I think we are many who look forward to a fresh start as a new year is approaching. January is a month of hope for me, new beginnings, planning and making more dreams come true.
There was a time when I was younger when my New Year’s resolutions could be ‘ not eat candy for a full year’ or ‘save 50% of all the money I get or earn’ .
Now, as an adult it is about fine tuning myself, who I am as a person, listen to my inner aspirations, daring to live close to my core and moreover reflecting on how I can make the world a better place, by living true to my soul.
It’s not so easy all the time. It gets easier, however, with some work and some dedication.
Here is a four step plan so that you can get closer to your core and actually live with more love and purpose.
The steps to work with are : 1) your deep values 2) your vision
3 ) your talents 4) the impact you make in the world.
This is who you are at the core. We sometimes forget what is really important for us in amidst of everyday life.
You can make a few exercises, such as : write down all the things that you can not love without in your life, all the things that makes you happy, peak moments in your life , things you wouldn’t want to miss for the world, things you can’t stand – because on the other side is the things you love : what do you say yes and no to . Fill a whole paper. Just write down things as they come up, without making any kind of order. It is important that you just let yourself go 100 % true with this exercise.
My paper would be filled with words like : the birth of my kids, memories from traveling, Christmas in Romania, Transalpina trip, making a difference at work, when I dared to…., be courageous, stay positive, be solution- minded, the sunset in …., when my kids drew cards for me, my parents helping me with the move, my mum’s food, eating and drinking under the grapevine in Bucharest , wearing IA, Midnight mass in the monastery in Bucovina, running, speaking, writing….and so forth.
From all the descriptions I choose 5 that stands out and I try to see what is the underlying concept that is important.
Right now these are some of the values that drives me : Love, courage, be outside, culture , move my body, adventure, eat healthy food, do a meaningful job, be solution minded.
When I deeply and hostly know that these are the values that matters the most, then I need to make space for these things to happen in my every day life.
I need to choose consciously for myself .
When I choose to do the things that I love , good things start to happen.
When I don’t choose from my core I will feel it in my body : back pains, headache, worry, anxiety and so forth.
In the beginning, when you start becoming more conscious, you can also play with the values, focusing extra on one value at the time , for example : ‘adventure’ on a Monday for a while, focusing extra on ‘healthy food’ on a Tuesday and so forth. All to put those values, that sometimes are forgotten, in the highlight again.
Step 2 is vision. Where do you want to go ? What are your big dreams and aspirations ? If you dream big what is there in your dreams ? If you plan big what is there ? Your vision is your compass.
If you are on your way to see a castle in a forest you need your map. If you are going to a special restaurant in a big city you may need your gps.
Your vision guide you. Make it visual and use senses. When your vision is achieved : what does it look like around you ? What does people say to you ? How do people refer to you ? If there was a banner in town written by you, what would it say ? If there was an article in the news paper when your vision is accomplished – what would it say ? Be very detailed when you do this exercise.
How does it fit in with your values ?
Step 3 is talents. What are you naturally talented at ? What comes easy for you ? What do people compliment you on ? What is that ‘inner song ‘ of yours about ? The answers are within the areas of your talents. Do as much as you can in your life with your true talents. Practice. Go the extra mile to develop them. Give them your heart fully ! Dare, be courageous. Don’t limit yourself with hurdles.
Hurdles will come for sure. Many of them. Sometimes they come when we say to ourselves ‘ I’m too old/young/big/small/too this and too that ‘. When we start having a limiting dialogue with ourselves why things will not happen, well, then things will not happen. Be aware when this happen. Our mind is powerful. Be kind to yourself, what words you choose to tell yourself.
Don’t be a martyr, don’t pull yourself down. When it’s hard, keep going, keep the faith, keep fighting for the things you believe is right.
For feedback, maybe you need to hook up with people on a similar path as you, who has a drive , who are working for similar causes, so you can find strength in each other and support each other ? When it comes to creativity we are often much more creative together.
Step 4 is impact in the world.
If you now know what your deep core values are , you know what your vision is and what your talents are , you are on a good path in making a positive, constructive , beautiful impact in the world.
There are two types of impact : 1 ) the unintended impact, which is : what happens in the room when you arrive ? What energy do you bring to the room ? Open ? Closed ? Encouraging ? Judgamental ? Hot ? Cold ? Leaning in ? Arms crossed ? Eccentic ? Intelligence ? Beauty ? Charm ? Humor ? Openness ? limitations ? Vision ? Calm ? Excitement ? and so forth .
For the unintended impact you may want to confide in 5-6 close friends of yours, who can honestly answer this question , as it is often somewhat different than what we first believe about ourselves.
When you get their answers , take them seriously, even though you may not believe some of them at first. When you have finally embraced their statement you can also realised the intensity in them and how it helps you to live close to your life purpose.
The second type of impact is the 2) intended impact. What is the impact you WISH to create in the world ? For my own part I have a strong urge to make a difference in Romania within the fields of leadership, education, culture and tourism.
What happens when we live close to our purpose in life , is that people around get inspired. When you step up in honest love , do things from your soul, others will want to do that too.
Article in Romanian in Republica.