Category : For Building The Life You Want

Week # 7 – Drawing On Inspiration

We are all inspired by many things, a gorgeous sunrise or sunset, stunning beaches, the beauty in others, a great movie, beautiful music, quotes and roles models. They are important in our lives because they inspire us to be more than we can ever imagine on our own. They give us clues on what we should be doing and give us the courage to believe that what we want is possible. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

  1. What are your favourite books and why?
  2. What are your favourite quotes?
  3. What music moves your soul?
  4. What movies stir your emotions?
  5. Who are your role models, your heroes and heroines?
  6. What places inspire you?

Knowing where you draw your inspiration from can give you the courage you need to take the next step in your life.  And the best part is that they are always there to draw upon when you need inspiration.

Week # 6 – The Roles and Events That Shape Our Lives

On any given day we play several roles at once. We can learn a great deal about ourselves by looking at these roles. The typical roles include relationships with others such as your Mother, Father, Spouse, Daughter, Brother. Professional roles might be Leader, Coach, Technician, Administrator, Nurse, Volunteer or Student. When  the roles you fill fit well in your life, you experience a higher level of satisfaction and meaning.

  1. What roles do you currently play at home?
  2. What roles do you play at work today?
  3. Which ones are deeply satisfying?
  4. What roles would your like to stop playing?
  5. Given a choice and time permitting, what other roles would you like to play?

Your past is enriched by these roles and also by the life and work  experiences that have shaped you. These experiences have either shaped your life in positive ways or shaken you to the very core. Some events may have been thrust upon you and may have had a deep impact on your life.  An example of such an event may be divorce, the death of a loved one, serious illness or tragedy. They may have changed the course of your life in ways you never imagined. These events, however difficult, teach valuable lessons at the same time that they leave lasting impressions on your soul.

  1. Looking back at the top 3 positive events of your life, how did these events shape who you are today?
  2. How did the difficult events in your life impact and shape who you are?
  3. Which events provided fresh insights, new lessons and wisdom that you now draw upon as strengths?

Week # 5 – Appreciating The Milestones Of Life

Taking a look at what you’ve accomplished in your entire lifetime may feel a bit daunting, but it’s amazing what you can learn by doing just that. These milestones are rites of passage that show how you’ve grown. They also show how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come.  It’s not uncommon to remember very little about your childhood when you begin this exercise, but in fact, you remember more than you think when you start looking back. To make it more manageable, break the milestones into chunks of life.

  1. Start jotting down all that you remember about your childhood until the age of 18 – the Toddler years, Primary school, Junior High school, High school. Think about your friends, family traditions, religious milestones, first crush, sports, awards, etc.
  2. Now think about your early adulthood, from 19-35. Think about best friends, new friends, family events, college, your first apartment, your job, your first real love, marriage or children. There may even have been world events that impacted you profoundly as well.
  3. Now that you’ve done the hardest work by looking way back, think of all the significant milestones from your mid-thirties to today.

Seeing your own timeline unfold is a wonderful reminder of just where you’ve been, how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished, isn’t it?  You’ll continue to surprise yourself with how much you do remember. Don’t be surprised if new recollections pop up in your mind over the next several days or weeks. Keep adding to your timeline as you remember events.

Week # 3 – Life is a Balancing Act

Balance might best be defined as an intangible feeling or intuition that all is right in our own piece of the world or as a barometer of happiness and contentment. It is elusive perhaps because perfect balance simply does not exist. What feels like a balanced life to one person may feel very chaotic for someone else. Feeling balanced means you feel renewed, centred and committed to what’s important in your life. You’re in a better position to face challenges head on and as a result you feel less stressed. Your self-esteem and confidence are high and you feel a sense of overall well-being. In essence, it’s you at peak performance.

  1. On a scale of 1-10 with ten being very high, what is your level of balance today?
  2. What are you doing when you feel most in balance?
  3. What makes you feel out of balance?

If you find that you’re feeling out of balance, try to identify the specific areas, pick one to work on and create 3-6 small steps that you can take to regain balance in that areas.  Then do the same for other areas.

Week # 2 – The Many Layers of Self

The journey towards living a life on purpose begins by uncovering the many layers of your own life. One of these layers is your vocation – the work you do.  Other layers include your relationships, your well-being and your spiritual self. And since life is lived multi-dimensionally, there is an interdependency that connects all of these rich layers together.  These layers call on you to express all that you can become. This week, take a few moments to answer the following questions.

  1. How well does my work contribute to my sense of well-being and sustain what’s important in other areas of my life? How does it contribute to my personal growth?
  2. The relationships in your life include your life partner, immediate and extended family, friends, business associates and co-workers. What’s working really well in your relationships today?  What areas need attention?
  3. What are you doing to maintain your well-being, physically and psychologically? What needs attention? What leisure activities bring you the greatest joy and how do they contribute to your sense of well-being?
  4. How would you define your spirituality? How does it manifest in your life and in the life of those you love? How does it support you in your everyday life?

Understanding what’s working well in different aspects of your life will give you a good sense of what you need to keep doing and begin to highlight what needs attention.

Week One – Yes! I Can Do This!

It seems right to begin your hero’s journey this with a brand new journal and a package of colourful pens and pencils. Think of your journal as a blank canvas to create your future self. The action of putting pen to paper is powerful and brings clarity to the jumbled thoughts that occupy the mind, especially in this incessant, on-demand world we live in. It lets your creativity flow uncensored and acts as a form of feedback analysis from you to you, like a mirror reflecting back. In this journal, you can pretend, without risks, try things on and dream big about what you picture yourself doing. You can dare yourself to admit, “Yes I can do this.” The act of making your ideas visible is the beginning of a promise to yourself to reach for your full potential. Select a journal that will inspire your best work. Make it elaborate or keep it simple. It’s yours to create, your own work of art.

Taking Your Very Own Hero’s Journey

A wise professor once asked: “How can we know where we’re going if we don’t understand where we’ve been?” Taking a hero’s journey allows us to do just that – to consider where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished so that we create goals that are inspiring and aligned with where we want to go.

Life is lived at warp speed today and it’s easy to spend all your energies in reaction mode, doing what needs to be done and forgetting about your most important goals.  But at what cost?  When you’re too busy living you lose yourself in the process.  You need time to step back, reflect and plan more intentionally for what’s next.  By taking stock you can:

  1. Look at what’s working well in your life and build on it.
  2. Identify what needs attention in different aspects of your life.
  3. Understand what values and principles guide your life and work.
  4. Understand the challenges that keep getting the way.
  5. Learn to draw on your inner strengths and wisdom.

Why don’t you give yourself the gift of time and take stock of your life to see what emerges. You’ll amaze yourself with all that you’ve accomplished and what’s working well.  You’ll gain clarity on what you need to pay more attention to.  Over the next 52 weeks I’ll suggest exercises to help you create and travel on your very own hero’s journey. All aboard!