Welcome Back! This week I want to talk about a model for personal growth that I believe works well for everyone who has used it. The four pillars we built this model for growth around are values, purpose, goals, and skills. Each one builds on the one before it, helping to establish a firm foundation on which to build a meaningful life.
One of the people I have called a mentor over the years is Dr John C Maxwell. and Dr Maxwell tells a story about sitting with a man who asked him if he had a plan for personal growth. Dr Maxwell said I didn’t know I was supposed to have one. I didn’t know I was supposed to have one until someone put a cassette tape in my hand and said listen to this and I heard Dr. Maxwell tell that story.
So if you’re looking for personal growth and you don’t know where to start here are four ideas to help you get started.
Where coaching and where this podcast comes from is that everything starts from our value system. If you don’t know what you value, then how can you know what you really want? I think that deep down inside of us, we all have a set of values we live by. Whether we know them is not important. What is important is we live by them, whether or not we know them or not.
When you wake up in the morning and you decide to take a shower and go to work. The decision is based on your belief that the job is important. But why is that job important to you? Most of us do not know why. We just go through life one day at a time saying, “I’m just going to do the best I can” or “I’m just going to get through with this,” and we don’t know who we are. That’s the first thing I want you to understand is who you are at your core. From that point, you can develop your purpose, goals, and skills. Then you can, like Simon Sinek says, Find Your Why because you know who you are inside.
Where Do You Live From?
We don’t know who we are because we’ve been told from an early age that you need to get a job; you need to go to school, you’ll find a trade, whatever it is you do. That is where we get our value from. School, job, friends, or our religion or whatever else it is.
Today, I want you to take a step back, look at who you are on the inside, and then work from there. There is a longer version to help find your values and a list of common values on my website recaptureyour.life. But if you sit down with a sheet of paper and just list things that are important to you, you will start to see what you value. From this big list, try to narrow it down to your top two. Then number one, which will be your main value, or what you really value in life. Then let this set for a couple of days and come back to it and ask yourself, is this what I really value? If it is then do it again in a month and see if it’s still what you really value. This is the beginning of making a meaningful life. Knowing what is most important to you and why you do what you do.
I believe we all have a supreme purpose, and that is to find our truth. Whether that is in a world religion, a cosmological argument, or in pure reason; I believe we all called to seek this truth as our first purpose. And this truth may be what your number one value is. Only you can decide that.
As far as the model for personal growth, we try to follow a pattern: values, purpose, goals, and then skills. Once you know your values, you can begin to define your purpose. Once you find your purpose, you can develop goals and, once you develop your goals, you can decide on what skills you need to reach your goals and fulfill your purpose.
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time Runs Out.”
That’s what I want to help you avoid. I don’t want people to die with their song still in them. What I want is for us all to reach the end of our lives and look back and say, “I did that, and I did it the way I wanted to,” or the way I was called to. Other than seeking our truth, I don’t know that each of us has an existential overarching. The hand of God reached down and touched you kind of purpose. But I know right now, looking forward, we have a purpose for living.
That purpose could be anything from raising a family to providing for a family, or raising money for a good cause. And in a year or two, that purpose can change. What I want you to ask is, “ right now where am I being drawn? What do I feel like I am supposed to be doing right now with my life?
For years, I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do. I want you to understand that it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to miss on this. Just keep trying. Just because one job is not right for you doesn’t mean another one isn’t. And… Just because one company with a poor leader wasn’t right for you doesn’t mean there’s not a better fit for you somewhere else. Life coaching has changed my life. I kept trying to find where I fit the best and until I got a coach who helped me walk through the process; I felt lost.
My other obstacle was that I also had to recover from addiction. A lot of us have an addiction in our stories, but we don’t want to talk about it. You know what you’re going through today may be to help somebody else down the road. I know a lot of us don’t want to think about that, but it’s true.
Sometimes, our purpose gets revealed over time. Sometimes that means trying a lot of different things until we get to the point of being comfortable with ourselves and really living Who We Are.
For Some of us, goals are just something we do and then forget about. That’s what it was for me for a long time. I just stopped setting goals for a long time. Often, we don’t want to set goals because we are afraid to fail. Remember, it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to change your goals. I’m giving you permission to set goals and to fail at them. How about that?
If you know your purpose and that’s what you want to do, there have to be some underlying things in there that help you get to that purpose. That’s what goals are. Let’s say your goal is, I want to spend more time with my significant other. So we figure out what underlying thing is going to help you spend that time? And then you do that?
Goals don’t have to be, “I want to make a million dollars” which is what we hear so many people tell us today and that’s not it. Most of the people I work with are people who are downsizing their jobs and their homes in order to live a more simple lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have financial goals. Remember, every goal has a price and you have to decide what the price is, and if you are willing to pay it. Like my coach asks me, What do you want to say yes to?
Without setting goals, we’re not going to know what the target is. They’re just road maps and sometimes we get off the road map and sometimes when you take a long trip like my family does, you decide to change the road map. We have to have a starting point and we need to have an ending point that we think is the ending point, at least right now.
Develop Your Skills
Developing the skills you need takes effort. It takes effort because we’ve done things our whole life that we may need to unlearn. It’s like learning to eat with your opposite hand. If your right-handed trying to eat with your left hand feels weird and different, you can’t do it. Developing a skill is like that. We need someone to guide us along the path as we develop the necessary skills to accomplish the goals we set.
Robert Kiyosaki, “Professionals have coaches, amateurs do not.” If we want to develop our skills, most of us are going to need a professional to guide us along the road.
Most people have some natural talents. I don’t want to downplay natural talent, but natural talent can only take you so far. Standing up in front of a group of people and singing the national anthem or giving a talk requires training. Trust me, I come from a family of people who can stand up and sing the national anthem. It requires training. You’ve heard terrible singers who think they’re talented singers. They believe they’re good because they refuse to be around people who could tell them they’re not talented. Sometimes, as we’re learning the skills, we need to develop to fulfill our goals, we need to hear hard things. That’s where coaching comes in. A coach, a mentor, or someone who can come alongside you and give you the information you don’t want to hear so you can get better.
If you want to be an excellent coach, whether it’s a life coach or a sports coach, you need to get training in that type of coaching. You need to get training to be a skilled public speaker. If you want to paint, sing, or play an instrument, whatever it is, you need a coach to help you develop that skill. Most of the things we do in life don’t come naturally.
That’s all for this week. Those are the four things I believe you can work on as a model for personal growth.
Define your values. Discover your purpose. Determine your goals. Develop your skills. I honestly believe that if you go through these four areas, you will determine what success looks like to you and live a life of purpose.
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