's like I would wake up early and have time, you know, drinking my coffee and enjoying it and reading a book. I wouldn't jump on the computer like first thing in the morning, I would take time to do yoga every day and go for a walk with my dogs in the fields, you know, like go to like a nice trail. And I would have some time every afternoon to read uninterrupted or whatever, whatever that is. I want you to understand what it is because often we don't even know what that looks like. We're just working super hard, hoping that one day we're going to get there and then we'll know, and it'll all just kind of, you know, show up. And the funny thing is, is that it's like the exact opposite, right? If you haven't trained your brain on how to relax, if you don't know how to manage your mind to not feel guilty when you're not doing anything, there is no there where you can just lay in the middle of the day and read. Because your brain is going to be yelling like what are you doing? We have so much to do. Get up. Like you are not allowed to just take a nap today. You're not allowed to sit down here and just enjoy your coffee. We need to like order the things on Amazon or we need to get started with work and respond to these emails or whatever the thought is. So you have to start training that now. And I promise you, when you start doing this exercise, you will start realizing that a lot of the things, now there may be some things that you can't do right now in your dream life, right. There might be some things where, um, you don't have the time for, you don't have the money for, that's totally fine, but there's going to be a lot of things that you can and you're going to be surprised by that. It really becomes something that you have to reckon with. Like if really I think my dream life is to read in the morning then there's no reason that I can't start doing that now. That I can't build in 30 minutes into my morning to sit down with my coffee and read a book. Right. And so if I'm not doing it, there's something else behind that. And I can maybe just stop telling myself that that's what I want. Right. Like I hear a lot of people constantly talk about like if I didn't have to work, I would volunteer all the time but I don't think that's true. I think if you started volunteering, you might think like I actually don't like this. I want to be a good person but I don't really want to volunteer my time. I want to do it in another way. But I think we like set up these lofty goals for ourselves and think that like well, I can't get to it now so like I'm just going to keep beating myself up until I can get there. And then I'm going to get there and I'm like oh, I don't actually like sitting in the middle of the day and reading or I don't want to take a nap or whatever the thing is.

So I want you to get really clear on what that dream day looks like for you. And from that or in addition to that, you can create something that I call a bliss list. Okay. So I created a bliss list of, I think mine’s up to like 15 things, but write 10 things that bring you joy every day. Okay, like 10 things that you can do to find joy in your day. So it could be having a warm cup of coffee. Like I said, like reading a book, doing yoga or going for a walk or exercising or whatever, watching TV with your spouse, spending uninterrupted time with your children, like doing a puzzle with your children or whatever, as specific as you can possibly be. Because what this does is two things. First, it gets you to realize that there are things you can do for joy every single day. Okay. So a lot of times, like we all want to say, like I said, like we want to volunteer or let's say, I love spending uninterrupted time with my children but then even when I'm with my children, I'm on my phone. And so I have to confront that, like how can I build in 30 minutes of I don't need to clean up, I don't need to do the laundry. I don't need to be on my phone. I don't need to work. I'm going to spend 30 minutes playing a board game with my children every night. Right. That's like going to become non-negotiable or maybe like I said, like you know, you do the volunteering and you realize you don't even like it, or you do it and you realize you do like it, right. It's just like about learning about yourself and understanding okay, this is what is bringing me joy. And you can edit this list as much as you want, but you start realizing like hey, if I'm feeling down today, what are things on this list that I can do to get myself to feel a little bit better? But the second thing it does, and I think the more important for me, is it helps you slow down to actually enjoy the things that you're doing every day. Okay. So like on my list is having a cup of coffee, like I love coffee. I only have one cup but I thoroughly enjoy it. But the thing is, is like life gets in the way. And so I'm constantly trying to scarf it down while I'm trying to work. And when I made my bliss list, I realized like I can take 10 minutes and like sit outside in my backyard and drink my coffee, or, you know, just really be present as I'm drinking it to the fact that like this is such a treat or maybe even make it more fancy, right? Like get a special cup or put some milk foam on it, whatever the thing is, to make it seem a little bit more exciting for myself, to give myself a little bit more joy every day. The more you start doing this, the more I promise you will start realizing how much of your life you actually love. And you'll become more present and conscious to those things. You will start understanding how much of your ideal life you have right now. And sure, there's things that you may hate, but at least you have these pockets of time that bring you such immense joy. And that will transform the way that you not only look at your life, but also like how you approach your life, how you find time for those things, how you start working on the mindset of like giving yourself time to enjoy little things, instead of constantly telling yourself that you're too busy.

