Stepping Off Life’s Treadmill: 4 Stops Along The Way

06.13.2016 0

Finding balance in a too-busy life.

Finding balance in a too-busy life.

Working 16 hours a day. Running from soccer match to soccer match. Rushing for appointments. Doing errands. Managing a workforce. Staying up until 4am playing catch-up.

This is my life! As a CEO, career coach and staffing strategist, wife and mother of two, I’m an over-doer and an over-thinker! I am constantly super-amped and on overdrive! There never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do!

Does this sound like your life, too? Do you feel like you are on a treadmill that you can’t get off? Did you ever envision that this would be your life? I never did!

Life is too short to feel unfulfilled and burnt out! Don’t we owe it to ourselves to live the best life possible? I truly believe that it’s never too late to change. We all have the power to look inward, to reflect and redirect our energies.

I’m starting to evaluate the quality and purpose of my life. I’m about to step off the treadmill, to refresh and renew. (And to sleep, which I don’t do very often.) I’m excited to share my journey with you and hopefully inspire you along the way!

Last month, I started my personal transformation by reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. This de-cluttering method focuses on embracing a minimalist lifestyle and living solely with items that bring joy. I let go of many, many trash bags full of “stuff” and in the process found a great deal of peace and renewed sense of calm in my home. By asking, “does this bring me joy?” to every item in my closet, I was able to start simplifying my environment. I feel inspired to make this question a constant part of my life and I hope you will, too.

I’ve also been listening to meditation audio when I have a chance to build some positive habits into my life. It is a relaxing, quick and powerful method that may provide the change you want.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving rainy New Jersey to go on a personal six day retreat to Sedona, AZ called Inner Journeys. It focuses on spiritual growth and self-discovery. Not a boondoggle or an over-the-top spa destination, my trip will be a low-frills wellness get-away (no make-up required)! I hope to learn and evolve to be happier and more purpose-driven in everything I do.

Here Are Four Life Lessons I Can’t Wait to Explore Along The Journey:

1) BALANCE: We all work too much and play too little; think too much and feel too little. Personally, I have been craving connections: with music, with nature and with exercise. Like many entrepreneurs, moderation and boundaries are lacking in my life. What interests, hobbies or past-times are you looking to connect with?

2) RELATIONSHIP WITH TIME: This four-letter word seems to motivate everything I do. I have been on a race with myself to “beat the clock” for as long as I can remember – I seem to take “Living In The Moment” too literally. I try to accomplish as much as I can in one day fearing there will be no tomorrow. Are things that I am cramming in my daily life really matter? Do they help me achieve my purpose? I need help with this. Does time run your life, too?

3) GRATITUDE: Since recovering from breast cancer, I have been moving too fast to stop and realize how lucky I am. While I was ill, I was so busy scrambling to keeping my companies healthy that I didn’t focus on the miracle that is my life. I want to learn how to embrace those things that are most important.

4) MAKING PEACE: We all have personal struggles and challenges that continue to loom emotionally long after they end. Job loss, illness and other personal disappointments and despair. Whatever you are carrying around, it is far healthier to deal with it and move forward than to keep it bottled up inside.

I can’t wait to take care of myself, reflect and enjoy the beauty of the Sedona mountains. I’m excited to have you along for the ride, too!

I’ll be taking daily video snippets (when appropriate) and posting them to my new YOUTUBE channel. I don’t know what is in store for me. But, I am excited to deviate from my daily routine and experience something off the beaten path. I hope my video journey to the retreat inspires you to lighten your load and live life better, too!

Gail Tolstoi-Miller is an award-winning entrepreneur, CEO, career coach and staffing strategist. Her companies, Consultnetworx and Speednetworx are focused on connecting people for mutual fit and success. The firms’ new division, Careernetworx, will soon provide job seekers with exclusive access to training portals and career coaching services. 

Stop the BS! Live with Purpose.

06.06.2016 0

Find your dream job.

Find your dream job.

Every morning, you wake up, dreading the workday ahead.

Day after day is filled with anguish and drudgery. At first, you blame your boss or the company. You think, “if I just got a new job at another firm, I would be happier.” Then, you move to a different company, working in a similar job. And you’re even more miserable and frustrated. So you leave that job and go to another company, in a similar role and fall deeper and deeper into despair.

You don’t know what’s wrong. You’re moving from one company to the next like a habitual, dysfunctional dater. Your professional life is a complete train-wreck. You’re making the same bad choices over and over again and not understanding why (or how to move forward).

Unfortunately, this is a common story that’s been told to me by many of my clients. It is disheartening to hear the anguish and frustration that not only affects their professional life but spills into other areas: Their health, their family, their relationships and their finances! When everything starts to sour, it becomes difficult for them to isolate where the misery originated. But when we start to peel back the onion, we reveal the source: It always goes back to, “I hate my career!”

So how do we tackle the huge life issue of having a stagnant career? Certainly we question strengths, weaknesses, goals, likes, dislikes, personality traits, aspirations, and use visualization techniques to gain greater insight. But that is just scratching the surface. We must dig much deeper to gain true clarity to attain career fulfillment.

It comes down to one vital question–four little words. (Drum roll please!)

What is your purpose?

To answer this burning question, first think about this: How much of your day is spent on (as I call it) the BS factor?

You know, that stuff that drags you down, saps your energy and detract you from the things that are most important–that have true meaning in your life and work.

Recently, I had one of my clients journal all the trivial BS she experienced throughout one day, as well as things that provided purpose. She was shocked at how many pages were filled with BS and how little with purpose. She realized she was wasting her days (actually life) on nonsense … and that included her job, where she slaved away, day after day after day.

Just as a company must be aligned with its values, we must also be aligned with our purpose. Feeling as though we are meaningfully contributing and solving problems that are important to us DOES matter. It makes each day count.

Feeling connected to others, feeling inspired, having a direction in life, and–we can’t forget–experiencing joy, all help us to define our purpose. Yes, I know life is not perfect, but if you are able to stay true to your purpose it somehow neutralizes the unexpected challenges that come our way.

Once you realize your true calling, you must take action! Action is the most difficult part of the process.

STOP! This is where fear and self-limiting beliefs start creeping in to your head…

My purpose won’t pay the bills. I don’t have experience. I am the breadwinner. My family won’t support the decision. It ‘s not realistic.

…the list goes on and on. (I hear every excuse in the “talk myself out of it” book!)

  • Why do we associate a dream career as risky but a miserable job as safe?
  • Isn’t that just a fable YOU tell yourself to feed your fears (and thwart living a meaningful life?)
  • Isn’t it as easy to apply to a joyful job as an unhappy one? (YES!)
  • Is the process any different? Yes. It is actually easier to apply to a purposeful job because it feels better and more exciting. And it energizes a job search.

Why are you denying yourself?

Would you ever, in your right mind, advise someone to spend at least 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday, for at least 40 years doing something that will make that person miserable? I hope not. (But that is exactly what you’re choosing for yourself.)

And if you had a friend who was miserable at their job, wouldn’t you try to be their cheerleader and do what you could to help them turn things around for the better? Of course!

Shouldn’t you be your own cheerleader?

Don’t miss another opportunity to start over and do something truly awesome! It’s time to get psyched-up to define your true purpose, discover your dream job and start writing your own story. Life’s too short not to.

Gail Tolstoi-Miller is an award-winning entrepreneur, CEO, career coach and staffing strategist. Her companies, Consultnetworx and Speednetworx are focused on connecting people for mutual fit and success. The firms’ new division, Careernetworx, will soon provide job seekers with exclusive access to training portals and career coaching services. Sign up for the latest information.