Principle Four - Toolbox

Posted by A.C. Ping
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Finding your passion in life is key for being able to get into flow. Passion allows flow which allows expansion of the present moment.

Passion though is not just about wildly going wherever your whims take you.

It’s about getting onto a Sacred Path which will allow you to BE who you want to BE and DO what you want to DO. Not from a base hedonistic perspective but from a higher self – all that you can be – perspective.

Being on a Sacred path then is about finding your passions and then translating them into a Vision for your life so you have an anchor point in the future for your ‘becoming’. Importantly you also need to clarify what your core values are. In other words – what’s most important to you in life?

If your Vision clashes with your Values then you will simply create unhappiness deep within yourself so it is important to get clarity around this.

Affirmation

I am free to be who I want to be.

Exercise – The Vision Quest

If you want to shift from a reactive way of living to a proactive way of living then the first thing you need to do is create a compelling VISION for your life.

Mostly when we try to create a vision we lapse into thinking purely about material things but life is not just about materiality. Leading a good life is all about balance. Having good friends and family around us, being physically well, mentally sharp, spiritually nurtured, and enthusiastic about life.

The first step in creating a vision is simply to try and come up with an ideal vision for your life. Take yourself off somewhere quiet, sit under a tree, walk along the beach, release yourself from your limiting thought patterns, let your mind wander and imagine ‘What if everything worked out the way I wanted it to – what would my ideal life look like?’

You can break this down into - Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Material - you need to nurture all of these areas of your life so:-

  • Physical
    How are you physically in this vision and what are you doing to maintain it? Do you exercise? Do you eat specific things?
  • Material
    What do you have materially - car, house, toys etc.
  • Mental
    What would you be doing to nurture yourself mentally? reading, playing chess, having stimulating discussions with friends etc
  • Emotional
    What do your personal relationships look like, who is there, how do they see you?
  • Spiritual
    How are you feeding your spiritual needs? Prayer, meditation, quiet strolls with the dog etc.

The key to all of this is not just to focus on the material successes in life but to think about things in a more holistic way and to try and develop a picture/vision for how your ideal life might look.

If you have trouble with this exercise – which is not surprising as most of us have spent our entire lifetime listening to people tell us why we CANNOT do something… Try these prompting questions:-

 

  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • What are you passionate about? In other words, what would you do regardless of whether or not you got paid for it and regardless of whether or not anyone acknowledged you for it?
  • What have you been good at in your life?
  • What is the pattern similar in both your passions and what you have been good at?
  • Who do you look up to and why?
  • Go back to your childhood – what did you want to do and be?

 

You can also break the exercise down into three parts – who do I want to BE?

What do I want to DO? what do I want to HAVE?

Take some time to do these exercises - please don't just write some things down - take the time to visualise it, feel it, see it, smell it - see how it fits with you - does any of it make you feel uncomfortable? Does any of it raise a thought in you something like - 'I'll write this down but really it is not a vision just a dream'. If that sort of feeling comes up try to identify exactly what it is that causes that feeling and any other concerns you may have.

The next part of the exercise is to try and massage this ideal into a manageable vision statement for your life. This should be as short as possible whilst covering what it is you believe you are here to do. Maybe it is something along the lines of 'To help people unlock their passions by helping them achieve in the business arena'.

This may take you a while and a lot of playing around until you get something that fits your life and resonates with you. When you have it, write it on a sheet of paper and stick it up on a wall where you will see it every day.

Next get an A4 size sheet of paper. Turn the sheet sideways and divide it into 6 columns. At the top of the columns write - Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Material, Other. Under each heading write the sub vision - that is for physical it would be 'To live a life with boundless/limitless energy'.

Take some more time to keep revisiting these statements and see if they fit. If they don’t fit, then re-write them and re-write them again until they inspire you to take action.

Now – ask yourself – Why do I expect this to happen?

Finally – let’s make it more concrete – imagine a time six months from now – everything has gone to plan. Write a paragraph describing what has happened and how you feel about it and what it means to you.

Exercise – Clarifying Your Values

Values are the things that we care about most. Values determine what we consider to be worth pursuing in life and they give meaning and purpose to our lives. They provide motives and determine quality of life. They give direction to our lives like the rails that keep a train on track and as such they provide our foundation.

Common values include; love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, tolerance, responsibility, respect for life, accountability, achievement, duty, justice, empathy, humour, integrity, humility, obedience, patience, self confidence, wisdom, independence, serenity, creativity, generosity, loyalty, safety, dignity, service, generousness and purity.

Amidst the Chaos all around us, values allow us to see what is most important and to pursue these things in our lives.

Martin Luther King Jr. pointed to this when he said,

“If you haven’t found something you are willing to die for, you are not fit to live.”

Nietzsche also referred to the importance of values, and the meaningless of life without them, when he said,

“He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”

Values are based in the head where we are intellectually convinced of something. That is, we can be intellectually convinced that it is good to respect life, or that it is good to uphold the value of justice. Values are also based in the heart, where we are affected by something’s worthwhileness.

So we see it as being worthwhile to be generous to people for example.

Finally, Values are based in the hand where they commit us to decision and to action. If we value something we generally Feel, Think, Communicate, Choose and then Act.

Although we can’t see values, just as with molecules, we know they are there because of the material things that they form. A good analogy is the Iceberg, shown in the drawing below, we only see part of the Iceberg but the part that is hidden below the surface is in fact much larger than the visible part. Values form the foundation below the surface, which we can’t see.

What we can see are actions and these give an indication as to what is hidden.

Values

Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

Why is it so important to identify what you stand for?

John Paul Mellencamp said,

“If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything.”

and if you don’t actually determine what you stand for then you are at the whim of people trying to lure you with various sort of temptations and it is very easy to be caught up in the conflicts between different ethical systems.

If we refer back to the Iceberg analogy, a person without values is like an Iceberg with nothing below the surface, it is unstable and if we stand on that Iceberg we are likely to fall in and be eaten by sharks.

Questions

  1. What are the principles and values that you care about most? Try to make a list of your values
  2. Can you think of times in your life when you have upheld these values?
  3. What have been the ‘Defining Moments’ in your life when your values have been tested?
  4. In terms of your Vision, how will your values guide your behaviour? In other words if I came to see you when your Vision was complete what would I SEE that would tell me about your values?


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