How to create a life you love?

Do you feel unsatisfied? Unsure?  Not clear on where you are going or why?

Simply, have you thought there just must be something more?

 

I think we all ask ourselves this at some point in our lives.  Usually, this reflection comes when something bad has happened.  Like losing a job.  Like losing a loved one.  Like missing out or falling short on something important.

It is at these times we are more likely to ponder the meaning of life.  But, how to create a life that you love?

George Bernard Shaw probably summed it up best when he said:

Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw

Kerry Swan How to create a life that you love

Identify what really matters

When we lose someone special, it is really easy for us to identify what matters most.  But, what about the other days?  How do we craft a life that we love, when things are going good?

This is where the tough work kicks in.  Recently, I have been challenged to identify my values by a colleague who specialises in leading change.

Now the easy bit is to rattle off veneer thin value statements like ‘I value integrity, hard work and creativity’.  Nice.  But what does that really mean?

The real challenge is to identify what I value by probing my belief system which translates into my day to day actions.

Mmmmmmm.

A belief system that says ‘hard work is important’ could translate into compromising health, rest and social connection.

Not that this is wrong or the place to pass judgement; but rather it means a whole lot more when we do the hard work of probing our beliefs.  Beliefs translate into actions.  Actions translate into our realities.

So, if we want to craft a life that we love.  We start by examining our pre-existing beliefs, so that we can identify what we need to create or change to achieve a life that we love.

And, then we can identify what really matters.

Kerry Swan How to create a life that you love

Back yourself

If we are to create a life that we love, we need to get our heads around a fundamental truth.

We are the Captain of our own ship.

Meaning, that if we are waiting for someone to save us or fix us.  Or if we are waiting for the right moment, the right advice, the right relationship; life will probably pass us by.

I am the master of my fate:  I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Simply put, we need to back ourselves into the race, because no-one else will.  And, a person that knows what they want and how they are going to do it, has a far great chance of creating a life they love.

Kerry Swan How to create a life that you love

Be passionate

If we are to create a life that we love.  Well we are going to have to give a shit.  We need to identify what truly moves us and get passionate about something.

Living our lives through Netflix binge sessions, small town gossip and a series of excuses about ‘why I can’t’ does not make for a life that you love.  It is a life that is fueled by the easy path and the short term trade off.

A passionate, full on life means that you get up in the morning and do the hard stuff, because it matters.  It matters to you.  And, it matters to the world.

Kerry Swan How to create a life that you love

Stay in your own lane

Life will fill you up with diversions, distractions and energy thieves.

When you are working at the highest version of yourself, you do not have enough room, time or energy to explore what happened in the car park at school.

If we are to create a life that we love, we need to stay in our own lane and focus on our journey.  Not the journey of others.

Kerry Swan How to create a life that you love

Hold the vision.  Trust the process.

Truly.  The hardest and scariest part to creating a life that you love, is that the responsibility sits at your feet.

It’s on you.  It’s your choice.  That’s the scary bit.

BUT, the solution.

Craft your vision for your life.  Identify what you stand for.  Identify what you want.  Take action.  And, then trust the universe.

For what is the alternative.  Netflix binging and chocolate?  Or a life well lived?

 

If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.

Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.

I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road.  It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.

I have also spent a lifetime solving problems.  Business problems. People problems.  And, of course property problems.

So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.

What does a leader really look like?

Ever wondered what a real leader looks like?  How does a leader act?  How do they behave?

But, more importantly, have you ever wondered what it would take to feel like a real leader?

To be honest, I am not sure that there is a one size fits all answer to these questions, but this I do know this.  Leaders are all around us.  Everywhere.  In every school, group, business, organisation that you can name.

Kerry Swan on LeadershipTake the single parent who, doing it alone, decides to go back to study and finish her nursing degree.  She may not hold a formal ‘leadership’ role at her part time, pay the bills job, but she does show leadership every day in her choices and belief in the future.

Or take the netball coach who, despite the fear in her belly, puts up her hand to coach a team of kids for the first time.  Scary as all hell.  She faces the parents, the opposition, hell even the kids themselves; and makes a decision to be there, week in week out.

