Friday, 10 January 2014

Your Life Plan for 2016 Starts Here

"Do you know where you're going to, do you like the things life is showing you, where are you going to, do you know? Do you know what you're hoping for? When you look behind you theres no open door. What are you hoping for? Do you know?
Now looking back.........We've let so many dreams just slip through our hands. Why must we wait so long before we see, how sad the answers to those questions can be!"
I remember sitting in my 11 year old son's school leaving assembly and this was one of the songs the children sang. I could hardly hold back tears. I couldn't believe how much emotion it evoked. When you are that young, life has so much to offer and yet back then you are just not fully aware of who you are, what you want from life, why you are here on the planet, nor have you defined your own core values and beliefs.

Not so unusual at 11 years of age.  However, sometimes even age 30, 40 or even 50 and we still don't know who we are or what our life is about.

As a Life Coach, I find so many people in their mid 40's still trying to find themselves, find some meaning to their life and a passion to pursue. Life is so short that the sooner you find this out the better.  I hope this post help you do just that.

First of all, you need to have a clear picture of where you are at right now. Then realize what it is that you truly want from life. Develop a clear understanding of what you need and what you do not need.

To freely bloom - that is my definition of success.
Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time

Everyone wants to be a success in his or her life. People consider material success as the key to more money, happiness, fulfillment and rewards. Regardless of how differently people perceive it, everyone wants it.

People define success differently. And they tend to change their definition with changing times and circumstances as well. For some people, conventional success is more important and it seldom goes beyond money, cars or big homes.

You must have your own definition for success. However, you don’t have to be dogmatic about this. You can change your definition of success and put it closer to reality. Before that you need to comprehend what success actually means to you.

Write your definition of what success is in the space below or on a piece of paper.

Do not carry on reading this until you have done so.

It may take a good amount of time to sort out your priorities when you define what success means. Don’t worry, take your time. If you haven’t filled in the above space yet do it now! Don’t cheat yourself!

A person defines success on the basis of a number of factors. And you are no exception.

Your definition of success is formed by:

  • Your upbringing
Everyone perceives things on the basis of the values he or she has learned in the childhood.

  • Your beliefs
Beliefs, deep-rooted in your mind, affect the way you perceive things.

  • Trait
A particular characteristic that distinguishes you or that is genetically determined may influence the way you perceive things.

  • Your attitude
Everyone has an opinion or general feeling about everything.

  • Your peers
You family, friends, colleagues or whoever you maintain a constant contact with can influence the way you perceive things.

  • Society
It is an important factor that has more influence than many of the rest.

  • Every experience that you have in life
Small or big, each and every experience in your life influences the way you perceive things.

All the factors mentioned above, more or less, contribute to what success means to you.

There is a myth that states that people are born winners or born losers.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody is born just to win or lose. The way you live your life makes you a winner or loser.

As Benjamin Disraeli puts it, “The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” Using some techniques and methods and improving your attitude, behaviour and personality can lead you to destination called success.

More often than not, you are responsible for what you get from life.

Even a single sensible timely step can change the entire scenario. You need to sense what the situation demands and act accordingly.

Nothing is worse than looking back after some years and saying “I wish I had done this.”

Know where you are going in life

Setting goals is something everybody does regularly. However, few find it in them to go through the plans they set. You need to know where you are going and constantly check and make sure that you are moving in the proper direction.

Creating a vision and a mission statement of what you want out of life will provide you with some direction and momentum to move forward. It can act as a catalyst in accomplishing your task.

What is your life all about?

Different people look at life in entirely different ways. While some people let things happen to them, others go out and make things happen. It’s very important to have an understanding of which group you belong to.

If you are driven by a compelling vision, you have a greater chance to feel good about yourself.

If you have a true mission, you have a better chance to know where you are going in your life.

When you feel you are in control of your life and events, you will naturally feel more confident and motivated to achieve more.

Ask yourself the following question:

What do you really want to get out of life?

A clear vision and a well-defined mission will help you realize the real purpose of your life. Both your vision and mission should express your purpose for existence.

Following is a series of questions for you to ask yourself in order to do some soul searching and to give yourself some insights into what you are all about and why you are here:

  • “When I grow up, I want to be a pilot.” As a child, what did you dream of becoming?
  • Which three people do you think have influenced your life the most and why?
  • If you could choose your career and get paid whatever you wanted, what would you opt for?
  • What are your top three achievements in life so far? What was so special about them?
  • Doing what makes you the happiest in life?
  • Who are the three people who you admire the most? What are their characteristics and qualities you admire so much?
  • Have you ever helped someone less fortunate than you? If yes, what did you do? If no, why not?
  • List out your greatest strengths?
  • What steps should you take in life to maximise your strengths?
  • What is that one thing for which you would be willing to put everything on the block for? Why?
  • Imagine that all the time you spent till now comes back to you. How would you utilize it now? What would you do with the time this second time round?
  • There are sure to be results/ events in your life you are happy about? What are these? Which are the results/ events you are unhappy about?
  • Is there a word of advice you have picked up from your life so far that you want to pass on to the world?
  • Name one thing you value the most in life?
  • What would you really like to do with your life?

Answering the questions given above will give you a clear idea about yourself.

The whole point of getting you to think about those questions was to really get you to think about what you want and wanted for your life.

It would be easier for you, after answering the questions, to realize what you want from life and how you are going to get it. If you have answered all the questions given above, write down your own mission statement in the box below:

A mission statement is not a ‘to do list.’ So it is not easy to write one and it should not be something that is rushed.

Take your time, go for a walk, or take a short break. It’s better to get away from the routine environment. Remember, your mission in life is far too important to be skimmed over.

A mission statement needs to be honest. Make sure you actually believe in your mission statement. If you don’t, it’s a lie. Don’t cheat yourself.

People who do not have an authentic mission in life tend to just have materialistic goals. The greatest problem with such people is they don’t know what fulfillment is. After they have achieved, achieved and achieved, they say to themselves “Is that all there is?”

Elvis Presley, also known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll," was a giant in the modern entertainment industry. Few people influenced American popular culture like Presley. Wealth, fame, women, success…all the pleasures of life were plentiful in his life.

However, when Presley killed himself by overdosing on a stash of drugs he stocked, he was only 42 years old. Despite all his successes, he followed a self-destructive lifestyle.

Presley was a man who owned what others dreamed about. His success was legendary and his achievements were enviable. However, without a sense of fulfillment, there is no joy.

Success without fulfillment is failure!

I hope this post gave you a lot to think about and reconsider.

Delve deep into the spheres of your mind, your heart, and spirit and let the inner secrets reveal something valuable to your life.Your mission statement says only about what you really want to be in life.  

Okay, that's it for now.  I will see you back here next time.  Feel free to ask any questions in the Comments below.

Patricia Benjamin
Life Coach
Relationship Coach
Radio Presenter