“A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step”
Where Are You Going? Are you on the path to your purpose?
You’re off and running into the New Year! You started off with goals and intentions to make this year the best. And before you get too far down the path, let’s check in and take a look at where you’re going. Where are you going? It’s good to ask yourself this question often. To periodically check-in and see if you’re on the right course.
My purpose as Life Coach is to ask my clients questions. And “where are you going?” is usually the first question I ask a new client. I believe questions are a key to self-awareness and personal growth. By asking the right questions, clients are able to discover the answers to their life’s challenges. I know that each of us has our own best answers within us. It’d be easy if I just tell my clients what I think they “should” do and what they “shouldn’t” do. And that’s not the purpose of coaching. It’s about empowering clients to discover for themselves what’s best for them. This is accomplished by asking the right guiding questions, crafted to their situation and their profiles. The right questions will help them untangle the blockages in them and connect with their inner Self. The right questions will help them see what path they are on, and if it’s a path of their choice. Very often, people will wind up going down a path that they didn’t choose – it was chosen for them. Or they will discover that the path they are on is an illusion of moving forward and the reality is they are on a circular path leading them nowhere. They are not living life with a purpose that they’ve defined.
Where Have You Been?
This is the next question I ask a new client. One of my clients, I’ll call Rick, once told me that he didn’t like to look backwards; he didn’t want to review his past. I explained that the past is the key to our future. Knowing where we’ve been enables us to recognize a place that’s familiar – which can indicate we’ve been there before and prompts the questions of – Is this where I want to be? again. Or, am I avoiding doing something based on an experience from the past and is it limiting my moving toward my purpose in life?
Our past experiences shape our beliefs about ourselves, our abilities and the world we inhabit. Rather than closing the door to the past, it is helpful to see it as a door to a better future. It gives us an opportunity to examine those beliefs and check them for accuracy and truth. Through questioning, Rick discovered he was carrying around a belief that was formed from a comment his father had said to him when he was eight years old. His father criticized him and then praised his older brother. For the next fifty years, Rick carried around the belief that his father didn’t love him, that he wasn’t as good as his brother, and he’d never be as successful as his father or brother. The truth was that an 8 year old boy made a decision about his life that wasn’t based on truth. The truth was that his father had said something that he would have regretted had he known how it would affect his son for the rest of his life. The truth was that the father was upset about something and in frustration, made a remark without thought and a little boy took it personally – for life. Without looking back at that painful memory and bringing it out into the light of day, the truth would not have been revealed. Most parents say things in frustration and anger to their kids. That’s a fact. What they say may not be the truth.
Where Do You Want To Be?
That’s the third question I ask. Have you ever thought that somewhere over “there” is better than “here”. The truth is that as soon as you arrive at “there” – the “t” falls off and you’re “here”! A better approach to personal happiness and a sense of achievement is to imagine how you would feel to BE there, what and wherever there means to you. Then to act as if you are there and choose the path that takes you to that feeling. The trick is to hone onto your feelings. Your feelings are based on thought and they rule your behaviors. Imagine the path you want to be on and imagine how you’d feel to arrive at your preferred destination. Imagine you know exactly where you’re going and imagine you’re enjoying every step along the way. Imagine you are living your life on purpose with purpose.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein
Before you get caught up in the minutia of life and discover you’re in the middle of June, take some time to sit with your Self and ask your Self these three questions: Where am I going? Where have I been? and most importantly, Where do I want to be?