Asking this question is the first and foremost step for personal growth
Before we do anything, we need to understand where we are and why we are feeling the way we are. This is a very important step in our journey to self-development, because we are starting to take responsibility of our lives.
Before I made any changes to my life, I needed to truthfully address where I was at… I needed to take response-ability (being able to respond) of my own life, without blaming others or disrespecting my own self. This was one of the single most difficult things I had to go through as I had always found a way to blame other factors for where I was in my life, for example:
- The economy,
- The government,
- My employers,
- My parents,
- My teachers,
- The bullies from my childhood
- My own dis/inabilities
It was not until I was told by a number of senior monks the single most powerful message, “the more you become self-realised, the more your worries will disappear and you will know your purpose in life… before you externally manifest a blissful life, you have to become blissful from within” It still took years of digging around and learning in stages that I found more and more truth in this message. Many of the most successful people in the have the same philosophy, Jim Rohn the World famous business philosopher stated, “Success is not something you attract by the person you become… For things to change, you have to change, for things to get better, you have to get better!”
I failed many times during my first steps to become this person, I read a ton of books, would listen to self-development seminars every-day… I became obsessed with the idea of becoming this person, then sure enough, as the bible says, “Seek and you shall find!” it dawned on me. I soon realised it was always within me to change, not something outside of myself. I started with loving and forgiving myself… That was hard to do, but only when I could forgive myself, could I forgive everyone else who I blamed.
I then did the biggie…. I stopped gossiping! It was then that I realised I had nothing to say to anyone for weeks! I then started to look into myself more and focused on my own self-development. I soon realised, the time I spent in gossiping I was using constructively like;
- Journalling – spent more time on my journal entries, reflecting more and more as the days went by, soon every single day was progress.
- Being Impeccable to myself – working on my word and living with integrity (truthfulness)
- Working on not taking anything personal – people will say what they will say, but by not taking it personal I would retain my inner strength
- Communicating more clearly – being truthful to myself I was able to admit I was not expert and therefore assumed less and asked more questions, soon I became known as an expert just by me asking more questions and communicating more clearly
- Always doing my best at everything I’d apply myself to – I soon realised that by just giving my 100% to all tasks I was the most dependable in my team.
- Helping others become better – I soon started gaining a reputation on helping others, people would come to me for help and simply seeing them live to their full potential, was my satisfaction.
With the above rules, I began to make real progress, then very quickly everything fell into place.
Get yourself a Journal
So how can you do the same, (of become even better)? First things first, get yourself a journal, not a computerised one, but one that you can physically write. You’ll need to write with pen on paper, there’s something about the affect of pen on paper that seems to have a direct connection, as Brian Tracy once stated, “There is something quite incredible that happens between the brain and the hand. When you take a paper and pen and write … you activate the Laws of Expectation, Attraction and Correspondence simultaneously”. I like journalling free hand because the answers to some of the questions can be written, drawn or in the form of flowcharts and any other way you express yourself as well as the above. For further details on writing a journal, please refer to my fourth coming article, ‘keeping a journal’.
This practice will be a huge time saving exercise. Like Abraham Lincoln stated “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe” meaning we get busy not by any external changes but from internal changes, the first step is for us to BECOME the person before we ATTRACT the life we desire.
The only way we can decide what we want in future and how we will get there, is to first know where we are right now so lets immerse ourselves in a journey of self realisation, where we get reacquainted with ourselves again.
Some of us would be catching up with ourselves from when we were teenagers, some of us (like me), from when we were in our infancy and remember, it is not necessary for us to relive our old hurts and pains, or do we need to fall in the trap of reliving such misery.
The best way to carry out this process is as if we are watching ourselves on TV, therefore getting us out of the situation and observing our lives externally. Think of it as a cinema screen, where you can walk out at anytime. You can either be watching this film clip from the cinema audience or (perhaps if observing a severely painful past memory) from within the projector, where you are in a well-lit room and can stop the projector at anytime.
The main objective of this process is to get to know who you really are and become acquainted with your true self, become fascinated with who you are, embrace that you because that is where you are going to start with. Remember, after getting to know your life again, we are allowed to love ourselves again, we are allowed to forgive ourselves again, because we may have to start our process from the hurt and pain, but we have to heal ourselves by love and forgiveness.
Yes we were wrongly treated when we were too young, or afraid to do anything, yes those that treated us badly should have known better, yes… all that you want to scream and ask is true, but when you do ask, please consider the fact that we are all not perfect and mistakes do happen but the worst mistake is knowingly falling. Just as the saying goes, “You can wake up one whose sleeping, but you cannot wake up one whose pretending to sleep!”
The abuse that we were treated with as children may have been because our abusers did not know any better? Maybe (from my own life experience and as a police officer reading up on these real-life case files) our abusers were themselves abused and did not have the chance that we currently have, to break this chain of abused and abuser.
So let us take this opportunity to firstly forgive ourselves and then forgive our abusers, may not be because they deserve it, but because we love ourselves and we deserve the freedom of this pain, because we deserve better than to keep falling in this turmoil of pain by only remembering the negative aspects of our lives, therefore attracting the negatives, because we indeed are what we think about most of the time.
What is my purpose?
By now you must be excited, all ‘fired-up’ and ready to go, however my advice would be not to give up your day job just yet, as you have to go through a process of ‘internal dialogue’, before any external action is taken.
