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Choosing A Life Path

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Choosing A Life Path

How prepared were U for life when U left your parents’ home and went out on your own?  Maybe U went to college first, then out into the world, or maybe U went right into the workforce and started earning a living.  How did U want your life story to go back then?  I would guess that U have learned a lot about life and about yourself since then.  Do U wish U had taken a little more time to think about your future and plan a few things before starting out?  What do U tell you children about planning and about thinking and having a strategy for their lives’?

The company I founded, LifeLongU™, creates and distributes guides, workbooks and some videos which are designed to help U develop yourself into the person U want to become by helping U define who U will be as the main character in your own life story.  We realize that everyone is on a path in life, but maybe not a path that includes continual self-development and improvement to becoming a better person and learning to do things they may not yet be able to do.  This takes planning, usually some education or training and also some specific action.

Going through any of the LifeLongU™ programs is taking action.  It is U educating yourself on how to plan your tomorrow and your future life.  It is your first steps to becoming the person that will do the things your main character in your life story does and working on a plan to become the person who does them.  It is taking action, deciding on the better paths U want to take and moving in those directions.

What we want to help U achieve by going through our workbooks is to really think about what U want your life story to be in your future, look at some pathways that interest U and then learn more about them.  The truth today is that U can have multiple paths to follow and most of us do.  U can study to learn a specific trade, skill or talent, but U don’t have to stick with it your entire life.  U can change and go down a different pathway by adding different skills, knowledge or talents.  Maybe even change your entire direction.

Will U become the main character in your life story after going through one workbook, probably not.  But it may be your first big step.  To become that person, U need to take more steps and U need a direction to go.  Right now, U may be at the “crawl-walk” stage of your life planning.  Everyone starts moving forward by learning to crawl and walk, right?  Then they learn how to run, then to drive and maybe even to fly.  There is a first step U need to take.  Crawl, then walk, then run, then drive, then fly.  When U learn and put into practice all U can, U will go farther and faster than ever before.  Who knows what your true potential really is in your life or in what stage U reach it? 

Our workbooks and guides were created to help U become aware and to think about some of the things U may want in or for your own life and to provide some additional ways to learn even more about yourself from other individuals.  Learning more about the different topics will help U become better prepared for your future.

Many individuals have been introduced to different opportunities throughout their lives. The more skills they have or the more prepared they are to act on those opportunities, the better off they may be in their future.  We want to help U be prepared, to have a plan and to work your plan.  Things will come up, and some rain will fall, but by having a plan and communicating that plan to your loved ones for their support as U work through it, U should be able to weather any storm and bring more sunshine into your days.  It might sound a little hokey, but it really is that simple.  Understanding where U want to go and how to get there, learning as much along the way as possible and allowing others to help U is part of life planning, and it all begins with taking a first step in the right direction.

Part of the life planning process is to simply walk through the many areas U will undoubtedly go through in your own life.  U will work and have a career, and U will have to deal with money, finances, health, and relationships.  Hopefully, U will have a life outside of work — maybe some traveling, seeing new things, exploring the world and nature, or maybe developing new or strengthening current beliefs.  If U haven’t already, U will begin to fully understand the fulfillment U can get by helping others.  U will also grow older, and, at some point, your life will come to an end and U will move on.

Having a life plan now will help U be prepared to face many more events in your life. It does not have to be like it was when U first left your parents’ home.  A plan effectively worked throughout your life will enable U to achieve much more than without a plan.  U are going to live your life either way, so why not have some plans that help U become who U want to be in your future.  Be that main character in your own life long plan and story and reach your full potential.  Decide on who your main character will be, pick your directions to go and take your first steps and work to become that person.

Gary J Kiecker

LifeLongU.com

Here are our workbooks and guides:2017-07-24_0540 2017-07-24_0545 2017-07-24_0557 2017-09-02_1528 2017-07-24_0543

 

 

 

 

 

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Passion

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Passion is an exciting word, isn’t it?  “PASSION”!  It elicits several different meanings, but for purpose of this discussion we are referring to the non-sexual meaning of your true passions, which are those powerful emotions of extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire U may feel for doing or experiencing a specific thing.

Living life every day without interacting in an area that is not part of your true passion can be very monotonous.  Isn’t enjoying those things U truly love, partially, what living is all about? 

I have always loved being by or on the water, after all I grew up in Minnesota, the “land of 10,000 lakes”, but for various reasons I never did.  So, after my divorce, I had a work opportunity on Hilton Head Island, in South Carolina.  My passion for being by the water, walking on the beaches, watching the sunrise and set and feeling the wind on my face, rose to an all-time high.  Within seven months, I took more than 2000 photos of what I saw there, and I still could not get enough beach time.  That kind of passion might live in each of us.  For me, I did not realize it was a passion, or something I simply liked, until I experienced it fully and over a long period of time.  Taking so many pictures, hurrying to get through work and get back to the beach to once again experience the peace and beauty I felt there was evidence enough for me that it was one of my passions.  

