Clarity Comes With Choices
Discover How To Connect With Your Personal Values.
Are you ready to continue, with clarity, on your epic journey called life? Are you driven to make choices in your life to enhance your wellbeing each day? Are you eager to elevate your enjoyment and position yourself to look back on your life as well-lived?
I hope your answers are a resounding “You bet I am!” Perhaps it’s an echo of your involvement with DRIVEN’s 2020 Journey to Clarity. Or, if you’re new to this blog stream, you may be inspired to jump on for the ride! We began the decade by inviting clarity with essential operational tools, including journaling and self-compassion. We’ve explored the framework of clarity, considering it with the end result in mind and from a survival attitude (Just think: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). We even demonstrated how our perspectives can be skewed, since what seems real is sometimes only real to us.
During June, I’m inviting you to make the big, liberating choices concerning your journey. (After all, there is no roadmap of life.) When Robert Frost described those two famous diverging roads, he didn’t quite share the full picture, namely the third option: We can create our own path! Setting aside your beliefs, there is no predetermined path in life. You get to make the choice of how to live most meaningfully, defined in your terms. You’re not living for your parents, your children or your employer. You’re living for YOU! (unselfishly, of course.)
“If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” is an insightful Henry Ford quote designed to inspire you to start on that life journey. It can also sabotage the journey if you let it confirm that there’s no use in getting off the couch because, as you suspected, you’ll fail. Personally, I’ve adapted Ford’s wisdom by reminding myself (and anyone who will listen) that the biggest roadblock to the life I want to live lies between my ears. Meanwhile, this potential roadblock, when repurposed, can also become my ally. Thanks to what we now know about the brain through fMRI technology and neuroplasticity, we can actually think our way toward the life we want!
How Neuroplasticity Works.
Imagine a mountain after a snowfall, with fluffy, untouched snow. If you were dropped there as a first-time skier, your trip down would be clumsy and full of wipeouts. On your second trip, you’d have learned from a few of your mistakes and your ride would be a bit smoother. By your tenth trip, with your knowledge of all the bends and humps, and with your tracks well-worn into the snow, your run becomes flawless. You’re a champ, and your new moves are now carved into your brain quite like those tracks are now carved into the snow. This neuroplasticity crosses over into your daily tasks as well. Once you have a mindset in place, it’s actually more difficult to deviate from that thought process than it is to engage with it. It now takes zero effort to perform the tasks that used to seem intimidating or impossible!
Next comes the part where you’ll need to choose what you want your journey to look like. The trick is to spend less time vacillating. It helps to acknowledge when making certain kinds of decisions, particularly when working with teams, that it’s idealistic to live in the “And” World, where instead of settling on one idea, you can merge several ideas— hers and his and hers, etc. This Diversity & Inclusion approach in the workplace makes it a stronger, more successful and more lucrative workplace. It just takes a little neuroplasticity. It also takes a LOT of remembering and settling into the fact that YOU get to drive YOUR life!
Let’s Talk Values.
Given that we can’t choose everything, but that we can have abundance if we choose smartly, how does one go about choosing? And what to choose? And what happens when your choice, in hindsight, wasn’t the right one? Would you feel a sense of relief knowing that you have the ability to minimize the likelihood of making downright wrong choices?
Enjoy that sense of relief, along with a growing confidence that when you make choices with your values in mind, you may not hit the bullseye every time, but you will hit the target. It can be as simple as that! It all comes down to your values. When we determine, understand and accept our core values, we can make choices that might not be exactly right, but won’t be wildly off base either. The result will be the achievement of life’s aspirations.
Let’s peel back some layers and look at your foundational beliefs, desires and guiding principles. Ask yourself what’s truly most important to you. Understanding your values can make it easier to address the 35,000 decisions that you’re presented with daily. Greater clarity, conviction and confidence that you’re making a wise choice will result. Start by grabbing your transcription journal and asking some questions about yourself:
- Think about times in your life when you’ve been so absorbed in what you were doing that you hardly noticed the time passing. What were you engaged in?
- Think about a time when you felt especially successful and proud of what you did or were part of. What were your accomplishments?
- What is important to you and what composes a meaningful life that you could value? Include principles, feelings and activities.
- Think about 3 people you’re fond of. What are the traits you admire most about them?
- Think about your 100th birthday party. Some of your family members, colleagues and best friends want to make speeches about you. If you could write the speeches for them, what would you highlight about your life?
Read over the answers to these questions and write down what you’ve discovered as some of your values. Feeling a little stuck? Sign up for this complimentary coaching session, and I’ll walk you through a favorite exercise. You’ll come away having greater clarity about your top 3 values. Give yourself this gift of better Clarity today!