Ep #87: Living a Meaningful Life

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Living a Meaningful Life

When we reach around age 35, we often slow down or stop working towards meaningful goals. We’ve become attached to our current lifestyle and settle in thinking we’ve arrived.

Guess what this leads to?

Discontentment.

When our dreams fall by the wayside or we stop pursuing them, it’s often due to distractions like overconsumption of alcohol.

People overdrink and overindulge when they are NOT living in pursuit of something meaningful. Living a meaningful life is what all people want.

How do you pursue the things that truly matter to you? Tune in this week as I discuss how to live your meaningful life.

 

The doors to the Women’s Empowerment Retreat now open! Learn the skills live empowered and achieve your goals. Click here for all the details.

Are you ready to learn the skills and tools to permanently change your relationship with alcohol? If so, I invite you to join Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s where you’ll learn how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with alcohol while creating a life you love. Join Drink Less Lifestyle here!

 

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How to see the obstacles that are preventing you from following a meaningful pursuit.
  • The difference between doing something just to make you happy versus doing something truly meaningful.
  • What you can do to keep yourself energized, motivated, and living a meaningful life.

Featured on the Show:

Download my free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit.

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Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 87.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Well, hello my friends, welcome back to the show. I am super excited that you have tuned in, maybe this is your first episode and if so, welcome. And if you’re tuning back in and you’ve been a long time follower and a long time listener, I so appreciate you too and so welcome.

I want to share a little bit of what’s going on behind the scenes and I am just getting more excited for the upcoming Women’s Empowerment Retreat. My team and I are discussing some of the details and it’s just getting me so excited. So, if you tuned into last week’s episode you know that we have opened the doors to the retreat and currently there are still some spots available.

And if you haven’t heard me talk about it in last week’s episode, we are really going to be focusing on empowering ourselves. And that requires that we know how to break through our obstacles and identify things that are holding us back from getting that best life that we want, getting those results in our life that we so desire and crave. And a lot of times we’re holding ourselves back and we don’t even know the ways in which we are doing that. So, we’ll be identifying those ways during the retreat and then busting through.

So, breaking through anything that’s really holding us back so we can live that elevated epic life that we desire. So, you’ll want to join this extraordinary event if you are desiring to live differently, break through bad habits, get to those goals and live what I like to say, that high quality life especially if things right now are not feeling high quality to you. They’re kind of feeling like just going through the motions. And so, you can stay there if you want. But many of us desire to achieve more.

And so, this retreat is being held September 29th through October 2nd this year in San Diego. And so, I invite you to join us. This is an opportunity to break out of those bad habits and create new lasting results that really elevate your life. And if you’ve already signed up and you plan on attending, well, I can’t wait to see you there. Alright, so that’s the perfect setup to actually today’s topic and what I’m going to discuss in today’s episode which is that many of us tend to overdrink when we are not living in pursuit of something valuable or meaningful to us.

It’s interesting, this just came up yesterday. I was talking to a previous client and she said, “Gosh, it really resonated with me what you had said about the research is that once we hit about the age of 35 many people stop going after their dreams.” Because let’s think about that, by age 35 many of us have achieved a lot of the successes that we identified in our younger years that we’ve wanted to obtain. So, we may have gotten married, we may have started our families, most likely we were on to our careers that we want to have in our life.

We have collected the degrees or got all the education that we wanted. And by 35 we’ve hit most of the milestones that we wanted for our lives. So, then what happens? We tend to pull back and just rest on our laurels. We tend to say, “This is good.” And of course, it is good. We should be proud of all that we have accomplished. We should be proud of all the hard work that has taken us so far in our lives. But then what happens to many people is they stop going after something meaningful.

And when they stop going after something that’s meaningful what happens is we get distracted with things in our lives that give us that immediate gratification or that immediate pleasure. And that becomes so enjoyable that we get lured by it more and more and we stop going after more meaningful goals, more meaningful pursuits in our life. Now, it’s rare that the human does not want to go on and achieve more.

When you talk to successful people, when you talk to people who are accomplishing things, they keep setting bigger and bigger visions and goals for themselves. And it’s what keeps them energized and engaged in their life because it’s meaningful to them. They find value in it. They’re fine tuning their craft so they can help more people. And I think that’s what’s so noble about humans. We love to help each other. I for one get great joy out of helping women break free from the bondage of alcohol, break free from having to feel like they need a drink to cope with life.

And whatever your craft is, you could be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, whatever it is that you do when you find joy from that my guess is it’s because you feel like you’re giving back to society. You’re giving people new opportunities, you’re giving them their health. You’re helping educate them about how things that apply in the classroom can be taken out into the real world to benefit them and develop skills for them. It’s all about benefitting society as a whole.

