I am in a strange and unfamiliar place. It is a place of curious contentment, where everything seems to be going well. When I’ve been here in the past, I’ve always been waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some bad thing to happen. This time instead of searching for a problem that doesn’t exist, I’m going to embrace the fulfillment and capture my prescription for a good life.
1. White space
I need white space in my life. It is the space to let the unknown unfold and to embrace the discomfort of a blank canvas. It is the space that can only occur with having hours of unscheduled time in my calendar.
- White space is solitude. It’s being alone and lost within my thoughts. Eventually it leads to inspiration. It allows me to be contemplative, whether it’s getting lost in a work of fiction or creating something new.
- White space is surfing. This white space is bobbing up and down in the ocean, waiting for the next wave while watching pelicans soar and whales breach in the distance. It lets me connect to the rhythms of the ocean and get lost in the vastness. Research has shown that water can be this source of happiness for us.
- White space is rest. It’s getting 8–9 hours of sleep and the blissful feeling after a vigorous exercise session. I need the sleep. I crave the savasana and meditative relaxation that’s easiest for me to achieve after a yoga flow.
2. Adrenaline & Adventure
I’ve always had a drive that pushes me to do more and be more. It shows up in my work as a fierce desire to excel. It also shows up in activities that make my heart pump uncontrollably. I get it by snowboarding down a hill faster and faster until I am on the edge of being out of control. Sometimes I make it all the way down the run. More often, I catch an edge and tumble through the snow. I thrive on the fear of being held down by a wave and fighting up to take a mighty breath on the water’s surface.
I also get the adrenaline from dancing, either at a club completely immersed in the music, or dancing with a partner and perfectly executing the moves and improvisation of lindy hop.
The exploration of new places speaks more to adventure than adrenaline. I am exhilarated to explore an unknown new city or country. I still remember the feeling of sitting alone in a city bus at midnight, heading from the airport into Cairo, traveling alone and without a place to stay. The adventure is the anticipation and the slight trepidation of the unknown.
3. Meaningful Connection
I live my days to experience meaningful connection with other people. I spend less time now thinking about work vs life. Connections happen with all the people around me, both in work and non-work situations. Increasingly, it’s harder to distinguish between the two.
- Meaningful connection is the joy I get from living with my 9 and 11 year old daughters. Being able to see the world from their eyes as well as experiencing the emotional roller coaster of tween-dom.
- Meaningful connection is when I make 1–1 connections with people and support them to realize their dreams though my leadership coaching practice.
- Finally, it’s also through the co-creation of something bigger. Building something together, whether it’s a product, a process, or a team. It’s both the connections with the people I’m building something with, and the sense of a collective creativity to make something bigger than our individual efforts.
From my 3 prescriptions for a good life, it’s important for me to identify the emotions and find more places to honor those emotions in my life.
“I can summarize my research here in three words: emotions create habits.” ― B.J. Fogg
- White space is being serene, centered, and refreshed
- Adrenaline & adventure is exhilaration and adventure.
- Meaningful connection is curiosity, intensity, and joy.
These are my 3 prescriptions for a good life. What are yours?
Hello! I’m your host, Tutti Taygerly. I’ve spent 20+ years in product design & technology, leading teams at startups, design agencies, and large tech companies. I left Facebook in summer 2019 to focus on leadership coaching full-time. I write weekly about topics related to design & coaching.
I grew up in seven countries on three continents and am settled in San Francisco as my home base. I spend my time parenting two adventurous girls, obsessively reading, and paddling out for the next wave.
If you’re curious about coaching and how it could unblock your life, learn more about what I do.