So I want you to write down your dream day and I want you to write down a bliss list and I want you to use these. Just try it for two weeks. Okay. We don't have to commit for the rest of our lives. Just try going back to this list for two weeks and see what happens. Okay. So that's number one. Those are some tips on how you start loving what is right now. Okay. And then number two is how do we change what we don't want, right? How do we change the things that we can change? Because some things maybe you can't right now, that's fine. But the things you can, the point of this is going to be to design a life that works for you. Okay. So what I was saying earlier, too, about this idea of this guilt of like doing it wrong, every one of us is going to be in a different season in our life. And every one of our lives looks different. So there is no like one way to do anything. And it's really about understanding what works for you and lifestyle design, right? Like how can I design my life to really fit what I need right now? There's a number of ways of doing this. I think the easiest way that you could probably Google is something called a wheel of life. So there's like different variations of this, but basically you can either draw it. A lot of people do it in like a wheel, like a circle, but you can list it out. You don't need to, it doesn't, you don't have to get that fancy. But the wheel of life typically lists like eight different areas in your life. A typical one says like physical environment, career, fun, family and friends, health, finances, personal growth, romance, right. Things like that. I don't even think you need to get that fancy. Right? I think you need to pick like four areas that you want to constantly rate yourself on. Maybe it's work, play, health, family. I actually love that they put physical environment though cause I think that that's like a really easy one and a one that we often overlook. But anyways you can Google this. You can Google a wheel of life. It'll come up and all it is is you take these areas and you rate it from a one to a ten where you're at right now. Okay. So it might be that like your family and friends, you actually feel like you're at a nine. Right? You have great friends. You love them, you see them, whatever, it’s great. Maybe fun though is two. Like you don't feel like you have fun anymore. Maybe physical environment is also like a three, right? You don't like your house, you don't, whatever. It's too small, whatever the thing is. And then like health, you're okay. You're at like a seven. Okay. Like you get the point, you go through and you just gauge where you're at and you should do this every three months. You could do it every month. It's just a matter of checking in because things are always going to change. Right. And then looking at what is one small thing I can do today in that, to improve that area. That's it, right. If you listened to the podcast episode, I think it was 151 on the compound effect. Right? And how the compound effect will change your life. This is it. You do not have to completely change your entire life, flip everything upside down. You just have to make a small change. And I think so many of us get stuck because we want to change so many things, we don't change anything. And I think the biggest thing you can always ask yourself is what is one small thing I can do today to get myself closer to something that fills me up. So like physical environment for instance is a great example, right? A lot of you might be waiting until you have more money because you want a bigger house. And I want you to ask yourself like what do I want to feel in that bigger house? What do I think that bigger house is gonna give me? And oftentimes it's like you might feel like more at peace. You might feel more calm. You know, maybe you need that space to feel more calm or you have these visions that all of a sudden it’s going to be more beautiful or whatever the thing is that you're going to have there. How can you make your house a little bit more of that right now? How can you make yourself feel more at peace or more calm in your home right now? So maybe that just means doing one thing, cleaning up one drawer, right? Making it a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. I don't know, maybe you light candles every night cause that makes me feel more special. Maybe the smell of it makes you enjoy your home. Figure out one thing you can do and start doing that. And maybe you add something else and you, again, you don't have to change everything. But part of it is like realizing I can feel at peace and I can love my physical environment right now exactly where it is by changing different things. By focusing on different things or let's say fun, right? Fun is one that a lot of us overlook, like we're so busy thinking about family and thinking about work and thinking about our health and all this stuff. And we just like forego any type of fun that we want to have in our life. And then we wonder why so many of us are unhappy. And so I don't know, like ask yourself what you would rate yourself on fun. Like the amount of fun you have in your life. And if it's not where you want it to be, what is one thing that you can do today? We're waiting for these big things. Like oh, I need you to make money so I can take my whole family to Disney World. No you don't right? Like what can you do with your family tonight for 30 minutes, maybe you can go on an adventure. It doesn't have to cost anything. Maybe you could put together a scavenger hunt for your kids. Maybe for you, it's like you want to do one thing that's spontaneous, right? You don't normally go to a dance class. You're gonna try that. You're gonna take up a painting class, whatever it is. Think about what is the small thing. Maybe it's just having a dance party. Like you don't even have to go pay for anything or go anywhere. Maybe it's like moving my body is fun and I never do it. So like tonight I'm just going to turn on my favorite music. I'm going to create a playlist for myself. I'm going to dance for 10 minutes. It's amazing how much these little things can change your life right now. And the funny thing is, is doing this is exactly what will get you to understand like what your passion is, what your purpose is. It was, like leads to more creativity, right? The more you start realizing that you have control over your life, the more you start taking control over your life, the easier it becomes to make decisions. The more it puts you in the driver's seat. Like this is the path to figuring out the thing you want to do. Most of us just sort of sit in this victim mentality. And I'm not saying it in a way of like I'm not trying to call anybody out. I do it to where it's like whoa is me. This is my life. There's nothing I can do. It just sucks. I just have to suck it up until I get to some other place. And the more you can start realizing like I have so much power in changing a: how I look at my life and b: what I do in my life. And maybe that's just the smallest thing of like taking a nap without feeling guilty or turning on some candles at night or not saving like the fancy soap for the guests or whatever the thing is for you. I have that control and I'm going to start enjoying my life right now. I'm going to stop waiting until I think that like there is some other place where I'm going to be happy and I'm gonna figure out how do I bring more joy in every single day? How do I enjoy this journey while I'm trying to change my career, while I'm trying to build that side hustle, while I'm trying to, you know, whatever, whatever it is, create a family. I promise you, you have so much more power than you think. And when you start doing these little things, it will change your life. So make your bliss list, make your dream day, do your wheel of life. And then come find me and tell me what you have found and what you're committing to changing. Alright my friends, I hope you join the challenge. I hope you let me help you get unstuck so you can get on with living your best life right now. I will see you guys next week. You can join the challenge at

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes, it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at Lessons From a Quitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.