Tips When Life Is Not As Expected

When your seemingly firm life plans crumble, the blank slate left behind feels like a terrible gulf of nothingness. It’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Dave Hollis, a career coach and New York Times bestselling author, understands how it feels to move from cruise control to freefall.

He left his job as president of international distribution at Disney in 2018 to start a business with his then-wife, Rachel Hollis, a New York Times best-selling author and speaker. Dave and Rachel announced their divorce in 2020.

Related: Never Set Out To Break the Rules.

“Almost everything I assumed would be there forever was no longer there, and death was freedom in a strange way.” “I could reconnect with why I was truly on this earth, and what pursuing after my ambitions or sailing off my chart may look like,” Dave explains.

Built Through Courage

Face Your Fears to Live the Life You Were Meant to Live, is his second book. Here’s to Your Dreams!, his debut children’s book, will be released in February 2022.

Kindra Hall, chief storytelling officer at SUCCESS Stories, talks to Dave about working toward the purpose you were intended to pursue, giving your emotions human names, and the transition from five-year plans to making it through lunch in this episode of SUCCESS Stories.

Make a Map That Will Bring You to Your Goal.

Dave believes you were given that unique combination of features for a specific purpose because you are the only person who possesses your genes, experiences, and talents. Once you’ve discovered your calling, make it your life’s mission to fulfill it.

Imagine it as a lighthouse: after you’ve seen it, you can design a map to help you find it. That map contains all of the items you’ll need as well as the tasks you’ll need to do to get there.

Caution: double-check that you’re on your map. Dave discovered he wasn’t going toward his own dreams while running a firm with his then-wife Rachel.

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His Location Was Marked on Her Map.

It isn’t just your spouses who can unintentionally divert your attention. You could also follow a road map drawn up by your parents, coworkers, or even society.

How do you know? If you’re working toward what you think is your mission but still feel dissatisfied, or if you’re pulled to something else but ignore it, it’s a hint that the destination you’re attempting to achieve belongs to someone else.

Although Comfort is Seductive, Only Challenges Allow You to Grow.

Imagine your safe haven—your steady career, your relationship, your hometown—as a port, continuing with the lighthouse and map metaphor. In a harbor, ships are secure from the most ferocious storms and the deadliest waves. Ships, on the other hand, were designed to leave the harbor. It’s the only way you’ll learn about new places.

For a long time, Dave believed that if he met his objectives and found stability, he would be happy. But after he got there—he was a Disney executive, at the pinnacle of the profession he’d always aspired to work in—he realized it wasn’t the objective that had motivated him to get out of bed every day, but the effort and lessons he’d had to learn to get there.

It’s natural to need safety, but it won’t help you advance. Trying new things that are outside of your comfort zone is the only way to challenge and push yourself.

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Make the Next Logical Choice.

Dave thought he had the next five years planned out before his divorce. When that element of his life was ripped from beneath him, he found himself in a situation where he didn’t know what the next morning would bring.

Dave took his time rebuilding the house. He had to put his health first in all he did. He categorizes it into five groups:






He set two or three goals for each one at a time. They were sometimes 90-day goals, and other times they were only for that day. He focused on making the next appropriate move rather than trying to foresee five years ahead.

Over time, Dave began to form a new vision for his life, one that was actually healthier than what he’d previously imagined was in store for him.

He gradually gained the ability to plan further ahead.

When you first see blank pages, they can be daunting. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can turn into a strategy if you start with one word or one pencil mark at a time.

Make a List of Your Feelings.

When you name your emotions, you put a barrier between you and them. You are not the emotions; you are simply witnessing them.

This distance makes it easier to have a conversation with those feelings. As a result, it’s easier to figure out why they’re happening and how to handle them.

To be clear, this does not simply imply labeling their emotions with terms like fear, sadness, or guilt. We’re talking of naming them after people.

Dave, for example, refers to his nervousness as Clark. “Just go with me for a second if it sounds woo-woo: it altered my entire life,” he says.

When Clark turns up unannounced, Dave recognizes that, like all of his emotions, he is attempting to be helpful. Instead of being overwhelmed, Dave now questions Clark about why he’s there.

Clark’s job is usually to point out elements of Dave’s life that are clouded in uncertainty.

Clark doesn’t like uncertainty.

Dave is pushed to remedy whatever problem Clark is pointing out once he realizes the reason for a specific visit, as frustrating as Clark can be. He’ll devise a strategy that eliminates the ambiguity while also assisting Dave in moving forward in whatever part of his life has been impacted.

Clark smiles and walks away, and Dave smiles because he’s making progress on his map.

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