Essential Work

What essentials are required for you to live your ideal life? Of course, our basic needs of food, water, and shelter need to be met, but what’s next? In my coaching practice, I often encourage clients to focus on what their ideal world looks like. What does their ideal career look like? What does their ideal client look like? What does their ideal health look like? What do their ideal relationships look like? Whatever it is they want to work on, we look at it from an angle of ideal. Not right or wrong, but what is ideal for them. We find gratitude in where they were with the situation, where they are now, and where they are going in the future. I LOVE helping people get clearer on what their ideal life looks like.

It seems easy and fun, right? Well, it can be, but often our ideal life visions bring up feelings of unworthiness and who am I to deserve an ‘ideal’ life. I am a firm believer that many of our ‘this isn’t working in my life’ can be traced back to feeling unworthy. So, we work on it. Each conversation deepens the understanding that we are worthy of living that life. Trust me, while working on others regarding worthiness, I am practicing myself too. When a client brings up a difficult client, colleague, XYZ… we find gratitude in that relationship, we remember they aren’t ideal (fill in the blank) if there is more struggle than flow, and we return to focus on our ideals. We focus more on what and who we want in our life more than what we don’t want. It’s a daily practice. I feel like I need to say this again…

Just because they are not an ideal (lover, friend, colleague, etc), that doesn’t mean they are a bad person. It just means they aren’t a good fit for you!

Now, back to essentials. In the past, I was struggling with a client relationship and frankly, I was focused on the ‘don’t wants’. I was not paying attention to they were not ideal clients, rather I was giving away my power by focusing on the frustration of working with them. It was surprising to me as I LOVE talking and coaching about ideals. While I talked it over with a dear friend, she brought up the word — essentials. While knowing our essentials of food, water, and shelter are needed, she asked me what were other essentials that I needed in order to have healthy work relationships.

It was an insightful and fun project to work on my essentials and I plan on creating a course around it. While some people like to separate their business persona from their personal one, that’s not me. So, I sat down to figure out what essentials I need to be met in my relationships… especially the ones I spend a lot of my time, energy, and heart with.

I came up with nine essentials I require for healthy relationships. Within each of the nine categories, I wrote down examples of what that looks like to me. The top three essentials for me are appreciation, respect, and kindness. It is mutual. While I want to feel appreciated, respected, and treated kindly, for my essentials to be met, I also want to appreciate, respect, and choose kindness toward them too.

It truly was a thought-provoking exercise as knowing what my essentials are, allows me to make clearer decisions on who I want in my life and at what level (refer back to they aren’t bad people, just not my people) I want them in my life.

Even when you know your essentials, that doesn’t mean people are going to meet them 100% of the time.

Perhaps people like Dalai Lama are kind 100% of the time, but most of us navigate life on a scale (see top image). I’d say your essentials are in the 90% and above range.

Moving forward, I encourage you to create your list of essentials by:

Looking at your current relationships and asking yourself if they are easy or challenging. Again, it’s a scale and I am not remotely saying relationships don’t require work, as they do. But, if it’s a relationship that takes you out of your inner peace most of the time, perhaps it’s time to reflect upon it.

Asking yourself how you want to feel in your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and superiors. Some of those may become essentials and some might be ideals.

Taking time on this project and sit with it. Write down everything that comes up and ask yourself are an ‘essential’ or an ‘ideal’. Only you will know what is essential for you as yours and mine may differ.

Knowing that once you have discovered your essentials, you now have a new tool in your toolbox to help you with decisions moving forward on who you share your time, energy, and heart with. ***Please know that if your current relationships don’t meet your essentials, that does not mean you have to break up or quit. It means taking a deep look at where those relationships are right now. Is there a possibility of meeting essentials with work? If not, look at creating an exit plan so you can live a more peaceful life (reminder – not a wrong person, just not a right one for you).

Mostly, I want to remind you how very precious life is and while it requires dedication, commitment, and work to live an ideal life, only you know if you are forcing it to happen with non-essential relationships or allowing it to flow with essential ones.

Until next time, you are essential in this world and you are doing a good job!


I am appreciated, respected, and treated with kindness.

Words to LOVE by:

The first essentials, of course, is to know what you want. – Robert Collier

To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials. – Richard Branson

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. – Lao Tzu

Sounds for your Soul:


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