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The Life Good Blog

Enthusiasm the key to happy living?

I wanted to share with you a quote that made me think about enthusiasm and what it is that we are really after in our lives.  The quote gave me an ah-ha moment, not because I thought otherwise, but because it really drove home a point that I may have lost sight of and think maybe many of you have lost sight of this too!  So here is the quote:

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

Charles Kingsley

This quote got me thinking about all the things I have been enthusiastic about in my life.  There are many.  From landing a job in my early twenties that I patiently waited (um well maybe not patiently) to hear if I was chosen for the position to much further back to kindergarten and winning the whole school’s hobby contest.

What I remember most is the “doing” part of each experience, not necessarily the actual experience.  Interviewing well for the job interview, following proper interviewing protocol by sending a thank you letter (with enthusiasm), following up multiple times, giving the proper amount of space between calls so as not to look to overly enthusiastic.

Another standout enthusiastic moment is when I ambitiously got an idea to produce and direct a play (Shakespeare) for the entire school at age 11.  I was so enthusiastic about the process from selling the idea to the teacher, then to the principal and gaining their approval to have the play performed in the gymnasium in front of the whole school.  The greatest enjoyment came from the selection of the actors (some arm twisting was involved) , scheduling the rehearsals, gaining volunteers for constructing the construction paper props as the budget to produce the play was zero.

What I distinctly remember is being enthusiastic about the production, practice and directing others and not necessarily the outcome . What I vaguely remember is the play itself turned out to be a little dry, most of my fifth grade peers couldn’t pronounce the words and due to that our audience couldn’t understand much at all.  These were some of the happiest memories of my life.

Which brings me to a revelation.  Are we all too hung up on getting to something and missing out on the enthusiasm of doing?  Where did our enthusiasm go from then to now and how do you get it back?  How can we retreat from arriving at luxury and comfort to becoming enthusiastic about the journey?

Revisiting the times of enthusiasm gave me a new perspective especially now in times of uncertainty.  I shared these thoughts with clients, family and friends and I received nods of agreement.  I invite you all to revisit enthusiasm and mentally list your happiest moments by recalling that lively feeling.  Were you most happy when you arrived at your destination or the adventure of getting there?  Retaining enthusiasm in all I do is my top goal for this year and beyond.

What are you enthusiastic about today?  How can you apply enthusiasm in your life to return to happier living?  Leave your comment to this blog by choosing the comment tag below.  I would be very interested in your input on this topic. Please feel free to share this information with others you feel would benefit.

I am seeking a new learner who is interested in getting back their enthusiasm for life.  If you or someone you know might benefit from personal coaching, please contact me Sue Birkam at by visiting the contact page.

Very enthusiastically yours!

Four tools to overcoming fear

I have lived in a fearful state of being.  I have experience with job loss and the anxiety that it creates, health issues where there seemed to be no cure and general fear and worry about the unknown.  There was I time when I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  In my fear filled days worried thoughts would begin the moment I awoke.  The “what if’s” would begin. The “what if this and what if that”, I call it the mind tornado.  Worried and fearful thoughts would take me into this dark whirlwind where I would stay day after day.

In order to overcome fear, you need to look at how you think.  Today, I would like to shift your thinking to come to a new awareness about fear and give you a few tools that work for me and client’s I have worked with.

First it helps to understand what fear is.  It’s the place we go in our mind that keeps us immobilized or stuck.  Fear begins with your thoughts, it’s an unpleasant feeling of apprehension caused by dwelling on something that hasn’t happened yet.  In a really insane way we think we can control the outcome of something by worrying or stressing about it.

When we live in fear, we are trying to avoid being in the present.  We either live in the past, by regretting or live in the future and stress about something that hasn’t yet transpired.  We consume ourselves with these thoughts providing us a place to be other than in the present,where we could take action and do some good.

No matter if you fear the worst and the best happens or fear the worst and you get your wish, all the energy you expended thinking in that fearful state really didn’t change the outcome.  What would it look like to spend your energy in the here and now, leaving the past or the future out of the equation to move yourself beyond fear?

Change your life motto: “If I overdo in the present, the future will take care of itself.”

No two thoughts can occupy the mind at the same time.  You can experiment with this by closing your eyes and thinking of something that you would dread or fear.  When you have that thought now ADD to that thought something that makes you happy or joyful.  Did you accomplish thinking two thoughts at once?

The point is you can’t think joyful and fearful at that same time and it shows you that you have a choice about what to think about.  So, you get to choose where your thoughts take you each day.  There are many tools to shift your thinking here are some tools that will help.

Tool #1 Don’t believe everything you think

Most people think that their thoughts are reality or truth, question your thoughts.  Fearful thoughts are very limiting in their structure.  Question,question everything you think about.  Is it reality right now?

