Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Personal Vision - Why?

Stop, Think, Reflect…

Do you know your core values and beliefs? Are they written down? How often do you refer to them? Are you living your core values and beliefs?

Are you creative? Do you have imagination?

Do you know your purpose? Is it written down? How often do you refer to it?

Do you have a mission? Does it have a time table and deadline? Is it written down? How often do you refer to it?

Have you shared your core values/beliefs, purpose and mission with others? Why or why not?

Personal Vision – Why?

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

Many people define his/her life by personal problems, personal crisis, and unfortunate personal circumstances. There is a second way to define your life and that is by your personal vision of how you “see” your life unfolding.

Are you happy? Do you feel like you are making a difference? What would your obituary say about you if you were to die today? Do you leave people and places better than when you found them?

Creating a personal vision is really a form of prayer and meditation! A relationship with God, a daily life of prayer and meditation and a personal vision create a foundation for a great life. When crisis or problems come (and they will!) it is this foundation that will help you through. Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional. You would not start a 2000 mile drive across the country without a map so why not create a map for journey through life?

Benefits of a personal vision
- A personal vision is a contract with the future.
- A personal vision is a positive affirmation that causes one to collaborate in positive change the world needs.
- A personal vision is deeply spiritual. “People without a vision perish.” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).
- A personal vision causes one to get busy living versus keeping busy with dying.
- A personal vision is bedrock and foundation for creating and sustaining a better life.
- A personal vision connects the mind, body and soul. It guides your priorities.
- A personal vision creates new consciousness and challenges you on your choices.
- A personal vision simplifies one’s life and reduces stress.
- Creating a personal vision is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom helps us to “see” how our life will unfold.

Reasons cited for not creating a personal vision:
- I desire to be spontaneous. I want the freedom to live in the moment.
- I have failed in the past with resolutions, so I will probably do the same with creating and living my vision. Why waste time?
- I am not worthy of being better and creating a brighter future.
- I don’t believe it is possible to “see” the future by believing in one’s vision
- I don’t believe in my creativity. I am better at creating walls than bridges.
- I do not like change. I have to unlearn bad belief in my ability to create the future. That requires work. I am not up for that work.
- I am afraid of the future.

Personal vision is hard work!
A personal vision requires effort, tenacity and patience.
A personal vision requires self discipline
A personal vision requires focus and concentration.
A personal vision requires having an affair of with your heart and soul.

Everyone is born with the gift of imagination. Imagination is the core of creativity. Thus you can imagine your future and begin to create your future. The potential to visualize, to believe in your vision and to do is unlimited!

Experience Your Personal Vision

Make time to sit quietly with paper and pen. Ponder your life. Jot down key points. Write your obituary as if your life is ending at this moment. What is missing from your obituary? What would you like to add to your legacy? What is stopping you?

Suggested Reading

The Path – Creating Your Mission Statement by Laurie Beth Jones, 1996, ISBN 0-7868-6227-0
The On-Purpose Person – Making Your Life Make Sense by Kevin McCarthy 1992, ISBN 1-57683-309-7

Suggested Movie

Shawshank Redemption see (1994) – “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Saturday, June 16, 2007

20 Things You Should Be

Stop, Think, Reflect…
Human being, human doing – which are you? What is the difference?

Are you defined by being or doing (or having)? Explain.

What do you need to be?

What can you control?

We’ve all… Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt! What was left out? What was missed? Who were you being when you were there?

Being versus Doing

“Treat people as though they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being.” -Goethe

A while back, there was a print ad for Twenty Things You Should do in This Lifetime. It listed such things as ride in a gondola in Venice, stand on the Great Wall of China, see the sunrise over the ruins at Machu Picchu, see an opera at La Scalla in Milan, and since it was an ad for BMW, own a BMW.

The ad got me to thinking about Twenty Things You Should Be in This Lifetime.

Here is my list.

1 Be loving. 99% of whom and what we are cannot be seen. Learn to love yourself and realize there is no one exactly like you. When you do, you will be at peace. Love begins with you.
2 Be a role model. Thunder makes all the noise, but lightning does all the work! Role models keep commitments.
3 Be a giver. Give 10% of your time, talent and treasure to others. You reap what you sow. Give blood.
4 Be part of a community. It is within community we can share our ideas as well as our pain and vulnerability without fear. A team is a community.
5 Be a saver. Save 10% of everything and anything, you earn. Rainy days will come and your savings will provide a rainbow.
6 Be curious. Great leaders are great readers. Study your life. When you go bed, ask yourself, “What do I know tonight that I didn't know this morning?”
7 Be compassionate. Random acts of kindness are not just a good practice they are good medicine.
8 Be passionate. A job is something you do with your hands. Work is something you do with your hands and mind. Passion is what you do with your hands, mind and heart.
9 Be ethical. There is the easy way and the right way. The right way is ethic based.
10 Be spiritual. You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in the seed.
11 Be timeless. Our medieval ancestors had no concept of time, but we are in danger of being controlled by the clock. Time is the only resource you cannot save. Learn to use time more wisely.
12 Be healthy. Get enough sleep. Eat sensibly. Get 4 to 5 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions every week. Wash your hands often. If you ignore your health, it will go away.
13 Be able to laugh. Laughter is the only cure for grief. If you cannot laugh at yourself, you leave the job to others.
14 Be responsible. The United States is full of angry people. We confront and point fingers forgetting that three fingers always point back to us!
15 Be there. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Sound travels at 1,100 feet per second. Slow down and listen! Learn to be still. Be a caring parent. Be a caring friend. Just be there.
16 Be simple. Choosing to be simple and simplifying, your life reduces stress, conflict, and problems. Practice KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!
17 Be humble. Instead of thinking, I am better; learn to think, I am different. The differences we have make us stronger together.
18 Be forgiving and forgetting. Learn to forgive yourself for your own shortcomings. Forgive others for their shortcomings. Build a bridge and get over it.
19 Be fearless. The opposite of love is fear, not hate. Fear causes the real pain in life including war, crime, drug use, and other forms of destruction. Battle your fears constantly.
20 Be creative. Whenever you encounter a challenge, learn to identify as many resources as possible. Act and be willing to fail forward.

Experience Being

Go to your office supply store and purchase a composition book. Noodle on twenty things you would like to be in this lifetime. Write them down. Go through the composition book and every few pages write down a, I want to be _____________ statement. Keep the composition book nearby. Write down when you were being _____________. Describe the situation. Where did it happen? What was your mood? What time of day did happen? Describe the weather. What did it feel like? How did others feel? Were there any pictures or other “evidence” you could glue-stick onto this page with this entry?

Refer to these writings regularly. Notice patterns. Look for opportunities to grow your being.

There is nothing to do but be. - Stephen Levine

Suggested Reading

Profit from Experience by Dr. Michael O’Brien, O’Brien Group, 2003, ISBN-0-9744778-0-X

How to Want What You Have by Dr. Timothy Miller, Harper Perennial, 1996, ISBN-10: 0380726823

Suggested Movies

Being There (1979) – “Life is a state of mind.” See

Harold and Maude (1971) – “A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life.” “Zoos are full, prisons are overflowing... oh my, how the world still dearly loves a cage.”