52weeksofhappiness

52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Five-My Best Life Decisions To Date

52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Five

My best life decisions to date! Oh my… let me count the ways:-)

This is week 5 of “52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy”, by Moorea Seal. This week is about creating a list of the best life choices you have made to date.

I’m going to share mine with you and hope it will inspire you to create your own list.

52weeksofhappiness

My best life decisions to date:

1. The very first one is the decision and choice I made to live in Arizona when I first got engaged. My boyfriend at the time asked me to marry him but he lived in California. I moved to Arizona with my parents when I was 17 so when he asked me to marry him I said yes…and we need to live in Arizona!

At the time I was fresh out of high school and I didn’t have a college education. The cost of living in California was astronomical. I said to him that I wanted to raise a family in Arizona, not California. I felt like the cost of living in California would have prevented us from being in the area we would have wanted to raise our kids in.  This was decades ago and at the time this was one of the best decisions I made.

2. Another great decision that I made was joining Job’s Daughters International. It’s a fraternal youth organization for girls ages 10-20 and I was 11 years old at the time I joined. Job’s Daughters helped me build my confidence, my character, public speaking skills, and planning, budgeting and leadership skills. I really loved it and was active in it until I got married at 19.  This was an amazing organization that helped me be who I am today.

3. The next choice would have been marring my then husband, followed by having my kids who are the light of my life. Although we are divorced, had I not married him, my AHmazing kids wouldn’t be who they are.

Elisala Family Pictures

4. The next best choice I made in my life was to work at the University of Phoenix. I started working there three weeks after Amanda was born in 1989.  I quickly rose through the ranks and served as an executive most of that time.  My time there was priceless.

Working at the University of Phoenix and being able to serve and help it grow from about 13,000 students to almost half a million students really helped me grow. I also taught leadership, strategic planning, and organizational development there for ten years. I had some tremendous mentors and a ton of fun while I was there.

5. My next best move was getting my education. Both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were instrumental in my growth in corporate America.

6. This next decision, which may sound kind of odd, was my decision to get a divorce. We grew apart and it was the right thing to do for myself and for my kids.  Had I not had the courage to step out and work through the issues that we were having, I wouldn’t have really grown spiritually.  That was when I became spiritual awake and my true life journey really began.  So that was a really significant, pivotal point in my life.

7. My next great decision was buying a house.  The house I bought was on the same street as the elementary school, middle school and the high school.  I did that by design because I knew I was working that stressful corporate job and I needed to know that the kids were ok and could walk home after school.  That perfect house at that perfect time in that perfect place served us well for 14 years.

8. My next best decision, and probably one of my top life decisions thus far was the decision to take care of my parents. We took care of them for 2 ½ years until their respective deaths in 2012.  Helping them live and die with dignity and grace, and helping them hone their legacy was truly one of the greatest honors of my life.

9. Another big, best choice was leaving the University of Phoenix. After 21 years it was difficult, yet that was the time when my parents needed me to take care of them.  Subsequently this was a time when a lot of regulations changed, enrollments dropped and there were a lot of tough times for University of Phoenix and higher education in general. So it was probably best that I was not there during that time.

10. Listening to my intuition; my angels, my guides, my spiritual mentor was the next best choice. What books to read and when, teachers and people that came into my life at the perfect time, all helped me to develop the skill of listening to my intuition which has served me well in my life and in my business.

11. Another great decisions was to write a book, “Healing Through the Chaos” and have since been a collaborative author in six best-selling books. I have another book coming out at the end of this year.

12. I kicked cancer’s ass four times. FOUR TIMES, people!  If you know me you know how challenging of a time that was and yet I did it, I’m in remission and life is good. DECIDING I was in it to LIVE was THE best decision I’ve made in my life so far. Had I not done this and followed my heart on the last leg of the cancer journey to heal, I don’t know if I would be here.

13. Another great decision is that I’ve hired coaches to help me and my business.  That was the best investment I could’ve made and significantly helped me in so many ways.

14. Last but not least was my decision to start my business, Center for Inspiring Greatness. I started it a long time ago and it has gone through a lot of changes.  Initially it was about general life coaching, then it was about healing through hypnosis, Reiki and tapping. Then it was about care-giving. Then it changed into helping building resistance through tough times. Now I’ve evolved and have really married all of that together and am focusing on leadership.

If I had not made all the decisions that I mentioned I would not be the person I am today.

It’s Your Turn: I recommend writing down your top 10 (or 14 or 20 list – lol) list. Once you have made your list take five minutes each morning before you start your day and give thanks for the joy, for trusting your inner wisdom and for your decisions. Know that each decision was for your highest good. Having that gratitude will bring more things into your life to be thankful for. I really believe that.

I would love to hear from you. What are the best choices you have made in your life so far? Please comment below!