And so, when I was overdrinking or people find themselves in that overdrinking cycle a lot of times what’s going on and they may not realize and I didn’t realize is I’m choosing this instead of choosing to go after something more meaningful. And so that overdrinking habit gets in the way of pursuing higher and bigger goals. And that creates a rub. We don’t want to be there. And most of the listeners in my audience, we are high achievers we like to accomplish things. We like to act as our best and highest self.

And it kind of makes us feel terrible about ourselves and actually sick about ourselves to be seeing ourselves do something that’s not helpful and we’re not able to show up in our best highest self. And we’re overdrinking a little bit here, overdrinking a little bit there. And then this doesn’t feel good to us. And what’s crazy is we know on the cognitive level that we don’t want this life and we don’t want to keep doing this but yet we keep doing it.

And I just remembered thinking, goodness, if there can be just a magical fairy dust that could be sprinkled down over me so I could just get my crap together in this one area of my life, I’m really hoping for that magical fairy dust. I remember being so envious of my one friend that I met and she said, “Yeah, I just woke up in the middle of the night and I had this vision and I think God gave it to me and it was just not to drink again. I need to avoid it altogether and so the next day I just stopped drinking and I never thought about it since.”

And I remember being so envious of that going, “Why can’t that happen to me?” I’m waiting for my magical fairy dust, where is my vision in the middle of the night? Where is my dream that I could just give up this alcohol thing? And what I realized is there’s no fairy godmother and no pixie dust coming that I actually really wanted. I wanted that constant motivation to be on this certain path where I just wouldn’t be tempted by alcohol again. But that’s not the way it works for most people.

Yes, there are a few people like my friend but most people that’s not their journey. So, what does help most people? And I will tell you, it’s this pursuit of living for something more meaningful where you see that overdrinking is just a distraction from getting to that goal. Now, as I’m doing the research for what causes human transformation, as I’m preparing for the upcoming Empowerment Retreat I’m learning that this is exactly how humans evolve and grow into a different version of themselves.

This is literally how human transformation takes place. And so, think about it. If you have a pursuit of something meaningful and valuable to you, and now you see overdrinking as an obstacle to getting it, guess what you’re going to want to do? You’re going to want to drop the distractions that are preventing you or the obstacles that are preventing you from getting exactly what you want. So, we could see this in many forms.

A person who’s sick of sitting on the couch and they’re just not able to walk up a few flight of stairs without getting winded and feeling like their health is in jeopardy. And what is their pursuit? They want a better state of health and they want to get actually in shape and fit so that’s the pursuit that gets them moving off the couch and start walking around their neighborhood. Then they’re run walking around the neighborhood. Then they’re entering 5Ks and training for that. Then they’re finding people with likeminded interests and joining groups and running groups.

They are saying, “I am committed to this pursuit of something meaningful.” And that’s how human transformation takes place. Or how about the runner who’s already a pro at running? When they run they win district titles and state championships. And they love running so much that they say, “Oh my goodness, what next is possible in my running career? Let me try out for the Olympics.” Again, here we see the pursuit of a human wanting to go after something meaningful to them. We see this in other ways.

Think about kids, they may get the summer job that they really can’t stand, they hate it so much. It’s degrading to them or they feel that the work is just so awful, or misaligned with what they’re good at. And so, they go out in pursuit of a different job or a college degree, or a different form of education so they can pursue a vocation and a career that better matches what they’re suited to be. They are living in pursuit of something meaningful to them.

And I see this in a lot of the women I’m working with right now. They are in pursuit of a better marriage, their current marriage is not optimal and actually it’s subpar. They’re sick of the yelling matches. They’re sick of the ultimatums. They’re sick of the crying, and the distrust, and the lack of emotion and connection that they are in pursuit of fixing that marriage. And in pursuit of this they see that their overdrinking is not helping the marriage. They see that it’s only hindering the marriage. It’s a bone of contention between the individuals.

And so human transformation happens when you’re in pursuit of something meaningful. That’s when your habits and patterns change. And it makes total sense because when you live a life where you’re drinking more than you want, it does feel empty and kind of pointless. It does feel like you wake up the next day going, “What is life all about, just getting a buzz, just escaping at night?” Because we know that temporary chase of a buzz just wears off. And then we’re left with the life that we have.

And so, getting that buzz or a high from alcohol or other substance, it’s just not pleasure that’s sustainable. And it’s also not a worthwhile or worthy pursuit. It’s not a pursuit that’s meaningful. And here’s what I find, many of the women that I work with in my programs, they have such great satisfaction in certain aspects of their life and many of them are super satisfied with their craft, with their work. They love their work, they find it meaningful. And so, I call it their craft, it’s what they’re good at.

It’s skills that you build and you get really good at something and it becomes your craft. They become good at teaching, or operating, or taking care of humans, helping others, they get published, they get grants, they’re event planners for small business owners. They’re really good at selling in their companies. And these are all the hats or the roles that they play at work and they nail it. They are so good at their craft. And they enjoy it. They enjoy the pursuit of this craft, making it better each day, each month, each week, each year.

