Are You As Important As Your Work?

Businessman Stretching at WorkThere is no denying that work is a vital part of our lives.  We work to support ourselves and our families, establish a desired lifestyle, and plan for a future.  We spend forty hours a week (at least) on the job, and in today’s economy some of us need more than one job just to make ends meet.  For most of us, work is our main priority and our main focus.  Not only do our occupations support us, many of us use them to define a sense of self.  We strive to do our best at work for the rewards that are important to us.  Some are monetary, some involve status and prestige,  some come from the joy of following our passion.  We give a lot to our jobs, and hopefully they give a lot to us in return.

Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people who put their work above themselves.  It is usually a slow process, starting first with email after work.  Then it is staying an hour or so after closing, or coming in an hour before everyone else.  Lunch hours become a time to catch up on voicemail while scarfing a sandwich, or worse, a burger from that joint on the corner.   There just isn’t time for a healthy meal with all the management deadlines coupled with staff reductions.  Sometimes it is just a desire to move ahead that narrows our focus to occupational tunnel vision.  After all, there will be time to relax after that promotion, or product launch, or once the ad campaign is up and running.

Of course, there is a problem with that whole scenario.  As work starts to take over every waking second we tend to lose ourselves.  As the job takes more and more time and energy, there is less and less to devote to our personal health and well-being.  We  don’t get enough sleep,  we don’t eat properly, and exercise goes out the window.  There is little time to pursue leisure or spiritual activities. Self improvement or personal development goals fall by the wayside.  Stress levels can’t help but skyrocket, and we eventually compromise our own ability to perform well on the job.

More and more employers today are beginning to realize the overall health of their company  is tied to the overall health and well-being of their employees.  There are even provisions in the new health care laws in the United States for wellness programs in the workplace.  However, sometimes I think the hardest thing to do is convince the Type-A overachiever of the importance of  personal health and well-being as it relates to job performance.   After all, when you have been putting your job first for years, it is no easy feat to start focusing on yourself as the primary concern.

What are a few ways to treat yourself with the same respect you show to your work?  One of the most basic but most important things you can do is to reframe the way you view the relationship between your health and your job. You cannot separate the two; they are intertwined.  If you are in poor health, there is no way you can perform to desired standards.  Realize that focusing on your own health is not selfish–it is vital to success in life, both personally and professionally.

Make time to exercise.   Take a walk at lunch, or take the stairs.  Park in the farthest stall from the building, or get off one subway stop before you usually do.  There are lots of ways to incorporate movement into your day.  It doesn’t have to involve changing clothes or going to a gym.  Even taking a couple of minutes a few times a day to stretch is a great way to tone your body and reduce stress.

Take a lunch–literally.  Bringing your own lunch gives you control of what you eat, and helps reduce the chances of hitting the vending machines or eating nothing at all.  I know people who fall into both categories,  and both camps have trouble functioning in the afternoon.   And when you take a lunch–take it away from your desk.  Eating at the desk does nothing to promote a sense of downtime.  By leaving your work area and removing distractions such as phone and email, you will be able to recharge more easily for the rest of the day.

Establish boundaries.  Just as you do not bring your personal life to work, do not bring your work life to your home.  Leave email at work.  Since that may not be possible in today’s economy, set a time that you will stop reading and responding to it.  Let coworkers know what that cutoff time is, and not to expect a response until the next day  if they haven’t heard by the cutoff.

Make time for  family and friends.  Maintaining a support network takes effort, but it is one the best tools for dealing with stress.

For mental conditioning, spend ten minutes a day in silence.  Use the time for meditation, prayer, or reflection–but be quiet.  Turn down the noise in your head and around you, turn inward for a few minutes, and be still.  You’ll be amazed at how much more energy and concentration comes out the other side.

Work is important, no question.  But if doing your best at work is really important to you, than it is crucial that you give your own health equal time.  Even if you love your work and can’t imagine a life without it,  you won’t receive the full benefit if you are not contributing at full capacity.   Take your health as seriously as you take your job.  Both are important, but if you neglect the former, at some point you may lose the latter.   And that, in a nutshell, is why you as a person are more important than your work.

So how about you?  I would love to hear how you focus on your health and keep the demands of your work in perspective.  





