Who is looking at you and knows everything you do, everything you are proud of and everything you are not? Of course, it is you.
You may have heard the song by Michael Jackson, The Man in the Mirror. Who do you see in the mirror? Do you like him or her? We all have the opportunity to face the person in the mirror, get to know them better, like them more and to make the world a better place by starting with the person in the mirror.
Facing the person in the mirror is a most important step to knowing yourself and from there improving your life. Knowing yourself is the “one skill to rule them all.” (With thanks to J.J.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.) It is the first step to living your important. Knowing yourself is the first step to your new life.
Finding Your Important
Now is time to start your journey living your important, no matter what is happening in your life right now. Waiting till everything is perfect to start is death to achieving anything. Let me let you into a secret. Things will never be perfect. The good news is – they don’t have to be and neither do you.
I remember the day I wrote, “Today is a crazy day in my house. The house is being painted. The contents of cupboards from three bedrooms are strewn all over the house. Washing is on the line and the clothes horse in the living room is the only hanging space for clothes currently in use. We have just spent three nights sleeping at our daughter’s while the bedroom was painted – tonight it’s the couch – before a four am start, for a very early flight tomorrow morning. The bedroom may be finished next week – maybe. The painter does a brilliant quality job, but he’s not fast. When do we fit in the carpet cleaning? And I have a blog to write, a course requiring finishing touches, and other tasks to complete, and relationships to cherish and a life to live. And, and, and.” You get it. Life’s just crazy. That was two years ago and their have been several more crazy and difficult moments since then, some of my own making, others totally outside my control driven by global events. In all situations finding and living what is most important each day has helped me navigate.
Experiencing Joy and Balance
But in the middle of crazy how do I experience joy, balance, peace and get things done? How do I simplify and live my life on crazy days – which realistically means today and probably every day for the next few weeks, perhaps months, or even years? The secret I discovered is to live my important. When I live my important the difference is huge, in both the way I feel and what I actually accomplish. Stress is almost non-existent. Joy is high. Fulfilment is high. My mindset changes. The crazy days become an adventure, not a chore. A challenge, yes – but not overwhelming.
But what is living your important? What does it mean? If everything is important, nothing is important, so first living your important is finding what really matters and what doesn’t for you not someone else. Somethings are called important but if they do not happen, what are the consequences, for whom? Short term, long term, devastating, large, small, limited or non-existent? What is most important for one person may not be what is most important for you. If family and health are important to you, letting a job or business or outside influence control your life so that lose both family and health is an example of NOT living your important. Knowing upfront what is most important for your in the long term allows you to make better decisions day to day.
Why is there still joy, fulfilment and balance for me on crazy days? Because I know what is important and I know what can wait. Life feels in balance because I feel balanced. Even in the craziest of crazy days I can measure my progress and know I’m moving forward, however slowly or fast. When I lose sight of my important the downward spiral begins. It keeps going down until I catch myself and tell myself, “enough is enough” and I start focussing on my important once again.
So how can living your important work for you in the crazy days of life? (Not just the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer)
What Doesn’t Work
Well, I’ll tell you how it doesn’t work:
- It doesn’t work by ignoring crazy days,
- It doesn’t work by pretending they don’t happen and
- It doesn’t work by sticking to the schedule or plan, no matter what. (That is a real recipe for crazy or worse, burnout or breakdown.)
- It doesn’t work by beating yourself up, whining or telling yourself, “It’s all my fault. If only I was _______this wouldn’t happen to me. (It is a short step from “Why me?” To “Woe is me.”)
What about you and your life? When life is crazy what do you tell yourself?
Living your important works because it brings purpose, direction, fulfilment, power and joy to the crazy days of life. When you know what is most important to you, not just what everyone else thinks is important for you, it allows you to do the next right thing, however small or insignificant that may appear to be. With each new insight in your understanding of what is important and why, life becomes clearer, simpler and more meaningful. When you know you, your why, what you stand for, your uniqueness, the way you are wired, your strengths, your talents, what you care about. When you can look up and see a clear vision of where you are going, even if it is just a hope or a hopeful dream, then you are beginning to know and live your important.
Knowing your important is the beginning of knowing your why! Knowing your why opens up your energy powerhouse and propels you forward.
But how do you get there? How do you find your way, find your meaning and your purpose and find your balance? You get there by going through the crazy, despite the crazy, even sometimes because of the crazy. You face the crazy, armed with questions that help you dig deep. You ask yourself a question, get understanding, take the next right step, based on what you have discovered so far. Repeat. Be kind to yourself in the process.
Dig deeper by not only asking yourself the hard questions of life to create understanding. Ask someone who cares about you to go through the process with you. But be warned, discovering what really is most important for you and finding your why can be revolutionary!
Do you want to know more about how to find more joy, purpose and balance in your life? The above story is adapted from my new book… coming end September 2021.
You can pre-order now! When it is released a personally signed first edition will be on it’s way to you from Canberra Australia.