They’re thinking on their feet, they’re learning, they’re engaging with the job, they’re trying to solve problems at work and they love it most of the time. And then what happens? They come home and the pursuit stops, not for everybody, but they just want to disengage and have a drink. And then one drink leads to another drink. And that disengagement just feels kind of nice. And what they may not realize is that they stopped pursuing things in their personal or their home life. They became all about work and not about play, or their families, or their connection with their husband or spouse.

And so, life at home just isn’t that exciting because there’s really no pursuit that’s happening in the home environment. They lose focus of that. Now, some of you at this point may hear pursuit as, I have to do more work. And I say that that’s not the case. It’s not about work. It’s about your attention and your focus. It’s not about doing more.

It could actually be about doing less. So maybe you have the type of job where you want to decompress for a few minutes before you engage in the home life. I used to have that kind of work and it was important to me that I pursue a bit of rest and a bit of decompression as I came home. As a coach I don’t need that. I am so energized by my work that I could just close my office door, engage with my family right away because this work is so motivating and energizing for me. I love it.

So, if your pursuit is I need to recharge so I can show up better as a wife, a partner, a mom, or whatever, then you pursue that recharge, that reenergizing so that you can show up the way you want to show up when you do get home. So, because your battery was on work mode and you want to transition, and you want to decompress, great, give yourself that permission to take a quick 15 minute walk, five minute walk, clear your head, clear your head space, clear the toxic thoughts, clear the work thoughts so you can show up as the woman you want to be.

I remember clearing out my toxic thoughts from the day, so that didn’t burden me in how I showed up in my home life. Because if I didn’t clear that I would run to alcohol to say, “Let me just take the edge off. Let me just turn to alcohol as my way to detoxify my brain”, which is an oxymoron. Because we know that adding alcohol to your body just toxifies the brain, it kills brain cells and it kills neurons. So, my brain was just misunderstanding how I had to handle myself. It just got caught up in a bad habit.

Now, maybe you come home and if you’ve got small kids you want to do the pursuit of something meaningful with the small kids and maybe that means you bring out that playful side of you. And it’s not like you have to do it hours and hours on end like they can. But you do it and you spend some quality time doing this activity pursuing some play to create a bond, to create that safe connection, to spend time with the kids. And I love being in pursuit of something meaningful because this is my life and I get to create it and I get to design it.

Yes, I can live on default mode but I know what that gets me, that just gets me more of the average and mediocrity, that’s not where I choose to live. So right now, I’m in the pursuit of an amazing epic relationship with my husband, things are changing for him and his world, and I want to show up in a way that these times don’t drive a stake between us but drive us closer together and bring us closer together. So, when I engage with him, I’m engaging with him. I’m not avoiding or disengaging with him.

And many of the women that I’m working with right now they see that what they’re doing and the actions they’re doing in their home life are a form of disengagement which is not going to bring the relationship closer together. You may need to disengage short term to get your thoughts clear on what you want and what your objectives are, but it’s not the long term strategy to create more love in the relationship. We need to engage with the people we love. And before you get married you get engaged, which means you’re going to be spending more time with this person, not less.

So, as I’m working with women, if they’re talking about cold shoulders, or these mean side glances, or this eye rolling, or this big old sigh, or some type of huffing and puffing. Or hiding how they truly feel, or hiding the alcohol, or having anger outbursts because of the alcohol or about the alcohol, or something unrelated, or talking about their spouse behind his or her back. And they’re doing it with family and friends, it’s important to remember that these are all actions that are not empowering them but it’s disempowering them and disempowering the relationship.

It’s not going to bring fireworks back to the relationship doing these actions. And so, these aren’t the actions that get it done. And I get it, these are habits and patterns that we fall into in times of our life. But these patterns will make it more difficult and more toxic in our relationships. So yes, of course we can see that these actions aren’t going to be getting it done. And they’re not also going to be creating the pursuit that they want which is a world class marriage that’s empowered and loving. And they feel empowered in that relationship as well.

And so that’s what we want as humans. We want to be loved, have connection, have the fireworks back, so we have to start by stopping the disempowering actions, stopping the actions that are taking us further away from those or from that pursuit. And doing actions that are going to get you that meaningful result, that meaningful pursuit. And I’m all about pursuing that. That is the joy of life. And maybe this doesn’t relate to your marriage. Maybe this relates to the type of relationship you want with your children.

I want to share with you that I had such a sweet moment with my daughter this morning. We had an event at her school last night and I got a chance to meet a lot of her friends, and a lot of the people that she hangs out with and their parents. And I really enjoyed it because it gave me context, context about, here’s who she hangs out with. This is how they dress. This is what they’re talking about because they were bias, and then not bias, and then bias again.

