How can we feel fully alive?

Outside Bath Abbey: I'm wondering how you get in if you're feeling a bit under the weather

Outside Bath Abbey: I’m wondering how you get in if you’re feeling a bit under the weather

I took this photo the other morning on my walk to the office. Whilst the combination of the message and the instruction on how to get in to Bath Abbey makes me smile, I love the concept of being ‘fully alive’. To me, that’s what my coaching is all about – helping people to discover the wealth of unused potential they have and maximize it so they can get the most out of their life.

So in the spirit of encouraging us all to feel fully alive and to celebrate my 150th post on this blog, I’ve been looking back over my posts to remind myself what it is that can help us to enjoy a fulfilling life.

Taking a long hard look at where you are now

In an address to Stanford University, Steve Jobs said:

‘For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.’

This might be an uncomfortable question to ask yourself. However, I think that one of the conditions necessary for change is when the discomfort of change is less painful than the thought of things staying the same.

That leads me on to my next point.

Does your work satisfy you?

In ‘ A job or the job?’, I asked whether what you’re doing now is what you consciously decided to do or something you drifted into. Even if it is your dream job, I don’t think any of us would describe an 70 hour week as being fully alive. If your time was money, would you spend it this way?

How do you eat a Mars Bar?

Do you dunk it in your coffee? Do you refrigerate it and then slice it into tiny pieces? Do you nibble off the nougat layer before savouring the chocolate-covered caramel?

There’s no right way to eat a Mars Bar. You don’t have to eat yours the same way Richard Branson does if you want to be a success in business or the same way as Mo Farah if you want to be a world-class athlete. Comparison isn’t really helpful here. I’m a great believer that being fully alive means celebrating what it is that makes you unique.

Are you getting in your own way?

Negative self-talk can bring you down. It undermines your success, stops you from making progress, scares you into poor decisions. To be fully alive, it helps if we are fully aware of how we sabotage ourselves. ‘With a little help from my friends‘ talks more about this.

What’s it all for, anyway?

Whether you want to write your own life manifesto or examine your values, gaining a clear sense of why you do what you do and why you are the way you are is a key part of feeling fully alive.

Celebrating successes

As I said earlier, I’m celebrating this week: when I first started writing back in July 2010, I couldn’t have imagined that there would be a day when I wrote my 150th post. It’s great to look back and see how this blog has developed. When we notice our progress and enjoy it, it helps us feel fully alive. So this week,  take some time to celebrate your progress!

So there are just a few ideas which can contribute to a feeling of being fully alive. I’m sure there are lots more.

Today’s pebble for you to contemplate: What makes you feel fully alive?

Thanks for reading!


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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4 Responses to How can we feel fully alive?

  1. Sam says:

    Finishing a half marathon/ long trail race is the thing that makes me feel fully alive 🙂 I think it’s the combination of endorphins, sense of achievement and knowing that your body and mind are capable of it!

  2. Liza Hughes says:

    Congratulations Michelle! I love receiving your weekly posts and always value your wisdom and insight!

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