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Hopefully after you read Part 1 of the 3 part series, you have a better understanding of how I was able to discover my purpose and how to access yours. I have discovered that by doing this, I find new freedom in a variety of areas in my life.
Armed with this new information, the next logical step is to get going on it. I call this Activation.
The truth is that many people get clear on lots of things, but very few people actually take action. I come from a fitness background and I spend YEARS coaching people, listening to them tell me of their problems, reasons & excuses about why they just couldn’t get to their goals. Guess what, none of that complaining or whining got them anywhere. They just stayed where they were. Even when I was with them 3 hours a week, they often would only do the work when I was right in front of them barking orders and telling them exactly what to do!
So it is gut check time for you in this process. In order to activate your purpose, there are additional steps to take so that your purpose doesn’t stay just a theory, discovery or pipe dream. No, I want you to be able to make it real, and real requires specific action, tenacity and moving forward, even a little bit at a time.
Here is the Freedom Formula (it can be used over and over):
1. Find & Form your Dream:
Decide where you want to end up by being really, really clear on what it is you want from life, from relationships as your purpose. Some of that work you may have already done in determining your purpose from the first article in this series. If you haven’t totally revealed it yet, that’s ok, just pick what you do have figured out and run it through this formula. Write it down and it becomes real, keep it in your head and there is where it stays!
2. Reveal your Hurdles:
No warrior goes to battle without preparing by understanding his enemy. Hurdles and blocks are the enemy to living our dream life. So, why not take some time to understand what is getting in your way? Is it your health or fitness that hinders you, is it relationships, education or money matters? Whatever it is will be easier to tackle once you have taken the time to identify what you are up against. Trust me, there are many times where what we THINK is our hurdle is just something easy to get around, with something more insidious below the surface. So dig and get really honest and clear with yourself. Once you see the top 5 areas of your life where you are stuck or stymied, or where you lack freedom, then you must seek out ways to go around, or move those blocks.
3. Express your Core Values:
Most people associate core values and mission statements with corporations, I know I sure have. But recently, I was helping to facilitate a workshop and the presenter walked the group through an exercise to determine personal core values. It was actually pretty challenging work, but in the end, it was truly revealing and pertinent. Through that, I was able to nail down the top 5 values that I’d never taken the time to really look at before. It was very apparent that those 5 surely have guided my life in a ton of ways.
The reason that Core Values matter is because they are the “filter”, in essence, through which you will run all of your life’s decisions and associations. If some person, opportunity or decision doesn’t jive with your values, the chances of success are limited. We just cannot work against what we truly value, it will do us in every time. So be sure and figure out your top 5 Core Values.
4. Embrace your Design:
Do you believe that you are made in a very unique way? While any of these things: your looks, your strengths, your personality, your passion, your experience and education may resemble that of other people, the combination of these things are what makes you so very special and unique. Sometimes, we are so distracted by what other people are doing and who they are, that we lose sight of our amazingness and instead operate outside our natural genius.
Being able to understand and clearly see how we are wired tremendously changes how we “do life”. We start to live in our natural gifts and, consequently, live happier, more productive and richer lives. It’s your job to take that inventory, and to paint the picture of how truly wonderful you are so that you can truly appreciate, and operate from, those God-given traits!
5. Design your Roadmap to Success:
Every project, big or small, starts with idea, then turn into steps in a plan, and then becomec a reality. Whether you are building a structure or building muscles, setting up a structured, step-by-step process to get you to your dreams and goals is imperative. I suggest starting with where you want to end up and working backwards.
Be sure and identify the How/Where/What/When/Who of the journey. Also, prepare for contingencies like derailments, distractions and disasters so that when (I said WHEN, not if) they come, you will have already planned for it. Just like a road trip, packing provisions, planning stops, and refueling are all integral parts of designing your roadmap to success. It’s a daily process to stay moving on that road too, even if you feel like an old jalopy. Slow progress beats NO progress every day.
6. Organize your Plan:
Now that your map is complete, it’s time to break it down into steps. Remember, small steps are better than NO steps, so even if i’ts arranged in tiny ones, I encourage you to do it that way. On any given day, we may feel like slowing or stopping…but that is not where the magic happens. So make sure in the planning, you do it in the spurts of effort that are realistic for you, but at the same time, push you just a little teeny bit into your discomfort zone. Again, like in the planning stage, I like to work from the end backward. Maybe you needed to create intermediate milestones so that the whole goal was not too daunting, GREAT! How you organize and set up your plan should work for you, your personality and strengths because otherwise, you won’t end up doing step 7 with any of it, and it just becomes an exercise in futility.
The goal is NOT to have the most perfect or beautiful plan, but the plan that is the most aligned with you so that you will execute the plan. Remember, the people in your life that have complimentary skills and experience can be a great resource to integrate into your planning. They just may be able to do something way better and way easier than you can, so don’t be afraid to ask!
7. Move & Take Action:
It’s GO time. Chances are what you designed and conceived may not be exactly right at your first attempt, and certainly it will never be perfect. But, without action, you will not get to your goal, because goals are not in the habit of coming to us! Using the outline of your plan, start stepping out. Little by little, or by leaps and bounds if that is your way! Remember that quote from Michael Jordan about how many shots he took compared to baskets he made? You are going to miss sometimes, but every miss leads you closer to a basket, goal, hit or win.
But GO GO GO GO! It’s ok to make a mistake or to figure out you shoulda-mighta done it differently. Adapt, adjust and refine as you go. The Wright Brothers didn’t leave their plan prototypes in the barn, they took them out and flew them to see what changes they’d have to make. And hey, if they didn’t DIE trying to fly a rudimentary plane, I am reasonably sure you will survive stepping out and testing your plan!
So there you have it. A 7 step progressive plan for getting you moving toward the life of your dreams. Will it get here overnight? Probably not, but you will be surprised at how frequently things begin to fall into place more easily because you have taken the time to understand where you want to go, what’s in your way, what tools you have to get there, why it’s important to you, have an organized plan, and execute and adjust that plan.
Your dream life of living freedom as you define it, is waiting!
Start taking the steps TODAY that lead you to the place you want to live in your future!
Be blessed and enjoy the journey!