Are you excited at the prospect of creating a life that genuinely works – for YOU? I think most of find that idea exciting, yet perhaps a bit scary, too. Some of us even have the reaction of wondering if creating a life that works for YOU is self-seeking, or self-centered, and because of that, feel ambivalent about it. I’d like to reply.
It’s not selfish, because you are not putting yourself or your needs above anyone else. Very simply, all you are trying to do is to make sure that your life actually aligns with your inborn, God-given identity. That’s it! Instead of continually swimming upstream, you are trying to swim downstream. An example: Can you imagine Picasso having a successful career as an accountant because someone told him that he’d be more “useful” that way? Neither can I. Talk about swimming upstream! Also, the work of creating a life that works for you is all about discovering, and SHARING, your authentic “inner gold” – i.e. the deepest gifts, personality orientation, insights, and vision that were created in you by God. To my way of thinking, God put all those gifts deep down inside each of us for the express purpose of utilizing them, and sharing them with others. That’s not selfish. That’s honoring both yourself and God.
So: You owe it to the world, as well as to yourself, to create a life that works for YOU – one that is happy, fulfilling, and meaningful! It’s part of God’s plan for us!
So, how do you go about creating a life that works – for YOU? Remember the recovery slogan “To Thine Own Self Be True”? THAT is the KEY. First, you must KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE – you must have a close, intimate relationship with your authentic inner self. If you don’t really know who you are, you will be consigned to a life of making poor choices that don’t work out very well, and that leave you increasingly miserable and unfulfilled.
This means taking a whole other kind of “inventory”. This inventory isn’t about your resentments, fears, or sex conduct. This inventory is about WHO YOU ARE. It is about your true personality type, your deepest desires, and your deepest gifts. It is about who God created you to be. There is a Zen koan that goes like this: “What did your face look like before your parents were born?” In other words, who did God create you to be, intend you to be, long before you arrived in this material world and got all twisted up by it? THAT is the inventory that’s required for this new journey.
There is no predetermined formula or prescription for just exactly HOW to do this. The method must fit the individual! I’ve seen people use a recovery coach, a career counselor, a psychotherapist, do regular journaling, take personality tests (like the MBTI – Briggs-Myers Type Inventory) that help people figure out what career would be best aligned with their natural personality type, take aptitude tests, take courses, go back to school to pursue a degree, quit their job and start a new business, etc. This is a time of deep self-exploration and experimentation.
It can also be helpful to use the “Life Wheel” (below) as an aid in identifying exactly what area(s) of your life don’t work for you, and in determining exactly how you would like your life to be:With this information in hand, you alone, or you together with a helper like a Recovery Coach, can develop a simple, trackable plan that addresses those aspects of your life that need to be changed, and can help you remain accountable while you implement it, and can adjust the plan if your circumstances change. In other blog entry, I mentioned that I did all of this by myself, and I lost YEARS because of that. I strongly recommend that you get help. That small move can save you literally YEARS of unnecessary pain, heartache and despair.
So: get moving, and maybe I’ll have the pleasure of meeting you on the road to happy destiny!