I was speaking at an event earlier this month about how to get from where you are right now to where you want to be. Since I love to communicate from my personal experiences, I shared from the “Seven Steps from Pain to Purpose” written at the end of my book, Unfavorable Odds. For so many years I was “stuck” in a place that was preventing me from being all I was created to be and keeping me from walking in my purpose. I finally came to a point of hitting rock bottom and was forced to deal with the reality of where I was and where my life was heading if I didn’t change course.
Whether you’re trying to walk in your purpose, achieve a certain goal, or just live life differently, it is my experience that the first step anyone should take, ironically, doesn’t even involve any motion at all. To get from where you are right now to where you want to be, you must first be willing to stand still long enough to acknowledging where you are. Like many of you, my life was and still can be very hectic. Between work and family responsibilities, I could barely stop long enough to eat a decent meal, much less rightly assess where I was relationally, emotionally, and physically. But it wasn’t until I did so, that I was able to truly come to grips with where I was in life and see how my less-than-stellar state of being was preventing me from reaching my potential and experiencing joy and fulfillment.
Once we’re able to recognize where we are, then and only then can we begin to efficiently and effectively navigate our way to where we want to be.
When was the last time you sat still long enough to assess your relational, emotional, and physical health? If it’s been a while, maybe it’s time to push the pause button and do just that!
Some of you may take a full day or a weekend to escape the hurry of life and get connected with the true you. But if you’re like many of us, who cannot spend a day or two away from demanding schedules, try pausing for an hour a day for a consecutive number of days to sit and be still. Expectantly, by the end of that time period, you will have discovered some things about yourself that will give you a better idea of where you truly are in life. And if you happen to be “stuck,” you may even discover the reasons why.
As you are considering where you are relationally, emotionally and physically, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself that will help pinpoint any areas that may need some attention:
1. How am I doing relationally (with God, self and others)? Is there anyone I need to forgive, reconcile with, apologize to, etc?
2. How am I prioritizing my relationships? Do the people I prioritize know they are a priority by my words, decisions, and actions?
3. Who do I have mentoring/coaching me and building into my life?
4. Who are 3-7 safe people in my life, whom I can call at a moment’s notice?
5. Whose life am I pouring into?
1. How am I doing emotionally? Am I characterized by happiness or sadness, hope or despair, calm or stress, companionship or loneliness, responsiveness or indifference, etc?
2. What is triggering these emotions? (Past Events, Current Circumstances, or Future Expectations?)
3. Which of these emotions is having the most adverse effect in my life right now?
4. What are some things I can begin to do that will bring healing to any damaged emotions and nurturing to the healthy ones? (Please keep in mind that some of you can be helped by the support of trusted friends and family or even a simple change in mindset, but others may need to seek assistance from a professional to tackle deeper issues. So, don’t be afraid to seek the level of help you need.)
1. How am I doing physically? Am I energetic or tired, active or sedentary, healthy or in poor health, etc?
2. How pleased am I with my overall health on a scale from 1 to 10?
3. What steps can I take to become more in control of my health and move closer to the “10” mark?
4. Who can help hold me accountable to reaching my health goals? (Exercise partner, classes, personal trainer, etc.)
Don’t let the circumstances of life force you to be still. Take control and press the pause button on your own. Doing so will diminish your detours and get you right where you want to be sooner than you ever thought you could be there.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Philippe Du Berger