Strategies for having the life you want: Pie & Gratitude

by Alexia Camfield on November 17, 2014

“With the rising of the sun you ask, what will I make of this new day?” – Oprah
I can’t think of better November topics with Thanksgiving almost here than Pie and Gratitude! In October I was invited to attend Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend. It was set up like a classroom / workshop and in addition to Oprah there were several key speakers or teachers who shared insights into navigating our lives and the challenges we are presented with in a way that we are ultimately able to co-create lives we want.

The “trailblazers” (as she calls them) that Oprah had working with her for the Life You Want Weekend in Houston were Deepak Chopra, Rob Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert and Iyanla Vanzant. It was an impressive group and each one had valuable information to teach. I have included what I took away as a top piece of information from each in my Inspired section as well as the current books they are known for under On My Bookshelf.

One of the workshop activities included a pie chart. I use pie charts regularly with clients as a way to get a visual of where the energy of their daily lives is divided. The pie chart is also great for helping us see that anything we want to add will impact the size of the existing slices.

Life Pie:

  1. Think about all of the areas of your life today. List the most important ones.
  2. Draw a fairly large circle in the middle of a piece of paper. Divide it into slices based on the areas you identified as being important and with consideration to the amount of space each area is taking up in your life.
  3. Based on how you feel about each slice, make notes to the side about what changes you would like to see as well as highlighting any areas you feel positively about.
  4. Draw another pie chart with the considerations of the observations above. Have this pie chart represent the life you want. Notice if any ideas jump out at you for ways to move closer to this version.
  5. Repeat or reflect on this exercise regularly.

Last month I recommended the book “Start” by Jon Acuff. This book is about breaking out of average work and into great work. One of the best points Jon makes is that we need to be able to weigh in and start where we are without self-criticism. He believes when we start where we are we have a much better chance of getting where we want to be. I couldn’t agree more. So, as you reflect on the pie that is your life today, remember to look at this as information so that you can work towards a pie that better reflects the life you want. Try to refrain from critical thinking about what your start looks like.

As important as working towards co-creating the life you want is, taking the time to reflect on what is going well in your life can also have a very positive impact. Keeping a daily gratitude journal has been shown to increase happiness, energy, optimism, overall well-being and empathy. It has also been shown to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. The studies I have seen recommend 30 days of noting 3 gratitudes each day. There are many app’s out now that make it easy to cultivate this habit. I like Gratitude 365: because it has an option for a photograph entry each day as well as a list feature. The gratitude365app makes it convenient and fun and reminds me not to take for granted all that is good in each day.

“With the setting of the sun my heart is filled with gratitude at yet another day to live on purpose.” – Oprah


I have so much gratitude at all that I have learned this month and the opportunity to continue working on growing my life. I included a copy of my current life pie above. I would love to see yours! Bring it in or email me.

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