As 2013 came to an end, I started thinking a lot about 2014. And, I reflected on it with gratitude. I had some truly amazing opportunities. I work with some great clients who are open to my ideas and my coaching. The leaders I work with are the most appreciative that I have ever worked with. And that just feels good. Moreover, I feel that I am learning, growing and experiencing insights at a faster rate than ever.

That’s a lot to be grateful for. And as far as my personal life… Well, let’s put it this way, no one in my family is in the hospital and no one is in jail, so that’s pretty good. Seriously, my family and friends are healthy, happy and acting responsibly so that’s a lot to be thankful for. My genuine hope is that you all feel about the same. And to the extent you don’t, or are facing uncommon challenges, that you have hope. Live has not always been easy for me. I have had years with nothing but hurricanes. I know what deep suffering is.

My advice to any of you whose life is less than you want to be is simply this… FREE yourself. 

We all live inside a bubble. The 21st century has created an outer life that is more like an amusement park than reality. It is driven by the powerful forces of constantly emerging technology and a culture based on consumption. We live in a strange time when originally small disagreements about how to create our best future are constantly exaggerated and made more horrible to raise our fears and close our minds.

This external noise is largely floating debris clogging the rivers of our own thoughts and flooding us with stressful emotions. 

This constant assault on our inner well-being is something we seem to have gotten used to. We think we are the fish swimming in the polluted bubble when actually we stand outside. That’s the give we have. The gift of being human. The gift of creating a new perspective that lets you see the swirling bubble without swimming in it.

The quickest way… the best way to become aware of your essentials self outside the bubble is to FREE yourself. 

There is more than one way to do this. But, this is my favorite: First, be clear that the purpose of life is to become your best self.

What you do is not as important as what you become by doing it. 

The human quest is to keep growing. Keep becoming. Whatever you consistently admire in others is a vision of what to invest your energy  and your strengths in what will fulfill your unique nature. Second, develop a conscious moral intention. We must transcend our culture that has come to glorify selfishness by mislabeling it as self-fulfillment. It has become natural for us to think of GAIN first. That is, “What do I have to gain from this relationship or this job or this opportunity?” And usually what we consider is how we might gain fame, fortune or power.

I promise you that a GAIN orientation to life will only lead to anxiety, emptiness and a stunted soul. 

What is moral intention? It’s nothing less than approaching life, work and love with “How much Good can I do?” By ‘GOOD’ I specifically mean “How much value can I create right here, right now?” Think of it this way, we all have unique assets. Your knowledge, expertise, expertise, wisdom, imagination, relationships and energy are an amazing force.

If you wisely invest it in a constant stream of creating value, imagine how that might change your life. It will also change your future circumstances and opportunities. Third, be more selective and more focused in what you’re willing to invest your life force into.

The happiest people I know are up to something more than just living their daily life. 

We seem hypnotized by the constant stream of information and entertainment on the Internet and social media. We spend our work lives achieving other people’s goals. There’s no time left for us. We must make the time. But, we won’t. Not unless we’re really clear on what we’re up to.

How much time and energy do you devote to what is most important in your life right now? 

And how do you want to live, work and love in the future? Are you investing your best in that? What I’m asking you to consider is simple. FREE yourself from the bubble, with all its distractions, anxieties and trivial pursuits. Create time each day to turn off your smartphone and television. Reclaim your own thoughts. Become acquainted with your deepest and most noble desires.

Don’t simply seek for self-awareness. Go for for soul-awareness.

Be strong. Be up to something that matters to you. Make your difference… because you can. Happy New Year!