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Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Life Well Lived

This was the title of an amazing DVD that my Uncle Steve made for my family 8 years ago when my Gramps passed away. And it was sure a fitting title, for my Grandpa never struck me as an unhappy man and  in my memories he always has a smile on his face. And for some reason this title just popped into my head and it made me think of an exercise I did years ago in Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. It was many years ago that I read that book and it definitely changed my way of thinking and of viewing myself and my interactions for the better. And there is an exercise that sticks out in my mind that I thought was pretty powerful and a good way to get us thinking about how we want to be seen in life.

Now please note I am "paraphrasing" Stephen's exercise, but it went something along the lines of writing your own eulogy, including the things you wanted people to say about your life and the things you wanted to be remembered for. I of course don't want people to begin thinking about their death right now but rather about their life. And how they want to be living it. Who do you want to be showing up as in life? What qualities are most important to you? If you could choose 3 things that you most want to be characterized by what would they be?

These are some powerful questions and they may take some time to chew on. But I think it's worth it. I think this type of exercise not only helps us get clear on who we want to be but can also serve as a direction marker for our choice of action in life. Because we identity what characteristics we want to embody and get very clear on the type of person we want to be our actions start to fall even more into that alignment. I remember writing down that I wanted people to say "if Heather says she is going to do something then you know she will." My word is of the utmost importance to me and because I identified with how I felt about that years ago I have based many decisions and choices on that premise.

If you identify some things that you want to be living by but feel that you are not there yet do not beat yourself up. Rather get excited for all of the new possibilities that can arise from this acknowledgment. Life is a journey and it is one that is meant to be enjoyed. Personally I find clarity one way to make the journey even richer and more colorful because when you know from where you operate and where you want to go,  the more set your course is so that it doesn't really take too much thinking or difficulty to choose actions that are on your path so that you can truly enjoy the you that you want to be creating! Remember, life is a co-creative process, you are not just the passenger, you are also the driver!

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