Your passions, of which there may be several, may not fully manifest in your life until U have an experience that heightens them to a level where U feel them for the true passions that they are.  Until then, U may just see them as preferences or things that U may like to do, given the chance. U can learn to distinguish a passion from a passing interest by asking yourself whether it is something U can take or leave depending on the situation or whether it would really matter to U if it were not in your life. 

When U spend time in your passions, your thinking is much clearer, and your mood and overall attitude is so positive that the other things U do in your day are also much more enjoyable, even if they are not passions of yours.  Just spending some quality time in your passions may be all it takes to turn all of the parts of your life in new positive directions.  Figuring out what your passions in life are should be one of your goals in your life plan.  Spending time in your passions will affect your life in powerful ways and will certainly make your days more enjoyable.

When U think about where your true passions lie, think about what U want your life story to be.  By thinking this way, U will likely be able to identify your passions.  Are U a world traveler, a writer, a photographer, a business person, a social worker, a minister, a teacher, a mother, father, wife or husband?  Do U love to help others, help animals, or help the environment?  Are U an explorer?  Do U like to fish, hunt or pick up seashells on the beach?  Do U love fashion, being in top physical shape, or working on cars?   Your life story is yours to tell all the world.  It is up to U to live up to your full potential and do what U were made to do — and if U are passionate about what U do, U never know how far U really can go in life.  Follow your passions!

Find your passions by:

  • Finding out who U want to be in your life story
  • Owning your uniqueness, include that in your life plan and be the person in your life story
  • Understanding that waiting for a better time or for more money to enjoy your passions are just excuses; U will be happier if U enjoy your passions, U simply need to figure out how best to make that happen
  • Thinking about what U really love to do and then go do it

Some Books You Might Want to Read on Passion:

  1. The Minimalist Mindset:  The Practical Path to Making Your Passions A Priority and to Retaking Your Freedom by Danny Dover
  2. GUTS:  Find Your Greatness, Beat the Odds, Live From Passion by Sam Bracken
  3. The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet and Chris Attwood
  4. Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

 

By Gary Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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A Secret for a Great Life

A Secret for A Great Life

The other day I was on one of my long walks enjoying the lake area I am so blessed to live by and saw a father cutting grass on a riding lawn mower, which by itself may not be so note worthy, I admit.  However, helping him and maybe getting in his way a bit were two of his children; both kids where about 6 to 9 years old and each were also driving a small vehicle; one a small look-a-like riding lawnmower – kids version and the other a kids small ATV.  The dad riding his mower had just come to the end of his cut with both kids following close behind and as he turned around they emerged right in his path and there the three of them sat looking , laughing and enjoying an intimate family situation. 

I like seeing these types of things as they remind me of when my own son who used to walk next to me at about that age and push his own child version of a lawn mower as I walked and mowed our own lawn. Those types of intimate moments were great to share with someone special and great teaching moments although they never felt like I was a teacher.

At this age young people are so impressionable and they want to be and do things that their parents do.  It is important that parents set the right example, do the right things and that they explain how to do the right things to those young impressionable minds, even as those minds grow much older.  Understanding how things work in the world in which we live is important when building a life for oneself, wouldn’t you agree?  I believe we are always both the teacher and the student and should try to take advantage of any opportunity to learn from others as well as share with others something you may know.

As you read this article, I assume you are much older so I would like to ask you several questions.  Can you name three things that you want different in your own life right now…three things that you may want to change about how your life is going?  Maybe there are several skills or abilities you would like to learn or do better.  What about your physical condition, your health and diet or what about traveling to some of those exotic places you always wanted to visit?  Is your career where you want it to be; how are your finances; is retirement even an option?  Are you happy with your relationships; are you really in them?  How do you treat those people who really love you?  What about your spirituality, what do you really know about the Bible, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and life after death?  What about your generosity, your giving to others and simply helping others more; maybe educating and helping direct some young impressionable minds?  You know you may want many of these things in your life or want to simply make some changes to your life, so why haven’t you done it? Why are you where you are right now?

To make large changes in one’s life or to attain better than average results in the world you need to have some sort of a plan.  We have all heard things like, “you don’t build a house without first having  a blueprint” or “you don’t drive to a new destination without having a map on how to get there” so why would you want to live the only life you have without some kind of a plan to follow and guide you?

