Jan 02, 2013

Living Intentionally in 2013

Whether you know it or not, your ‘story’ for 2013 is already written.  By ‘story’, I mean the way the coming year will be lived out by you.  Fully consider it.  What have the last 2-5 years been like?  Did you have a plan and a strategy for those past years, or did they just happen?  If you’re like most people, they just happened and you lived each year as you had the prior…unconsciously.  Most people go their entire lives living unconsciously, drifting through life and wondering why they haven’t achieved what they wanted to in life.  Living unconsciously is a “state”.  It’s like taking the same route to work, or other destination, each day and finding that you begin driving unconsciously; unaware of what is at the side of the road; unaware of stop lights and stop signs; unaware of the cop sitting at the side of the road as you exist in a daze and get pulled over for a traffic violation.  And, when you arrive at your destination, you feel a sense of emptiness on the journey you just took.  There was nothing that you experienced or could appreciate because you were in an altered state; a state of unconscious behavior.

Don’t let 2013 be the same type of experience!

Especially if you ended 2012 with the feeling that you didn’t accomplish anything, or very little, consider a new strategy for 2013 so that you have a new and better ‘story’ and ‘state’ when the end of 2013 rolls around.  Consider living 2013 intentionally.  What does living intentionally mean?  Living intentionally means that you make yourself aware and with a purpose.  That purpose may be something very personal.

Let’s look at the very personal purpose together for a few moments.  Are you happy in your life?  Many of my clients tell me that they aren’t happy.  When I ask them what would cause them to be happy, the list is pretty much the same: Leave my relationship for a new one, change jobs, make more money, have more things, and so on.  Each of these show that people believe that variety in their lives will make them happy.  And, for a while it will because we all need some variety to keep life fresh.  The variety they most often mention is not the sustainable answer that they are looking for, though.  Consider it fully. The person that believes that by leaving their mate of many years that they will now become happy is only deceiving themselves.  The proof is in the statistics.  The more times a person has been married, the higher chances the next marriage will fail.  A new person to be with wasn’t the sustainable answer for their happiness.  The same goes for the new job, more money, more things to possess, etc.  Pay attention closely, now, because I’m going to tell you the secret to happiness and fulfillment.

Knowing your purpose in life and living congruent and in alignment with that purpose.

Very simply put, what do you want to be and what do you want to do?  These go hand-in-hand and must, because if what we do doesn’t align with what we want to be, then we are incongruent and unhappy.  So, define first what you want to be.  What do you want to be known as.  At this point, you may be thinking, “A CEO of a large corporation with $2,000,000 per year salary, and…”  Although those may be goals, that’s not who you are as a person.  Those are roles.  Strip off all the roles you play in life.  You are not a father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter, employer/employee, etc.  Right now, you now have no roles in life.  You’re on a desert island with no one else there.  Now, define who you are without any role associated with your description.  This will take some time, maybe even weeks, to come up with an answer.  Unless you’re one of the few that already has an understanding of themselves as to who they really are.  Start by writing down your initial response and any time you look at it and see a role associated to the description, start over.  Another way to approach this is to visualize yourself at your own funeral.  You see yourself lying in the casket.  People that are important in your life are walking up to your casket and stopping to say their last words to you.  What would these people say about you as a person at this moment?  What would you like them to say, instead?  Capture these thoughts somewhere that you can reflect back on them from time to time.

What you want to do can then be clearly defined based on what you want to be.  You can now map out the things to do that are in line with what you want to be and begin your course toward a truly happy life.  We have four core areas of things that are important for us humans to do; Live, Love, Learn, and leave a Legacy.  Create goals for doing.  Create a plan and strategy for reaching those goals.

This begins you on your way to living intentionally; to living consciously and with purpose.  It also begins you on your way to writing a new story for 2013, instead of the one that has been written for the last several years.  Lastly, it means finding what may have seemed your illusive happiness.  Happiness for a lifetime!

Creating life in forward motion,

Dr. Edward Lewellen

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