A Time-Out for the Mind

monkeyHow many times have you been in a meeting at work and suddenly realized  you have no idea what has just been said?  Or you have a deadline looming but every time you sit down to finish up the project  something else suddenly seems more important?   It happens time and time again.  As soon as we try to concentrate on one particular issue, our mind is flooded with a thousand other things we could or should be doing.   It’s as if  our mind is purposely trying to sabotage us and distract us from what we need to do.

The bad news is that it’s true–our minds continually try to distract us.  The good news is that we can control that.  To some degree  we learn to control our thought processes as we age.  It is a natural progression.  But like any skill set, concentration can be improved and strengthened with use and training.  After all, an olympic runner may naturally be pretty fast and beat the other local runners, but she isn’t going to make it to the top of podium without major practice and training.

What are some of the benefits of enhanced concentration?  One of the most popular benefits is improved work performance.  When you can focus on one topic and give it your full and undivided attention, the resulting product will undoubtedly be of a higher quality, completed in less time.

Another benefit of concentration is peace of mind.   If we can train our minds to remain on the situation in the present moment,  there is less chance to let our minds wander to the future and the “what if” possible scenarios.   These scenarios are the basis for a lot manufactured stress in today’s world.  We spend too much time thinking about what may happen, or what could happen.   These thoughts tend to generate anxiety  about situations that may not even occur.

Improving concentration and focus in the present moment is a great way reduce stress, but many people are at a loss when asked just how to do that.  Some feel they have no problem concentrating.  Here is an exercise to see just how distracted your mind may be.   Set a timer for three or five minutes.  Without a given subject in mind, begin to write down whatever comes into your head.  Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar.  Don’t even think about what you are writing, just let it flow as a stream of consciousness.  When the timer goes off, take a look at what you’ve written.  Chances are that you will see a variety of subjects, and many thoughts or ideas which are only half-finished before switching to another topic.  It is a fascinating exercise to see how quickly the mind can jump from subject to subject.

In mindfulness circles, this behavior is often referred to as monkey-mind.  Swinging from one idea to another, the mind is like a monkey in the trees swinging from vine to vine.  This is the monkey that worries about the future and keeps us up at night.  Even when we are enjoying ourselves, that monkey is swinging around and trying to distract us.  I also like to think of it as the squirrel syndrome.  Picture  a cartoon dog who stops mid-sentence because he is more interested in the squirrel or  shiny object that just saw rushed by.   Not only is it hard to concentrate or enjoy any activities at hand,  quite frankly chasing those squirrels can be downright exhausting.

So when the mind is misbehaving and running amuck, treat it like the preschooler that it is and give it a time out.  For just a few minutes, stop what you are doing and concentrate on nothing.  Now, most people will find when they try to clear their minds, it only allows space for more thoughts to rush in, so finding a starting point is good.   Instead of nothing, concentrate on your breath.  Breathe in, count for three counts and out for five counts.  Think about how it feels as you breath in and out through your nose.   Here’s a tip–you will probably think about other things as you do this.  That’s perfectly normal.  Just acknowledge the thought and move on.  Let  it go out as easily as it came in.  Like the writing exercise, try this for three to five minutes.

The good thing is that you can do this anywhere (except possibly behind the wheel).  Steal a few minutes at work and give yourself a mini-vacation.  Try it while taking a bath and create a spa-like experience.   Like any exercise, the more you do it, the better you will become at it.  You will be able to focus for longer periods of time.  You may start to see improved concentration in areas you didn’t expect.  Anxiety levels may decrease.  Enjoyment of the present moment may increase.

Just like a monkey or a toddler, training  the mind to behave is never easy.  However,  you can train your mind to focus  on one item at a time (or nothing at all).   When you do that, you eliminate trips into the past or the future and thus reduce feelings of regret or anxiety.   Aside from boosting self-confidence from mastering a new skill, you can’t help but improve your quality of life.  And that, I think, is definitely worth the effort.

So when the monkey is swinging in the trees,  give your mind a time out.  Put it in a corner and let it rest.  You’ll be glad you did.



A Christmas Wish

OWe have entered the countdown for the Christmas holiday.  Shopping for last-minute gifts, coughing up the overnight delivery charges, getting the house ready for guests.  The list goes on and on.  By the time Christmas gets here, we are exhausted and have no energy left to savor the joys of the holiday.

