WHAT DO YOU want out of life? Are you happy with the work you do to earn the money you need? If you aren't happy, what are you doing to make a change?
I had those questions in mind when selecting the final Color of Money Book Club pick of the year, Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success & Happiness by C.C. Chapman (Wiley, hardcover and e-book, $22.95). Chapman is a marketing and business consultant and professional speaker.
At 175 pages, this small hardback is a quick read. The advice is dispensed in short chapters that cover where you are now, where you want to be, how to get there and why you should give back once you reach your destination.
"Many people want more money, a new job, or a happier relationship, but they are not willing to put in the time and work to make any of it happen," Chapman writes. "There are so many get-rich-quick schemes out there that I wanted to create a road map that people could actually use to achieve their dreams successfully."
As I read Chapman's book, I thought of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken." How do you get on the right road? And when you travel down that path, how do you prevent having regrets for taking a road less traveled?
One way Chapman said to put aside regrets is to be a "Passion Hit" - his term to describe people who are able to make a living doing what they love. Chapman has created passionhit.tv, which profiles people who've found a way to monetize their passion.
As you travel your road to the life you want, Chapman offers simple tips for the journey. For example, he suggests you go old- tech and keep a small notebook to jot down things you need or want to do. I know - it's easier to pull out your smartphone. But speaking of myself, writing notes on paper forces me to think about what I want to say.
When you write things down, try this exercise: Consider the things you want to do in the coming year and then choose three words to motivate you to take action. One year, Chapman's three words were "simplify," "focus" and "attack."
Let's just take the word "simplify." "Think about income, time away [from] the family, and anything else that might change as you make a shift," Chapman writes. "You should never do anything that risks the happiness of the people who mean the most to you."
What would your three words be for 2013?
"Choosing the three words is not easy," Chapman notes, "but this is a helpful exercise that will give you a guide for the year ahead and where you want to go next in life."