The quest for personal fulfillment is universal. Even when we don’t consciously recognize this, we stumble from circumstance to circumstance in search of a space that feels right. Underneath it all, we desire a life that fits. Who wants to cram themselves into an existence that’s two sizes too small? Or one that’s not even your style?
It’s time to get real and answer some basic questions that point you in the direction of your truest self. Here’s an exercise to be used at any time in your journey to get and keep you in alignment with the path you desire.
1. Where are you most at ease?
Choose a physical location where you feel complete peace. There can be no distractions or any potential for a situation needing your immediate attention. It might require a small trip or it could be your comfy bed. Be in that space for the remainder of the exercise.
2. What makes you come alive?
List 25 things that bring you to life. Perhaps it’s a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Maybe it’s a meaningful quote. It might be a phone call to your zany aunt. Whatever it is, bring it to the space you chose in the first question. Indulge and enjoy. Don’t go through the motions. Savor the pleasure of the moment. Make sure you are in a joyful state of mind before advancing to the next question.
3. What is possible for you?
Your mind should be clear at this point. Write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t censor. Probability is not to be considered. Dwell in possibilities. Write down even the things that seem absurd. No one will ever see this list. (Burn it if you must.) Get everything out of your head and down on paper...or iPad. Make it concrete. Dreams are abstract and will remain abstract until you take this first step to materialize them.
4. Who do you want to be?
Look at your list. If you're honest with yourself, some things will resonate more than others. What makes you tingle? Narrow it down to your top choice. Envision the kind of person who'd live this dream. What kinds of characteristics do they possess? What do they value most? With whom do they surround themselves? Imagine the totality of this individual.
5. For who you want to be, what is necessary?
Take a deep breath. It’s time for real talk. Be honest with yourself but there’s no need to fret. Look at the profile you’ve created and look at where you are. Where do you need to leap? What needs to be cultivated? Break it down into manageable steps. This is your road map. It doesn’t matter how many steps there are, it only matters that you begin. There is no “beam me up, Scotty” transporter. You have to walk towards your peace and claim it each step of the way.
Once you've gone through the exercise, revisit the last question daily. Your progress depends on keeping your focus on essential actions. Anything leading you astray needs to be phased out. Get these five questions in order and your truth will emerge in the form of a life you love.