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Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction Excerpt from Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction

by Laura Berman Fortgang

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Introduction

The most exciting breakthrough of the twenty-first century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanded concept of what it means to be human.
-- John Naisbitt,
Futurist and author of Mega Trends

Maybe you have been experiencing a change within yourself over the last few months. Or maybe it's been brewing for a long time.

Perhaps lately you are finding that doing all the things that humans do -- work, relate, compete for social status, succeed wildly by others' standards, and grind yourself to a raw core to have the things you think you want -- feel like outdated forms of achievement. You may be finding that you like being accomplished, but you don't feel good being accomplished anymore. And you may not be sure how else to go about things, or what else you should do with your life.

Would you like to have your outside world better reflect your ideal inner realm? In other words, do you long for peace of mind? And wouldn't it be nice to stop wondering if there is more you're meant to do?

Tracking the Trend

In more than a dozen years as a career coach and life-satisfaction expert, I have worked with several hundred people firsthand, thousands more in audiences, and helped millions through television, radio, and print media. Most often, they are people who are unsatisfied with the current state of their lives, whether they can articulate that or not. Sometimes outside factors like the economy and downsizing force them to re-evaluate their lives, but other times they are plagued by a more vague malaise, which makes them feel guilty for not being happy. They know their lives are good by society's standards, but they are not happy, and they can't seem to articulate why it is so.

People from all walks of life are in a state of inquiry. For some, there is an inkling of what might be the next step, and for others it is a total mystery. Many have come to me to work on some aspect of their career or life, only to find that the real reason for addressing that aspect is a deeper feeling that they are on the wrong track. What all these people have in common, however, is that they have this yearning now, and that at one point or another, they all say: "I want to do something more meaningful."

As I look back at the time I have spent working with people, the yearning for "more" has undergone a transformation. In the late 80s and early 90s, people's definition of more was more money and more status. In the mid- to late 90s, when the economy was stellar, the definition of more was to find more time. Work/life balance became the buzz. And now, it seems we've come around to recognize that what we wanted all along from "more" was fulfillment: feeling satisfied and finding meaning.

The downward economy, global unrest, and the uncertainty of things since September 11th have caused many a human soul to search for its place of peace. For many, it has meant an upswing in attendance in houses of worship; for others, more time with family; and for others still, a quest for meaningful work. For some, it has meant all three.

"Happiness Is the New Bottom Line." That was the front-page headline in USA Today, based on a quote attributed to me. It reflected the shift that my coaching company has seen in this post-9/11 world: less people retreating in fear, and more finding the courage and determination not to let life pass them by. Corporations tightened their purse strings and were less willing to pay for their employees to improve themselves, but the individual employees themselves were more likely to work with life coaches. They were (and still are) eager to take their back-burner dreams and put them on the front of the fire. They are scared, and some wonder if they have lost their mind as they consider outrageous options for their lives outside of what they are used to, but they also have an amazing courage in being willing to take a chance.

The above is an excerpt from the book Now What: 90 Days to a New Life Direction by  Laura Berman Fortgang. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2009 Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Now What: 90 Days to a New Life

Author Bio
Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Now What: 90 Days to a New Life Direction, is a pioneer in the life-coaching profession. A renowned speaker and the president and owner of InterCoach, Inc., a full-service life-coaching business that works with individuals, small businesses, and corporations, she is also the author of The Little Book on Meaning, Living Your Best Life and Take Yourself to the Top. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

For more information please visit http://www.nowwhatcoaching.com