How do you define success? We are so immersed in the information from the outside world on what the society praises, celebrates, and admires that we tend to forget if those accomplishments are even what we truly aspire to achieve. I believe that we all have the potential to create and lead deeply fulfilling and purposeful lives if we can disconnect from the outside noise for a moment and (re)connect with our inner world.
To help unleash your true potential, we created a series to guide you on your journey toward a more fulfilling life. This journey is designed to build on your natural preferences and strengths, guided by your true values and desires, and created by you in a way that would set you up for success – however you define it. This month, we briefly cover each aspect of our journey, and over the course of the next few months, we will dive deeper into each one of them with exercises, insights, and stories for you to work on these areas.
1. Know yourself through your unique preferences
We all have natural preferences, tendencies, and styles that could either hinder or contribute to our success based on how well we know, express, and use these unique preferences. We have different ways of communicating, receiving and projecting energy, different processes of gathering information, making decisions, approaching tasks, dealing with conflict, learning, and forming habits. Through assessments, we can get insights into how we prefer to think, act, and behave, and why functioning a certain way works better for us. Understanding these preferences is crucial for us to embrace them, and use them to build the systems to support us on our journey.
2. Know your values
Our values serve as guideposts, helping us live with intention and purpose, as well as supporting us to make decisions with clarity and conviction. Organizations are explicit about their values to let their employees and customers know what influences their business decisions. Why shouldn’t we do the same with our personal values? When we reflect on our values, we can better understand and express what guides us, our behaviors, and our personal and professional decisions. By identifying and defining our values, we become more intentional about living by them which is critical to leading a life with a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment.
3. Know what feels good for you
We tend to put intense pressure on ourselves to live “well” as we see others wake up early, practice yoga and meditation, journal, follow a healthy diet and a strict exercise program. All wonderful additions to one’s life as long as we view them as the supportive healthy habits they are, rather than the ultimate goal of living. It’s important to take a moment to assess how striving for (or perhaps obsessing over) “wellness” and all these habits actually make us feel. They are meant to make us feel good and not feel like a burden, a task that needs to be accomplished and definitely not something to feel guilty about or blame ourselves for having failed at living well. If we incorporate these habits with the sole purpose of really taking care of ourselves, then they would make us feel nothing besides amazing.
4. Know how you thrived in the past
What we have already experienced and accomplished in our lives can provide so much insight into how we can set ourselves up for success in the future. Our past is filled with stories and hints about what we are good at, what we love, and how we thrived when we did. By reflecting on what we enjoyed doing and what we accomplished, we better understand our skills, our interests, our strengths, the way we prefer to contribute, the settings that worked best for us. This gives us an opportunity to discover which of these we’d like to focus on and leverage going forward.
5. Envision your future
One of the most common struggles of our generation is knowing and deciding what we want and where we want to go. With so many options every step of the way, we get confused, overwhelmed, even paralyzed trying to make the right choices today to determine where we end up 5-10 years from now. We should shift our focus from what we want to be “doing” to how we want to “feel” and then envision our future accordingly. Especially after you have looked at your past, you will have a much better idea of what will make you feel good, happy, accomplished, fulfilled in the future. That mindset opens us up to a life filled with opportunities as we are no longer fixated on outcomes that are probably influenced by our environment.
6. Get prepared today, and every day
Have you noticed that fortune doesn’t favor the bold as much as it favors the “prepared”? That’s because getting prepared will not only give you the confidence to seize the opportunities that come your way, it will also give you the courage to seek out the opportunities that will bring you closer to your goals and dreams. The more prepared we feel, the less we fear failure, the bolder we become, and start taking more chances. Your envisioned future is not a destination you suddenly end up in – all the steps you take on a daily basis impact your direction.
7. Be Kind to yourself
We tend to be so hard on ourselves, so mean, and so unkind; because we have high expectations from ourselves. However, when our loved ones are going through rough times, when they mess something up or have lost their motivation, we don’t hesitate for a second before we start pouring our unconditional love and support, with kindness, without judgment. Why not offer the same kind of support to ourselves by being kinder, more patient, and more understanding with ourselves?
Over the next few months, we will dive deeper into these 7 steps and set ourselves up for success toward a fulfilling life of happiness, joy, and purpose.
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GG is a personal and professional development coach, and an organizational consultant focused on culture and leadership development. Her passion and talent in empowering individuals to discover their skills, strengths, and passions enables her to assist them in creating and leading fulfilling lives. Based on her cross-disciplinary background and experience, GG's unique approach incorporates resources, insights, and tools from a wide range of fields, including entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, psychology, design, mindfulness, and sustainability. Her coaching approach focuses on areas of motivation, engagement, and inspiration to amplify and build on the individual’s strengths so they can create a better environment toward their ideal future. Her company Mercury Change offers training, workshops, and leadership development programs for organizations.