I love working with clients who are at a crossroads point in their life.
It's when they realised that the way they've been living thus far is no longer (or never was) fulfilling and they know they want something else. They're ready for a change. But they aren't sure what or where to turn. That point in life can feel immensely stuck, many roads available but the path unclear down each one ... and no signposts to lead the way.
You may be in this position now. I was in this position 6 years ago. And it was painful, frustrating, and scary.
I knew I couldn't stay where I was, in a corporate career attempting to climb the ladder that seemed to be leaning against the wrong building for me. I didn't see myself in that future. But I also didn't see a clear future of another kind. There were inklings of many possibilities, and I eventually took one (that eventually led me to the one I'm on now :) ). But the decision wasn't easy and the path far from clear.
There is good news though.
We all have an inner compass. We may have been out of touch with it for so long that we've forgotten about it completely. But I assure you it's there, we all have it. It just takes consciously tapping into it and trusting in the greater clarity emerging.
"Clarity comes after a period of stillness."
Below I share a few pointers, a map if you will, to help you tap into that inner compass and get more clarity around your best new direction in life.
(This can be applied generally to your life overall, or to a specific life area such as career, relationships, health, etc).
Our values are what really matters to us and drives our daily actions. They are the WHY behind what you do, what is important to you.
A fulfilled life will always be closely aligned with your core values, and an unhappy life will have core values missing to a great extent.
Once you're clear on your values, it will be much easier to make decisions. You will understand your behaviour better and so will be able to more consciously design your life to be more closely aligned with your core values. And you'll enjoy greater fulfilment as a result.
For example, if one of your core values is freedom but you feel you have no freedom in the decision making at work for instance, you're simply expected to follow the will of your manager, your work may feel very unfulfilling. Conversely if you were just given more freedom to implement some of your own creative solutions, the fulfilment would likely go up significantly. There's many possible solutions in this case, some of which might be to have a conversation around that with your manager, or if no possibility for a change in your current role, you could look for a position that would give you more of the freedom you want.
To determine your values, it takes some reflecting.
And also look at your life so far and try connecting the dots of your life story. Values ultimately guide our actions, so we can tell a lot about one's values from the life they've led so far.
In my work with clients 1-1, I guide people through a process to elicit their core as well as operating values (those we're often not aware of and might be conflicting but that still drive our behaviour - for ex. security & stability when our core value might be adventure, or the other way around).
2. CORE DESIRED FEELINGS.
This is a concept I love from Danielle LaPorte (from her book The Desire Map). The reason that we are pursuing goals is that we want to FEEL a certain way once we achieve them. It's not as much about the goal itself as it is about the feelings we expect to have once we achieve it.
Sometimes we're right about those feelings, but often when pursuing a goal we feel quite the opposite of what we want to ultimately feel.
Aligning yourself with your core desired feelings on the way to your goals brings all the satisfaction you expect to get when hitting the goal, and it even shortens the trajectory to the goal.
Your core desired feelings give you clarity around how you most want to feel on a daily basis, and you can then bring them consciously into your every day, and moment, as much as possible. Imagine living your life feeling already how you wish to feel once you achieve your goal! You will be so much more motivated and aligned as you pursue it - the end will not have to justify the means, and you won't have to feel frustrated, stressed and off-balance as you're nearing the fruition of your dreams.
To elicit your core desired feelings, take some time to journal and ask yourself:
Also examine your goals and ask yourself "WHY do I want it?", and with each answer go even deeper...and WHY do I want that .... and why....and WHY. And eventually you'll come to a feeling you are after. Do this with your top 5 goals/dreams, and you will get to your core desired feelings.
Your passion is something you would do even if nobody paid you, if nobody cared about it, and if you were the last person doing it. You can bring it into any context, because it's HOW you're doing something not necessarily WHAT you're doing that is your passion.
It doesn't matter what the outside world says, your passion comes from within. It drives and fuels you.
Your passions are most often closely related to your innate strengths, what you're naturally good at. So it's very powerful to align your life with your passions. It will add that spark to what you do and the strength to keep going. And this is what we all need when pursuing the life of our dreams.
This for me is the 4th piece of the clarity puzzle. We all need to consider the impact of our actions, more narrowly on our own lives and those that we touch, and also in a wider sense in terms of our community, and globally. When designing a fulfilled life, getting clarity on the impact you wish to make will help with your sense of meaning and purpose.
To get clearer on all these 4 areas of a fulfilled life plan, take some time and answer the questions for yourself. Journal, allow the words to flow. And/or talk it through with a trusted friend.
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