Is it possible to be too busy for yourself? Whether working long hours at the office, or working hard to change your unemployment status, whether balancing kids or balancing the prevention of kids, whether spending hours at the gym or hours at the bar, we are all busy some way or another. We all have friends that need our help, neighbors that want to chat, traffic that wants to slow us down, and expenses that want to steal our fun. As life throws us lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and organic strawberries, it can get challenging to sort through it all and make that lemonade.
Daily life often requires so much attention that the “bigger picture” gets left on the back burner. Mike Jaffe, founder of Jaffe Life Design and the WakeUp Revolution!, has made it his life mission to show the urgency of having a vision for yourself and being proactive about what you want out of your future. “FINE is a four letter word,” Mike explains, “It can be a good place to catch your breath, but you do not want to become the mayor of FINEville.”
Mike’s own story in discovering his passion and vision will leave you speechless. After spending years climbing the corporate ladder of Fortune 500 companies, he found himself spending so many hours at work that he would often go days without seeing his new born daughter awake. Fed up with wishing the weekdays away in order to enjoy the weekends, Mike made a decision to go in late to work one day in order to enjoy a nice breakfast with his family. As he rode the later train to his office at the World Trade Center, a plane crashed into his building, killing 300 of his coworkers, the members of his immediate team, and his boss. It was September 11, 2001.
“To this day my daughter still says, Daddy, I saved your life.” expresses Mike. “My family and I see it as a miracle. However, I know that I am NOT the chosen one. But instead of asking why me? I ask myself, what now? I have a responsibility to help change lives in order to honor those that we lost.” Mike has since transitioned from his corporate marketing job to that of a well-established, driven life coach. “There is nothing better than changing lives. I can finally utilize my gifts where I could not before. In my previous career, I was not driven by money, but by a lack of vision. I was floating”. Jaffe is now leading his own life, and has a great sense of accountability.
The basis of Mike’s philosophy is that we all need to figure out what it is that we truly want out of our life. What do we love? Where do we want to be? How do we want to feel? As Mike describes it, “Design a life that you want to live in to.” Often the big picture idea can get overwhelming and even implausible. How can I be expected to change careers when I have two kids to feed? I already have a stable life, how do I know that a new path will be better? There are a million variables to consider and they are all specific to our own, everyday lives.
To guide you in figuring out your unique desires, how to determine the necessary and immediate actions, and how to take ownership of your future, Mike provides many valuable resources to both the public and his clients. “No one will ever own your choices for you,” declares Mike. He is the author of the eBook, Wake Up! Your Life Is Waiting For You, advocate of the ‘5 Principles to Rewrite Your Tomorrow’, and also provides a free, 7-step audio series, to name a few.
Mike’s entire, structured program begins with first, shifting your perspective in realizing that life is a gift and that each day counts. In order to fully capitalize on the gift of life, you must, “break free of your complacency,” says Mike in his book, Wake Up! Your Life Is Waiting For You. Now is the time to establish a vision and a purpose for your lives.
The idea of change, whether small or drastic, challenges our comfort zone. That is why many of us can relate to Mike’s story of floating aimless toward a career that we do not identify with.
“It is very normal to get comfortable and feel stuck,” says Jaffe. Therefore, once we realize what it is that would truly give our life meaning, we must take action and we must take it now. “Tomorrow starts today,” explains Mike. So many of us have well trained our complaining muscles that even though we know what we should do, we let our lives get too busy and we put it off.
Mike’s philosophy is realistic, and starts with building a personal foundation. For example, start small with manageable steps that you can do now. “Think of the smallest first step you can take and do it. It is a process, just like training a new muscle.” A small first step could be breakfast with your family, changing your thoughts from negative to positive, smiling more often, spending time alone without your Blackberry, riding your bike to work, keeping a journal, having grapes instead of chocolate, reading a motivational book, or declaring your goals out loud to yourself and others.
Ultimately, Mike’s goal is to help you strengthen your self-coaching muscles until you are able to do so on your own. “We will teach you to fish.” By focusing on what you can do today and establishing a support system, it is possible to live a life where you love every moment.
Don’t let life give you lemons, go out there and see all of the fruits available.