The sad fact is that most people, with their busy lives and desire to watch TV rather than plan their future, never take the time to truly evaluate who they are and where they are going in their lives.
The fact that you are reading this article separates you from millions of others who just prefer to 'cruise through life' with no direction or plan.
I would like to challenge you to take a piece of paper and do the following exercise with me.
Write a heading at the top with the words 'Who am I?". Halfway down the page write the heading 'Who do I want to be?"
Under the first heading detail all the things that come into your mind about your role in your family and your community, your strengths, your weaknesses, your attributes, your faith and so on...
For example some of my list reads:
Christian. Father. Husband. Procrastinator. Hard worker. Poor at attention to detail. Big thinker. Not fit. Board member. Member of my church. Entrepreneur. Joyful. Blessed. Excited. Excitable. Rash. Trusting. Proactive. Not too good with practical things.
Remember this list is to both celebrate who you are - as much as find areas you can improve in your life...
Once you have written down a good list of what you believe makes you the person you are today, look at any negatives and detail under the second heading the attributes, skills and strengths you would like to have in the future. Again my list includes:
Wise. Think before I act. Balanced. Healthy. Fit. Good at attention to detail. Calm. Measured. Charismatic. Inspiring trust. Great with practical things.
You may want to take this list with you throughout the day so you can include things as you go along.
Once you have completed this exercise, take some time out to:
- Celebrate the positive things that make you happy with who you are;
- Assess the areas you are not so happy with;
- Reflect on the qualities and attributes you want to develop in the future;
- Start planning some action steps about how to get there.
If you are comfortable with sharing this list with someone you care about, I suggest you do. However understand that some people may suggest some attributes you may not agree with! By sharing this information with someone you trust, it makes the process more real and brings in a degree of accountability towards your success.
William Jennings Bryan, an American politician from the early 20th century stated "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."
When we choose the type of life we want to live, then take active steps towards achieving this life, that's when great things begin to happen - and we start making a positive mark on our career, our family and our community.