This is what I call Leadership in the Trenches.

It is the unglamorous reality that we all live.  Day to day.

This is not the sexy, media driven perceptions of leadership.  You know, leadership that is successful, wears crisp white shirts and commands a media interview.

Leadership in the Trenches looks more like showing up to a parent teacher interview when you are tired, hungry and asking the good questions.

You see leaders are all around us.  And, way more common than we know.

They make choices

Leaders in the Trenches make active choices, every day, to be a better version of themselves.

Leadership can be as simple as committing to regular exercise and getting a healthy meal on the table.  Because it matters for their families.

Leaders don’t allow others to take away their right to choice.

 

They believe in themselves

Leaders in the Trenches back themselves, their belief systems and what is right for them.  Right now.

Meaning, leadership can be as simple as upholding their standards.  Standards like how they will conduct themselves at work.  A leader will hold themselves accountable to get the job done, because they believe in their ability to get it done.

Leaders don’t look for excuses or a scapegoat as to why ‘it didn’t happen’.

 

They work towards something bigger

Leaders in the Trenches have their eye on the prize.  A goal. An outcome. A purpose.

Leadership might be about making the necessary short term choices to save for a rainy day so that, when the time is right, they can invest in a future holiday, car or education.

Leaders don’t allow themselves to be caught up in the fun of the moment and the easy path.

 

They don’t sweat the small stuff

Leaders in the Trenches truly realise that life is precious.  They realise that we all have a limited account of passion and energy.

Leadership can be truly simply saying no to the energy thieves and not getting involved in the gossip or drama of the moment.

Leaders will not allow themselves to be stuck in the minutia of every day life, but rather they are focused in their own lane.

 

They look like us

Leaders in the Trenches take a moment to ponder, reflect and then act.  They are strategic and big picture focused in their own way and make good choices to advance their cause.

Leaders simply look like us.  They are not fancy.  They are making the best of their lot, their resources and want to extend their influence, in their own way.

Leadership is not about a fancy title or special authority.

Leadership is everything about how we hold ourselves in the world.

And, really a leader just looks like the person in your mirror.

So, for my ten cents worth, be a little discriminating and surround yourself with Leaders in the Trenches and you will be amazed at how your life will change.

KJSx

If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.

Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.

I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road.  It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.

I have also spent a lifetime solving problems.  Business problems. People problems.  And, of course property problems.

So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.

Life is precious, invest wisely

So, here is the thing.  In the last 10 years, I have lost an Aunt and an Uncle to suicide.  With all the love and care in the world, these precious souls found it just too tough.

I have also buried my best mate, thanks to Ovarian Cancer and my love has buried his first and only thanks to Adrenal Cancer.

Other precious family members and friends have come and gone.  Nothing is permanent.

I also have the T-Shirt for the Separation, Divorce and Rebuilding Club in my collection.

More recently, I have faced my mortality with a series of health scares including loss of cognitive function (for fuck sake I couldn’t actually use my brain) and irritating complications with my boobs continue to remind me that looking after myself is a priority.

So, excuse me universe if I don’t take some of your shit too seriously.

And, especially, this stuff that I see around me where women (and men) feel the need to tear each other apart for the sake of scoring some cheap shots.

It is always ‘them’ that are not doing the right thing.  Not us.

We are all guilty of judging our own intentions as good and THEIR actions as wrong.

We are all guilty of judging our own intentions as good

and

THEIR actions as wrong.

Here is the cold hard reality.

Each and every one of us has already won the FREAKING LOTTERY.

We have our health (mostly) our families (mostly) and the opportunity EVERY DAY to choose how we invest our energy.

How precious.  To choose every day how we invest our energy.

For me, I am choosing to create something magical to honour those that couldn’t.

My challenge to you, is simple.

How are you going to invest your winning ticket?

KJS x

 

If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.

Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.

I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road.  It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.

I have also spent a lifetime solving problems.  Business problems. People problems.  And, of course property problems.

So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.

 

How to live your best life

Ever wondered how you ended up here?  How exactly did life happen?  The kids, the bills, the mortgage, the soul destroying job and the never ending housework and things to do?

