Live from Strength™ Life Lessons

By Wayne Ottum

A couple of recent events in my life have reminded me of some lessons life has been trying, I guess unsuccessfully, to teach me.  At least based on experience because I keep having them hit me in the face.  So, perhaps blogging about it will solidify these lessons once and for all…

The first lesson is that no matter what you do, someone in your life will expect more and consequently will be disappointed in you, in some fashion or another.  Whether you have done a lot of things, made a lot of money, lived a pretty healthy life, moved your life in a positive direction or got it done on time and under budget, someone in your life or business will point out all that is left to do, the money you left on the table, the few things you could do to live more healthy, how far you still have to go and someone will still want it faster, better and cheaper.

The second lesson, perhaps it is a corollary to the first, is that when you set expectations for or on others, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.  Even when you think they have agreed to the expectation or when you are sure they mean what they say, expecting exactly what you think they meant will end in disappointment every time.  Why, because it is their actions you are putting expectations on, and you cannot control those.  Plus, there will always be something in your expectation that isn’t in theirs.

So how does one Live from Strength™ in the face of these two life lessons?

First, we accept these as true and stop wishing it was different or that life was more fair, that people were more responsible or people would just live up to our lofty expectations of them.

Second, we set our own course and celebrate, each and every day, our own accomplishments and how we have lived in alignment with our true selves.  We listen to the feedback, but we decide whether to accept it, own it or adopt it.  And until we do, we remember the criticism and comments of others are theirs, not ours, unless we choose them to be.

Next, we live in the moment by not putting future expectations on others and we truly and deeply appreciate and celebrate whatever they do provide, in the moment.  Since you put no expectation on them to do anything, you are never disappointed when what you hoped for doesn’t come to pass.  And whatever does come to pass…  That’s worth celebrating and makes the “gift” oh so much sweeter!

Finally, we don’t look for all that is left undone or could be done better nor do we set unfair expectations on ourselves.  We look for all the things we have done, have done well and have improved on.  We find our own victories and we celebrate them.

Those of us who Live from Strength™ end each day with a moment of appreciation for everything, no matter how small, we have done today that is in alignment with our vision, our mission and our values and we celebrate every action that has moved us in the direction we desire to go.  And we wake each morning with the renewed commitment to live intentionally, with purpose and with authenticity the life we choose.  That is the power and confidence that come when you Live from Strength™.


If you would like more information on our Live from Strength™ methodology, send us an email at  You can also discover and learn how to use your unique gifts by reading our book, Live from Strength – Discover your unique gifts and the incredible power already within you!  Click here to purchase your copy today.  For more information about what it means to Lead, Live & Love from Strength™, visit us at

About the Author

Wayne Ottum is the President and founder of Ottum Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm committed to guiding business owners, executives and individuals to ever greater levels of success through discovering and fully utilizing their unique gifts.  An expert in clarity and widely known as the “Coach’s Coach,” Wayne’s trademarked coaching processes guide you to discover the personal and authentic clarity that empowers you to take confident action, each and every day, to achieve what you deeply desire.  Wayne is also an exciting motivational speaker, and provides many “ah-ha” moments for every audience.  He is the author of Live from Strength, creator of the Live from Strength™ methodology, and director of the Personal Growth Challenge™ consulting process.  Built on over 30 years of experience, Wayne guides you to Lead, Live & Love from Strength™.  Follow him on Twitter at @WayneOttum or @OttumEnterprise and find him on LinkedIn at