How to build a life around what’s important to you pt2

Motivational Quote

On Wednesday, I shared Sid Madge’s words of wisdom about building a life around what is important to us, and since it has been a theme on which I have worked with my therapist over the past few months, I thought I’d share what my answers are to the questions raised in that post. I remember some advice a priest gave to someone else (I may have mentioned it before), a guy was trying to discern his way ahead and figured he’d love to be a veterinarian but felt that he should consider being a priest because it was holier and more Catholic even if it didn’t make him happy. The priest told him to forget about seminary and go to study veterinary sciences because God gave him feelings of happiness at the thought to guide his decisions. For this reason, I think a small degree of “selfishness” in introspection is needed, and that’s why I loved this method. 

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How to build a life around what’s important to you

It’s the day before we enter another lockdown, so it seems like a good time to go live with a very exciting guest post I have arranged for the usual theme of goal-setting etc that I do at the end of the year, when the days are short and dark and we all need something to cheer us up. Just a tiny note of worning, there is some discussion about weight loss that is in terms with which I disagree, but I have left the article unedited because there would be no point in having guest posts if the authors all thought like me. I’d just write my own opinion as I usually do. If that’s something you might find triggering, just skip the striked-through lines.

Tips to help you decide what’s most important to you and have more of it in your life

by Sid Madge, Meee

When faced with the day to day realities of an ongoing pandemic how do we cope as individuals?  Is it possible to find a silver lining in the dark cloud?  Should we see this as a wakeup call?

According to a YouGov poll only 8% of Britons want to go back to life as it was before Covid-19. The Economist has stated that this forced home working experiment is likely to change work life forever, perhaps toward some hybrid model. What is clear is that there’s an opportunity to go way beyond a half-hearted version of ‘new normal’. We can take this time to consider what is important to us moving forward and make a plan for making that happen.

I’m a great believer in the power of micro moments and tiny interventions that when maintained lead to lasting change. The suggestions below are pulled from my Meee in a Minute books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our mindset.  This is the starting point for positive and constructive action to achieve the dreams we have both for ourselves and for society.

        What are your values?

Our values influence our thoughts and actions and yet most of us have never stopped to consider what they are. What’s most important to you in your life?  Money? Family? Honesty? Kindness? Can you see evidence of these values in your life? 

For example, if you believe you value kindness, when did you last demonstrate kindness? If you really want to know what you value look at what you do. If we are to uncover what is really important to us, we have to know our values so we can find more ways to demonstrate those values in our daily life.

Take a minute to consider what you value most. Or visit https://www.meeevalues.com/ and do our values exercise to help you identify your values.             

        How can you reach your desired outcomes?

In Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech he talked about connecting the dots of our life and how that was never possible looking forward. But when we look back, if we look and pay attention, we can often see patterns or signposts in our life. Jobs suggested that we had to, “trust in something, your gut, destiny, life karma, whatever.”

The key to uncovering what is important to us, often lies in the past. It is the recognition of the moments and experiences that, when taken together form a pattern or a direction of travel that will bring purpose and meaning – if we have the courage to pursue them.

Take a minute to map out your interests and where you would like to end up. How can you use the situations and resources in your life right now to reach that outcome faster? 

What will be on your Anti-Bucket List?

Part of knowing what is important to us is being honest about what is not. We’ve all heard of the bucket-list – the list of all the experiences and adventures we want to have, places we want to visit, things we want to own, before we kick the bucket. But the anti-bucket list is just as important. This is the list of the things we can tick off right now because they are just not important to us – regardless of what the success industry tells us.

For example. I used to want to be rich. Now I couldn’t care less. I want to make a difference, that is more inline with my values and is much more important to me than a new car or fancy watch. This is liberating.

Take a minute to write your anti-bucket list – all the things currently in your life that you would like to stop or get rid of or old goals that are just not that important to you anymore. Free yourself from their grasp and use the injection of energy, time or resources to make the things that are important happen. 

What is your first step?

Is there something you want to do but are scared it won’t work out? Perhaps you want to write a book or change career. Maybe you want to get fitter but the goal seems too big and too far away. Whatever you want to do – just start. If you want to lose weight, take the stairs today, only have one biscuit with your morning cuppa instead of two. The start doesn’t need fireworks or a front page spread in the local paper, it just needs to happen. 