Where did that free spirit, idealistic and opportunistic version of you go?  Did you disappear?  Sometime around 30, or maybe 25 or even 40.

A few months back I was lucky enough to work with a dynamo who told me all about her struggle.  The struggle to make a choice.

Imagine.  Coming home from work.  Tired.  It’s late.  Too late.  And, Deb, well she is tired.  Bone tired.  Her real job, her life, has sucked the marrow out of her bone.  Too many clients.  Too many pressures.  Too much conflict.

But at her core.  Deb knows there is a better way.  AND this is where the conversation gets interesting.

Choose the scary option

You see, the thing for Deb was that she actually knew the answer.  But, the struggle is real.  In Deb’s world there is a choice.  A choice between the conservative, safe road and the creative, but scary road.

Now the safe road means staying in the same job, with a predictable outcome and a predictable salary.  Safe.

But the creative, scary road, means taking a big jump off the cliff and investing in a new opportunity.  Scary.

So here is the thing.  We don’t grow in safe harbors.  We only grow when we are tested, pushed and shoved.  So my money is on the scary option.

Back yourself

Interestingly, we all, like Deb, forget that at some point, that the predictable job wasn’t so predictable before.

It was scary. Our first day.  Our first client.

So if we think about it, we have already proven to ourselves that we can navigate a scary road.

And, if we have taken the scary road before, we know that we can do it again. We have a proven ability to back ourselves into a new experience.

Laser like focus

When we take the scary road over the safe road we are going to need to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the horizon.  Because, again, we know that from experience, learning something new is tough.

Remember when you learnt to drive.  Do you remember the experience of changing gears, using an indicator and moving the steering wheel?  ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  It was a ginormous scary moment.  But these days, we barely think about our driving.  Often times we can arrive at home, not consciously aware of how got there.

So while we are learning to navigate this new, scary road, we do need to apply a laser like focus to our learning.  It will be hard.  It will be awkward.  But it will be worth it.

Sandy V Tailem Bend Australia
Vale Sandy V. 1973 – 2016

Own your own shit

Another great mate of mine, Sandy, left me with a lifelong lesson.  Sadly, she is not here today to take the credit, but every day I hear her voice.

Years ago, I was contracted to deliver a leadership session as a favor to a client.  Well lets just say that the feedback from the client was pretty bad.  About me.  And, the crap job that I had just delivered.

Well, Sandy bless her sat me down on a bar stool in our local, filled my glass and let me complain.  But, during the second glass into my assassination of this woman, she asked me the question that has changed my life.

Kezza‘ she said, ‘what is really going on for you, that this woman so far up your arse?’

Now this is not very elegant or a refined, psychologically approved approach.

But it is a gamechanger.

For you see.  This rough and ready approach, forced me to look at Kerry and explore what was going on for her such that the perception of another human had me so rattled.

This day, was the day that I truly got the lesson that we are all responsible for our own shit.

100% responsible for our own shit.

Other people will come and go with their shit, but we are responsible for identifying, owning and dealing with our shit.

And, guess what? On the scary road you will find your demons and you will need to slay them so that you can create the type of life that you truly want.

Living your best life

If you are keen for change, but don’t know where to start, I am always up for a chat.

Living your best life starts the day you make a choice to take the scary, creative, and audacious road.

I have spent a lifetime making choices that take me down the scary road.  It has been bumpy, scary and the best thing I have ever down.

I have also spent a lifetime solving problems.  Business problems. People problems.  And, of course property problems.

So if you are up for a no obligation, free chat, flick me a line and we can find a space in our worlds where the stars align and we can chat.

 

Yes! I want to live my best life!

We might talk about careers, kids, staff, leadership, decision making or simply how to move through some tough shit.

We can also talk about serious stuff like property, people and business.  Or we could just swap #lifehacks for living on your terms.

Either way.  It will be fun and shed some light on that decision that you need to make.

KJS x

 

7 simple ways to change your life

We are all conditioned to focus on ‘what‘ we need to do. We look at our never ending, daily, task list and this pushes our competition and stress buttons.

If we simply started with the ‘why‘ and got focused on creating the best version of OURSELVES every day, then we might just find ourselves with an abundance of opportunity and have the energy to actively seek out connection with others.