There is no doubt that the holidays are a stressful time.   There is usually too much to do and not enough time in a regular day, so adding holiday expectations into the mix can really throw some people over the edge.  For them, the holidays are not a time to celebrate and reflect with family and friends.  The holidays become just another series of check-marks on a to-do list.

So for them, and for all of us, here is my Christmas wish.  I wish everyone the joy of simply slowing down and savoring the moment.  There really aren’t a lot of opportunities where society pretty much stops for a day, so we should take advantage of that when we can.   We spend almost every other day of the year racing in high-speed, so hitting the brakes may not be easy, but it is certainly worth it.

Take the time to enjoy the holidays.   If you are a Type A personality, this can be difficult since we tend to try to control things and make them perfect.  Here is a suggestion that might make things easier.  Don’t judge.   It takes too much energy.  Santa can decide what is naughty or nice–all we have to do is enjoy what is.

We all have ideas of what the perfect Christmas is, but that vision is just that–an idea.  Don’t worry if the dinner isn’t perfect, or the gifts aren’t wrapped like a Martha Stewart holiday ad.   Trying to live up to self-imposed ideals  creates unnecessary stress and robs us of the joy of simply sharing the moment with others.

If we let go of the way things should be, we may find that the way things really are is better than we could have imagined.  It’s not always an easy thing to do, but is worth the effort.

So give it a try.  Slow down and live in the moment.  We can all rev up  to speed again on the 26th.

But if we slow down, we may just find that the moments we are actually present for become the memories we cherish the most.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All.

Check out my new group coaching program beginning  January 15, 2013.   Transform your life  From Surviving to Thriving in Six Weeks or Less!   Participation is limited so don’t be disappointed.   Reserve your space today.

Yoga as Part of a Wellness Program

If you are thinking about starting a wellness program in  2013,  chances are pretty good that you are considering some sort of exercise as a part of that program.   Once you make that decision, the next step is deciding which type of exercise is right for you.  What will you enjoy doing so it doesn’t seem so much like work?  If you don’t enjoy the exercise you do, it will be pretty hard to keep the effort up in the long run.

yogaclassI have to admit that I’ve had an exercise program for years.  Since I was never very athletic as a child, I was never comfortable in team sport situations.  In fact, I avoided physical activity as much as possible.  It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I discovered the benefits of cardio, and from then I was hooked.  Now I practice a daily cardio workout along with weekly strength training.  Although I felt I was covering all the bases, I still felt a piece was missing from my program.

About two years ago I rediscovered yoga.  I had toyed with it as a child when I would see the programs on PBS (no longer a part of the lineup!), but never stuck with it.  Let’s face it, it can be really hard to keep any momentum going when you are the only one practicing in your living room, especially when you are nine years old.   So I let it slide until a particularly stressful time in my corporate life.

We all know that exercise is a great stress buster, but my program didn’t seem to be doing much good to keep me calm.  I had heard about the benefits of yoga, so I decided to revisit the possibilities.  Now, I have to say that I was a little skeptical.  My idea of a good workout involves an increased heart rate and a lot of sweat.  How hard could a yoga class be?   After one class I had my answer, and yoga has been a part of my wellness program ever since.

There are many reasons to practice yoga.  One of the first to come to mind is flexibility.  As we age, it is vital that we maintain a supple body.  Obviously yoga involves a variety of stretching postures that can target all parts of the body.   Greater flexibility also means greater mobility and balance–two more things most of us hope to maintain as we age.

Practicing yoga improves endurance.  It may not look like much (okay certain poses-or asanas–look pretty impressive), but staying in warrior pose for any length of time can really push up the heart rate.  I have long since given up the idea that I shouldn’t sweat in a yoga class.  After ten minutes on the mat I am  reaching for my towel so I can personally attest to the fact that yoga is one heck of a work out.

There are a couple of other reasons you may want to explore yoga as an exercise and wellness choice.  Perhaps one of the most important is the calming effect yoga has on the mind.  The practice is designed to help the mind find stillness–blocking out extraneous thoughts and focusing on the postures along with what the body and breath are doing.  Many people find it to be the ultimate mindfulness exercise.  At its core, yoga is about the integration of mind, body, and spirit.  Once you are in the flow of a practice, you can actually concentrate on what the body needs. The worries of the day fade away and you are truly in the moment.  It is a deeply peaceful yet exhilarating  feeling.

