It is getting to the time of year when it is a good idea to have a quick helicopter trip over your life to access your progress and decide what you want for your life in the coming years.

How has 2012 been for you? Have you achieved all that you set out to achieve this year? Are you happier than you were at the beginning of the year? Have you grown? How have you grown?

Where do you want to be this time next year in terms of your work, your relationships, your health, your finances, the spiritual side of you, your fitness?

I met a friend last week for our yearly pre Christmas social catch up. We have been friends for over ten years and he is a really successful guy, he lives in a lovely house, he is thankfully fit and well and has a great family around him. Everyone admires what he has achieved in terms of his career and lots of people are envious of his income and what that affords him.

Although we live only half a mile from each other, both play golf, and both enjoy walking on the hills that surround us at home, we rarely get a chance to have a proper chat, as our busy schedules put us at other ends of the country most weeks.

Live without regrets

Are you compromising your happiness?

One of the reasons that our friendship grew so well all those years ago was that we had a lot in common in terms of our work. We both worked six days a week, we both worked in a high pressure sales management environment, we were both outwardly successful, and we both hated certain aspects of the work that we did! We always used to joke ruefully about how we were climbing the greasy pole to success. We were gaining our livelihood and gaining outward success by compromising on inner happiness.

Four years ago now, I decided that I was not going to put up with compromising my happiness any longer. We only get one go at life! I decided that I was going to put a plan in place to allow me to earn my living in a way that allowed me to grow, to feel as though I could make a difference to others, to feel as though I was successful and to have fun! I knew that if I had these things then I would be happy.

Don’t be afraid of dreaming big. Have a plan

My plan, my dream was to leave my job and set up in business as an NLP Trainer and Executive Coach. Part of the job that I had involved training and coaching and these were the aspects that I enjoyed most. I had a good knowledge of NLP, having used it in business for many years and I decided that this area was going to be my specialism.

I executed my plans. I took further formal training in NLP to ensure that my knowledge was up to date, I left my old job and I set up Excellence Assured Ltd, where I am the lead NLP Trainer and Executive Coach. I am happily living my dreams.

So, when I met up with my friend last week, I was disappointed but not surprised to hear that little had changed in his life. He is still doing the same job that he hates and counting down the years until he can retire. He works away from home most of the week and hardly gets to see his family. At weekends he is too tired to enjoy life.

I asked him a question, “why don’t you decide to change career in 2013 and do something that you enjoy doing?”

He relied, “because I am scared of what I might lose.”

“What are you scared of specifically?” I asked.

He had a puzzled look on his face, “I don’t really know!”

I decided to ask another question “If you were on your deathbed how would you feel to look back at your life and realise that you spent your best days doing something that you hated?  How would you feel that you let fear rule your happiness?”

Now, he has made the decision to change and so can you!

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