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5 Keys to Discovering Your Ideal Life



5 Keys to Discovering Your Ideal Life

How often do you hear “If I was retired I would do X, but I’m not retired yet, so it’s back to work Monday”? I hear this way too often, and you know what? If that’s your thought process you’re keeping it much too narrow.

There is no reason you can’t be living that ideal life now, before retirement. It just takes some intentional work to make it happen.

Here are five keys to figuring out your ideal life and making it happen:

1. What is your ideal life?

The first thing you need to do is know what your ideal life will look like. You won’t get there if you figure you’ll just know it when you see it. But the definition doesn’t have to be long and complicated. For me it’s having a business that allows me to spend much of my time in the mountains with my family.

You’re probably not going to come up with a statement like that on your first attempt. Really figuring out what your ideal life looks like takes months. You’ll most likely try on a few statements about your ideal life that you throw out because they’re not quite right.

To start designing it you need to ask yourself three questions:

  • What is important to me?
  • What activity leaves me with more energy than it takes?
  • What is my purpose?

I knew that being a great father was important and that being out in the mountains gives me energy. Yesterday I spent nine hours hiking up a huge mountain and I have more energy for work today than I did any day last week. Once I really understood those two things I could start identifying the parts of my life that met my criteria for an ideal life.



2. What must be true for that to happen?

Once you know what your ideal life is like it’s time to figure out what needs to be true for that to happen. I know that to get to my ideal life I need a business model that’s one-to-many. I need to write a book or build a course and sell it to many people. Or I need to be doing more group coaching than one-on-one coaching. With a few truths about your business in hand you can evaluate your current business focus and decide what needs to get cut and what needs more time invested.


3. Define your systems

Systems are the lifeblood of any successful business. They’re the cleaning checklists or closing routines that ensure things happen at the right time and that you don’t forget anything. Most small business owners I talk to have no systems, and even if they do they often fail to use their systems. If you’re not using a system it may as well not exist.

The biggest net benefit in my business was building out my client vetting process. Having one standard email to send all prospects meant I had a simple, repeatable process that I could keep tweaking. When I hit a stumbling block in a project I could back track to my first emails and add in a question designed to tease out that stumble and either address it or ensure that I wouldn’t get that type of client again.

The second big benefit to systems is that you can get someone else to take them over. Once I had a defined email sequence for new clients and the answers I expected, I handed the initial few emails to my assistant which left me free to only deal with the prospects who were better qualified for my business.


4. Prepare for your season of hard work

It happens at every conference — someone asks me how I got my business to six figures in revenue. They ask because they want tips on how to get their business there as well. When I talk about making 10 contacts a day with new prospects, going to networking events, pitching other sites with content, working weekends and hard work in general, many tune out.

They didn’t really want to hear that reaching six figures required a bunch of work. They wanted some secret formula that would instantly produce success. They wanted the rewards without the work. That’s not how it works. If you want to get to your ideal life it’s likely going to take a season of hustle. You shouldn’t be working weekends for years, but doing so for six months, or even a year, as you get your ideal life business started is totally expected.

Even once you get going it’s likely you’ll have a few times when you’re going to need to hustle again to kick your business to the next level. Success is not effortless, it’s a product of hard work.

“When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.” – Steve Pavlina

5. Take care of yourself and your relationships

As you’re on this journey and start to see some success it’s way too easy to just keep working harder. While it’s certainly true that hard work is the key to achieving your ideal life, doing so at the expense of your health or relationships with those around you yields a hollow success.

Those who fail to maintain a good balance risk looking back later at the aftermath of their success; children who won’t talk to them, a ruined marriage, poor health. They’re forced to ask themselves if all the money they’ve earned or ‘fame’ they’ve gained is really worth it.

It’s not! In the midst of working hard to design this ideal life and get it, make sure you take time out for the relationships you care about. Spend real time with your kids, without your phone to demand your attention. Date your partner. Take time to eat right and get some exercise.


You can have your ideal life. All you need to do is figure out what it is and then take intentional steps every day to get there.

What do you think is the most important key to discovering your ideal life?

Curtis McHale is a business coach and speaker. He mainly focuses on helping businesses build effective processes for vetting ideal clients and building a business that doesn’t take every hour of every day to run. A number of his clients have seen 30% jumps in income with no extra time needed.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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