And we were kind of eavesdropping on what they were saying as parents. And it was just fun to see her interact in a social way again because I haven’t allowed to be on the school campus for two years. And so, as we were coming home last night I said, “I just really enjoyed meeting your friends and getting to know their parents and just hanging out with you.” And so, this morning when she woke up she came out of her room and she hugged me and she said, “Mom, you get me and I like that about you.”

And I just thought that was the sweetest compliment because I am in pursuit of a great mother daughter relationship. And so, I know that going around judging her, and criticizing her, and pointing out flaws, and saying, “This is where you could do better and you’re not making the mark here.” I know all of that won’t lead to this world class relationship that I want with her. So why would I do it?

Now, when you hear this I don’t want you to think that I don’t share my opinions with her and I put everything in a positive light. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is I do things in a way that doesn’t sever our relationship because I am in pursuit of an epic world class relationship and I know that. And so, I don’t want to jeopardize it. Now, I haven’t always thought this way because nobody brought this into my awareness until I started working with a coach.

So, for the past few years that I’ve been building this relationship, building this pursuit of what I want with her, I realized that the ways I had interacted with her were just backfiring. They were taking me further away from my pursuit with her and that’s why I got so frustrated. You may have heard on previous episodes of this podcast is that I tried to control her tantrums and I tried to get her motivated at school, and I tried to get her to get better grades. Do you see all the things that I’m saying right now? I tried to get, I tried to get, I tried to get.

And humans don’t like to be controlled. And so, all these forceful ways, all these awful words, all these ultimatums, all these ways that I was speaking was killing our relationship and it wasn’t creating the results that I wanted. And what did I do? Thinking I’m ineffective, there’s no way to help her, I just drank. I didn’t see how I was causing my own misery. And what I learned is my pursuit was just off. It wasn’t the right pursuit. I wasn’t going after something valuable and meaningful to be honest. I was going after do something to make me happy and she felt it. She knew it.

It’s the wrong pursuit. And because I’ve lived it I can see it. I could see it so quickly. My clients are like, “How did you pick that up so quickly?” And I’m like, “Because I’ve been there. And you can stay here but it’s not going to get you your goal and your meaningful pursuit. And so would you like to change that?” And of course, they’re like, “Yes, I’m all in. I just thought I was doing it right.” Of course, you were, that’s why you were doing it.

And so, I love The Famous Habit by Stephen Covey, begin with the end in mind. It’s a similar concept. What is your end result? And as I plan out for my year, year after year, I have a pursuit in my business. I have pursuits in my personal life. I enjoy pursuits at work and in my personal life. They give me meaning. They give me joy. They help me see where I’m going. They help me see what’s on the path there and what’s off the path. How about you, what are your pursuits? Are you taking actions that take you closer to your pursuits or are they actions that are actually taking you further away?

Because here is what I want you to get from this podcast episode. It’s the pursuits that inform the actions you take, not the other way around. And that’s where most of us are getting it wrong. Brendon Burchard writes about it like this, who do I have to become to achieve the purpose I want? That’s another way of saying, what is your pursuit that’s meaningful to you? And so, who do you have to become? Decide on who you want to be and actively create that person. Live in pursuit of something meaningful my friends.

Research shows that people become depressed when they don’t have a meaningful pursuit, when they stop pursuing things in their life. They’ve given up on their goals and their dreams. They stopped achieving what they want. And here’s another tip I want you to know, meaning in life isn’t something you find, it’s something you create. I had to define what my meaningful pursuit was and I got to define that, not society. Society will tell me to spend more, drink more, shop more, eat more. It’s all about more.

And so, what did I do at society’s suggestion? I tried it, bigger house, bigger car, bigger this, more that, more alcohol, more food, yeah, I wasn’t satisfied. It wasn’t fulfilling. It didn’t feel good. It caused dis-ease, disease, caused weight gain, me to feel bad about myself. And here’s another reason why finding meaning in life is so important, because if you don’t, you struggle with feelings of mediocrity and gripping misery because you don’t know what you stand for. You don’t know what you’re going and working towards.

And here’s also what the research shows about that. It shows that working hard towards a goal that truly matters to you is one of the best ways to enrich your life. We all want an enriched life. What does that mean to you? Is that losing 10 pounds? Is that losing 30 pounds? Is that solving this drinking thing and getting it under control for good? What is meaningful for you? And you may already know the answers to that. Great, go after your meaningful goals.

And if you’re like me and you’re just stuck and you didn’t know what you really wanted and you thought you were on the right track but you needed help to clean out your brain and sort through it all, because you don’t know how to create your version of an enriched life, well then I invite you to work with me. There are two ways you can work with me, either in Epic You or Drink Less Lifestyle. Because here’s what we know, enjoyment in life comes from living your meaningful pursuits. Alright my friends, have an empowered day and I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.

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