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Every time I go broke, it feels like the same slow death.

“We go into this dissent. We know what used to work isn’t working anymore, we have no idea where we’re headed. And life starts falling away. We’re scared out of our minds. We’re disoriented and confused. And suddenly we’re plunged into the mystery. We’re walking through life not knowing. And wondering ‘Who am I now?’ ‘Who do I want to be?’”

I didn’t write this.

I got it from Cheryl Richardson. She’s a coach (and a guest on my podcast today). She has 20+ years of experience mastering self-care, radical change, etc. She’s written several New York Times best sellers.

And she’s who I call when bad things happen.

If you’ve been sitting in the same cubicle for the last 30 years, you know the feeling…the feeling of chronic disappointment.

Because the same broken lifestyle gives the same broken results.

“Your best thinking got you here, so you probably need the thinking of somebody else,” Cheryl Richardson said.

I repeat this to myself all the time. Whenever I need help, these words help. “Your best thinking got you here.”

“Go get help…”

“Go call Cheryl.”

She taught me that change happens from DOING.

You can’t watch two people playing tennis and suddenly be a good tennis player. You have to get out there on the court and try to hit the ball back over the net.

That’s DOING.

What always seems to help improve everything in my life is doing something big and new. Like throwing out all my possessions and living out of AirBnBs. Or starting a podcast. Or publishing my own book.

It’s scary, but it’s worth it.   

“You do something radical, it upgrades your life,” Cheryl said.

But it’s hard to know what we want. We’re often not honest with ourselves.“Most people don’t know what they want, most people don’t know who they are,” Cheryl said.

So I asked her, “ HOW can someone start to know themselves?”

Here’s what she told me:

1. Begin with carving out time for yourself.

It may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s important. This is self care.

2. Write things down.

Cheryl started with writing down 10 things that brought her pleasure, every day for a year.

It was the little things.

Enjoying the sun on her back deck. Eating. Admiring art.

She told me how much she learned about her life.

She learned about how little pleasure she had in her life at the time.

She learned how inexpensive pleasure was.

3. DO something new.

Cheryl started taking pictures.

Everyday. For 6 months.

She took one picture of beauty. She learned what she values. And now she has a album she can look back on of how she sees the world.

4. Ask “What have you learned about yourself recently?”

When I was alone, depressed and broke, with no opportunities anywhere in sight, I focused on my own self care. I wrote 10 ideas down everyday. I ate and slept well. I took pictures of people.

It was simple. And at the end of the day that’s really what it’s about.

“The soul is here to experience life. It’s not here to accomplish, it’s not here to acquire,” Cheryl said.  

And experiencing life leads to opportunities. It’s a circle.

I promise you this because it happened to me.

Opportunities GALORE.

The opportunities are the side effects to experiencing.

It’s about honesty.  

“We need to come home to ourselves,” Cheryl said.

You’ll know what you’re drawn to.

Life is good.

5. You have to think everyday.

6. You have to make time everyday.

7. You have to make time for the things you love.

It’s too easy to let the you things you don’t love overpower the things you do love. What does that mean?

It means it’s easy to suffer. It’s easy to give in. But that’s not what we want. (At least, it’s not what I want.)

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