What Does Epic Living Really Look Like?
We live in a society where we’re always looking for validation. We’re always comparing ourselves to someone else or trying to keep up with some far-off ideal. That makes it easy for us to get discouraged and forget what’s really important, or worse, find ourselves chasing a definition of success that isn’t our own.
That’s why I try to be careful in how I talk about “epic living”. I don’t ever want to define it in a way that leaves you feeling like it’s about what you have instead of how you live. I want you empowered and tuned into your own personal needs and satisfaction.
So, when I’m asked to define epic living, I usually stick with saying that it means: living a life you love… on your terms.
Maybe that definition is too simplistic, but when you think about it, living life on your own terms is actually a pretty complicated thing to do. It means you have to take full responsibility for your life and choices, even when it’s easier to blame others for your current state. You have to be willing to sometimes go against popular opinion or to crave less in a world that tells you more is better.
Because of that, I see epic living not as something you achieve once and then move on from, but as a practice.
Let me say that again: epic living is a practice and a choice. It starts with clarity, depends on action, and is an ongoing commitment.
To live your epic life, you have to uncover your core values and desires, set your intentions around those values and desires, and then pursue those intentions day in and day out. This will impact everything from how you behave in personal relationships and conduct yourself professionally, to when, where, how and with whom you spend your time.
But again, the epic life that you’re pursuing will always be your own. I, nor anyone else, can tell you what it should look like.
As examples, here are four people who are no doubt living epicly, but in their own unique ways:
Felicia Smith is the Founder and President of Goodie Girl Bags®, a non-profit that provides women in need with bras and feminine hygiene products. Felicia works a full time job, but still found personal satisfaction by combining her belief in giving back to her community, with her desire to make a difference in the lives of women, and her personal love (and talent) for event planning. She didn’t have to quit her job or sell all her belongings and travel the world for her life to be EPIC.
Then there’s one of my personal heroes, Iyanla Vanzant. You may know that Iyanla’s early life was unfortunately filled with trauma. She lost her mother at an early age; her father led a life of crime and was mostly absent from her life. She survived sexual assault at the hands of one of the relatives who raised her and physical abuse by her first husband. And yet, determined not to let those things define her entire life, she did the hard work of getting clear on the woman she wanted to be and then working on her confidence and courage. Now, she’s devoted to helping millions of men and women do the same.
Or consider William, a long-time friend who worked in public service and private sector for years before being let go unexpectedly. He could have sought out another 9 to 5 that would have left his fate in the hands of his employer (that would have been a perfectly fine choice). But no. William decided to leverage his network, in-demand knowledge, skills and abilities into his own management consulting business, allowing him to set his own hours, be more selective about who he worked with (and how). It was a scary decision and took plenty of hard work and sacrifices, but today, he’s retired after 12 successful years and grateful to have control over how he spends his days. His only regret was that he didn’t start his business sooner.
Me (Fay Ferguson)
And finally, there’s me. I was once a stressed-out people pleaser who didn’t know who I was or what I wanted and didn’t trust my own judgment and truth. I committed time and energy doing dedicated, deep work on getting clear and confident building my self-esteem, and learning to recognize and appreciate my worth. My life is not perfect, but it’s my own. My choices are my own – both the good and bad ones. I’m free from overthinking everything and feeling like I have to hustle for validation or prove my worth to everyone. I’m blissfully content to show up and do my best. I have a satisfying, executive-level position (that I’m in no hurry to leave), and a rewarding side business helping others get unstuck, be empowered and live their epic life, with affordable coaching.
See? Epic living looks like something different to everyone. It has to.
So, instead of pushing yourself to live someone else’s epic life or dream, I hope you’ll take some time to get clear on your own. And if you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got you covered…
The First Step to Epic Living
The first step to living an epic life is knowing what YOUR epic life looks like. As I tried to show in the examples above, it should be something very specific to you.
But it’s also true that when we feel stuck, unhappy, or unclear it can be hard to imagine better for ourselves.
Let’s fix that.
I recorded this audio and created this handout to help you work through discovering what it is that you really want for your personal and professional lives.
Once you're clear on what you want, it's easier to develop a plan and path to help you get it.
So, be sure to give the audio a listen, it's only 8 minutes (i.e., short enough to listen while you have breakfast or on your morning commute).
But don't forget to download the handout, too. Okay?