One good thing we’ll take into a ‘post Covid era’ is the ability to reflect. Many of us were shocked to discover (when left alone with our thoughts) that we weren’t living our best life.
I guess that once we were forced to review our own choices, we were faced with who we really were rather than who we thought we were. We had to ask the brave question, ‘Is this what I really want?’
Has anyone ever asked you that question in conversation? It feels a bit direct. But it’s exactly the question that we need to ask to wake ourselves up and stop drifting through life. It’s the question that causes us to take ownership.
So, let me ask you… What do you really want out of life?
… Pause for effect…
That question might need quite a lot of unwrapping… It might even be worth going for a walk, picking the phone up to someone you trust or grabbing a pen and paper (shortest journey to the heart) in order to get some answers.
In short, it’s a BIG question. I call it ‘The Heart Search’. If we are brave enough to ask it of ourselves we may very well discover what we are looking for.
At first, it might feel like a search and rescue mission trying to salvage the thing that we really, truly want out of life. They might also seem impossible and implausible but, if we set about it with with courage and commitment, we’ll come back with what are looking for.
Are you sitting uncomfortably?! Embrace it, you are shaping your future and it’s heart-centred.
LOOK IN: Learning and dealing with the PAST.
What lies behind our smile, in our eyes, is often the best clue to what is really going on. For some of us there is a passion and a fire, while for others there is just a faint hope that needs to be re-awakened. Looking in helps us deal with what is holding us back. We might need to learn to take a loss as a lesson in order to position us for greater impact.
Think you haven’t got time for looking inward? I think that we haven’t got time not to! Unless we do, we’ll never lead from conviction, rather than from circumstance.
1. What did you vow never to do again when things went wrong?
2. What do you think people say about you when you are not in the room?
3. If you could right a wrong, what would it be and how would you do it?
4. When you close your eyes what means the most?
5. When you were a child what did you do that you forgot to eat?
These answers give us perspective of our past. We shouldn’t fear our past and even if we have been hurt by it, we can still learn from it rather than hide it.
Now, there are some things that you will need help to recover from with the aid of professional counsellors. If your struggles are very real, then make a plan to seek help and walk free. It’s a priority. When you involve someone you can trust and talk to it’s a wise investment. Hurts will heal and enrich your capacity for action.
1. That vow you made exposes what is deep in your heart, the thing you vowed never to do again is something you care passionately about.
2. The chatter when we are out the room either shows we are leading with insight or hindered by insecurity.
3. You can learn to forgive yourself, and realise that everyone gets stuff wrong, it is what we do after that counts.
4. When we close our eyes we tune into what matters – we need to take more time for that thing.
5. Looking back, we see what we enjoyed doing most – make some space for it now!
LOOK OUT: Making the choices that allow us to be PRESENT.
We need to learn to deal with what is in front of us. Too often, we are distracted by the past or the future and we need to learn to live in the present. As a business leader, owner or entrepreneur we often find ourselves hindered by our perceived failures or distracted by the promise of an unknown future.
We need to learn to collaborate and delegate. Discovering who you can bring on the journey and empowering them to take the lead in a given area is powerful. ‘Looking out’ is learning to connect with like-hearted, as well as like-minded people. This will enable you to run with the vision in an area of expertise that you lack and frees you to be present for what matters most.
Our goal shouldn’t be to act like God or Google. Everyone should not be coming to us for all their answers. Our goal as leaders is to learn to ask the right questions and find the right people to help us grow – we shouldn’t have to do everything ourselves.
1. If you are spending time on low priority things, how could you free yourself from them?
2. When was the last time you switched off from technology?
3. What are the three things you are most grateful for?
4. How many people in your life can you be real with, ie. not in a role?
5. When was the last time you really had fun?
These questions are positioned to help us locate the distractions that steal our attention from the focussed moment. You might be spending too much time in a problematic past and viewing things through its lens. Or maybe you’re dreaming of a better future and becoming frustrated and disengaged from making the right choices.
