Not considering the responsibility that you feel as a leader, parent, or team member, if you really think about it, aren’t you the most important person in your life?
Even if you live a life of service, if you’re not whole, you won’t be able to serve others to the best of your ability.
Every one of us has goals, aspirations and ideas of who we want to be, things we want, and places we want to go. This is all a part of who we are. A critical part of truly knowing you, is knowing what you stand for. We’ve discussed this before – the idea of defining your personal values to live a more authentic life. Do you have your values figured out yet? Whether you’re starting from scratch or refining (we’re never really done figuring ourselves out), listen up.
In this episode, I invite Outside Insights podcast regular, philosopher, entrepreneur, etc. Alan Burkhard to talk about you, or as he calls it, your “Culture of One”.
“Culture of One” is who you are. Understanding this gives you a great advantage in life: it brings you one step closer to uninterrupted vision and total clarity. It also helps you conserve so much precious mental and physical energy because you no longer have to ruminate over decisions. You know your preferred life path, your values, and you know which choices best fit YOU.
Most of us spend our early lives pursuing degrees. This formal education takes energy, time, and money to achieve. These degrees define our skills and help us pursue our profession.
Yet, I know most of us have a gap between where we are and where we want to be. In order to have what you want, to act the way you want, and to just be your authentic self – you have to put in the work.
This week’s podcast is about investing in you. This requires you to get to know who you are. In a time of uncertainty, there is a substantial advantage to truly understanding yourself. The exercise below and the lessons in this podcast will help you develop the compass for your life map.
To begin this necessary work, try the exercise I’ve outlined below. Alan discusses this exercise more in depth in the podcast at minute marker 13:15. I encourage you to give it a listen.
“Culture of One” Exercise: Developing Your Life Map Compass
1. Make sure you have at least one hour blocked off for this exercise.
2. Go to your favorite spot, indoors or outdoors, wherever you like to spend time. If you can’t go there physically, imagine the most beautiful place in your mind.
3. Go there alone and don’t bring any of your devices with you.
4. Instead, bring a pad of paper and something to write with.
5. Select a topic from the list below. Or come up with a new topic. This will be your prompt for the rest of the exercise.
Here are some topics to start with (not limited to these): siblings, parents, job, employer, employees, religion, fears, passions, limitations, obstacles, emotions, risks, talents, health, education, hobbies, friends, relationships.
6. Write your topic down at the top of the page and then write down everything that comes to mind when you think about that topic.
7. Get all of your feelings and emotions out onto the paper. Even if the thoughts don’t make sense or don’t have a direct connection. Whatever pops into your mind, write it down!
8. Spend an hour, or two (or even a whole day) writing everything you think about these topics.
9. Sleep on it. Then repeat the process the next day.
10. After you have a solid list going, analyze it. What themes come through? What connections can you make between the different themes? What thoughts resonate with you the most? What do you think they mean?
11. What could these themes tell you about your personal values? How can they help you define your authentic goals?
12. Insights do not come instantly or overnight. Like any work with an advisor or counselor, insights and behavioral changes come with time. Perhaps you nail one value to live by or make one goal for your life through this exercise. Consistent work on you will help you add to your plan, and with time, you will notice that decisions become easier as you live by your values and
work towards authentic goals you have set for yourself.
What’s next? Make another list:
You’ve gotten to know yourself a bit better, now take this knowledge and apply it to your life and your relationships. Create another list of traits that you value and simple steps to bring these traits into your everyday life.
• Example: be more direct, be truthful, share more about myself
• Practice these traits in your daily interactions
• Try it, recognize small wins, build confidence, build the habit
I often feel a real advantage in my life. I have clarity in decisions. Oftentimes, the answers are obvious to me when facing life and business challenges. I have worked hard at knowing who I am, I have defined my personal values. I know what I stand for. So when I bump into new people, ideas or challenges – I know what fits me. I want this for the Outside Insights community. And I would love to hear if the tools in the podcast were helpful to you. Always feel free to share your stories with me by replying directly to this email.
Until next time, friends.
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