“Burning your life down” sounds like a drastic way to achieve the fulfillment you’re currently missing, but bold steps mean bold results.
When Lindsay Teague Moreno’s mom died suddenly at 53, Lindsay realized that the “burning everything down” approach was the only way she could turn her loss into growth. She knew that her mom had left behind so many unfulfilled dreams, and didn’t want that for herself.
In two years, Lindsay went from being a stay-at-home mom—a valid choice, but one that didn’t work for her—to a speaker, serial entrepreneur, host of The Boss Up Podcast, and author of three books. Her latest, Wake Up: The Powerful Guide to Changing Your Mind About What it Means to Really Live, will be released on Oct. 26, 2021.
Opening up hasn’t been an easy process for Lindsay, but she has no regrets. “I’m not going to allow my triggers to keep me small,” she says.
In this episode of SUCCESS Stories, Chief Storytelling Officer Kindra Hall talks to Lindsay about finding your purpose, pushing through the discomfort, and why balance doesn’t exist—and why that’s OK when you’re changing your life.
Imagine your own funeral.
To access the push it takes to change the way you live, you need to comprehend that you only have one life—and the time to do what you want with it is right now.
To drive that home, imagine that you’re lying in your grave at your funeral, looking up at your mourners. What are they saying about you?
- Are they proud?
- Are they describing you in how you hoped you would be remembered?
- Are they disappointed?
- Do you recognize the person they’re talking about?
Pay attention to how you feel about your sudden (fake) death:
- Are there things that you wanted to achieve that you were too scared to try?
- Were there dreams you never got around to fulfilling?
Lindsay calls these dreams “somedays:” the things you always say you’re going to do “someday” but haven’t prioritized. For her mom, for example, it was rafting down the Grand Canyon.
This exercise is a little morbid, yes. But it’s better to do it now, while you can still act, than push it away and never turn those somedays into todays.
Balance doesn’t exist.
Lindsay has identified what she calls “the six cornerstones of a good life.” Achieving success in these areas, she says, leads to all-round fulfilment. They are:
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to work on all six right now, the answer is: you’re not. Phew!
Lindsay knows that what she’s pitching is a lot to take on, which is why you won’t address all the cornerstones at the same time. Instead, you’re going to pick one, get yourself to the point where you’ve achieved what you want to in that area, and then move on to another one.
Lindsay is also very upfront that going all-in on one area at a time is going to make your life feel unbalanced when you first start this process. You need to accept that and focus on the big picture.
For example, for two years, Lindsay prioritized building her business and making enough money to give her family a comfortable life. It was hard on them, but she knew that she was doing it for their benefit. Once she’d achieved financial security, she moved on to strengthening those family relationships. When day-to-day life feels unbalanced, remember that it will lead to security in the long term.
How to find your purpose.
Finding your purpose is a deeply personal journey. The first step is understanding what you truly value the most in life.
For example, one of the core values Lindsay identifies is hedonism. That might sound superficial, but it’s really about, as she puts it, loving “the experience of life.” Another is universalism, “where you want everybody to come together as one,” she says.
When you’ve decided on your personal core value, dig deeper into how you’re going to enact it in your life, using her four-step Whoop Experience.
- What you wish for
- The outcome of making that wish come true
- Potential obstacles
- How you plan to bring that wish to life
If you could go back in time and ask your teenage self to identify their purpose, they would probably give you a different answer than your current one. That’s normal: Your purpose will evolve over time. When you’ve found fulfilment with one, you can repeat the process for your new purpose.
Push through the discomfort.
You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can’t change your life without ruffling a few feathers.
Chicken-related metaphors aside, overhauling your life can be uncomfortable, for you and the people you love.
For example, many people hate talking about money, especially admitting that it would be nice to have more of it. But Lindsay will happily tell you that it’s changed her life for the better. “Being rich is awesome!” she says. However, for a long time, she struggled to talk openly about her finances.
This discomfort extends beyond your internal turmoil. People don’t like change, especially in their social groups. They will push back and try to convince you not to upset the status quo.
During difficult conversations, Lindsay recommends using the “when you… I feel… because…” format. For example, “When you criticize my decisions in front of our family, I feel hurt and rejected, because I want to feel like you support my efforts to improve my life.”
Opening up won’t get through to everyone, and you may need to make the choice to spend less time with certain people. Lindsay, for example, no longer has a relationship with her dad.
She still finds it difficult to broach such controversial subjects, but she understands that discomfort is part of growth. Chickens are stuck on the ground—but if you push yourself, the sky’s the limit.