Another reason to consider a yoga class is the sense of community it provides.  As I mentioned earlier, I am in no way comfortable with team sports.  Originally I was apprehensive about actually going to a class.  It’s hard not to compare yourself to others in class, or so I thought.  But in fact, I found that just the opposite was true.  The yoga community is a very supportive and caring network.  No matter how competitive you may be,  comparison during class is just not part of the picture.  The focus is on what your body can do in the moment–not how you did a posture yesterday,how you will do it tomorrow,  or feel it should be done today.  And certainly not what the person on the next mat is doing.  A yoga class is one of the few places where you are accepted for who you are–without judgement.   That doesn’t happen very often in this society.

Of course, the yoga studio you chose will have a lot to do with the experience you have.  I find that I enjoy local studios rather than  classes in a franchise or health club.  Local studios usually have smaller classes, and there is more personal attention during class.  With smaller groups  a stronger bond develops over time, which strengthens the yogic support network.   For instance, when I am in Napa I attend Ubuntu Yoga, a small organic studio in downtown Napa.  The staff and the fellow yogis provide a sense of community and support that is so vital to overall wellness.

It may sound odd, but the type of exercise a person choses is a very personal thing.  Yoga provides both physical and mental benefits that are so necessary to function well in today’s fast-paced world.   There is really nothing like the sense of tranquility that comes after a practice, and that tranquility spills over into my daily life.  My partner sometimes even wonders what happened to the high-strung stress puppy he met sixteen years ago.

So if you are thinking about improving your health and wellness in 2013, consider yoga as a part of your wellness program. You may find that your time on the mat is one of  the highlights of your week.  And enjoyment will play a big part in establishing and maintaining a consistent and healthy  long-term exercise program.

Check out my new group coaching program beginning  January 15, 2013.   Transform your life  From Surviving to Thriving in Six Weeks or Less!   Participation is limited so don’t be disappointed.   Reserve your space today.

Stress and the Pursuit of Happiness

Sunflower 1It is one of the founding principles of the United States.  We are entitled to the pursuit of happiness.  It is what we are put on this earth to do.  And if it is a right, it should be a pretty easy thing to do, right?  Define happiness,  get set, pursue, achieve.  Simple.

So why do so many people in today’s society feel like they are on a never-ending chase to find that elusive state?  And we all know that when we don’t seem to be able to achieve a goal, we find frustration and stress instead.   The harder we try to be happy, the harder it is to be happy.  Just when we figure out what will get us there, someone moves the finish line.  What we thought would be the end of the race turns out to be only another hurdle.

Finding happiness is important.  Why?  Because on a basic level, we equate happiness with well-being.  If we are to live a full and optimal life, we need to be happy.   We need to enjoy life and find the things that contribute to our happiness.   We need to be active in pursing happiness.

There is only one little fundamental flaw in this theory.  Most of us are pursing the wrong things.   Somewhere in our personal development, we decided what was important to each of us.  Subconsciously we designed a matrix that determined how we could be happy and what would be necessary to achieve it.  Sometimes we modeled that on early environmental factors, such as a stable home life.  Sometimes the opposite is true.  There was no stable home life and there was unhappiness.  Therefore, a stable home would be a requirement for happiness.

Many people equate financial success with happiness.  After all, we are bombarded with media images of wealthy, successful people all the time–and they certainly look happy.  Wealthy people don’t worry about money, so they have to be happy.  The goal becomes to have enough money to not have to worry about it ( which in itself is not possible, but that’s a different subject).  Of course, the problem here is deciding when enough is enough.   The reality is that when you allow money to determine happiness, you will almost always feel that there is never enough.  Kind of a self-defeating cycle.

The bad news for those of us who are goal-oriented, Type-A driven personalities,  is that we should stop the pursuit.  It is one of the hardest things to do–especially when we find value in action–but we have to stop taking the easy way out.

Here’s the issue.  It is much easier to assign responsibility to external factors as a basis for creating happiness.  We pursue these conditions, or goals, in hopes that they will make us happy.  A good relationship, a better job,  a bigger house.   It seems that we have been conditioned to believe that things, or conditions, will make us happy.  It is much more difficult, and more frightening, to accept responsibility for our own happiness.