In this book, I share with you my top seven go to strategies for when life is tough. It is not rocket science, just wisdom earnt the hard way.

Lessons learnt through life and all of it’s glorious mess.

Small Things. Big Results.

If you have been struggling, for a long time, or are just feeling depleted and focused on how ‘unfair‘ life is; then this is the book for you.

7 Simple ways to change your life is a small collection of the things that you can do to create big results.

If you want to be challenged or want to find a better way, this simple read will provide you with ideas to bounce off and it also has simple wisdom from a range of masters!

You can grab a copy of 7 Simple ways to change your life by flicking me your contact details below.

I will send you a copy of 7 Simple ways to change your life back by email and it’s yours to keep. Forever. No cost. No tricks. No pressure.

 

I will add your name to our mailing list, as some-one who is interested in talking about Life + Leadership + Wisdom. And, that is it. This is a no-obligation, no-pressure simple way for you and I to ponder and chat about how we can make this ride a whole lot more fun!

The difference between motivation and discipline

It’s an interesting thing this process of change.

Often, the need for change is forced upon us. And, other times, we drive change when we simply get sick of our own shit.

But, the real challenge comes when the honeymoon is over. When your commitment to change wavers. When it gets hard. When the gloss has worn off.

This is the point where we pull out our excuses and justifications about why change can’t happen. Now. Next week or even ever.

I am just not feeling it is a dressed up way of us describing that we have lost our motivation. And, we sit and wait for the motivation fairy to turn up and sprinkle her magic dust.

Here’s what I know.

Discipline.

In the form of self-discipline will beat the Motivation Fairy everytime.

But only if we identify discipline as a form of self love.

For you see, if the goal is to become fitter, faster or better at anything and we identify that this is an investment in self; then it is far more likely that we will find the reserves to make it happen.

Meaning, that if we link the action, the effort to self, then it is done.

Self-discipline. Doing things EVEN WHEN WE DON’T WANT TO is the key to change. Because it serves us. And, the bigger versions of ourselves.

Meanwhile the motivation fairy is waiting in the sidelines with her magic dust.

When you are finally sick of your own shit

As a former single mum and small business owner, I have my own list of bad habits. Life long bad habits.

Habits that many of us, Mum’s especially, know. Putting ourselves last. Making things right for others. Tripping around on not enough sleep. Not making our health and fitness a priority.

These days, life has changed, but these old habits continue to follow me around. And, not exercising regularly, or consistently, is simply one of my life long bad habits.

Earlier this week, I was challenged about my ongoing lack of action on my health. Once again, I told my war story about how I am just too busy for exercise.

You want an excuse, I have got one. I am too busy. I have deadlines. Customers. Kids. I have a pretty list of jobs that justify why I can’t commit.

In a conversation with a mate, I had to fess up that I still had not made my health a priority; no matter how much I talk about it. Intellectualise it, justify it or plan it.

We had a nice conversational diversion about the difference between motivation (I want it) discipline (I do it) and self discipline (I do it for me), but once again, it was an intellectual conversation.

The gamechanger, in the end, was actually very simple.

When you finally get tired of your own shit; you will do something about it.

Said, with love, this direct piece of advice was the gamechanger. Because the truth of it is that I was not yet prepared to do the work to make the change.

So often we resist change because we are not yet prepared to do the hard work necessary to make things happen. Our excuses are much more comfortable than the effort required.

So guess what happens. Nothing.

And, this week. It finally happened. I am sick of my own shit. Sick of the stories. Sick of the excuses. And, sick of the hypocrisy.

Imagine. A Project Manager, leader and planner not being able to own her own shit or get the stuff done that needs to be done.

So watch this space. Health is a priority. A priority that has been carved out of the busyness and excuses. Standards have been set.

So, if you, like me, are finally fed up with your own shit; and want to do something about it, come and have a chat.

No obligations. No pressure. No sale. Just a chat to work out the how, the what, the when of the change that you need to make.

It might be about Property. People. Life. Business. It’s simply a Life Health Check.

One hour to hold yourself accountable. Accountable for your own shit.

So flick me a line below and let’s chat.

