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Where am I? Top 3 Areas to Improve

It’s time to take a look at your Wheel of Life once again. If it’s been a couple of months since you filled out yours, download a fresh Wheel of Life and re-assess things. Remember, life changes, so it can be very useful to do this exercise a few times a year. Next, re-assess your priorities. Again, if it’s been a while, do this exercise all over again. Life changes (I will never tire of saying that), and our priorities change.

The “Where am I?” question is all about where you are in your life, at this time, in this present moment. That means that your answers to “Where am I?” will change on a regular basis…even from day to day. That doesn’t mean you have to do the “Where am I?” exercises on a daily basis, however it can be helpful to do them once a month or every few months. You’ll be able to feel what frequency is right for you.

The Wheel of Life looks at very important aspects of life: career, finance, personal growth, health/wellness, family, spirituality/religion, social life, attitude, self expression, etc. You choose which eight areas will go on your wheel of life. The priorities exercise will help you get clear on which of these eight areas are most important to you. The next step is to focus on the top three areas.

In the example I shared in a previous post, the person ranked spirituality/religion, personal grown, and family as their top three priorities. Highlight your top three priorities on your Wheel of Life and take some time to reflect.

Look at how you ranked these three areas on your Wheel of Life. How are these top three areas ranked on a scale of 1 to 10?

How do you feel about these rankings? Do these numbers make you feel frustrated, uncomfortable, depressed, satisfied, unfulfilled, content? Note what feelings are stirred up by looking at how you rated each of these top three areas. Write them down, as it may help you clarify your sensations.

Assuming that your rankings were below a 10 in each area, how would you like each area to be ranked? A 10? Something else? What changes you could make in your life to improve these rankings? Create a separate list for each of these top three areas, and write down all of the things you could do differently in your life that might improve your ranking. Keep writing until you can’t think of anything more.

Take a break from your list, and come back to it later: either later on in the day or on another day. Ask yourself what ELSE could you do to improve each of these three areas of your life. Expand on your list. If you find it difficult to think of anything more, challenge yourself to add three more things to each of the three lists.

Now read through these three lists. Decide which of these life-changing actions you will actually take. Set yourself a deadline for completing each one…then get started!

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Who am I? Looking at what we got from others

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So much of what we believe about who we are is wrapped up in things we’ve heard others say about us: family, teachers, classmates, interviewers, colleagues, friends. But as you can imagine, these people only know a part of us. Only we can get to know our complete selves, and it’s our responsibility to do so. No one else can do it for us.

1. Get out your notebook or journal, and ask yourself the following questions. Get as detailed as you can in your answers:

  • How would my family members describe me? What does my family have to say about who I am? What I do?
  • How would classmates have described me in grade school? How would they have described me in high school? University? Grad school?
  • How did my teachers describe me when I was a child in school? What did teachers have to say about me later on in my life? High school? University? Grad school? What kinds of evaluations did I get in school (written evaluations that focused on behaviour and attitude, not just grades)?
  • What kinds of feedback have I received from job interviews, either with recruiting agents or with companies? What have they said about my ability to find the ideal job for me?
  • What feedback have I received from superiors at work? What have people at work had to say about me? What kinds of reviews have I received?
  • How would my friends describe me? What do friends have to say about who I am and the decisions I make in my life?
2. If you like, you can actually ask friends, family, colleagues, or others to respond to these questions by either making a list of words they would use to describe you or by writing a short paragraph detailing how they see you.
3. Next, review the full list of answers. How many of these things have you adopted as your truth? Meaning: how many of these things that others said about you did you accept as reality just because they came from someone else?
4. Now that you’ve completed two weeks of Who am I? activities, you’re several steps further to being clear about who you are. So, how much of what others have said or would say about you coincide with who you truly are, deep down? Our friends and family are wonderful, and hopefully on your side. But often others have their own agenda, and they might not be objective when it comes to describing who you are. And, as I mentioned earlier, others can only get to know one part of us. We are the only ones who can truly get to know ourselves on a truly profound level.
So now you’ve completed the Who am I? series, which is the first part of the Three Happiness Questions.  How are you feeling? Did you complete all the exercises? Are there any you want to go back and flesh out a bit more? What have you learned about yourself and who you are?

Getting to know yourself is a life long process, partly because we need to dig deep to get beyond all those things that we’ve taken on from others, and partly because we’re constantly changing throughout life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this process.

Ready to move on? The next questions will be from the Where am I? series.

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Who am I? Taking a look at what you wish for others

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It’s probably safe to assume that you want the best for your friends and family and loved ones. Have you ever thought about what you wish for them in life? If you could make a wish that all of your loved ones in life could achieve something special, what would it be?

  1. Print out this list so you can add it to your notebook or journal.
  2. Check all of the following wishes that resonate with you.
  3. If you feel anything is missing, add it t0 the bottom of the list. This is by no means a comprehensive list. It’s just to help you get your ideas flowing.
  4. Next, review the list of wishes that you just selected, and choose your top 5 wishes. You may find this part challenging, but you can do it.
  5. Then, review the list of five wishes, and choose your top 2 wishes.
  6. Finally, choose which of those two is your number one wish.

