Something is amiss. You can’t quite put your finger on it – but you know that you’re not at your optimal level – and more importantly, you don’t know how to change it. Sometimes it can be your professional life, other times it can be your personal life. And if you’re really unfortunate – it can be both your professional and personal life at the same time. I know. I was one of those guys where everything in my life plummeted at the same time – so much, that it felt like an endless stream of acid-rain was controlling my every thought. I’m convinced we all need a break here and there. By a break – I mean when your talent meets timing. This is not an easy intersection to find – let alone navigate.

For me – I was a persistent man, but also a bit reckless in the process. I had no parachute. I was in a free-fall, spinning out-of-control, whipping from side-to-side, miserable YET somehow elated I had made the jump and totally focused on the dreams of my future. Completely centered on what I thought life should be – but no backup plan to rely on.

Before you make the leap to the next chapter in your life – look before you jump and study my 5 lessons from a man who has lived it.

5 LIFE LESSONS BEFORE YOU JUMP

1 Remember to RECHARGE your soul along the way

Our souls become battered over time, abused and often confused. Are you just existing or are you reaching for a higher purpose in your life? All too often our minds become entrenched with the negative energy around us – you can change this. For some people – they turn to negative thoughts, conflict, even crime. Others hang on to an average existence, and never amount to anything – dreamless!

You can’t turn off the world of reality while you imitate a deer in the headlights. Important to breathe and check in with your soul with an honest reality check about who you really are, and what do you want out of this lifetime.

Take a closeup look at your surroundings and begin the small steps to changing the things that you know deep inside must be changed. Remove the negative forces around you that are stifling you. You must cleanse your mind of all the negativity that occupies your soul. Start anew. Wake up to a different morning routine. Turn the technology off. Step outside and breathe. Attach yourself to the idea that you are starting anew on your terms. This is your life and your opportunity to shine. Be honest. Be authentic. Be at peace. Be thankful for your life. Let your gratitude and praise soak in your thoughts and radiate in your soul.

2 REFOCUS your Priorities from time to time

Does your daily regimen support your yearly plan and does your yearly plan feed into  your life plan? We get lost with all the distractions and urgent matters in our lives. All too often our ‘true’ priorities are at the bottom of the list. The key is to get those priorities back to the top of your list. Step back from all the clutter and think it through, write it down and create your yearly plan and the daily action steps – the milestones that will take you there.

Take a lesson or two from the great basketball superstar Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

If the RISK outweighs the reward, then reconsider the journey – find another way or abandon the idea. If the REWARD exceeds the risk involved, then don’t let anything stop you from exploring the unknown. You can do it friends!

3 It may be time to REEVALUATE your relationships

Negative thoughts create inferior results. It’s like everything else in your life – your mind takes the shape of whatever you feed it. Those relationships that are constantly in your ears with gossip and bad news… you need to drop them like a hot rock. Positive people hang with positive people and get superior results. It’s said that we are a makeup of the five people we hang with. It may be time to divorce yourself from select people.

Keep it positive, don’t allow the negative energy to consume you. Read a motivational book, subscribe to some positive blogs, listen to some uplifting music. Positive intentions translate into positive results. Seek out positive reinforcements for your lifestyle. They can be people you don’t necessarily always agree with – but who you can have an honest disagreement with – with no repercussions. If you can capitalize on strengths and weaknesses that compliment the ones you possess – the relationship will have more potential.

“We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics,” says Joyce Meyer.

It’s easy to be critical of others in the decisions they make – but we rarely ever know all the circumstances surrounding a decision. Be sure that you have all the facts and then offer alternatives while being respectful of the decision. Choose your battles wisely. Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.

4 Stuck in neutral? It happens. REENERGIZE your mission

The same daily regimen will produce the same daily results. We are mostly creatures of habit. Face it, you probably order the same food, drive the same roads and call the same people day in and day out. Your routine may be holding you back. When your days become too predictable – your creativity and desire to improve will almost certainly become stagnant.

Turn your schedule upside down if you’re seriously looking for a different outcome. Refresh your mindset by breaking out of your routine. Start with the simple things – food choices, travel choices, people choices – before you consider career and life changes. A different structure to your daily routine will result in a new and improved structure to your overall life. The question to ask yourself is ‘how can I advance my dreams forward?’ A good idea will remain only a good idea unless you can advance it to a great idea! Moving your agenda of dreams forward is a sign of greatness. Question everything around you, both good and bad. Look at the alternatives, this is not the time to play follow the leader, it’s the time when leaders step up to the challenge at-hand.

5 Never compromise who you are. REDISCOVER Your Greatness

Do what you love in life and life will love you back! Greatness is habit forming and if you work at it day in and day out… your moments of greatness will multiply. Never be afraid to reinvent yourself. Where do you want to be five years from now? Give this some serious thought [and write it down]. What steps will it take to get you there? Break those steps down into micro-steps that are manageable. Find the passion in your life by engaging in the areas that excite you. Most importantly don’t change for change sake – do it because you truly desire a new and improved life.

It’s impossible to get excited about your life and your work without passion. Passion can only come from within, it’s an intense emotion consisting of feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something better. Without passion, details suffer, the quality is hindered and the overall outcome diminished. Passion is that feeling of unusual excitement or just having a positive affinity towards life. When we are passionate about our life`, it almost always results in a greater satisfaction. Doing what you truly love in life is a gift.

Speaking of passion and greatness, one of my simplest pleasures in life is to highlight the good people around the globe that are making a difference. Would you like to meet some really cool people? BrinkofGreatness.com is focused solely on people that make the right decision in their lives when it matters most. Some of the coolest stories you’ve ever heard. Spend a few hours here, share the stories with your world, and email me with your awesome stories at BeGreatness@MalcolmOutLoud.com.

You have one life to live – it is your life, only YOU are responsible for the outcome! So there you have it – no victim here – victor in the making!