Living Your Life With Toie Possibilities Martin begins with Toie recalling how a friend once rocked her world by asking her, “What would your perfect life look like?” She had been so busy running on autopilot and just doing and surviving that she had never taken the time to consider that there were so many possibilities for her life and what she really wanted it to be. It’s a situation many of us fall into as life continues to happen and we find ourselves responding rather than planning. Fortunately, Toie took the time to think hard and answer that question, and in these pages, he shows us how we can all do the same.
At first, Toie answers the question by saying, “For me, living your life with possibilities means feeling confident about who you are and what is important to you; having the courage to step out of your comfort zone to learn, grow, and experience new things; and gracefully guide yourself and others to foster an environment where creativity, innovation, and growth can flourish. Achieving all of these goals requires some form of change, but most of us never receive a formal education or informal about change. Our schools and jobs measure how well we add, subtract, read and work, but not how well we are thriving. “
From here, Toie looks at what change is and how we can learn not only to cope with changes in our lives, but also how we can actively create the kind of change that will lead us to the kind of life we want. Those five steps are: 1) Define the problem / see the possibility, 2) Where am I now ?, 3) Where do I want to be ?, 4) How do I get there ?, and 5) How do I stay there? ? Toie guides readers through multiple processes and tools to help them answer these questions and follow these steps.
One of the most important points Toie makes, in my opinion, is the difference between happiness and success. Drawing on Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage, he notes that success does not lead to happiness. Instead, happiness leads to success. Achor defines happiness as “The joy you feel when you work towards a goal.” Building on this statement, Toie points out how much we always like to measure things, but then asks, “Are we measuring the things that really matter to us? Are we measuring the right things?” If something doesn’t bring us happiness, it may not be the right thing to do. Maybe we should measure things by the amount of happiness they bring us. She adds: “When we can enjoy the process, we can put the results aside.”
Toie discusses many other aspects of leading a fulfilling life throughout Living Your Life With Possibilities. She gives an idea of how our EQ (Emotional Quotient) is the most important determinant for success in life. She explores stress and how having meaningful friends and relationships is the number one way to relieve it. She especially emphasizes the importance of self-awareness so that we can better control our happiness and what elements, such as false beliefs, prevent us from being happy. Along with self-awareness skills are self-management skills, such as being emotionally self-controlled (not overreacting) and being transparent (not pretending to be someone you are not).
One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Are you leading your life as a lemonade stand or a Fortune 500 company?” This question leads to a discussion about the need for purpose in our lives and how to create a statement of purpose.
Toie also recognizes that finding your purpose and creating the life you want isn’t always easy. Many of us will procrastinate. She points out that writers have writer’s block, but writer’s block is just a form of resistance, and we all have that feeling of resistance when we want to move to a new level. Here he quotes Stephen Pressfield, who says: “The more important activity is for the evolution of your soul, the more resistance you will have.”
Living your life with possibilities is about how to overcome that resistance so that you can evolve, so that you can be the person you want to be, and once you become that person, then decide what’s next. There is much more in this book that I could mention, including excellent quotes from Will Smith and Elizabeth Gilbert, and stories about how even famous people like Michael Jackson criticize themselves.
But beyond the inspirational stories and quotes, Toie includes exercises to guide us through the five steps to living a life of possibility. This is not just a book to read; it is an inspiring call to action. It is an opportunity to change yourself and then change the world. As Toie says near the end, “Lead yourself and others with confidence, courage, and grace. You are the most important organization you will work for. You are a true leader.”
It is time to become the leader of your own life. It is time to experience all the possibilities that life offers. Let this book be your stepping stone to your ever-evolving wonderful future.