Life’s too short to “die an unlived life”

Watching my kiddo, who’s now 16, often reminds me of how at her age I never thought about life being as short as it feels now that I’ve been journeying for awhile on the other side of 40!

All throughout this year, I’ve met with men and women displaced from their jobs now pondering what else they might do differently in their careers and with their lives in general.  Of course, many have felt panicked by external forces like the economy, but many have told me that they relish this opportunity to explore new options. 

Some want new careers altogether.  Like one client who is leaving a successful, but unfulfilling, career in high-tech to create a health coaching practice.  She first thought of doing this when her parents became ill a few years ago. She is moving forward today because of her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis.  Now she’s filled with excitement, hope and purpose for herself and for what she knows she can do to help her husband and others.

Some just want to re-prioritize their lives.  I will never forget one gentleman saying to me, “I was with the company for almost 17 years.  After they laid me off, I decided to spend this summer with my son who’s in the Boy Scouts.  We’ve been camping all over the southwest.  One thing I’ve learned is that when I get my next job, I’m going to make more time for my family.  No more 60-hour work weeks for me.”

Because of these many encounters and because of my own personal career transition, I strongly desire to help people shift into a direction they might be holding back from doing.  Maybe they haven’t dared to allow themselves to explore because it seems too hard, too scary, too self-indulgent, or, maybe, they simply don’t know where to start. 

My partner, Jay Markunas, and I created the tele-coaching program, “The Art of Finding a Career You Love,” to help people with a starting place.  On December 2, we’re teaming up for another session.  It’s 90-minutes over the phone, costs $59 and includes a DISC assessment and a 14-page self-analysis worksheet.  More at:

Sometimes all it takes is a few degrees of shift to feel more fulfilled, and it’s never too late.  I personally knew a 72-year old woman who finished beauty school because she always wanted to get her cosmetology license.  During our program in October, Jay told the story of a woman who became a doctor at 70.  Did you know that Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, started the business when he was 52? 

If, indeed, life is short, it’s definitely too short to “die an unlived life.”  After this year of working with such a large number of people shifting their lives forward, I have a new appreciation for the poem below that I previously shared on my very first post, Launch, back in July 2006. 

Sending you gratitude and warm wishes for a fulfilled life!

I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

–Dawna Markova

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