Bring your life into balance

Empathy works. It always does.

Building a Life (2/3)

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Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love….The smaller the thing, the greater must be our love. (Mother Teresa, “Come Be My Light, the private writings of the Saint of Calcutta”, 2007)

mother-teresa-200x300Have you ever thought about your purpose in life? How you’re supposed to make your life meaningful? Or what you want your business to look like in the future?

Stop doing that. Stop wasting your time and energy on figuring out what to do with your life.

Just be who you are and do what your life’s energy wants you to do. That is what makes your life meaningful. That is what you are supposed to do. To be you. This unique manifestation of life energy that is only available to us right here, right now.

When you start your business from where you are at right now, you can build it step by step. Instead of spending time figuring it out, you spend time taking action. Many successful businesses started that way. Baking cookies for friends. Coding a program for the computer. Wanting to be excellent at what they did.

Maybe this bottom-up path doesn’t work for you. It does for me. My friend Aralyn Hughes told me to stop fuzzing and puzzling, and just do what I want to do now. I picked up Stephen Covey’s “The 7 habits of highly successful people” and started reflecting on the principles and paradigms that run my life. I find it inspiring and helpful. Can I see God’s face in every person I meet? Can I serve others and bring out the best in them? Can I open my heart an inch more to love each encounter?

Working with his questions, I realize that part of my motivation to build my business is “hubris”: a drive to accomplish something big, something that builds my self-worth and mattering. As soon as I realized that, I calmed down. I don’t actually need that. I want connection with my husband, my family, my friends, I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me, and I would be very happy doing just that.

Who knows? Maybe I apply for a simple job. Maybe I build a highly successful business. I probably will do what makes me happy in each moment: appreciation, a smile, connection. And being excellent at being me, with all I’ve got. I trust that that is enough.


You want to learn to Build a Life? Contact me, 512-589-0482 for a free, discovery session.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

4 thoughts on “Building a Life (2/3)

  1. Love this Elly. I too draw inspiration over and over from those questions from 7 Habits and from Aralyn Hughes! Good reminder about hubris. Cheers to that feeling of connection in the world around us and letting many other drives result with small satisfactions. Thank you for sharing your journey so the rest of us may see ourselves in it.

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    • Hi Eden, thanks for reading and responding to my post. I feel excited that you are part of my followers, and that we journey together. I hope we can find time again for lunch, maybe somewhere in March (I am visiting the Netherlands in February and have a Dutch friend over in March)?

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  2. Thank you for sharing Shaya. I read your commitment to help a terminal friend transition to the end of her life. I can imagine how that inspired self-reflection on what you want your life to be about.

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  3. This was so timely for me to read… as I compassionately help a dear (terminal) friend make her journey towards the end of her life. The purpose is to bring peace with joy to her and do that as the best way I know how…..

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