The truth is that each of us has the ability to be happy at any given time.   If you think about a time when you considered yourself happy, you probably weren’t actually thinking about being happy.  You simply were.  You were in the moment, and that moment was all that mattered.  The problem is that most of us don’t realize those moments matter.

There was a time I was walking my dogs (I have four, so walking them is no easy feat),  and  in spite of the tugging on the leashes or whatever problems, I was incredibly happy.  There was nothing special about the day but for some reason  I was actually aware of what I was doing, not just performing a task on autopilot.  I was completely in moment and it was a very peaceful, happy experience.   In the midst of a not-so-particularly great day I was happy.   When I stopped looking for it, I discovered happiness was there if I wanted it.

This is not to say that pursuing goals is a bad thing.  Far from it.  However, using the completion of a goal as a benchmark for happiness is an exercise in futility.  There will always be another goal, so if you attach your ideal of happiness to attaining a goal, you will set yourself up for an endless search.  And that search only leads to stress and dissatisfaction.  So create goals, but create them for the sake improving your situation, not for the expectation of how that achievement will make you feel.   How you feel about any situation at any time is completely up to you.   Enjoying a sense of satisfaction due to an achievement is not the same as expecting an achievement to satisfy you.   A subtle difference, but an important one.

We do have the right to be happy and to thrive to the best of our abilities in whatever environment we find ourselves.  Once we accept that we don’t have to search for happiness–that happiness can already be an integral part of our world if we just allow it– interesting things happen.  Stress levels drop, we have more energy to put toward positive pursuits,we find a sense of peace, and our health can actually improve.   Now that certainly seems like something worth pursuing.

Are you ready to discover how the power of one-on-one coaching can help you break down self-imposed barriers and reach your Personal Best?  Click  here to schedule a complimentary strategic coaching session and see if wellness coaching is right for you.

Check out my free teleclass for Your Best Year Ever and give yourself a head start to a great 2013!

Need a Change? Try Your Perspective


Let’s face it–change is hard.  It doesn’t matter if it is a change for the better, such as committing to a healthier eating plan, or coping with  change caused by external sources, such as  a layoff.   Adjusting to change is just not something we humans tend to do well.  And initiating or maintaining change, especially self-change, can be even more difficult.   It doesn’t matter if we understand the changes could be beneficial.  Creating new habits and patterns is just not something that comes easily to most of us.

So what can we do if we are considering a positive change?  The first way to attempt a change is to make an external change.  A great example is deciding to go on a diet.  We alter our eating habits, thinking that this will help us lose weight and feel healthier.  And it works–for a while.  But the change doesn’t last.  We slowly revert to our old habits, and the weight returns.  Why is it so hard to maintain healthy changes?  Because so often we change the behavior, but do not  make a corresponding change in how we view our world.  We just don’t change our perspective.

One of the best ways to create lasting change in our lives is to change our perspective.  When we can change the way we see ourselves and the world around us, changing behavior becomes much less difficult.   Changing eating habits is a great strategy for weight loss, but deciding that a healthy lifestyle is more reflective of who you really are gives you a much greater chance of lasting success at achieving your goal.  If you believe that you are a healthy person, it will be easier to make healthy changes that complement that perception.

One of the best ways to change our perspective is to realize that we are responsible for our own reality.  Of course there are external factors that shape our world, but we are responsible for how we react to those factors.  When we make that connection, a very subtle but important shift happens within.   We are no longer victims of circumstance.  We become the creators of the type of life we want to live.  Our perception of our own worth and power changes in a very positive way.  And that is a very powerful tool.

Have you ever noticed that things you worry about tend to happen?  When we worry we fixate on the negative, and expending all that energy on negative thoughts tends to create a negative environment.  It is true that we see what we want to see.  If we shift our perception to focus on more positive aspects of our realities, we can create a more positive environment for growth and change.  Glass half full or glass half empty–you decide.

Here’s a little coaching exercise to help change your perspective and make your world a more positive place.  Complaining is a very negative habit, and it takes a lot of energy away from creating a positive lifestyle.  So here’s the deal.  Try not to complain about anything for one week.  This doesn’t mean that if you receive  the wrong order from Amazon you shouldn’t send it back, but don’t rant on about how awful and ineffectual the company is.  Just return it and move on.    Most importantly, don’t complain about the traffic, or the weather, or anything.  Don’t expend that energy.  It’s not easy, but you can really change your perception of yourself and your world  when you become mindful of how much energy is focused on  negative issues.

