A Five-Star Life

I’ve worked in the field of change management for a good portion of my career. To study and understand what causes resistance to change and what drives change is something that I find interesting. But what’s most interesting to me is that even though I have been armed with all the knowledge and skills necessary to help individuals and organizations undergo massive transformational changes, I still struggle with it myself at times.

Fear and pain are two of our primary factors when it comes to changing or not changing. Fear can keep us frozen and in place or it can propel us forward. Pain can do the same. It’s all a matter of what is worse… staying where you are or changing your circumstance.

My life has been pretty amazing lately I must admit, but there are several areas of my life where I want things to be different. I’ve experienced some pain in a couple of areas and the reality is that things will continue to stay the same and situations will continue to repeat themselves, unless I am willing to change. So I ask the questions, “How great is the pain?”, “What am I afraid of?”, and “What can I do about it?”

Nearly 15 years ago I created a system for measuring the quality of my life which I now call The Five Star Strategy. The idea is that just as hotels, restaurants, and reviews often use a five star ranking system to determine quality, I now use The Five Star Strategy to measure the quality of my life.

I break things down into five major perspectives called Character, Health, Relationships, Value, and Money. Within each of these perpectives are a number of attributes that are also measured. For example, within the perspective of Relationships, I look at my relationship with myself, my partner, my friends, my family, my work colleagues, my community, and my Higher Power. I give each of those attributes a rating and then come up with an overall score for the perspective of Relationships.

Overall, today I am able to give many of my attributes a rating of 4 or 5. But there are a few that only garner a 1 or a 2 which are generally the greatest source of pain in my life. I have also learned over time that a problem in one area may actually be the root cause of the problem in another area. For example, “acceptance” is something that I believe falls under Character which I define as “How am I showing up in life?”

Am I able to accept that some things are just they way they are and I cannot change them? Am I able to accept that I cannot change another person’s behaviors, beliefs, or feelings. Am I able to accept that I cannot change how anyone else shows up in life as a human being… I can only change the way that I do.

When it comes to a Relationships, if I want to transform a 1 into a 5, I have to look at what I am doing myself to cause it to be a 1. What’s my part in it? How am I when it comes to my Character? Do I have acceptance? Do I have tolerance? Do I have gratitude? Do I show respect? Am I sincere? Am I honest? Am I transparent? I focus on my part of the equation.

In the end, I can only show up in life to the best of my abilities and must accept that I cannot control an outcome. If things don’t change for the better, then as a last resort, I may have to remove myself from a situation altogether in an effort to transform a 1 back into a 5.

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About the Author

Chad Ryan is a management consultant and success coach with more than 20 years of experience helping to transform people and organizations. He's worked with some of the largest and most well-known companies and organizations in the world, along with numerous startups and small businesses. Developing creative ideas and implementing technology solutions that help people build, grow, and operate their business, is what Chad does best. He has guided many companies through massive changes with their workforce and has implemented new systems that enable them to work smarter, operate better, and increase their bottom line.

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