Tool #2 Become aware about your thoughts

This tool is one of the primary tools.  Your awareness drives change.  Keep track of where your thoughts go first thing in the morning and throughout the day.  Become an observer of your own thoughts.

Tool #3 Refocus your attention to the present moment

Remember you can choose your thoughts.  If you feel the mind tornado starting to take over refocus your attention to the present moment.  This takes a conscious effort.  For me, if I feel the tornado gusts, I am aware and refocus by looking out the window at the tree in my yard and the squirrel running through it.  I taste my coffee and enjoy the flavor, coming back to the present and focus on the moment of doing.

Tool #4 Set your intention for the day.

Consciously work the plan you have for your day in each moment.  Set the tone for your day by writing some affirmations about the kind of day you intend to have.  Repeat your intention out loud until you believe it.  Starting your day with something inspirational also works well, playing your favorite music or just enjoying the silence of your morning (without any fearful thoughts).  Turn off the news and stop reading the newspaper.

If you practice these everyday you will shift the energy from one of fear to one of peace.  You will create the thoughts and actions that serve your best interest. You have a choice.  When you spring to action in the present, the future takes care of itself.

If you enjoyed the learning in this blog please share it with others who could benefit. Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.  If you have a comment or additional suggestions please share it by clicking on the comment section of this blog.

The Good Life Blog is part of Freedom Life Coaching Company. I currently have an opening for a new learner who is ready for positive movement in their life, career or relationships. Visit my website at where you will find contact information and an area offering “a look at your life” through some free assessments.  Till next time.

Sue Birkam

Does judgement of others attract social malfunction?

Everyone wants to be accepted; the basic truth of every being. Whether you are of a particular culture, a particular color or race or your beliefs are different from everyone else. Acceptance is our bottom line. How did we get to a place in our society where we place judgment on others who don’t act like us, talk like us or think like us. Could we be attracting the kind of social malfunction by our very thoughts about each other?

The first line of defense in any non acceptance situation by another being is indifference. That presents itself as “it doesn’t matter, that’s ok, and I don’t care” we say to ourselves. “I don’t need them to like me.” Then in turn comes their judgment in response “who are you to think you know what is right and what is wrong?”

As human beings we can accept the diversity of nature; snowflakes, leaves, animals, rocks, the terrain of a mountain. We never stand in judgment of nature. When was the last time you might have said “what is up with that snowflake? It’s different from the others.” Or comment even to yourself that a squirrel doesn’t look like a cat.

We reserve judgment and non acceptance for people not nature. Why? We are all God’s creations, individualized on purpose with a purpose, just like nature. How can we honor each others diversity and receive honor ourselves? What could we learn from that uniqueness coming from a position of non-judgment?

What are you tolerating

What are you tolerating?
By Sue Birkam
Freedom Life Coaching Company

Tolerating can be anything that takes your attention or energy away from you. It can be as simple as chipped paint, a pile of papers or a disorganized closet. It may also concern people in your life, such as disrespectful attitudes from others or of your time, daily disruptions and overstepping boundaries.

Toleration’s can literally take over your energy if not handled. Every time you have to take the time to rummage through that closet or pile of papers looking for that one pair of pants you just know is in there, or that receipt that you have to have before you walk out the door, re directs your thinking, frustrates and literally throws you off kilter. Even the simple things like paint chipping or a loose door handle, a blown out light bulb that diverts your attention even for a moment towards the object that needs repair, can drag you down.

You can start to eliminate toleration’s immediately by simply beginning the process of identifying what things are in your way on a daily basis. Once you have listed your toleration’s, draw three columns on a piece of paper. The first column will be your toleration, in the second column, list your strategy for changing that toleration so that toleration won’t re-visit you for the next five years. In the last column list your resources to accomplish your strategy. An emphasis should be placed on the system for keeping that toleration from cropping up again.

Start anywhere on your list, the first week might be one or two toleration’s that you will handle. When handling the toleration you may ask yourself what needs to take place in order to simplify or to, create a system. One example might be mail or paper work that has gotten out of control. Resources listed might be creating files in advance and labeling those based on what you know you will need to keep. Anything not labeled on your files will get thrown out or shredded.

Making a date on the calendar to do this sorting and tossing only once, even if it takes eight hours, schedule this on a calendar and do nothing else. You may also set up a one hour per week maintenance program for this paperwork, where one evening for one hour you will either file or toss out paperwork using your system. It takes approximately three weeks or more for the average person to change a habit.

As you move through this list, you will experience a relief, more time and even more energy. You will feel liberated from the things that have been dragging you down. The best part is you won’t ever want to return to the way you functioned before.