Another retreat, another early, early morning.
Today, I am in Prince Edward County at the beautiful June Motel. It’s my friend’s motel, and I am here for another retreat.
It’s Elise’s Best Life!
I’m here at Your Best Life Retreat hosted by Ingo Rauth, who is a professor from University of Toronto. He calls himself an Innovation Shrink, so he basically walks you through how to look at your life as it currently is, and design it in a way of how you ultimately want it to be.
This has been 2 and a 1/2 days of looking inwards, and thinking about my life in a way that I really haven’t taken the time to do so maybe ever.
Some of the exercises were really challenging, but I think really, really worthwhile, too.
Today, I’m covering four takeaways that I’ve learned from attending Your Best Life Retreat.
1. You can ENGINEER luck in your life.
The first takeaway is this idea that there are actually formulas for things in life like luck, and finding meaning, and having purpose in your life.
For me, these ideas are pretty big and abstract, and things that I haven’t really thought that I’ve had much control over.
But Ingo is an engineer and a designer, and he really breaks things down to be very methodical in a way.
You can engineer luck in your life.
This idea made me think quite a bit about the law of attraction industry, and the manifestation industry. A lot of it is built on this idea of actually creating luck for yourself.
So what this tells me is that all these ideas that I thought were intangible or out of my control – I could actually approach with a method.
For example: I can cultivate – like, actually create – more luck for myself in my life by:
- Getting myself into new situations.
- Relaxing to see the opportunities around me versus operating from this place of stress and anxiety.
- Listening to my gut.
- Expecting good fortune.
Expecting good fortune really made me think of the laws of attraction and manifestation. By just fostering the mentality of good luck coming your way, it actually generates it.
The other aspect of generating luck is just reframing things, meaning: your attitude.
Do you see yourself as someone with bad luck, or bad fortune, or, that things don’t really pan out the way you want them to be?
You can change that and have an actual impact in your life just by reframing and changing your attitude.
These ‘big’ ideas that I always thought I didn’t have much control over can actually be broken down into a formula, and you can create strategies in your life to make them happen.
2. How to deal with ENVY in a healthy way.
The second takeaway from attending Your Best Life Retreat was one on how to deal with this idea of jealousy or envy that you might have for others – whether it’s the type of life they live, or the type of business they have.
(This one, I’m flipping a little bit on its head because Ingo didn’t actually walk us through these emotions, but this is what I got from it.)
Ingo had us go through an exercise where we had to list out people that were superheroes to us – whether they were a real person, or a fictional character.
An example of someone who I listed down was Marie Forleo, and if you’re in the online business space you know that she is a really big name – a successful entrepreneur. She runs B-School, a really big online brand, and I think what she does is really amazing and impactful.
Ingo had us flip the script where we crossed their name out, and we thought of ourselves as that person with those qualities.
So for Marie Forleo, I wrote down that I really see her as a superhero because she is so outgoing and she puts herself out there as she is. She’s not afraid to have fun. She’s not afraid to be goofy, and that makes her really memorable and different.
So when there is someone who you admire, but at the same time you might have some envy or jealousy towards because of what they have – flip the script. Cross out their name, put your name there and see how that feels.
Can you see yourself as someone who has qualities of the person you admire?
Could I see myself like Marie Forleo who’s so outgoing, so extroverted, and who puts herself out there?
The whole point of this exercise is to just put on that persona and see how it feels.
It doesn’t mean that you have to *become* that person, but it’s just this idea of:
What if you embraced the qualities that you actually admire in others? What if you could apply elements of those qualities to your life, your personality, and your business?
Personally, I think that’s my trigger.
Anytime I might come across anyone in my space where I’m like, ‘Ooh, I want to be like that or ooh, that’s really cool’ – I can instead see that as a sign that there’s something in them that I admire.
And why not just try that on for size? See what it’s like to think of myself as someone with their qualities and what they have to give? Why not, right?
3. Meaning comes from CREATION or EXPERIENCES.
The third takeaway from Your Best Life Retreat is the idea that meaning comes from creation or experiences.
One activity that Ingo led us through was writing down a peak experience in our life.
What’s a peak experience? It’s when you look back on your life, what are those experiences that really stand out to you as peaks like a high? Or a really, really happy time?
I noticed a really interesting trend about my peak experiences: they all had something to do with creation or experiencing.
Half of my experiences were about travel. There were some really cool places that I got to see like the British Virgin Islands and Kenya. Those moments of travel really stood out to me because they resulted in this experience that I’d never had before.
The other half of my peak experiences were related to my business and reaching a certain milestone in my business or launching or creating something and putting it out there.
When I looked at those things that stood out, they all had something to do with creation.
So that was a light bulb moment for me that when it comes to defining meaning in my life, I know that if it gives me an experience or if it gives me the ability to create, that’s where I’m going to find meaning.
Instead of ‘meaning’ being this really abstract idea that’s just too big to wrap my head around, this makes it a lot more tangible.
“Will this be something that I can have a unique experience from, or will I be able to create from it?”
That’s generally where I’m gonna find meaning in my life. #greattoknow 💡
4. Embrace DRAWING – like you used to when you were a kid.
The fourth takeaway from Your Best Life Retreat was: embracing drawing. 🎨
Ingo walked us through why drawing is really important for us to express ideas.
Drawings can have more meanings than a single word, so he really encouraged us to visualize the next year of our life, or two years, or five years – whatever it might be – through pictures.
This was probably the most challenging thing that I did all weekend.
It was kind of funny because it’s like, how often did you do this in kindergarten or grade one, right? It reminded me of elementary school quite a bit, but it was like a muscle that I hadn’t flexed or used in years and it was so weak.
Drawing used up a lot of brain power and was giving me a headache and was making me tired, but that’s how I knew I needed to work through it.
If you are ever feeling like you’re plateauing or you’re stuck or you’re confused, I would highly recommend to get a blank piece of paper and just to start sketching where you see yourself ideally in 1 year, 2 years and 5 years.
Don’t be realistic. Don’t hold back.
You should try it and see how it goes for you.
It was really hard to picture what I actually wanted and that gave me a lot of good perspective on what I have right now.
What I have right now is pretty awesome. It’s pretty close to what I always wanted my dreams to be. That was a really cool realization to have.
I was really trying to wrack my brain, like ‘what more could I see for myself? What more do I want to be doing? Do I want to create more or experience more?
I already create and experience quite a bit in my life, and going through this experience of drawing out the next five years of my life made me really see that and appreciate so much more where I’m at and where I’ve come.
I highly recommend The June Motel if you ever come to Ontario and you want to see a very picturesque, very pretty, very – dare I say – Instagram-friendly motel.
Plus, April and Sarah (the owners) are super nice and great hosts as well. 👯