Your Good Life Index should SING to you!

I have been saying for some months now that to be of value to you, your Good Life Index should really SING to you. I do not want you to just have a static list in some document on your laptop; I want you to get into a conversation with yourself all day long so that whatever comes up in your day, you can ask “is there a way I can create GLEE out of this? That is why I keep pushing many of you to come up with “snappy names” for your fuel sources.

I have been incredibly lucky to have had more than 600 people in sessions I have led in the past 60 days and to have been able to do in-depth coaching with more than 60 people during this same period, including at least six of the most inspiring coachees I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I have asked each if I could put up their Good Life Index and other materials they have sent me to provide examples of how to make aa GLI come alive. Here I am putting up the first Good Life Index and accompanying graphic I received today from the amazing Amy Mason. I have also put up her stunning “These Are A Few Of My Favorite INGs” document. getpart-1


“For me a successful month is a month in which I experience …”

  1. Pleasurable Presence: …the feeling of utter delight about being in the moment with one of my kids, with Brian or with someone else I love, and REALLY savoring the silliness, affection, or closeness of the moment. This is a one-on-one sensation, and it means really being present, without distraction. A successful month would include experiencing this at least 20 times.
  2. Happy Pack: … the feeling of gratefulness to have certain people in my life/our family. The feeling is present when I am in a group I feel I can depend on, who makes life more fun, who is or feels like family and with whom we can be completely open and vulnerable. I get this feeling specifically when we are with Tom & Allison or the Deyo family, but occasionally with my own family and other close friends. Often I am already wondering when we will get to do it again. A good month would include experiencing this at least twice.
  3. Common Cause: … the satisfaction of working together with someone else toward a purpose we both care about. We feel things are moving forward in some way, and it is because we are collaborating. For a successful month, I would experience this at least 10 times.
  4. Joy of Giving: … the feeling of fulfillment that comes from going the extra mile to encourage or cheer someone on, or make their life a little better. I feel this when I send a card to someone who needs shoring up, take on a task to spare someone the time, volunteer at our local food shelf, or make some sort of meaningful donation to a non-profit. In a good month, I would experience such joy at least 8 times.
  5. Fresh Tracks: …the dopamine-inducing novelty of being in new territory, and can take a fresh look at something with new eyes. I may be either in a new physical place or I may be in a familiar place, but experiencing something totally anew. A successful month includes experiencing Fresh Tracks at least 4 times.
  6. Catalyst Cap:  …the invigoration of slipping into a role that involves me actively listening, searching my archives for relevant common ground or other data, possibly doing some research, and then encouraging/supporting/facilitating someone’s ability to move forward with something important to them. Experiencing this at least 4 times means I’ve had a good month.
  7. Brain-Spansion: … the enthusiastic engagement of my brain in absorbing something fascinating. A good month would have me experiencing this at least 10 times.
  8. Marvelous Nature: … reveling in something remarkable the earth has delivered (a beautiful vista; a warm salty breeze; perfect snowflakes). In a successful month, I will have experienced this at least 6 times.
  9. Drinking It In: … delighting in the sensation of being moved by beautiful art, architecture, music, poetry, a passage in a great novel or even part of a podcast. A good month would include at least 10 examples of this kind of experience.
  10. The Magic of Music: … The pleasure of participating actively in music by playing the flute or piano, singing or engaging in some form of dance. In a good month, I would enjoy the Magic of Music at least 4 times, of which at least two should be dancing.
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Welcome to Feed Your Spark


Tammyanka Francis Feeling The Glow

Most of us know the experience of being pulled in so many directions that it is hard to figure out how to even make the time and find the energy to figure out how to better manage (or really steward) your time and your energy — let alone how to learn to make decisions to live an amazing life. That is a life with great clarity and ease, with the sense that you are On Track and enough — full of joy, meaning, gratitude, connection, beauty, play –while succeeding in your work, realizing your BEST vision for yourself and making a positive difference in the world.

So I have taken the most important insights from what I have learned through thirty years of research on peak performance and burnout prevention and from coaching a whole bunch of amazing people from Kilimanjaro to Kalamazoo, and I have created a series of posts in bite size, (gluten-free) nuggets. Each one is 1:59 seconds or less –and they lay out The Nine Keys To Feeding Your Spark which is basically everything I have learned about how to not just survive but be Really Alive. How to thrive in your life, succeed in your work and change the world. A person I have recently worked with said to me “in under thirty days I learned from you and have put into action a practical path to peak performance, wellness, happiness and service.”

In my private conversations, I call the collection of these posts “Sparky U.” While this content will hopefully help you learn and put into practice much more than most online courses, I don’t want any of this to feel like “work” or “school.” I always say to the people I coach that if they tell me they are “working on something” that I have talked to them about, I want them to stop and just “play with it” instead. You can listen to these posts in the bathroom, while cooking or driving somewhere. One person who has listened to these gave me the great present of saying “it was like I was getting these awesome insights about specific things I can do to make my own life better and to make more possible for others and I didn’t really have to spend even five extra minutes to learn it all because I just listened to them when I was on the toilet anyway.”

The first ten posts are each accompanied by a piece of SparkArt, that I commissioned from the amazing Alice Muhlback, an inspiring, whimsical artist who has been dreaming up this collaboration with me for ten and half years.

Later posts will come with some fantastic photographs taken by Astrid Jirka, as well as other visual artists and musicians.

I invite you to listen to as few or as many as float your boat. Better still, join the SOW What Club – ALSO free!—and join in the conversation about what works for you to Feed Your Spark and live the gratitude attitude.

Please send me comments and questions that will make my bday even better.
Spark On!

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Living Your GLEE Means More Than Just Having Fun

Yoga teacher, sustainability activist and Sparker Extraordinaire Astrid Jirka keeps her life in balance as she participates in a protest action with We Are Seneca Lake. “For me this was an experience of three of my GLI (Good Life Index) Fuel Sources “Grateful Giving,” “Creative Crafting” and “Lifelong Learning.”

Normally I would call engaging in one activity that gives you three of your primary sources of meaning  “Threefer Madness” but seeing Astrid do this particular yoga pose in handcuffs makes me wonder should I call it “Tree-fer Madness?” :)

Handcuffed Tree

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