As 2014 comes to a close it’s interesting to note whether you’re someone who looks back more than you look forward. I’ve always been so sentimental; looking back is something I’ve done a lot. It can be helpful when it shows you the successes you’d like to acknowledge and when it supports you to reflect upon how you’d choose to do better in certain areas next time. It can be downright miserable if looking back simply highlights your biggest regrets and causes you pain.
Remember that what we focus on expands. So let’s focus forwards. Let’s be futurists for a moment and see whether we can answer the question – ‘how can I live this year in such a way that even if I were later given the opportunity to change it, I wouldn’t want to?’ (this question is adapted from the suggestions of Thom Rutledge in his powerful book Earning Your Own Respect.)
From this perspective, here are five steps I’ll be taking in 2015 to live in such a way that I have no regrets.
1. Enjoy Flying Figs
This means that the more your decisions are based on your deepest, heartfelt and inner knowing, the less you can afford to care about what people think. In fact, you have to not give a flying fig whether others think you’re too much, too little, too OTT or too OMG. You have to enjoy flying figs so much that you’re prepared to run your own race and not do things simply because society and other people’s opinions have put pressure on you to conform. I often refer to Bronnie Ware’s book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying and how the number one regret the dying have are that they wished they hadn’t lived their life according to everyone else’s wishes. It takes responsibility to step away from the herd and you must accept that it will make you feel different at times. However, there are plenty of people who can handle change, outside the box thinking and flexible innovative ways of being. Find them. They’re your real tribe. They love hearing about your big dreams and your unique approach to life.
2. Celebrate Your Core Need for Significance
It wasn’t until I studied for my coaching diploma and became a certified Neuro-Linguisitic Programmer that I learnt how high my core need for significance actually is. We all have core needs – every human has a need for certainty, uncertainty, significance and connection in varying degrees of importance to the individual. We meet these needs resourcefully and /or unresourcefully. I discovered that my core need for significance was sky high but that I was meeting it in all sorts of unresourceful ways – I got attention and met my need for significance in my significant struggle as a single mother, my shattering separation/divorce, my deep struggle with depression. In 2014, I embraced my core need for significance and owned up to the fact that it was important. I made a commitment to make more significant contributions to other people’s lives and to causes I felt passionate about. I started to meet my need for significance by becoming more vocal, more visible and clearer on what my mission in this life is. Instead of feeling the vague and uneasy fear that the Tall Poppy Syndrome in Australia tends to foster towards people living in alignment with their desires for significance (I marvel at how much more the core need for significance is celebrated and embraced in the USA), I made a decision to enjoy the flying figs for what they signify – a fully lived life.
3. Mistakes are Opportunities for Success
I’ve made a squillion mistakes since I started as a sole trader 9 years ago. I’ve paid over and over for them. My dad was a Vietnam War veteran. I was raised to believe that one mistake could cost my life. No wonder I spent so many years being a perfectionist and trying not to make any mistakes or at least trying to conceal them. Mistakes are merely opportunities that bring you even closer to what works. Every failure has bought me a step closer to the business of my dreams and to living more congruently with my own truth and my own soul purpose. I currently live in profound gratitude that my mistakes have taught me what works and what doesn’t work for me in my business and I’m getting closer to realising my potential because of this.
4. Introvert or Extrovert or Both?
I’ve decided I’m introverted extrovert. I’m shy and I’m also outgoing. I’d prefer to stay at home and I don’t like crowds. I also love parties and people gathering and kirtans and music and grass roots connection. I love people. I also like my space. Introvert or extrovert? I’m happy to be both at the same time. I’m happy in 2015 to enjoy my space when I need it and to celebrate with others when it feels right. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, you still deserve sacred success. You are still entirely worthy of creating the life and business of your dreams. You don’t need to let your introversion or extroversion define how far you’ll go.
5. It’s a Personal Thing
My definition of sacred success is to be able to work in ways that feel aligned with my soul purpose. Sacred Success in 2015 means something personal to every individual. To me it’s not about how much material wealth I create in my business. It’s about whether that wealth has been won through honest, holistic supportive, spiritually aligned, benevolent work that aligns with my individual strengths. It’s about creating sustainable abundance through actions that don’t harm the world and that have been consciously considered for the good that they may bring to others. My definition gives me clarity on what to focus on each day and to do more of what feeds the soul. With rofound respect to all beings who are still doing work that may not quite fit with your soul purpose – I know the pain and suffering that this causes. I especially commend you if you are supporting a family with your endeavours and cannot see a way to do what you truly love. I believe when you identify a strong enough ‘why’ for the transition into your soul purpose to happen, your next steps will show up. Be brave and follow them. Know your why and your what before you even think about your how-to. Why do you want to do what you love and what would you do if you could choose anything? My mentor always said that with a compelling enough why and a clear definition of what you want, the how-to shows up of it’s own accord. This has definitely been true in my life and I’m taking it all the way in 2015.
In 2015, I wish so many divine and gentle blessings for you and your loved ones.
I wish you peace and joy and an honest life filled to the brim with love and devotion.
Thank you for being courageous enough to shine your light and brilliance even brighter than ever.
I believe in you!