This weekend I went to a business/leadership conference with some friends and my brother . It was so amazing. I actually underestimated how much fun it would be and I learnt so much from different people who have been able to create the life of their dreams. I would like to share some of the stuff that I learnt with you.
My biggest take away was how important it is to live life on purpose and to invest some time and discipline into creating the life of our dreams.
Why is this important? We are all after the expansion of life- being more, doing more, finding fuller expressions of the life within us- our gifts, desires, goals, personality etc
Putting some thought into your life gives you the opportunity to do this, as well as a greater capacity to help others, give more, serve more, build on your accomplishments for even greater success and get more out of life in general.
Here are some tips I got from the weekend on doing that.
1) How do you want to live versus what do you want to do.
We grow up being asked what we want to do and very quickly we find the ‘right’ answers to tell all the people who ask us. Most times the right answers are just the things that have been done before. We think in terms of a ‘career’.
Ditch the short term ‘job’ thinking for a bigger picture ‘life’ mentality.
Instead of thinking in terms of what you want to DO, instead think of the bigger picture- the life you want to live. How much time do you want? How much money do you want to make? What kind of schedule do you want? What are the things you get fulfilment from? What are your values? Is it creativity, independence, competition, collaboration, uncertainty, etc
So instead of following a career path blindly, instead work backwards from the picture of the life you want to live, to what you will then do to make that life possible. It could be, but doesn’t have to be a defined or popular path, it could be a combination of income streams, it could be different things in different seasons, it could be anything; after all it is not the defined ‘career’ box you are after but after the life you want.
Working backwards from your values and the things important to you will give you a better chance of living a more fulfilled life since you factor in life and lifestyle and create a life unique to you. For me it is quite a shift because we grew up thinking we had to decide on the same old careers every other person did.
2)You don’t need to be good at everything.
Isn’t that a relief? You don’t need to be a perfect person. You are a unique person with a unique set of stronger points, weaker points, and make up. However, altogether you are still a gift because there is no one quite like you. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t think you can do, focus on your gifts.
What are your gifts?
When you understand that you are a gift, then everywhere you go you see yourself as royalty, giving the gift of your presence, your time, your love, your thoughts, your beauty and kindness to everyone you meet.
Focus on your positive points and drop the negativity- things you can’t control, pain, unforgiveness, low self image, comparison, intimidation, fear, procrastination, worry, concern. Be a better leader by using your unique set of gifts and cultivating them. It is not a waste of money to invest financially and otherwise in developing your gifts and unique leadership and communication potential. As you focus on being better at your gifts, you can use them to your advantage in making a living and a life.
3) Define yourself
We have that wonderful power of choice. By using it to our advantage in deciding who we want to be, we automatically go from followers to leaders. Who do you want to be? What goals do you want to achieve in this phase of life?
We can best define ourselves not by what we say, but by what we do. Our actions show our priorities in life.
Your time and expenses show your priorities in life. Do they currently reflect your vision for your life or are they filled with distractions?
You want to prioritize your life so that your time and expenses show the things you have decided to prize and demonstrate a laser accurate focus on the goals fixed on your mind.
4) Give up to win
Life is full of choices and there are always other tempting alternative uses of our limited resources. To succeed we must learn to make the best bargain for our limited resources and this involves using trade offs wisely. What are you going to give up in order to win? Achieving success in your goals means giving them laser sharp focus and the only way you can do that is by streamlining your life and disciplining yourself to make some hard but necessary tradeoffs. What things can you give up now so you can have them in abundance later?
5) Mentally win first
Winning starts in the mind. If you don’t win in your mind first, your might work and work and work, however your limiting beliefs have already set you up to subconsciously self-sabotage. You change your life first on the inside and then the outside will follow suit.
One of the ways we can change our life is by thinking of our life stance. Our life stance is basically the vantage point from which we view and interpret life. It is the sum of your daily attitudes, assumptions, expectations about yourself, others and the world.
Our life stance is very important because sometimes we don’t even pay attention to our thought patterns and just go on auto-pilot. Our thought patterns are very addictive since they have been ingrained by experience, upbringing, personality, and association. We need to take a step back and actually think about the conclusions we make rather than just leaving them to happen automatically. Changing your life stance enables you to win in your head and once that happens, strength, enthusiasm, creativity, follow suit.
6) Who are your friends?
The relationships we have have a huge influence on who we will be. Our relationships affect our thinking, our health and well being, our growth in life. The right people in our lives are very powerful in helping us blossom and be the best we can be.
Media is a powerful and quite cheap way to be in the company of great people. In whatever area of life you want to succeed and grow in, all you need to do is find someone who has done and learn from their wisdom in their books, cds, videos, blogs etc.
Good friendships are very important like I already said here.
Vertical relationships are also powerful. Some of the leaders I have interviewed on this blog and chatted with elsewhere have talked about the power of mentorship in helping you arrive at your goals faster. I find that people are generally willing to help in the area of their success, so just take the initiative to develop a relationship with someone with the success in the area of life you are willing to develop. It can give you a lot of insight and save you a lot of time.
A good rule of thumb in finding a good mentor is to get advice from people who have success in the area of life you want to develop. There is no use asking a nice but poor person for financial advice. If you are looking for help in developing an aspect of your character look for someone with great character. If you need help with academics look for someone doing well academically. If you need help in relationships look for someone with an admirable relationship etc. Take initiative to develop relationships and you’d be surprised how people want to support you.
7) The things you don’t do can hurt you.
The things you overlook due to procrastination, short-term thinking, fear, doubt etc can get in the way of your success. I read about a study that showed that less than 5% of people (I think it is somewhere between 2 or 3%) are actually financially ready by the time they retire. Think about the fact that most people do something before retirement. Most people work but it is the things they don’t do that mess them up big time. This is why it is important that we don’t think like everyone else. Be different and think long term. Think about what you want out of every area of life. Give us the gift of your uniqueness by putting a little more thought into making your strengths and personality shine in powerful and creative ways. Work hard to make it happen. Live a purposeful life.
Ps this blog was featured on timetradingguru.com here: http://timetradingguru.com/?p=1123
Do check it out.