The importance of you

Today’s inspo comes from our good friends over at Raptchau Hair & Beauty, a team of superstars who are dedicated to helping us feel better.

Now Linda is a self-made woman who is in trusted position to many. She hears our fears, weaknesses and hopes and dreams; even on the days when we don’t say them out loud.

So it comes as no surprise, that she gets just how much we juggle and prioritise EVERYONE and EVERYTHING, including the INTERNET above ourselves.

Now the self care industry, as a whole, can get a bad rap. They prey on our insecurities and vanities with false promises. Promises that a new colour or a new set of nails will makes us feel better, or at the very least it will provide us with a momentary numbing affect.

Numbing of our anxiety. Anxiety about ourselves. Anxiety about work, family and relationships. Numbing with whatever poison we choose. Beauty treatments. Alcohol. Sex. Bad relationships. Drugs. Gossip. Food. TV.

But in fact, this is not the self care that we truly need.

Because, the team over at Raptchau are onto something bigger. They understand that the self care we truly need; is the type that we administer ourselves.

For what they know. And, so do we. If we are truly honest. That, if we just breathe, once in a while, and look after ourselves; then the whole shooting match get’s easier.

You know the type of breathing that the airlines promote. Put your oxygen mask on first type of breathing.

Because this type of breathing is the truly important type. The type that makes us slow down and question ourselves. The internet can wait type of breathing.

So this week, take some time for some self care. By all means, take a walk, have a massage, treat yourself to a facial.

But do the breathing, not the numbing.

Because in the pause. Everything happens.

Clarity, motivations and insecurities are identified when we take the pause. When we face the truth, with out our preferred numbing technique, we open ourselves up to something bigger.

Take the time, this week, to focus on the importance of you.

For, if you do it right, it won’t be easy; but it will be worth it.

What is the reward for solving problems?

How does your ideal perfect start to the week look like?

Does it look something like my fantasy Monday? On a Monday, I go to gym, early, do a killer work out and then return home to wake up the teenagers. The teenagers then prepare nutritional breakfasts for themselves and attend to their chores without complaint and/or asking.

After dropping teenagers off to school with all of their required gear, homework done and a healthy lunchbox, I then roll onto work.

Arriving at work a latte is waiting for me together with my team who are all up to date on their tasks and are attacking the world with vigor. There are no concerns from customers and my bank account has miraculously filled over the weekend because of my purpose drive contribution to the world.

Ha! Or is your Monday more like my reality TV version. A hats off, tits out kinda day where I lurch towards some sort of dream that I have it all together.

See the thing is. We are sold on the idea that life was meant to be easy.

And, that if we are just organised enough; we wont have any problems. In fact, if we are just enough, everything will be ok.

Pretty enough. Smart enough. Fast enough. Organised enough.

But, here is the paradox. Our real growth comes from solving problems.

Life isn’t about living without problems. Life is about solving problems.

I am sure that you will, as I have, reflect that our greatest personal growth has come from the toughest times. And, the things that we are most proud of are when we have sorted some shit out.

Hard messy, difficult stuff. Stuff that asked us to grow as person. Build new skills. Be vulnerable and be wrong until we got it.

So here is another way of looking at our imperfect Monday’s. Perhaps Monday, and every other day, is simply an opportunity to perfect our craft, and solve problems.

A smooth sea never made for a skillful sailor

Because here is the real killer. What do we get as a reward for solving problems? More problems.

Again, the paradox of growth is that when we master problem solving at level one, we get to graduate to level two and solve some more.

So let’s, together, work this game of life out and see if we can find ways to hack this by leaning into problem solving as an opportunity for growth.

Want to tackle problem’s head on and live life on your terms??

I am offering a one hour Life. Health Check. (valued at $500) with me, for free. 

I would love nothing more than to chat to you about where you are at; what you want to do with that house, that business or that relationship. 

And, let’s be clear, it is just a chat. No obligations. Just a chat to see how you might like to live life. On your terms.

Flick me your details below and we can chat!

And, if at the end, we can find something in common, then great, and if not, you can just keep up to date, via our blog and mailing list about what we are doing next. 

KJS x

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