I wanted to piggy-back on from last week and talk a little about what we do in connection with our assessments and reassessments to our current position in life as it relates to our long-term goals. Review last weeks post if you need to be brought up to speed :) As last weeks posts makes note of, the #3 thing to do is to decide where we want to be on our scales of satisfaction. What does that entail? Is it is a simple as just thinking, "Hmmm... I would really be happier if my outbursts were closer to a 1, rather than a 5." Of course not, it takes mindful consideration of things before we can reasonable discern where we would like to be. And after-all, overtime, where we would like to be is going to change. Remember, if we do not make our goals obtainable, we are assigning ourselves failure without having even started.
One of the most important steps to getting started is to discover and/or clarify your deepest, core values. It may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked as a place to start. The first step toward developing healthy and effective ways of improving the way we feel and behave needs to start with understanding what influences the way we feel and behave, which are our values. The most effective way to develop a sense of control over your own life and to generate the necessary level of commitment and motivation to tackle life's challenges, is to get to know yourself and discover and prioritize your specific values. Once you have done so, you will find it exceedingly less difficult to identify what events and behaviors are productive in your life and which are non-productive. When our values are not clear, then neither are our best choices for action.
Our core values are essential for determining our individual purpose and direction in life. Making choices that are in line with these values not only enhances our self-respect and personal effectiveness, but ultimately reduces distress and leads us to the inner peace and fulfillment we all desire.
Throughout our life our values evolve. Failing to "check-in" with ourselves periodically often leaves us engaging in behaviors and making choices that no longer serve us.
Until we have taken the time to really get to know ourselves, we often live by second-hand values. So you can see the wisdom in identifying those values that are truly yours and not those that you think "should" be important. Trust yourself to consider from deep within what is most meaningful and important to you.
"The most important thing...is to remember the most important thing." - Suzuki Roshi
So, decide where you want to be on your scales by what your values are.
Try this: List as many of your values as you can. Then after you have a complete list, list the top 5. Work with these to help you to decide where you would like to be.
Once you have your list, make a purpose statement. We have talked often about the importance of a purpose statement. To have a purpose or mission statement, is having a clearly defined, personally meaningful, vision of how you want to live your life. It is a way to prioritize and focus your energy, actions, and decisions toward the things that are most important to you in the long run. It is like a compass that helps you determine the right way to go. If you were to be lost in the woods, you would consult your compass; such as it is with when you are feeling lost, overwhelmed, or bogged down in life, you would consult your purpose statement. It helps you to regain your bearings and be able to stay on course by providing clarity, direction, and motivation.
A purpose statement answers the questions, "What is the point?", "Where am I going?", and "What is this all about?"
Some tips in creating your purpose statement:
- Keep it simple and clear, about 3 to 5 sentences.
- It should touch on what you would like to focus on and who you want to become as a person, your character.
- Include behaviors, character traits, and qualities that you consider particularly important and want to develop further.
- Be sure and make your purpose statement positive. Instead of outlining what you don't want to do or don't want to be, say what you do want to do or do want to become. Find the positive alternatives to any negative statements.
- Make it emotional. Including an emotional payoff in the purpose statement infuses it with passion and will make it even more compelling, inspiring and energizing.
- It should make you feel good. If you know where you are going, you will live a life of eager anticipation, optimism, hope, and joy. It will also provide the satisfaction that you are clear about, and are acting in alignment with, what is most important to you, your values. (see how they work and-in-hand?)
Do not be afraid to reassess your purpose statement from time-to-time as well as your values. This is all part of the process, the journey.
Some things to consider and meditate on:
- What brings you happiness?
- What are you passionate about or what inspires you?
- What brings you a sense of fulfillment?
- What are some things you've always wanted to do/achieve?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What do you stand for?
- Whom do you admire or want to be like?
- What do you want your life to be about?
- How do you want to feel? be? approach life?
- As you grow older and wiser, what advice would you give to a young person about what is most important?
- What contributions do you want to make to: your family, your friends, your community, the world in general?
Your purpose statement is not cast in stone. It will continue to change and evolve as you gain insights about yourself and what you want out of your life. You get to build a life worth living, and you get to say what that life will look like.
"The things you think about the most become your reality!" -anonymous
So write out your purpose: My mission or purpose in life is to....
Here is a miracle question to get the creative juices flowing:
Imagine that tonight before bed you were to take a very special pill. It is a magic pill and when you wake up tomorrow morning your life would be exactly the way you would like it to be. How would you be feeling? What would you be doing? Who would you be spending time with? Where would you be living? Would you be working, if so what kind of job would you have?
Have fun, try to be as detailed as you can, and don't be too concerned about being wholly "realistic"
FOR THIS WEEKS GROUP:
We had some technical difficulties with last weeks group. So we are going to use the material I posted last week here for group tomorrow, Monday, July 19th, 2010. Please see last weeks post for an overview.
For more details on that group click here. Please remember if you go to this page and the link to the chat is not yet posted, you will need to refresh your page periodically until the link is posted, as the changes will need to be reloaded onto your page.
If you are not yet a group member please click here and become one, then send me a private message and I will assist you to the group meeting. Or you may be able to locate the Category for: "Group meetings HERE" at the end of the list of categories under "START HERE"; which will also have the details on how to access the group.
Hope to see you in group tomorrow!
MJ ~ email@example.com
*Click here to discuss this weeks post with the group*
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