I’m excited to announce my new 6-month coaching program called TLC -- Thoughtful Life Calendaring.
My expectation is that it will help a lot of you make consistent progress in your business, and create better self-care in your life, too.
We’re only into the launch for a few days, and I’m grateful that 21 people have already started the onboarding process. If the rest of this post resonates with you, consider joining us. I believe you’ll find it very beneficial.
Once you are ready to sign up, go to: TLC Coaching Program
Otherwise, read on!
TLC stands for “thoughtful life calendaring” or, another way to put it would be tender loving care for your boundaries, energy, and purpose.
I’m a rebel at heart
I used to rebel against structure. I don’t know about you, but I really disliked school. I hated having to go to class in the morning, to be really structured about everything. I hated writing papers, doing assignments, and having deadlines. As a kid, I was also forced to learn piano and violin. I hated practicing!
Maybe some of you can relate.
When I was young, I would rather go with the flow -- play video games, eat junk food, watch tv -- for as long as I was allowed.
Some of us are still young ;-)
Yet as we start to mature, we realize that being undisciplined -- while “fun” on a shallow level -- cannot create real growth in our life, nor an abiding sense of deep fulfillment.
Being undisciplined is terrible for self-care.
I remember one summer during college, I played addictive video games the whole time, other than basic hygiene and eating. One day I got so hooked that I literally played for 30 hours straight -- without sleeping! -- only a few minutes here and there to go to the bathroom.
So I can relate with those who want to only “go with the flow”. I’m an addict. If I let myself go, I’ll spend all day on the couch, playing games, watching netflix, eating junk food.
My shallow self would say “what a great life!” but, of course, I would not be able to pay the bills… nor maintain relationships… and I would probably get quite sick.
When we take a deep breath… and reconnect with our higher Self… we know that we don’t want to just be going along with our addictions.
Constant social hypnosis
Yet it’s not only entertainment, food, or substances that can hook us.
A subtler level of addiction is to go along with the hypnosis of FOMO -- fear of missing out on what other people are doing -- and always tending to others’ requests.
It’s so easy to get sucked into an hypnotic addiction of our attention that doesn’t channel our purpose. Surfing social media too long, thinking that we’re being a good person by commenting on other people’s posts. Attending to our emails for too long, instead of being strategic about deleting many emails and focusing on clearing the inbox.
There will always be people wanting your attention and it’s hypnotic.
Whether it’s social media, or people in your own household, you can spend all day just responding to others’ wants.
Or, you could spend all day also hypnotically attending to your whims for entertainment and relaxation, which sometimes (often?) is an avoidance of the deeper, more important work that will actually bring you along your path of Purpose.
An untrained heart
As you mature psychologically you’ll realize how important it is to be really careful about just going along with your whims everyday, going with your so-called “heart”.
A lot of our so-called intuition or “flow” may actually be past-programming, suboptimal habits of thinking and feeling and acting. Yes, intuition can be trained and connected with a higher Source, but too many people misuse the idea of “intuition” as an excuse to stay with their bad habits.
An untrained heart is an unwise heart.
Once I learned how to start training my productivity, which was about 12 years ago when I started my business, my life began to completely transform.
I now have a regular schedule of sleep, naps, and other self-care. I have a regular schedule in my business that I follow every day.
Of course, I occasionally tweak that schedule -- which is the core of Thoughtful Life Calendaring -- to keep evolving your structure and yet, be faithful to it. It’s not a one-time process of creating a calendar and letting it ossify even as you grow.
“I hate constraints!”
Some of you may be saying -- “I hate constraints… I dislike being constricted!”
When you become wiser about your calendar you’ll realize that it's not a prison. It’s your liberation.
Your calendar is not your boss… it’s your assistant!
It will help you to remember to take the self-care breaks that otherwise would go by the wayside because you’re so addicted or hypnotized in the moment.
It will help you to keep your commitments to yourself, to your purpose.
It will gently remind you: “Didn’t you dedicate yourself to making a video this week? Didn’t you promise yourself that you would write today?”
Once you faithfully start to follow a thoughtfully-designed structure, you will then come across good reasons to tweak that structure to better align with your energy and life demands. The key is that you are being intentional, living consciously.
Once I started to faithfully follow my structure, my business began growing systematically.
