Can One Word Change Your Life?

June 14, 2013 |

Can One Word Change Your Life?

Imagine yourself a few years from now…

You’re finally living your dream of working at what you love and being your own boss. What ONE word best captures how you feel?

I posted this same question at the Changing Course Facebook Fan page and this is what your peers said. As you read through the list, was there one word that best captured how you would feel?

Serene Fulfilled Happy Grateful Ecstatic!!!!!!! Relieved Joyful Woohoo! Amazing

Complete! Amazed Elation Liberated Free Exhale!!! Excited Renewed Peaceful

Freedom Energized! Content Light Alive! Gratitude Blessed Contentment YippeeYouDidItMiBoo


Now think of one word that describes how you will feel if that day never came. In other words, what would it be like if you knew you were going to remain in your present circumstance right up until – or perhaps well into – your retirement?

I’m imagining you might feel…

Stuck Depressed Trapped Discouraged Sad Miserable

Heartbroken Devastated Unhappy Caged Worried Gloomy


Jon Stewart quipped, “The big break for me was deciding that this is my life.” It was for me as well. In fact, the realization that I only have this one shot to get it right was my propelling force to finally move in the direction of my dream.

I knew if I didn’t at least try to create the life I really wanted, I would be stuck with the one I had. Now THAT was a scary feeling!

This is the time however, when you can expect a whole set of in-between emotions. I’m talking about the mixed emotions that emerge the moment you actually decide to stop dreaming of a better future and do something about it.

From moment to moment you may feel…

Excited Scared Optimistic Determined

Worried Eager Discouraged Elated

Uncertain Free Anxious Hopeful


When faced with these sorts of competing emotions it’s vitally important to see fear and worry and all the other dream-killing ones for what they are:

Normal responses to any significant change — even welcome ones. Each time I’ve moved, applied to school, started a new job I felt these negative emotions and more.

This is also the time to remember that the excitement, determination, optimism, and the certainty that there truly can be no change without changes are real too. The trick is to name these emotions and then lean into them.

This is hard to do when you are trying to make it all on your own. It goes back to feelings. How do you feel:

  • When you have no one to help you think through the tough decisions?
  • When there is no one you can turn to when you need information, or advice or feedback?
  • When you don’t have anyone who to show you how to identify what it is you even love to do and then make money doing it?

If you’re like most people you feel…

Confused Overwhelmed

Discouraged Self-doubting

Lost Paralyzed

No wonder Barbara Sher insists that, “Isolation is the dream killer!”

It’s also the reason why earlier this week I very slowly began to invite people into a new support community called the Changing Course Tribe.

The group is for people are still searching for a calling or who found it but don’t know how to monetize it and who need direction. And it’s also a place for people who have already started a small business but are not yet financially viable to get the help they need.

bigstockphoto_Fresh_Ideas_Sign_In_The_Sky_2910135I considered breaking them into two groups, one for Idea Seekers and one for Idea Launchers. In the end I decided to create one group. The way I see it:

  • Idea Seekers can be both inspired by and learn a lot from people who are a few steps ahead of them.
  • Idea Launchers will always need new fresh ideas – whether regarding marketing or additional profit centers. I know I do!
  • Finally, once the Idea Seekers have found their great idea they’ll be well positioned with an intact support team to be able to more seamlessly and confidently move into Idea Launch mode.

New members seem to agree. Some feelings have already popped up at the private discussion site including excited, grateful, eager, determined… As for me, the word is joyous!

So, what do you want to feel? And more importantly, what are you willing to do to get from where you now to where you want to be?

As my mentor, five-time New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author and television personality Larry Winget says, “Dreams don’t come true. Plans do.” Make one today.