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Why do we keep things that matter most to us at the mercy of things that matter the least?

As we go through our lives, we wear different hats and step into different shoes.

The typical role list for most of us looks something like:

  1. Son
  2. Spouse (Husband, Wife, Partner)
  3. Father, Mother
  4. Grandfather, Grandmother
  5. Friend
  6. Co-worker
  7. Manager
  8. Employee, Employer

As young children, we have dreams. We make-believe, and pretend play. We live our dreams every moment. As we grow older, unfortunately, we stop believing in ourselves. We let our dreams fade away, and start living the dreams of someone else – dreams of our employer, boss or society.

We keep wrestling with dreams that are not ours, and this keeps us from becoming happy, successful and contented in the true sense of the words.

This needn’t be the case, but is with majority of us. Let’s do a simple exercise here.

I want you to close your eyes now for a minute as your finish reading these instructions – and think about the three most important roles for you in your life. And then, think about the three most important things you could do now in each of these roles to change them for the better.

When you’re done, come back. Okay? Let’s go.

For me, here’s how the most important role from that list looks like:

  • Father
  1. Being consistently patient with my kids – no matter what.
  2. Spending sixty positive minutes with them every evening.
  3. Reading stories to them before bed every night.

Fast forward to a work day, and I lose focus. I snap out and shout at the kids. I withdraw into my shell working on the things at hand when the kids come back from school. I’m so tired at the end of every day, I’m just waiting for the kids to fall asleep.

Happens to all of us, right?

What do you do when what you do, is not what you really want to do?

You can keep what really matters to you at the top of your life’s priorities with three simple steps:

1. Write it down:

When was the last time your wrote down your most important roles? Do you even have them written down?

For most us, we don’t have a single sheet of paper that lists down the outcomes we want in life, and the specific actions we will take to get to those outcomes.

Spend thirty minutes today listing down the outcomes you want in your life – and the specific actions you will take to get to those outcomes.

2. Take a pause.

Precede every action you take, every comment you make with a simple pause. Ask yourself this question:

Will these actions and words lead to the outcomes I am looking from my life?

3. Make a choice.

Every moment presents itself as a duality. You make a choice. Make your choices acting on the answers you find in the pause.

Many a times, these choices will be tough to make. They will push your out of your comfort zone and  into the wild uncertain. It may mean choosing the roads less traveled.

That’s it – this is the three step formula for success, happiness and contentment in life.

The steps for simple, but they will test you on your courage every single moment.

Where do you get this courage?

Courage comes from being able to live your life in resonance with your passions, purpose and convictions.

I invite you to give it a try – and see how your days fill up with success, happiness and contentment.

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Image Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5cheherazad3/