How to succeed at everything.
Is that possible?
But of course, it depends on your definition of success...Some people measure it in material terms, others by the relationships they have or the degree of adventure in their lives. Some people want it all… Here is what a few contemporary “successful” people have said about "success".
Whatever your definition, few people would dispute that a life lived well would count as a successful one. But how do you know what that is? How do you know what would matter to you the most when all is said and done?
You’d have to do a bit of research and ask a sample of people who had ample perspective and had nothing to lose. People who are coming to the end of their life, for example...
This is exactly what one palliative care nurse did. She asked people facing their last moments what mattered most in life and recorded their insights. Here are the top 5 regrets of dying people:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
I wish I didn’t work so hard
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
I wish that I had let myself be happier
So, there it is. As we are about to turn the lights off and see our life in its final perspective, this is what we really care about.
What will you do today to live your life well and minimise the risk of big regrets?
Here are 3 tips to help you:
1) Have a great intention for your life
Have a vision for your life that is based on your most cherished values. If you’re not sure what those are, you can start with an intention to live with an open heart and open mind and contribute to your greatest ability every day, knowing that you are unique and evolving as a person until your last moment. Refine what this means for you and what it looks like for you over 5 years, a year, a month or in the present moment.
2) Live in alignment with your intention every day and in every moment
Check in regularly to ask yourself if this is the best thing you can be doing at this moment with your precious life? Is it in line with your overall intention for your life and how you want to live it? If you can’t change something immediately: check in to see if this is the best *way* that you could be doing it. As Maya Angelou said: if you don’t like something in your life, change it. If you can’t/don’t want to change it, change your attitude about it. Could you bring a certain quality to what you are doing e.g. compassion, kindness, courage, strength or honesty that you value or want to develop in yourself?
3) Meet your basic needs and meet them appropriately
This is something that is often missed out on the heroic journey and leads to problems down the line. We forget that we have basic human needs so we burn out, become resentful or, worse, meet them inappropriately.
Human motivation psychology identifies four universal basic human needs:
Certainty, safety and comfort
Variety and challenge
Significance (to know that our existence is felt in the world)
Connection (to feel that we belong and are accepted for who we are)
Every human being will meet these in one way or another (whether healthy or not). Identify whether you are trying to meet your basic human needs for connection, significance, certainty or challenge in appropriate ways. For example, gaining a sense of significance through accomplishment from mastering a new skill is appropriate. Picking a fight with your partner or co-worker to prove to yourself that they care is not! Putting yourself out there to meet new people is an appropriate challenge to grow as a person. Putting yourself in harm’s way by reaching out to someone who always hurts you or by overworking just to get an adrenaline fix isn't.
Of course, there are no real mistakes at the school of life when you are being self-aware and learning – only valuable lessons are experienced.
Here's the video of the week to recap and review!
I hope this helps.
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Mind your body :: focus :: language (especially self-talk!)
Until next week,