 Think for a second about a young person just starting out in the world, maybe it’s your daughter, son, niece or nephew or better still it’s you when you where much younger and that person comes to you for advice about how to live the best life story possible.  What do you tell them?  The advice you give them can literally change their future.  You wouldn’t say”just take things one day at a time and see how it plays out”, would you?  Remember, you love this person and they respect you enough to ask you for your life’s advice.   

Wouldn’t you sit them down, explain that life is filled with choices and that there will be decisions they will need to make everyday which can really affect their future, that it’s important to make good choices.  Wouldn’t you tell them that there will be many challenges to overcome and what works best is to be prepared for those challenges…to have their mind, body and soul in tip-top working order so they will be better prepared to make the best choices?  Wouldn’t you try to show them that to get to this state of life readiness, they really need to lay out a plan?  They need to have a sense of direction of what they want from their life and to have some level of self-awareness and that starting with a basic fundamental plan for their life is a good place to start. 

Wouldn’t you explain to them that it’s ok to make mistakes, that everyone makes them, and that we must learn from them and try not to make them again…that our mistakes are usually events that provide us with our best education in life and we should view them that way.  Wouldn’t you tell them how important it is to forgive others who made mistakes as well, remembering that none of us our perfect. 

Wouldn’t you point out to them that in life, discipline is very important…doing certain things correctly and over a long period of time can eventually provide a very positive return on that investment of their time, money or effort?  That saving and investing a portion of their income, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and staying active and living a life true to their values, beliefs and having integrity is very important. To never give up on faith, hope and love that they all have their place and are needed.  

Wouldn’t you say to them that the world is moving very fast and as you get older you will realize how fast time truly moves by and you should not waste it but use it wisely.  Wouldn’t you tell them that learning new things, studying topics they are interested in and developing themselves throughout their life is very important in their future years and will constantly add to their lives in ways they may not understand right now. That it is never too late to learn or experience something new.  Wouldn’t you try to explain that as they got older, the knowledge and experiences they will absorb in the years to come will make their view on life different and they will be able to see so many opportunities around them they would never otherwise have seen. You might also try to explain to them that as they grow older they may also start to see and feel some regrets about not doing some of the things they should have done many years ago. 

You may also at this point try to convince them of the importance of writing things down and to draw up an actual plan of how they want their life to go; how they want their life story to unfold; what they may want from their life.  This plan for their life may help remind them and re-focus their attention to the things they may want to do now and later in life, they will really appreciate that they actually did the things that were on that plan. Also to communicate this plan to their spouse and ask them for their plans so you can both truly enjoy the lives you both want to live and merge both your plans into one.  As they grow older they will have that life plan to look back on and see where they were, what they did and didn’t do and how they got to where they are today.  They will see many of the challenges and options that were presented to them and what decisions they made and how things turned out and be able to learn from their pasts.

As you go over this with them would you not start to think and ponder to yourself why you are not doing this very thing as well right now?  You know it is never too late to start planning for tomorrow and beyond.  You know there are things in your life that you want to do, things you want to experience and there is still a person you are yet to become.  You know all this, so make your plans and live your own life story. Write down some new exiting chapters and then go live them. This is, I believe, a secret to a great life.  Always remember, it is never too late to make plans, accomplish goals and become a better you.

Make sure to leave comments about this article below.  You never know whom you might help when sharing your own life’s wisdom and by all means, have a talk with a young person and explain to them the importance of plans and executing on them. 

Here is a nice quote and wish to end with by Jonathan Swift, “May you live everyday of your life”.

 

Gary J. Kiecker

LifeLongU™

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A Family Helps

A Family Helps

In life, most of us will go through some very difficult times, as the world seems to present us with many different challenges to overcome.  We might believe we have no control over them, and they may seem to keep happening and occurring just to us.  In this life, one of the toughest challenges many of us face is the death of a parent or child. 

A death of this type is a very tough event to get through, whether expected or unexpected.  This event happened to me and my family in April of 2017, several weeks before I wrote this article, my father passed away, so I know from experience that it can be very trying emotionally, even for someone that has usually been emotionally strong.  It’s been said that U really never miss something until it is gone, and I believe that is true in the case of people as well.  When someone U love dies slowly over a period of time and U see them gradually change into something that really is almost unrecognizable from who they used to be, it gives U a new appreciation for the person they have been.  When U can see the constant pain they are in daily, the discomfort and the uncertainty in their face about what is happening to them every time U visit or see them, the inevitable end might be viewed as more of a blessing; after all, part of life is death, whether it comes slowly, quickly, expected, or is a surprise.