When you stop complaining, you can’t help but begin to see the world in a more positive light.  And that more positive light is a great tool to help change your overall perspective as well.

Are you ready to discover how the power of one-on-one coaching can help you break down self-imposed barriers and reach your Personal Best?  Click  here to schedule a complimentary strategic coaching session and see if wellness coaching is right for you.

Check out my free teleclass for Your Best Year Ever and give yourself a head start to a great 2013!

The Dangers of the To-Do List

If you are like me, and a lot of other people as well, you probably rely on your to-do list to keep your life sane and orderly.   Using the list to keep track of projects and daily issues is a way to stay in control of everything on your plate.  And it feels great to cross an item off the list after it has been accomplished.

That is the up-side of a to-do list.  The downside of maintaining that list is that it can begin to look eerily similar day after day, and week after week.  The same items go on the list, the same items get crossed off, some of them never seem to get touched.  Suddenly a month goes by, and then a year.  At some point that to-do list changes from a tool for measuring progress and becomes a roadmap of routine.

Routine is not altogether a bad thing.  Certain repetitive routines help us get through mundane tasks with minimal mental energy. Brushing your teeth, for example, takes no thought on your part, and is a necessary part of the day.  It is a routine, and because it takes very little thought, it doesn’t tax your mental energy.  Daily exercise habits and healthy eating patterns are other examples of good routines.

The danger of routine occurs when we no longer  think about what we are doing throughout the day.  Most of us have certain actions that expected of us on a daily basis.  We perform the same functions at work, pick up the kids after school,  get dinner on the table,  find some way to relax for a while (hopefully) in the evening, then get ready to do it all again tomorrow.  Whatever fills our days, chances are there is a lot of repetition required just to keep all the wheels turning.   It’s not surprising that one day starts to look like the next, and slowly we lose energy and creativity.  It is as if checking off the same items week after week is enough to give us a sense of satisfaction.  After all, we are accomplishing something, right?

The other problem with to-do lists is that most are focused on short-term goals.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.  But when we fill our days with easily attainable goals, or items that seem important but in the long run are actually trivial, we crowd out any time for focusing on long-term goals and dreams.  In a perverse sort of way, we can feel more satisfaction in cleaning up after dinner than spending an hour brainstorming ways to start a new project.  It is more immediate and tangible, something to crossed off the list, at least for the night.   It is almost impossible to successfully bring about long-term change or growth when we condition ourselves to only accept the satisfaction of short-term goals.

One way to break out the daily grind is to become aware  of it.   Try to recognize when you are running on autopilot.  Routines are not always a bad thing, but they always become a better thing when they are done mindfully.  Is there a different way to do something?  Can it be done better or more efficiently?  Does it have to be done at all?  Sometimes we continue to do things because we are comfortable with them, but they no longer serve us and we just don’t notice it.  If you awaken your mind to your actions, chances are  that you will become more conscious of aspects in your life you tend to overlook or no longer need to hang onto.

Another way to overcome mind numbing effects of to-lists and routines is to carve out some time each week to focus on a long-term goal.  Maybe it is a half an hour a day, or possibly just an hour a week.  But if you live by a list, make sure that block of time is on the list.  Design a plan to accomplish the goal, and determine what steps need are needed to get you there.   Establish interim benchmarks to mark your progress so you can celebrate along the way.  Also be ready to make alterations to the plan as you go along.   After all, very few things in life happen exactly as we expect them to.

By making a conscious effort to find time to focus on a long-term goal rather than simply filling the days checking off short-term goals, you may find something interesting happens.  So many people are frustrated at the end of the day because they aren’t sure where all the time went.  Suddenly the day is over and they don’t feel as if they accomplished much, even though they did hit all the required routines.   If you allow yourself to consciously address a dream or a goal that is going to take much longer than just an afternoon, a week, a month–or maybe even a year–to become a reality, you will give yourself the gift of long-term satisfaction.  And that satisfaction is much deeper and richer than the type that comes from crossing the same item off the to-do list time and time again.  It is the type of satisfaction that can give real meaning and joy to your life.

And that, in my opinion, is certainly something worth adding to your to-do list.