So, back to the main question: what do you wish for everyone in your life?

Maybe it’s that they:

  • Find authentic happiness.
  • Learn to forgive and forget.
  • Achieve true work/life balance.
  • Shatter limiting beliefs.
  • Overcome their deepest fears.
  • Discover their true potential.
  • Break through passive suffering.
  • Develop lasting self confidence.
  • Achieve financial freedom.
  • Overcome attachment to material objects and people.
  • Master time management.
  • Rid their lives of clutter, both physically and emotionally.
  • Feel free.
  • Live in the zone.
  • Quiet their mind chatter.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Find their own means of creative self expression.
  • Learn to take responsibility for their lives.
  • Achieve true presence.
  • Get over their perfectionism.
  • Quiet the negative voices in their heads.
  • Find their life purpose, passion, or calling in life. And that they’re able to live it.

Were you surprised by any of the wishes that you chose? How do these wishes coincide with how you’re currently living your life? How do these wishes coincide with how you live your current relationships?

Write it all down in your journal or notebook.

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Who am I? Looking at your ceiling

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Are you standing in your own way of success? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy, placing  limitations on ourselves and keeping ourselves from doing what we want to do because we convince ourselves that we’ll never be able to achieve our dreams and goals. We may catch a glimpse of our life purpose or passion, but we quickly tell ourselves that we’ll never make it that far. That’s when we build our ceiling of limitations.

Other times, we’ll take on limitations that others have placed for us. Did a family member or a “friend” ever tell you not to try something new because you’d never make it? Has someone ever asked you, “Where are you going to get the money to do that?” Or told you, “No one’s ever done that before”? If you heeded their advice, then you accepted their limitation as your own, and used it to build your ceiling.

So today’s part of getting to know ourselves involves looking at where our ceiling lies. If we avoid looking at our own limitations, we’ll never be able to get rid of them. But once we’re clear on the limitations we’ve set up for ourselves, we can start breaking that ceiling down.

What are your self imposed limitations? What’s your ceiling?

Get out your notebook or journal. Complete the following exercise by filling in the blanks:

  • I am afraid of ___.
  • I will never have enough ___.
  • ___ is too hard.
  • I could never ___.
  • ___ is too risky.
  • I’m not worthy of ___.
  • ___ is impossible.
  • I’m a failure at ___.
  • I am afraid to do ___.
  • I am not able to ___.
  • I’m afraid to fail at ___.
  • I quit ___.

How did that feel? What did you learn from it? Did you get clear on your ceiling? Really stretch yourself and commit to answering each question at least once. Then review your answers and see if anything else comes up. You may find that you can think of several responses to certain statements. Your ceiling should be quite clear by the time you finish this exercise.

This activity is a very useful way to get to know your own limitations. Try to keep an open mind, and don’t judge yourself for having placed limitations on yourself. Everyone has placed limitations on their own life at some point or another, so it’s nothing to kick yourself over. Remember: there’s no failure, only feedback. Mistakes are meant to be learned from.

Also keep in mind that your self imposed ceiling won’t go away if you try to ignore these limitations, so you may as well write them down in your journal so you can start accepting them. Only then can you break that ceiling down!

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Who am I? Taking a look at passions

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Sometimes, we get so caught up in doing all the things that we think we ought to do, or should do, or need to do, or have to do, that we lose touch with what it is exactly that we want to do. And sometimes we get lost doing all the things that we think other people want us to do or expect us to do. Now, it’s time to get back in touch with exactly what it is that makes our hearts sing: those things that we’re passionate about.

What are your passions in life? Get out your notebook or journal and write down everything that comes to mind. As always, please keep an open mind so you can avoid filtering things out. Also remember not to judge the things that you think of. Just write everything down, and get the ideas flowing!

  • Which of your past or current hobbies do you love so much that you could do them for hours and days on end, without ever getting tired of them?
  • What could you spend hours reading about online or in books? Or taking classes and workshops on? Or talking about all day?
  • Which activities or hobbies do you get so absorbed in that all of a sudden you look at the clock and can’t believe that hours have gone by, you hadn’t noticed it got dark outside, and you even forgot to eat?
  • What things are you so confident about doing, that the word “failure” never comes into you mind when you’re doing them?
  • What motivates you, inspires you, and makes you feel alive and full of energy?
  • If you had all the time and money you needed, and could dedicate yourself to doing a handful of things just for fun, what would they be?
  • If you had an imaginary parallel life where everything were ideal, what would you be doing in it?
  • What things do you find so easy to do, that you think they must be common sense to everyone else as well?

Now, what is it about these things that you love so much? What is it that you get out of doing these activities? Is it because they allow you to:

  • Relax and recharge energy?
  • Help others?
  • Express yourself artistically?
  • Learn?
  • Make a difference in the world?
  • Get in the zone? Feel like you’re flowing?
  • What else?
Get clear on exactly what it is that you get out of these activities. Now you’re one step further on getting to know yourself. So what else did you learn from all this? What else did you get out of it?
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