When I think of 2016, there is one word that I hope to describe this year to be. This word is TRANSFORMATIVE. During this time of year, you will usually find that I am on a journey to inspire others to re-assess or to create a personal vision, mission and values statement that will align them to a life that is meaningful, purposeful and authentic to them.
Did you know that each of us is given a gift of a total of 8,760 hours in 2016? But many of these hours will be spent sleeping, commuting, standing in line or in meetings.
Listed below are ten of the most commonly requested entities, attributes, actions, and aspects that will support you in creating your ideal life:
1. More time to quietly reflect, contemplate, meditate & more time to re-connect with yourself and your loved ones.
Your aim is to create an identity that goes beyond your job title, your home, your possessions, marital status, income, social and financial status and beyond your roles in life such as being a parent.Your loved ones may have individual lessons different from your life lessons, however each of us is simultaneously on a connected journey with others. This connection is what will create a sense of belonging while we are on the ‘same team’. And finally, this collective sense of belonging can further be expanded by thinking about how your neighbours, community, and how all human beings belong to this ‘same team’.
The Buddhists believe that, ’All suffering in the world is a result of the socially induced hallucination of the separate self.’ However, the separate self does not exist because we are all members of one consciousness field. We are all part of one consciousness that is contained in the mind of the divine. When we forget this we suffer, but when we remember this we will experience spontaneous divine attributes such as love, kindness, compassion, harmony, and experiencing joy at the success of others because you feel connected to them while they are connected to you. A state of happiness is created when you have a sense of belonging to their lives that are larger than your life. Finally, the more connected you are to others the healthier and happier you are.
2. More goals instead of resolutions.
By creating a sense of togetherness and awareness that each of us is inter-connected, it becomes easier to create and to solidify personal strengths, goals and memories. You can begin this process by:
a) Completing a year-end self, family, and career review. By measuring your progress with your actual plans you have a better sense of awareness.
b) Writing down your hopes and plans that you were able to accomplish.
c) Writing down what your coping mechanisms were during the difficult times of 2015.
d) Making a list of what realistic goals will help to keep you on track. e) Creating mini-goals, medium and larger goals.
f) Solidifying your intention, willingness & commitment to these goals.
Goals are more effective than a passive resolution because they accompany an expiry date, a plan and an increased personal accountability and investment to create change.
3. More love, laughter, creativity, visualization, inspiration, celebration & playfulness to replace worry, fear, hostility, resentment, cynical mistrust, anxiety & depression.
Once you are able to survive, the next natural step is to thrive. And this is only possible when we are inspired to create. Thoughts, emotions and actions of creativity and inspiration are then inter-connected and fundamental in creating a sense of purposeful existence, stability, honour, respect and love.
Great leaders find the best in themselves and in turn are able to inspire, engage and mobilize others even within the most demanding circumstances.
4. More patience, tolerance, gratitude and appreciation of beauty in all things in life, especially life’s little things.
a) Think of three to five things in your life that you are most thankful for and why you are most thankful for these people, circumstances, experiences, attributes, thoughts emotions or actions and express them to the originator.
b) Write down the three to five biggest lessons that you learned in 2015.
c) Brain-storm fifteen to thirty problems that you solved successfully in all areas of your life.
d) What was the best single moment in your 2015?
e) Create and write down your vision, mission and values statements together with your goals for 2011. This exercise will help to re-boot your inspiration and create structure to fulfill your life’s purpose.
5. More energy, health and confidence.
To be able to trust others, you first need to have trust in yourself. Feelings of trust can then replace self-doubt or feelings of insecurity. Once, you’ve created a sense of trust, it is easier to build upon the foundations of self-love, self-confidence and unconditional love for yourself and others so that you can live a life of meaning and purpose.
By establishing a sense of unconditional love, you are able to respect and honour your own needs to take care of your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial health.
With today’s technology we have access to so many resources and opportunities to increase our energy and health. Ironically, cellular phones and computers have further disconnected us instead of keeping the human race connected. So this result requires that we seek a more balanced existence. Moreover, many people have neglected to prioritize these aspects into their daily lives. By introducing even thirty minutes of daily exercise or activity, you will notice that you are also creating a sense of balance in all areas of your life.
6. More focus on your strengths as your gifts to bless your life and the lives of others.
We need to accept but not focus on our ‘flaws’. By focusing more on the strengths & developing these further, we are not only practicing the ‘Laws of Attraction’, but we are also creating more positivity in our lives. Although flaws enable us to be complete, authentic and allow us to be less judgemental of others. By being less judgemental of others, we can avoid creating social masks of our own and embrace our ‘own truths’. Examples of these social masks would include those who are living a lifestyle to ‘keep up’ with the expectations of others instead of following the compass of their own values and inner truths.
But beyond recognition and awareness of our flaws, we cannot spend more energy or time on them because they will simply detour us from creating positivity and from building and expanding on our strengths.
7. More humility, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, contentment & joy from others’ happiness.
There appears to be a dangerously increasing trend of coping with insecurity by creating feelings of jealousy and a sense of joy by watching others fail. The act of competition has truly become off-kilter and has encouraged negative thoughts, emotions and actions towards others. This is the opposite of the basic principles related to the ‘Laws of Attraction’. And needless to say, this scenario will take one further away from creating a sense of humility, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, contentment and joy from watching others succeed.
8. More peace and positive energy to practice the, ’Laws of Attraction’.
To attract more of the ‘good stuff’ in your life, you need to focus on building, strengthening, focusing, and finding more of the ‘good stuff’ that you already have in your life. That is the core belief for practicing the ‘Laws of Attraction’. For example, to find more love in your life, you need to feel gratitude for the originators or sources of love that are already in your life. Then the key is to focus on how to give more love to others so that you can feel joy in watching others receive love and joy from you. You then will receive more of it in return. These are examples of actions that need to replace the negative thoughts, feelings and actions.
9. More mindfulness or ‘presence of mind, body & spirit’, balance, simplicity and enlightened conscious living.
This ancient skill of mindfulness involves the ability to slow down our minds for long enough to observe our breathing, our subjective experience, and our thoughts. Buddhists and Hindus have been practicing this age-old technique through their various forms of meditation and mantra chanting. This technique is increasingly being practiced out in the West.
It is only when we are in a relaxed state of mind, that we can effectively have reactions that accompany a relaxed acceptance. It is here that we can get closer to our own truths, once we are able to withhold judgment of others. Moreover, to boost self-esteem, we must let go of our attachments to a particular outcome. By doing so, pressure can be removed from ourselves and now we can make more conscious and mindful choices about how we spend our time and what we allocate our efforts to. It’s been proven repeatedly that once your basic needs are met, it is the quality of your relationships instead of more money that will lead you to more happiness. Lastly, actions such as exercise, health, and fitness can also combat depression and improve sleep quality.
10. More authenticity and listening more to your heart’s voice
The act of ‘contemplating’ is to keep a thought in your consciousness while putting attention on your heart. By being present you will be better able to deal with thoughts, emotions, cravings and prevent actions that are detrimental to you and to others.
By re-connecting with your values, your truths, and your unique sense of self, you are essentially enabling and offering yourself as a resourceful vehicle, avenue outlet or gift to support others. This is the true essence of meaning, peace, happiness and joy. By allowing these attributes you will then be able to discover contentment, compassion, and spontaneity that will in turn attract more self-confidence, self-love and unconditional acceptance of others.