The most awe-inspiring music ever composed starts with a single note. The greatest works of art started with a single brush stroke, or single tap of a chisel. Don’t wait until you are ready – no one is ever ready. Besides once you start you will be ready.

Don’t search for signs or defining moments – they may never come. Instead make now your defining moment. Start now. Don’t question whether you are capable or worthy – just start, start small and keep going. If you falter, get back on track and keep going. Don’t stop until you have achieved what you set out to achieve.

Who will be your cheerleader?

It’s the people in our life that give it meaning. When something good happens, it’s made more enjoyable when we can share it with others. When something bad happens, it can soften the blow when we have others to lean on. We need friends and family as much as we need oxygen.

Take a minute to consider who you spend the most time with.

Be aware of how you feel when you’re with the people in your life, take stock of whether they make you feel better or worse. If they are not adding positive value to your life then consider spending a little less time with them and seek out like-minded collaborators so you can be each other’s cheerleader.

Start by connecting with your values and act on the opportunities that exist even in these difficult times.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives. To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates. Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.

Web: www.meee.global
Web: www.meeebooks.com
Twitter twitter.com/Meee_HQ
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MeeeHQ/
Instagram www.instagram.com/meeehq
YouTube https://youtu.be/fISupZWZMQc 
TEDx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR3Cyjs62c8

 

 

 

 

 

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The Soul Care Series: Self-Knowledge

Woman journaling

 At the beginning of this series, I talked about how I was frustrated to see a mainstream publication talk promote tarots as a beneficial way to know more about oneself, so I think the time has come that this series addresses the subject of self-knowledge, which in a way is linked to the previous topic of planning around our heart’s desires. Over my years as a Christian, the question of self-knowledge has been usually dismissed as easily answered: just pray about it. As if people always know how to truly pray and most importantly they know how to discern the response from God. Last Sunday, the Mass readings for the day contained the passage in 1 Kings 19 about the prophet Elijah finding God in the whispering voice after the powerful ways in which God has spoken before did not make him manifest. Bishop Barron in his homily had a great point about how God doesn’t use one way to communicate, and unless you have dramatic experiences that you can’t deny it’s God’s speaking, it’s not as simple as “just pray”. 

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The Soul Care Series: Heart-Centred Goal Setting

Kawaii Stationery

I have had to take a break for the last 2-3 weeks as my health took a turn for the worse (those of you who listen to Alessia’s Divine Comedy will know already I barely managed to keep that afloat with some delays). I guess, in a way, it made this next topic in the Soul Care series more timely, since we are talking about the new coaching buzzword for planning. 

You might be wondering what’s the link with wellness, so I guess I should first explain what is meant by heart-centred goal setting. You might have heard of Daniella LaPorte and her best-selling book “The Desire Map”. Heart-Centred goal setting is an evolution of that: it’s about making decisions and plans that come from the desires of our hearts and it’s linked to wellness because a lot of undue stress in our lives comes from chasing things that won’t make us happy and having goals that are pushed on us from the outside world. 

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Intuitive Eating: my experience

Food in 3 plates

In the latest Soul Care post about nutrition, I mention in passing that my food philosophy nowadays (after a lifetime of disordered eating of various shapes and forms) is Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is not a diet, but rediscovering the way our bodies were created to work. For me as a Catholic woman, God has made us need food, but also able to enjoy it, giving us hunger cues and other signals that indicate to us that it’s time to eat, or that we’ve had enough and we are satisfied with what we had.

This approach to nutrition originated with the work of Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in the mid-90s, but it has some commonalities with previous discourses in psychology and the way the 3rd wave feminist movement looked at fat and women issues in the 70s. To this day, it appears to still be strongly linked to the fat acceptance (also referred to as liberation) movement, but I believe it shouldn’t be the stuff of radicalism and instead be the mainstream. The diet industry keeps us engaged in a rat race that replaces God’s vision for humanity with a lot of negative feelings life self-loathing, desire for controlling and punishing the body for just existing and taking space and moralising our food choices even when we’re in no real danger to our health, and so far the best option I have found to counteract this mentality is Intuitive Eating. 

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