Plan to Love What You Do

Updated on October 10, 2022
By Frances Coombes
By Frances Coombes

In everything that’s really important to us, love, life, friendship, caring, success – feelings come first. We may have spent our school life learning about logic, but all the really big decisions we make in life, such as who we marry, where we live, what we want from life, we make them with our emotions. The feelings come before the actions.

I have always had a 9-5 job and expressed my creativity through my hobbies, first writing, and then giving talks on writing. Gradually I built up some skills, I became a humour then a motivational writer and NLP trainer, and the decision that made it happen was to cut my working days to four, so that I had an extra 13 weeks a year to devise and turn my plans into reality.

I decided how I wanted to feel, and that to get the right feeling my retirement should comprise of 2 to 3 months training people, spread out over a year, writing a book a year, doing a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day, and deciding to make connections with people every day, even if a conversation only lasted 4 minutes at a time it should be focused and satisfying.

I have become involved in a skills bank exchange and teach people how to pass on their abilities and skills to each other.  My most worthwhile project is to spend a day teaching people why they procrastinate, and letting them experiment with each other’s strategies and designing their own completion strategy – one that works for them.

As I become older I may wake up with the energy of a 20 year old, but it only lasts until 11.00am, then I need to go and lie down for an hour.   Through Teaching people to find their positive states, deal with indecision and model other peoples successful ways of doing things I have learned to work smarter rather than harder.

Writing books lets me take what I learn and repackage it in a focused and useful way that helps others build their skills too. Over the years I have collected over 300 strategies from other people on how they get good results.  I have watched Barack Obama and 4 year olds use the same simple strategy for putting themselves in a good state and getting the outcomes they want, and I use it myself now and it fills me with enthusiasm and moves me on.

Making connections with people every day.  We can often feel isolated if we are not connecting to others, so I choose 3 or 4 people I will connect to fully each day. I find this one of the most rewarding and satisfying things a human being can do for another.

  • Ask yourself when was the last time you felt listened to by another person?
  • When was the last time you really listened to someone else?

People grow when they are listened to, and even if a conversation only lasts 4 minutes at a time a good one can feel as nourishing as having a satisfying meal.

Feelings come first.  How do you want to feel at the end of the day?

Ask yourself, what is the feeling I want to have at the end of a satisfying day, one that well let me know I feel totally satisfied?

An exercise.

  • Put your finger to your head and ask yourself what is the thought?
  • Put your hand on your stomach and ask what is the feeling?
  •  Then ask yourself what is the insight?  What are the things I need to have experienced that will make me feel good at the end of the day?  Then list what those feelings are, and work towards achieving them.

Plan ahead or nothing happens. Put the big stones in the tank first, and then fill the jar. You have got to have some goals in life – no goals, no outcomes.  And at the end of the day what you want to achieve is a totally satisfying feeling.

Guest Author, Frances Coombes, runs NLP strategy elicitation days at the City Lit in central London.  Latest book:  Teach Yourself Self-Motivation.   The next book, due in October 2013 is on Modelling Successful Outcomes and Gathering Strategies for doing things fantastically well.

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