Live Your Best Life NOW

Over the last two days, I was interviewed on two radio shows to talk about living our best life NOW—not tomorrow, not later when conditions we deem necessary are fulfilled. This topic, which has become a big focus of my work this year, came to me while on a personal retreat last December, when I sought Divine guidance and clarity from my inner wisdom on what to do next to fulfill my mission. On the radio interviews, I also talked about the top reasons why so many of us don’t feel we can embrace our best lives now, as well as the keys to changing that.

The Barriers

Let me first summarize the top reasons why our best life eludes us.

BarriersReason #1: Don’t know what we want. This point is pretty simple: Without clarity around what constitutes our best life, we can’t embrace it.

Reason #2: Fear of leaving our comfort zone. As the saying goes, “The devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” Even if our present life is less than fulfilling—or even downright intolerable—at least we know our misery. That’s preferable to the risk of not landing on a more fulfilling alternative. The fear associated with this risk can be downright paralyzing.

Reason #3: Don’t feel good enough. Many of us are caught in a never-ending self-improvement loop because, deep down, we fear we’re broken or inadequate, that we aren’t inherently worthy of the best that life has to offer. It’s one thing to seek new skills to enable us to do what we want to do. It’s quite another if we feel undeserving without clearing hurdles of our own making. Believing we aren’t good enough is a sure-fire way to defer living our best life indefinitely.

The Keys

With the above said, what can we do to embrace our best life NOW? This could easily be the subject of a whole book, not just one article. However, I’ve learned that there are basically 3 keys to embracing our best life now. Let me introduce them here.

Key #1: Decide. As obvious as this may seem, many of us sit on the proverbial fence. One day, we’re full of conviction that life is too short to settle for an unsatisfying existence; we’re rearing to go! The next day, fear, limiting self-talk, and the gremlin of unworthiness catch up with us, and we revert right back to living with the devil we know.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen. Other philosophers, mystics and spiritual teachers—both eastern and western—throughout history have pretty much said the same thing. After all, universal truths transcend time and space. When we make a decision to do something, we tee up our mind to look for evidence to support it—that’s the way our brain is wired. We set in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy to manifest what we’ve decided to embrace.

KeyKey #2: Honor life and who we are. When we don’t like something, our natural human reaction is to reject and turn away from it. If we’re miserable in our current life, we can’t wait to throw it all away and start anew. Yet, who we are and life itself serve as the starting place, the container to hold the good we wish to receive in our best life. If we turn away from this container, what holds that which we wish to receive? Furthermore, many of us fall prey to judging ourselves harshly on what we have done as detours or having fallen off our path altogether. Yet, when we stop to take stock of what those experiences have taught us, we realize that they were meant to set us up and provide us with invaluable skills, know-how and experience to create our best life.

Moreover, many of us mistake living our best life as a bed of roses all the time. That is, we’ll never feel scared, anxious or depressed again. However, as long as we’re human, challenges are bound to come up, as they are an unavoidable part of life that we need to honor. Living our best life doesn’t mean it’s all flow and no ebb. Rather, it means we’re equipped to navigate the ups and downs without losing our conviction or passion for the life we’ve set out to live consciously.

Key #3: Release what no longer serves us. To continue with the container metaphor, if our container is already full, where would we receive the good we want? Therefore, we must be willing to let go of any old story to which we’re attached that’s incongruent with what we want to embrace. Some of what needs to be released is at the conscious level. For instance, anger, resentment and victimhood mentality fall into this category. We need to be honest with ourselves about holding onto old pain and grievances that have inadvertently become a comfortable security blanket, one that gives us the righteous excuse not to move forward. Forgiveness and other practices of conscious releasing of the old create space for our best life.

Aside from what we know at the conscious level, there are also forgotten limiting beliefs and latent untruths active in our subconscious mind. This subconscious programming makes reflexive decisions for us and runs our lives 95% or more of the time when we don’t pay attention to what we’re actually thinking. We can learn tools to help us gut such self-defeating programming. To give you an example, a hidden belief I had to release was that I must give up something to get paid. Therefore, “work” was synonymous with “things I couldn’t enjoy doing.” That belief wasn’t acquired consciously; rather, it came from internalizing what I had observed since I was a little girl.

Great lifeThe Time is NOW!

Cliché as it may sound, life really is too precious to be anything short of remarkable or that which takes our breath away—at least every so often. Tomorrow and the days, weeks, years beyond are not promised to us. As I experienced firsthand, life could truly end in a flash without warning. NOW is the best time—the right time—to embrace living our best life! So, how about it?

Over to you: What are your thoughts about embracing your best life? What would you say to someone who needs an extra boost to go for it NOW? Would love for you to share your thoughts below in the comment box!

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30 Days To Living Your Best LifeDecide to embrace your best life NOW with 30 Days To Living Your Best Life! You can start as soon as 24 hours after signing up.

Need some support while doing this program? The next group coaching program will begin on April 4. Early Bird Special before March 10.

Each group is capped at 10, so that a true community can form and norm, and be supported by each other—and me!

