“ If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. – Yogi Berra
When you find yourself stuck and struggling with what to do next or where you want to go, re-examining your core values is a really good start. Your values are literally a set of waypoints on your inner compass to guide and keep you on track whatever else is going on around you. Your daily choices are a reflection of your values. When you look at your life as it is now, it is a reflection of your choices in the past. If you are not happy with the way things are right now it’s time to make some new choices based on your core values. Your values:
- Determine how you spend your time
- Who you spend your time with
- What you spend your money on
- What you commit yourself to
- How you live your life
- How you fill your space
- Reflect on your internal dialogue, affirmations and conversations with others
Your values are critical to accomplishing great things in your life and will help you map out a deliberate plan for your future.
Getting crystal clear on what you want to be, do and have gives you a head start on the journey to your personal and professional mountaintop. By identifying and focusing on what you do want (as opposed to what you don’t want) it’s easier to make decisions and take action towards your goals. Once you have decided what you want, create a clear picture or a movie in your mind of how your life will look when you achieve your goal. Vision boards are a fabulous creative way to add life to your intentions – create one and keep it in a place where you can see it daily. Think about who and what you will need to bring your dreams to fruition and every day do three things to move you closer to your goal (3 phone calls, emails, conversations, steps that keep you moving)
*If you don’t know what you want write down a list of what you don’t want and then note what the opposite is – for example – I don’t want to work full time makes it clear that you prefer to work part –time or on a consultancy basis. You can use this “don’t want” to “want” technique in all areas of your life – it’s amazing how much clarity you get on exactly what you want by knowing what you don’t want!
Your Place in the World
Where do you feel most alive and at home in the world? In the city, by the ocean, in the mountains, on a football pitch, stage, or a yoga mat … there is no wrong answer to this question – it’s where you feel in your element and are able to share your natural gifts and talents with the world. Having a globe or a wall map is a great way to mark out where you are now, where you have been, where you are going for holidays or work and where you have friends and family. When you do this you soon see how connected you actually are. Venturing out of your normal environment and exploring new terrain offers you the opportunity to discover more about yourself, others and the world you live in. Be a Glomad (a global wanderer!)
Answer Your Calling
Following your calling is one of the most important and fulfilling ways to unlock your highest potential and experience more joy in your life; the alternative is boredom and a slow emotional death. Merriam-Webster defines a “calling” as “… a strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence”. What strong desires are calling you to do a certain kind of work, to live or travel to certain places or develop closer relationships with people so very different from you? Big and small callings give you the opportunity to experience more of what brings you alive, a way to bring your love, special talents and energy to the world.
Warning – it’s not always easy to follow your callings; they often defy logic or what people around you perceive as being normal. “Get a proper job, why do you want to do that, you should be doing this, how could you give up a great career, it’s dangerous, it’s silly, how could you leave your hometown, what will your parents/peers /friends think”… any of these sound familiar?
Callings often start as gentle whispers and get louder and louder until they have your full attention. Sometimes it’s repetitive signs, conversations, clues or messages you get out of the blue that “wake” you up to your calling. On a flight back from Hong Kong to Dubai I watched a movie Mr Popper’s Penguins, I was then served a coffee and a biscuit that just happened to be a Penguin biscuit. A few days later on my 50th birthday I was given a book Things to Do Now You are Fifty the page I first opened read, “Go to Antarctica”. I put out the call for a team of women and within months had recruited the first and only team of breast cancer survivors to go to Antarctica, a videographer and sponsors to get team kit, produce a film and a book – amazing what happens when you follow your calling!
Make a list of what is calling you however wild it may seem. What’s actually stopping you from answering the call. Write down your list of reasons (excuses) for not making the move. What will happen if you don’t answer the call? What will happen if you do answer the call? Have fun exploring – take the road less travelled, follow your heart, begin with the end in mind, do what love and love what you do.
Move and the Way Will Open
ABOUT JULIE MILES LEWIS
Julie Miles Lewis – author of Moving Mountains, speaker, explorer. Julie Miles Lewis is a high energy catalyst for personal and professional transformation. Tapping into her own unusual adventures in business, the wilderness, sports and life she has already enabled hundreds of women and men to step out of their comfort zones in the spirit of love and adventure and reach new personal and professional heights.