It’s not a surprise:
Consistent actions beget systematic growth!
And year by year, my life has become like heaven. Every day I get to do work that brings me joy, serving plenty of clients and students, and keeping a healthy balance with my self-care, home life, play, and rest.
Channel your rain
It’s kind of like rain.
An untrained heart, with untrained whims, so-called “going with the flow” is like rain. Rain can be wonderful and lifegiving, or it can wash everything away and leave you with nothing.
Instead, imagine channeling the abundant rain to strategically water your garden, to give you the fruits and vegetables that allow you to live and to thrive.
That’s what Thoughtful Life Calendaring is about -- it's an irrigation system for your natural life rain (your inspiration, energy, lifeforce and your rebellious nature) -- channeling that power into the garden of your life and business. So that you can grow and sustain yourself and your family for the long term, and to really experience a deep, abiding sense of fulfillment and joy.
Your life is a “business”
Another analogy -- imagine you have a business with employees, and you just tell them “Come in whenever you feel like it -- you know, just go with the flow! Sometimes you might feel like coming in and sometimes you don’t.”
How will that business be sustainable? The customers will find your business extremely unreliable.
Guess who's the most important employee in your business? You are.
So if you tell yourself -- the key employee -- to just come in whenever you want to… just create content whenever you feel like it… just reach out to potential clients whenever you feel like it. Doing that means you're not going to have a business.
Same thing with the “business” of your life. How will you get enough sleep on a daily basis, and get enough self-care, if your only employee (You) works on the business of your life whenever you feel like it?
The truth about “going with the flow”
Many people get the “go with the flow” idea from Taoism. Yet, truly flowing with the Tao is about channeling flow in a purposeful direction.
This is a wiser understanding of “following your bliss”.
The founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, says:
“Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice. This is egomania. Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the Light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.”
Life Purpose has something to do with personal growth.
And personal growth has something to do with creative discomfort -- facing discomfort in a purposeful way. Gently stretching towards the Light.
Your optimal structure
Even though I will show you my calendar and explain it step by step in the TLC Coaching Program, I don’t want you to follow my calendar. I want you to learn to follow yours.
Your optimal calendar may need plenty of hours each day for self-care or caretaking of your family. And it may need more time than you’re currently giving yourself to play and to rest.
The key is to learn self-discipline so you actually remember and do the self-care, so you feel constantly nourished and energized!
And, if you are aiming for a sustainable or thriving business, your calendar also needs enough time to work on your business. And to have enough breaks in your day!
I want you to design an optimal calendar (i.e. “structure”) for yourself and to keep following it -- and to keep tweaking it.
Once you learn how to face your creative discomfort daily, you’ll realize that it doesn't have to be intimidating. You now have the capability to rise above your anxiety and your depression. You’re no longer resentful for having a structure -- because you thoughtfully designed it -- it aligns with your values!
I’m so passionate about helping you experience the deeper joy that arises from watching yourself grow consistently -- when you are fully willing to face your creative discomfort.
Once I learned how to do this daily, it has become a superpower.
I never feel like writing when I start. But in the practice of gently stretching into the creative discomfort, I found a deeper strength, sense of growth, and therefore, true fulfillment.
I never feel like starting my videos either, but as I’ve practiced doing it anyway, I’ve learned to generate flow and creativity on demand.
Your best assistant
Self-empowerment, true personal power, is learning to generate flow and creativity on demand. Once you learn to do this, there is nothing you can't do. That’s what I’ve learned over the past 7 years. It has become a truly joyful life.
My calendar has become my faithful assistant that, day by day, is continually growing my business and activating my purpose. Nothing falls through the cracks anymore. Everything important gets done, at a calm pace, because it’s all about learning how to design one’s daily/weekly calendar to align with one’s priorities.
That’s what I wish for you, too. To have the best assistant (your optimal calendar) that is with you at all times. At the most affordable rate possible!
If this inspires you, if this is something you also yearn for, then consider joining us in the Thoughtful Life Calendaring group.
Either you will decide your thoughtful life calendar, or other people will.
You either design and live your priorities consistently, or you are often under the hypnosis of social media and other people's requests and intrusions on your time and attention.
I really believe this: You are a genius. You just need a wise structure to channel your mind and heart energies.
Implement a thoughtful structure consistently, and you will create your ideal business and life.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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