Dr Bill Price asks multiple questions to help you consider the life picture you wish to achieve in the foreseeable future. We all start off where we are now, ‘X marks the spot’! That may be a positive or negative place, but what are the mindsets or attitudes that are going to deliver your ideal life picture? Read this post with a sheet of blank paper and make some notes to reflect on where you will be in two to three years or more?
Craft a vibrant life picture for your family
As you look at your life right now, where are you at? We all have to take ownership of our present circumstances, good or bad and consider how we want to grow. This takes resistance. We don’t tend to grow when everything is positive or negative. When all is well, we sit back and relax and don’t want to move forward. And, when things are bad we go into defence mode, denial or fear. Allow me as coach to ask you some questions to help you determine what frame of mind you are in right now.
Growth and change only comes when we face som resistance. Coaching can really help one focus on this. This means taking a look at our lives holistically. The place you are in right now, may not be a good place and that is okay. Take a moment to ask yourself what you are paying attention to? Is your past something you need to conquer or run away from? What are steps you would love to take next, but are afraid to? Is there an area of deflection in your life that is stopping you from moving towards your intention and desires?
I would like to direct you to several mindsets that you need to develop to ensure you’re going to live a successful life. A key one is the need to have an attitude of adventure. This is essential to succeed in business. This reminds me of my trips to Israel. I’ve been three times. On the first two occasions I went, I was part of a touring group where everything was organised to the last detail. I didn’t have to bother about a thing.
However on our third trip my wife and I decided to become adventurers. We hired a taxi to take us to places where tourists don’t go and it was outstanding. We mixed with the local people and were invited into their homes. Whereas previously I’d only taken photos of places, I returned this time with many delightful pictures of the people we’d met with memories that still bring joy into my life. What was the difference? The difference was the attitude. I decided to be an adventurer. The tour guide wanted us to conform, but we decided that were not going to conform.
Through many years of coaching sessions I’ve learned to have an open mind, ready to experience new things. What would you achieve if you had a mind open to new possibilities. What would change in your view of the world. What would change in your life picture?
We all need to consider the possibilities of having an optimistic attitude. Imagine if ‘Wow, I can’t wait’ became our usual response? What would be the result of us having an adventurous demeanour, and an attitude of being brave and being able to take a risk or two. What would your life look like if you dared to experience new things. In Israel I had to decide if I was going to go through life as a sightseer or experience people and places with a deep sense of connection? I needed to determine whether I was just going to take photographs, but remain at a distance. Thankfully I chose to have an attitude of involvement, a mindset of becoming more connected with my world.
A client told me the other day that he would like to be far more aware, far more conscious, and “not just live blindly through the day?” It’s all too easy to only remember the negative things we go through. Let’s not forget to smile and acknowledge those who go the second mile for us.
Now that I’ve touched on having mindsets of discovery and adventure and openness, allow me to come alongside you, and ask you the all important question. Tell me about that dream in your life? Let’s unpack your vision and life picture. Every one of us has one, we all have a dream, a hope for tomorrow, a blue print of how things need to be.
Take time to extend your thinking two to three years into the future. Maybe you can do it further, but however you feel comfortable to answer. Ask yourself, “What will my life look like when I wake up in three years time?” Here are several criteria to consider Try and write down a sentence or two that describes each particular criteria in a positive way. Your responses will help you build a life picture to work towards.
Spirituality: First up, what does you spiritual life look like in three years time? For example I could write “I am deeply connected. I am more aware of my relationship with God. I love the scriptures. I enjoy meeting people. I have a spiritual director in my life with who I can have discussions with to help align me, and keep me closer to God.
Emotions: Another criteria is your emotional life. There are 2000 emotions, they tell me, and the tragedy is that some people are going to die, only having experienced a maximum of about 11. How sad, how bankrupt, and how poor!
Social life. What will your social life look like? Who are your friends. Who are the people you are going to meet? What events are you going to attend, all in two to three years time?
Finances. What is your financial position? Do you have a will in place? Insurance etc? Are you out of debt? Write down a couple of positive sentences that describe the wealth creation you have been able to achieve.
Personality. How have you changed? How have you developed and grown?
Home? Where do you live? Do I have a different house? Have you been able to expand or upgrade?
Car. What vehicle are you driving? Do I have one? And is it paid up? What does it look like exactly? How are you enjoying it?
Family. What does your family look like, the dynamics, relationships, responsibilities, roles you are fulfilling?
Relationships. What is your relationship with yourself like? Your spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, friends and colleagues?
Culture. What does your ethnic culture look like? Also, what kind of cultural experiences are you enjoying. For example, music, books and movies. How involved are you? How are you learning? What is causing you to grow?
Identity. How different are you? Sadly some people are still as grumpy and as grouchy 10 years down the line are, as ever before? The reality is they are older, but they’ve never changed. They’ve never transformed. How have you transformed in terms of your true self? What’s your identity? What do you call yourself?
Talents. How have you developed your gifts? Have you discovered any new strengths? Taken any assessment tests, personality tests, strength tests, learning style tests, that are freely available on the Internet? Have you discerned a little bit more about who you are?
Legacy / ministry. How have your lived your life in order to leave a deposit behind in the lives of others? A legacy is not a building, it’s not something tangible. Leaving a legacy is the ability to provide something that’s living and lasting in another person. How are you touching your world? Impacting the planet? Are you picking up rubbish? Are you paying attention to the things that impact the ecology? Where are you in terms of your citizenship?
Calling or ministry. What’s that like? Are you reaching out to others? Touching the lives of your neighbours first? Impacting lives around you at schools / colleges etc? Before we consider the needs of far-flung places like China, and Ethiopia we need to live out our mission or calling, first of all, where we are.
Business? What does your business look like? What’s the business model? What are the issues you are paying attention to? How is your business empowering people? How is it developing talent? Is it moving forward? How are you being creative, far more than you’ve ever been before?
Resources. This could mean people as well as provision. Do you have a mentor? Do you have a coach? Do you have a positive influence or spiritual director in your life? Where do you get your collective wisdom and understanding? Do you have sufficient financial resources?
Fun. What are you doing for recreation. What are your hobbies? What are the adventures you have lined up. Consider pictures you could use to make your life picture something tangible.
Health. Finally what does your health look like in three years time? Are you fitter? Are you leaner? Are you stronger? What are the exercises you’re doing? What are the foods you are eating? Can you tell me about the amount of water that you’re drinking? Can you tell me about the seven hours of sleep minimum that you’re getting? What about the intimacy that you’re enjoying with your spouse? Have you gone for regular checkups? Are you following physical markers, physiological markers like cholesterol, testosterone, oestrogen, prostrate, all heartbeat, all of those critical markers? Are you aware of yourself?
Put your life picture up on the wall
These are all very necessary, very real questions that will help you start to design the kind of life that you want to be living in coming years. Consider all the positive sentences you have written about these criteria and how you see yourself living in future and revisit them regularly. Make them part of your life picture.
Have a conversation with your spouse around these. Tell them, “Here’s my dream. Don’t criticise it, just listen to it. Let’s focus on it for a whole week, a whole month, and then begin to paste it up on the wall.” Then ask yourself the daring question. “Am I dreaming big enough?” and “Am I willing to pay the price for this to become reality?” You can always expand your life picture at any time.
My geography teacher once said to me, “Bill, you are the world’s greatest dreamer.” As I started walking away, he grabbed me on the shoulder and pulled me back and looked deeply into my eyes and said, “You might be the world’s greatest dreamer, but please remember this, to make your dreams come true you have to stay awake.”
Ensure you stay awake, alert to your life picture. Keep it at the forefront of your mind!
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