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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to lead their business like a rockstar CEO. Tandy has studied, taught, led, coached and spoken for over 30 years in the fields of leadership, human resources and life success. She helped the University of Phoenix grow and scale from 13k - 480k students while saving millions in costs and having one of the most highly engaged team across the organization. Tandy spent 25 years as a corporate executive, 10 years as a faculty member and successful entrepreneur and did all this while kicking cancer's butt 4 times. Tandy is spiritual woo-woo with a 5-point business plan wrapped into one. She is a 6-time bestselling author and a mom. She believes to expand your impact, legacy and influence, you must learn how to scale as you grow, lead high performing teams and lead yourself. This is key to making more money, saving precious time, having creative flexibility and serving the world the way only you can.

Tandy lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her three kids and amazing angel dog. Order Tandy'sbooks at http://www.tandyelisala.com or www.amazon.com.

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28 replies
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Absolutely, Joyce. Our decisions affect us years… decades later. This has been a cool exercise in honing my legacy.

      Reply
  1. Jennifer Quisenberry
    Jennifer Quisenberry says:

    What a wonderful way to get to know more about you, Tandy! I totally hear you about the cost of living in CA. I’ve lived here for 17 years, and I have to say, it’s been one of the best things I ever did for myself. Isn’t it interesting that what’s good for one is the polar opposite of what’s good for another? It’s what makes us so interesting as people, I think.
    Jennifer Quisenberry recently posted…March Madness TriviaMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I would LOVE to live in San Diego, Jennifer. Back then though… it wasn’t the right thing for me. Thankfully, we have a lot of options.

      Reply
  2. Apolline Adiju
    Apolline Adiju says:

    Thank you for sharing so much about your life with us. It takes courage to do that I appreciate it. I can relate with some of the aspects you shared since I have been through rough times but always embrace my past and look forward to the future.

    Reply
  3. Beverley Golden
    Beverley Golden says:

    Some of the things on your list, I can personally relate to, Tandy. Especially when it comes to making choices for your health…that’s a common theme in my life and I’ve also written about it in my book. Congratulations on having the insight to review your life as a retrospective of choices along the way. For me, I imagine mine would be more current, although deciding to have my daughter when our goal was to make it in the music biz, was probably the best choice I ever made. I also believe many of the things we choose are presented to us because of our destiny path. Finding Arscura – School for Living Art and ‘knowing’ I had to say ‘yes’ to it when I was deathly ill, was one of the most important choices I have made, as it led me on a healing journey that I do not believe our choices would have. It would be fun to have a conversation with you sometime and maybe when I come to Arizona in the fall we could even sit down and meet face to face. Congrats on all the incredible choices you’ve made and how we see them as key moments that defined in many ways, your life’s journey.
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Curcumin — Good for Body and MindMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Beverley, thank you so much for sharing from your personal experiences. I enjoyed getting to know you better. Listening to that little (or sometimes big) voice inside really helps direct us in making important life decisions, doesn’t it!?!

      Reply
  4. Anne
    Anne says:

    Wow, love your article and list! What an amazing list you have going so far 🙂 That is AMAZING that you have beat cancer 4 times! I lost my Dad to cancer, and its nice to see a success story and that it can be done!

    Reply
  5. Kristen Wilson
    Kristen Wilson says:

    Wow.. lots of history there… great to get to know you better and how hard that must have been to take care of your folks… but I am sure there were many more great memories now that they are gone. Holy crap, cancer 4 times.. you go girl.. such an inspiration! I think this is great because too often we look back and not always see the silver lining. However, I will say that, when asked if I have any regrets or wish to do things over, I say, while I wish I hadn’t had to go through some pains in my life, going through them made me stronger… right?!
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Don’t Be a Social Media Salesman!My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Absolutely, Kristen! All our pains, scars, and challenges always make us stronger. Taking care of my parents, by far, was the most treasured decision I’ve ever made.

      Reply
  6. Lisa Swanson
    Lisa Swanson says:

    What a great exercise for women (and men) to practice regularly. All too often we think about our failures, which in turn leads us to believe we are failures. That’s certainly not going to get us very far.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Amen, Lisa! The more we focus on the positive, the more we open up for the universe to bring us more positive things to be thankful for. Also, I believe that being resilient in the face of challenges serves to always make us stronger.

      Reply
  7. Meghan
    Meghan says:

    WOW! First of all, it was so great to read more about you on a personal level. Thank you for sharing these lessons and life facts! Secondly, there’s so much to admire about you and your decisions. You’ve clearly been through a ton but are stronger, more resilient, and wiser for it–while remaining positive and having a healthy outlook. As my mom always says, life makes us bitter or better, and it’s obvious you’ve chosen to be better when life handed you strife and challenge. Very inspiring!

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thank you so much for your comments, Meghan. I appreciate it very much. I like the analogy of life making us bitter or better! That’s a great perspective.

      Reply

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