What does ‘Empowered’ mean to you?
How does it feel and what does it give you?
There are a number of different dictionary definitions for ‘Empowered’ including,
Having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself.
To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
For me, it’s being #empowered to be at your best, to live your best life.
How will you be empowered to be at your best in 2021?
I’d be delighted to learn more about you, and how I can help you be at your best.
Simply get in touch via email, or phone, and we can arrange time for a discovery session together.
What is the why behind everything that you do?
When we know this in life or design, it is very empowering, and the path is clear.Jack Canfield
When did you last ask yourself ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing?
Steve Jobs, for most of his life, would get out of bed in the morning and ask himself,
‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’
I don’t think I actively asked myself this until I was made redundant and, was actually forced to take time out, and reflect. (I refer to this now as, ‘getting off the hamster wheel of life’!)
What did I want to do, and why?
I loved my job, or so I thought I did, and I gave it my all, always. But something was niggling at me. I used to say, that I felt like I wasn’t ‘adding value’ anymore.
Now I realise, what I was saying was, ‘this is no longer fulfilling me’.
More and more people (particularly in Western society) are falling victim to a feeling of disillusionment that stems from a loss of meaning and purpose in their lives. A lack of purpose can increase the risk of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, resulting in poorer sleep, and worsening health.
In challenging times, a sense of purpose and meaning is key.
German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said,
He who has a why can endure any how.
And, the inspirational Viktor Frankl, who endured unbelievable hardship during the holocaust wrote,
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
The Forbes article, ‘Do You Know Your “Why?” 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose’ reflects on the power of purpose, particularly in the face of challenge and adversity;
‘If you’ve ever faced a significant crisis in your life you’ll have experienced the power of purpose to tap reserves of energy, determination, and courage you likely didn’t know you had. Your mission was clear. Your goal was compelling. Your focus was laser-like. Your potential was tapped. The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass. Diffused light has little use, but when its energy is concentrated—as through a magnifying glass—that same light can set fire to paper. Focus its energy even more, as with a laser beam, and it has the power to cut through steel. Likewise, a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.’
Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!). Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.
In trying to find their ‘why’ some have turned to the East, most recently, to the ancient Japanese concept of ‘ikigai’ which means, roughly translated, ‘to live the realization one hopes for’. Iki means “life,” whereas gai means ‘value’ or ‘worth’. Gai comes from the word kai meaning “shell.” This refers back to the Heian period (794 to 1185) when shells were considered valuable.
We can interpret ikigai as finding value in one’s life or discovering one’s purpose.
Exploring the concept of ikigai and the questions that come with it, can help one find a solid purpose and through this, contentment and drive.
The whole concept has been boiled down to four questions:
1) What do you love?
2) What are you good at?
3) What does the world need from you?
4) What can you get paid for?
If you’re retired, you may not have to worry about what you can be paid for, so you can delete that one and focus on the remaining three. The idea is not only to find your purpose but the proper balance between all aspects surrounding it. Another consideration, one’s ikigai doesn’t affect the individual alone. For the Japanese, the concept has a social element. It’s about getting comfortable with your role in your family, job, and society.
Ikigai author Hector Garcia states, ‘that it all snaps into place when you get engrossed in a task and achieve that flow state’. Garcia asks,
‘Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that you forget to drink and eat?’,
‘What type of task was it? Notice those moments when you enter flow, and your Ikigai might be embedded in those moments.’
Author Dan Buettner suggests that you should write three lists; The first is your values, the second things enjoy doing, and the last, things you are good at.
According to Dan, ‘The cross-section of the three lists is your ikigai,’
In week 1 of the MENS SANA – ‘Healthy Mind’ coaching programme that I deliver, we explore goal setting, and ‘Finding your Ikigai’. To learn more, click here, and do get in touch to discuss how we can work together to help you find your ikigai; your purpose, and direction in life.
Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?
Did you know that only around 3% of us actually have our goals written down.
Goals improve your chances of success
Research suggests that the 3% who have written down goals are on average 30 times more successful than those who have no written goals. A separate study by Harvard University also found that the 3% who had written down goals were earning 10 times as much as the rest of the group within 10 years.
Goals focus effort in a consistent direction
Success means very different things to all of us and goals are not only hugely valuable in helping us achieve the outcome we want, with lazer focus, they are also incredibly valuable in helping us navigate the journey there too.
Goals improve motivation and satisfaction
Well defined goals that are holistic and that are linked to our highest values, help us naviagte the ups and downs of life, with clarity and resilience. Goals hold incredible pulling power that can help us through and out the other side of the greatest challenges, failures and defeats that life throws at us. Taking time to understand why a goal is important to you, to understand the motivation behind to goal, unlocks the real pulling power of a goal.
In Westernised cultures, we often split goals into ‘career’ and ‘retirement’ or ‘working life’ and ‘home life’. By taking a more holistic approach to goal setting, such as the Japanese ‘Ikigai’ approach, we focus more on our purpose in life and how all other aspects of life link to this purpose.
Looking back on my own journey, I now see that I would set very clear goals for my career but I hadn’t linked these to my life goals or life purpose. Once I’d taken the time to see ‘the bigger picture’, a more holistic approach, I could better understand why I was making great progress against certain goals and less so against others. Some were in conflict with my true values and my purpose in life and so, the pulling power, commitment and motivation to take action towards these goals just wasn’t as strong.
If you’d like to increase the pulling power of your goals, I’m currently delivering the MENS SANA coaching programme online. MENS SANA is Latin for ‘Healthy Mind’ and the first session in the programme is a powerful goal setting session where I coach you through the value of goal setting, to creating powerful, effective, holistic goals and help you take action on these.
Learn more about MENS SANA and enjoy a complimentary introduction to the programme by joining me for ‘HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY’. Email me today for your invitation to the next available session.
The goal setting session was great, especially the part called the 5 Why’s. It really made me think about my goals and why they were important to me. This process gave me a light-bulb moment when I discovered the real motivation for my goals which now feel easier to achieve, because I’ve got real clarity about why I want to achieve them. Real eye-opener for me!Jude Liddle, Marketing Manager
Learn more about how we can help you unlock and maximise your potential for positive growth at 4PositiveGrowth