Come on, you know the score. We’ve all had situations where we’ve been there in body, but in mind we were somewhere else. Unfortunately, if we do that often enough, our heart disconnects and if we are not careful, we miss what is happening right in front of us. Our children age, our conversations lose their meaning and we live disconnected from the quality time with those that matter most.
1. Learn the power of outsourcing, it might raise your budget, but it will free up valuable time.
2. Book a ‘nothing day’. Do nothing related to your job for a whole day.
3. Each day think and be thankful about those three things in the morning and the evening, gratefulness is undervalued.
4. Build a trusted circle, 5 people that know you and with them you are free to be you (find the blog with the famous 5 people and put link here)
5. Book fun at least once a week, a sport, an activity that is just for you, free time.
LOOK UP: Living with a heartset on a purposeful FUTURE
‘Looking up’ is learning to look to the future. We need to ensure that we are leading and taking decisions that take us where we want to go, not just to keep us where we have been. We’ve heard about a visionary mindset, but not enough is taught on leading from the heart. You see, true vision is learning to work with others and helping them to achieve what is in their heart as well. Truly visionary business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs have key people around them for years because they help them to win too. We can all win when we learn what lane we are playing in.
‘Looking up’ with heart is committing to the dreams you carry within and giving them a clear voice. When you talk about vision it is heartfelt, not task-driven, and for that reason, people around you collectively want to service it. When the heart is heard you can bring the necessary alignment for the assignment.
We often talk about big picture thinking, but the power behind the thinking is the beating heart that drives it. Without a heart for the vision it gets harder to make a purposeful decision.
1. Money no object, what would you be doing now, unrestricted by time?
2. Where could your skills make the greatest of impact?
3. How would you like to be remembered? What three words best describe your completed life?
4. Who in your life would you want to spend more time with?
5. What song best shapes the way you want to live?
What we aim at we hit. So our choices should frame our future, exciting us, inspiring us and restoring hope in the heart. We can replace bitter (not dealing with what is blocking our way) and get better (doing more of what we love). We have to fill the space with more that ignites and excites. Get that heart racing.
1. Now, make the choice to do just that!
2. Double down on making those skills your priority.
3. Take those three words to heart. Put them on the wall, learn them and own them.
4. Start building that time into your week now and gradually increase.
5. Start your day with your chosen track and travel with it. It creates alignment.
LOOK DOWN: Intentional decisions create ACTION
Looking down means deciding upon a list of actions that become THE priority for you and your business. It’s where we set our hearts and minds and take action. Not being busy just to be busy, but taking action against the most impactful tasks. Not just getting things down, but getting things done.
Now is not the time to make excuses. We need to take action. As soon as we do and start experiencing the difference, it becomes addictive.
So why not have a go at living a purposeful life from the heart? Here are three easy steps:
Love learns from the PAST
What are you now living free from? With whom can you share the lesson?
The lesson I will teach others is…
Live free from __________________________
Share with ________________________
Give to ___________________________
Love listens in the PRESENT:
Choose to spend your time on the right things, by using your best skills and investing in the right things.
I will chose to spend my…
time on _______________________
talent on ______________________
treasure on ____________________
Love lifts others for the FUTURE
I have committed to something, I’m enjoying more of what I love and building time in to do this more to create the future I want to live.
The future looks bright because…
I have __________________________
I enjoy __________________________
I’ve booked _____________________
When we understand what it is to learn from the past, we can be fully present in the moment. The power of embracing the future is so real! We’ll see life as full of possibilities! We can create our businesses to support what is in our heart, have room to celebrate and lead with a heart set on the right things (heartset).
A business that truly leads from the heart is the start most people are looking for. You can live on your terms with the right tools. Your heartset is aligned to your past, present and future because you took action and owned each phase of your life.
So, I’ll ask that question again, ‘What do you really want?’ By now, we should be hearing some answers!