As I stated above (and yes I am repeating these words), the only way we can decide what we want in the future and how we will get there, is to firstly understand where we are right now.
Lets take a few moments to answer some questions, please make sure your undisturbed for at least 30 mins, for us to carry out the following process in a deep reflection and a sober mind (or sober enough mind, whatever works for you).
By answering honestly and thoughtfully we take the first step in understanding our strengths, enjoyment, passion and most importantly the direction of our true purpose in life.
- Who am I truthfully, without any external influences, who am I?
- What makes me tick, excited, sad, happy, passionate, etc?”
- What are my values?
- What are my beliefs?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What do I really want out of my life?
- What do I like? Whom do I admire and what parts of them do I admire most?
- Throughout all my employment/enjoyment/friends what is the most common denominator that gets/got me attracted to them/it in the first place, or still has me attracted?
- What are the conversations I love most and debates I gladly go into?
- If I was to die tomorrow, would I have died knowing I have fulfilled my life’s ambition?
These questions can be applied to a number of aspects to your life, including relationships, work, business, sports, financial assets etc.
The moment I asked myself the above questions, answered honestly and acted upon it, my life undertook measurable changes. I stopped being in debt (for further information on this subject please review my forth coming article ‘Responsible Finances’), I began to work on my career, I lost that excess fat and I promised myself to find bliss in life (that thing that gets me out of bed on a Monday with the same excitement as if it was Christmas day).
When I first started to consider changing areas of my life I had many ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) thoughts and fears of which I’m sure will also experience;
- What will happen if I follow my heart when it doesn’t seem practical?
- I’m safe where I am why should I take the risk?
- Shall I give up the safety predictable existence of my 8-4 job?
- What if I do not generate enough income as I do in my current role?
- What if I fail?
- What if I find I don’t enjoy it after all?
- What will my friends and family say?
- Where would I start?
It’s too easy to let these fears engulf you, but by playing it safe you’ll never reach your true potential and discover your purpose. Remember, are you going to live through life thinking “If I’d only…” or are you going to live life to its maximum potential.
I have/am living my life to its maximum potential, I love my life and I want you to be loving your life, while living your life to its full potential.
Secondly, we have to realise what our level of satisfaction is for where we are currently in life.
If one is starting a journey, we have to know where we are starting from in order to plan how we are to get to our destination or goal, not that different as the process of a Satellite Navigation system, it works out where we are and then where we are going, then guides us to the best route ahead in accordance to our starting location. Then on our journey, it makes ‘mid-course corrections’ to re-evaluate our best course of action.
So take some time out and write down on paper a conversation we are to have with ourselves, which I like to call ‘self-reflection’.
Just as if we want to find out more about a very close and dear friend of ours who is confused and in need of guidance, we are currently helping our dear friend, similarly, this is a conversation between our friend ‘the mind’ (whom is equally confused as well as frustrated in knowing our true selves), and ourselves, ‘the soul’.
Once you have asked the questions above, you’ll already be in a more realised state (if you haven’t had such a moment then you have not gone deep enough or not relaxed enough… go to a place where you are most relaxed and not going to be disturbed, then reflect again).
Some may require the guidance or assistance of an external professional (life coach) who knows what they are doing, is impartial in every way and understands your objectives for this exercise. Just remember to make sure s/he is there for your benefit and not in it for the money, unfortunately, like all professions, some are about the healing, some are about the money, (again like anything else, we get what we pay for). Often nice to go by either recommendation or seeing the depths of their knowledge by the material or results they produce.
Once this process has been completed, you then move onto the next stage of the self-realisation process,
‘if money or time was not an issue, you had all the resources and support, age/ height/ nervousness or our current circumstances were not an issue… what would you get into?’
Take some time out to go deep within your new found self, just like all the successful people today dared ask themselves ‘What is my true purpose?’
The reason I have added ‘true’ in the above phrase is because we sometimes think what we are good at is often our purpose or calling, however that is not true. A wonderful friend and mentor of mine (Bruce ‘Being Bruce’ Brown) whilst quoting Eli Weismann, once told me, “Just because computers can, that doesn’t mean they should….while we may have great skills in certain areas, that doesn’t mean we ‘should’ or ‘must’ use them” Bruce hit-me with that, I was trapped in doing all the things I was good at, but not following the things that brought me most joy.
So I ask again, what would I pay to do, not only because of the rewards it brings but because it brings passion, enjoyment and satisfaction so much so, that we loose thought of past and future and become lost in the present moment?
These are very key and deep questions that do require serious time and energy to reflect upon.
For those curious souls out there, my love and passion is helping people become their best. Nothing brings me more satisfaction and passion then seeing people live their lives to their full-potential.
Once I know my purpose, how do I plan my journey?
May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on knowing who you are, you know you are within the top 10% and the majority of those at the tip of the triangle are the leaders of the World today. You have just overcome the biggest obstacle in your life, your own self.
Now I would like for you to go to my Goals section on the website and write down your 50 wants or goals that you wish to achieve in the next 10 years. I’ll be there with you. going through them step-by-step, but first.. while your in this state I want you to;
Journal, Journal, Journal…. your thoughts, your feelings and your dreams…. I want it so, whenever you pick up that page of the journal, you feel this buzz and zest for living again… as a result this feeling will stay with you for the rest of your life!