I come from a family of eight; my parents, one sister, four brothers and myself.  Because my siblings and I were all born within a period of about eight years, we grew up very close and shared almost everything.  By today’s standards, we were not a family of means or even a middle-class family, but our parents were good providers and we always had more than enough.  We understood the value of work, and we were very happy and content with what we had.  We grew up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota and at one time or another we had almost every animal U might imagine on a Minnesota farm.  We raised almost every type of fruit, vegetable or flower this part of the country allowed us to raise…and we loved it (except for picking cucumbers – seven acres of cucumbers that is).  Most of us kids played sports growing up,  and our parents supported those efforts.  There was a healthy atmosphere of competition among us.  Even though we were allowed to play seasonal sports, that did not excuse us from the many daily chores we all were required to do; animals needed to be fed, gardens needed to be tended and work needed to get done. We always kept pretty busy.   Because of our work and playtime together and as well as our close ages, we grew up as a very close family, and a family can help get U through the tough life events that happen from time-to-time.  When one of us is feeling really down, the others can help out by simply being there to help dispel the negative energy.  I like it when a family can come together, help and supporting each other.  I believe that is the way God intended it to work.  

The relationships among the members of a family are very unique.  Except in the case of adoption, U really cannot pick your family.  When your parents combined their genes to create U (and your siblings if U have any), U had nothing to do with it.  All of your natural siblings come from your bloodline, and from your parents.  That makes your relationship unique right from the start.  Many siblings grow up together, spending a lot of time with one another at an early age; whether they want to or not.  This, again, makes the relationships in a family unique to that family.  Your immediate family may also go through some very specific challenges while U are spending all that time together growing up, which is a very impressionable time for children and young adults.  What happens to a family and how they handle it also creates a specific relationship within the members of the immediate family.  Remember, U did not pick this family, U were born into it and developed from your experiences growing up together.  I believe God wanted U to be there for a reason.  U may never come to fully understand that reason; nonetheless, U are part of the family U were born into.  For all of these reasons, a family relationship is very strong and unique.  It is so unique, in fact, that U might find U can move away for many years, then come back to your family and see your yourself and your parents and siblings falling into the same roles each of U held within the family when U were growing up years ago.  That is a strong relationship. 

There are many other ways that a unique family relationship helps through tough challenges.  In events of crisis or when someone in the family is faced with challenges, the family can be there to support each other.  They share the family history of being together for many years and can almost instantly understand other family members’ reactions or needs to challenges and experiences.  

A family member can help at these times, like no other person can.  Of course others, outside of the immediate family, can also help.  But it remains true that immediate family have a unique understanding of each of the other family members and might better understand how best to help in a specific situation.

Besides the immediate family that U were born into, there are also several other layers making up a strong family.  If your family members are older, U or your siblings might already be married and maybe even have children.  Your spouse, your own children and maybe even their children are also very unique.  U can feel this when U hold your spouse or your child.  Just try holding your first grandchild in your arms and tell me U don’t feel the unique relationship that exists. It’s there, I know.  Every time I hold my nine-month-old granddaughter, just holding her makes many things in life okay.  

If U are lucky enough to still be surrounded by those family members U grew up with after starting a family of your own, U may find that U now belong to two or maybe even more immediate families.  Each of the members of those families knows U in a different way and may be able to help in challenging times differently.  They may not even have to do anything other than just be there.  Try to allow your different families to help U.  It may be good both for U and for them.

Still further removed, but still members of a family, may be your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  In my case, between my mom and dad and their siblings, we had 13 aunts and uncles which multiplied into many many cousins who also had many children and our overall family became very large.  If U have a similarly large family, U naturally cannot see all of them as often as U may like, so the relationship again is unique.  U are brought together because of family births and bloodline and are somewhat pushed into developing a relationship that turns into family friendships.  This type of family relationship, when all its members are brought together can be very supportive and fun.  As in the case I just recently experienced with my father’s passing, a large family can really help.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the type of family I have discussed in this article.  If that is U, then maybe U were meant to be the start of a new family?  Remember, Adam started out as one, God added Eve to his life and then they were two.  Give that some serious thought.

As a Christian, I also believe that God plays the bigger part in how we might deal with things like this.  Our faith in Him and His Son Jesus Christ, along with the Holy Spirit, makes us members of another family, one that makes our overall family very strong, especially when we all share that faith.  When your earthly family combines with your Heavenly family, U will be able to get through anything that the world has to throw at U. 

A family helps a lot.  Make sure to allow them to help U and make sure U help others in your family.  As they say, giving feels better than receiving, and I believe this works in families too.

I wrote this brief article to help me better understand the relationships I had with my family and to help with my own grief with the death of my dad.    Family is important to me and it should be to U as well.  U only have one, and it’s usually much larger than U think.  May God bless yours!

Gary J. Kiecker

LifeLongU, Inc.