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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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10 comments
Samantha_S_Hall
Samantha_S_Hall

Another great post Alice. Thanks for sharing it.

 

Key #2 has been and is the most significant to me in my own life right now.  When messages from either outside of me or even my own internal voice challenges to rush past 'what is' in order to put the quick fix band-aid cover up all over it, then I'm not able to truly appreciate how far I've already come.  It's been full of curve balls, speed bumps, detours, various 'earthquakes' and all that has happened can either serve to keep me pressed down as I process the 'consequences' of events in my life as they happen.  Or I can appreciate the journey in how far I've come and what I've learned from it all.

 

When I no longer have to defend my own 'what is', then I can more easily move into accepting it, appreciating it even if things in my life aren't where I would like it to remain, and then more capable of taking stock of what is no longer working so I can consciously let go of those things. 

 

I especially love the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote.  It's a fave I have in a quote book I keep and add to here and there.

 

'Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen.'

 

 

Linda Joy
Linda Joy

Alice I love your description of what it means to live our best life... "Living our best life doesn’t mean it’s all flow and no ebb. Rather, it means we’re equipped to navigate the ups and downs without losing our conviction or passion for the life we’ve set out to live consciously." THIS moment is all we have. Many of us spend our moments revisiting a painful past or dreaming about the 'when this happens..." Of the future. As you shared until we start living our best life right NOW is the time to create and live our best lives

livelovework
livelovework

Wonderful topic, Alice! I embrace my best life every day because at some point in my life I grew weary of being unhappy and thinking life was going to get good when.... when what? When things work out the way I want them to? Never gonna happen! This is the only life I have and I am going to make the best of it.

 

I believe the first step is, as you stated, to decide to live my best life. From that point on I practice living my best life. I don't have to get it right every day- I don't even have to feel good about each day to live my best life- all I really have to do is keep trying. Living my best life isn't about my accomplishments or achievements- it's about embracing the journey and doing my best every day with the awareness, wisdom, and experience I have at the time.

 

Have a grateful day!

 

Chrysta

BethWeisberg
BethWeisberg

Really well-said, Alice. You've so perfectly nailed the problem -- and given some very doable fixes. In my heart I "know" all this "stuff", yet despite my best efforts, I still fall prey to those internal voices if I don't stay vigilant. Here's what I'm doing to help me stay vigilant: I start every day with at least a short post in a special journal, setting my intention for the day to stay mindful and defeat the voices which conspire to keep me down. And I've found that, for me at least, it really helps. Now I'm off to save the world! ;)

AlliPolin
AlliPolin

Alice - You're first key seems so simple but too often I know that I don't fully do it.  I decide but then still settle, I decide but then don't change anything, I decide but listen to my gremlins.  Really, I've only given voice to my desires but when I really decide, action is not a choice - I'm compelled to move.  Thank you for your call to action!  You're right - the time is NOW!

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

 @Samantha_S_Hall Many thanks, Samantha, for adding your insights here! I love how you talk about not defending "what is." When that's the case, it's a clear sign that we're attached to expectations of how things ought to play out, and the judgments prevent us from embracing life. As one of my favorite authors/teachers says, we may not like the wrapper around an objectively challenging event, but there's always a gift in it. You made that point so well. Thank you! Glad you love the Emerson quote, too. It's the anchor quote for my book.

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

 @Linda Joy Thank you for adding your voice to this discussion, Linda. Absolutely, the only moment we have is now. Our minds are often so busy lamenting the past or worrying about the future that we miss the present. More importantly, we aren't going to "bump into" our best life by waiting. We live it by choosing to do so. Thanks again, Linda!

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

 @livelovework Your comments are right on, Chrysta! We keep waiting for things or ourselves to improve before we embrace our best life, when it's the reverse, that, by embracing living our best, we get out of the bottomless pit of needing for things to change to make us happy. Also, I love the fact that you reinforced the point about not feeling good each day. That's part of honoring life (Key #2). Embracing the journey and doing our best each day with consciousness really is the recipe for living our best life NOW, even if "best" looks different from day to day. Many thanks for sharing your genuine wisdom, Chrysta!

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

 @BethWeisberg Thanks, Beth, for your very practical and useful tip. My daily spiritual practice is critical to me, too, for the same reasons you stated with your daily routine. And, who amongst us doesn't wrestle to some degree with the "knowing" vs. "practicing" gap? We all "know" what's good for us. It's a matter of being conscious to do it, i.e., really follow through with our decision consistently, as @AlliPolin  pointed out in her comment, vs. falling back to letting our inner gremlins run our lives. You go save the world, Beth, with your unique offering of heart-based wisdom and brilliance! :-) Nice to see you here!

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

 @AlliPolin Alli, you made an important point about deciding, that often it isn't just deciding once, but again and again. After the initial decision to get off the fence or to give ourselves permission to go for it, it may be necessary to keep choosing that decision over all the forces that pull us back. Thank you for sharing so genuinely something that many, if not all, can relate to!

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