Personal mastery is the result of setting goals and achieving success and is rooted in continuous self-improvement, especially towards gaining a competency in skill or knowledge. Some people have large lofty goals like surpassing Bill Gates’ net worth of $79.2 billion or creating an Oprah-sized media empire. Others may have specific target goals like losing five pounds, getting into shape or having a peaceful home life.
Regardless of one’s goal, an important fundamental task for achieving personal mastery is purposeful living. Or establishing clarity around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and understanding the greater benefit of what you are doing. The best way to get that type of clarity is through a personal vision.
Creating A Personal Vision
A personal vision is basically big picture thinking. It’s the concept behind your goal setting because it shows you where you are headed and can provide all of the possibilities of many directions that you can travel. If you don’t already have a vision for your life, the best way to identify one is connect with yourself, your inner being, and began to picture an image of the future that you would like to have.
Here’s a very quick mindfulness exercise to try: Try closing your eyes and actually seeing yourself as the person you want to be. What are you doing? What can you see? How do you feel? Are you alone or with others? How are people relating to you? Embrace this image and when you are ready, open your eyes. Now back in the present moment is where the real work begins. This is often the hardest thing for many people to do, but write down what you saw. Doesn’t have to be fancy words, just describe it in your own words, and this is the beginning of crafting a vision for your life.
If you ask anyone you admire how they accomplished their level of success, and they will emphatically tell you they set a goal for themselves, created a plan, and worked hard at mastering specific tasks. At the core of their goal was a personal vision with an anticipated outcome. Yes, there may have been some life detours, but the vision remained constant, and this is a person who is living on purpose.
Committing to Self-Discipline
Another key element of personal mastery is self-discipline. Just like a runner preparing for a marathon, one must be disciplined enough to follow an exercise and running regimen to ensure their body is trained and prepared to endure the rigors of the race. That’s the same type of motivation required for mastering personal success.
I recall sharing my vision of running as an example of goal setting in a study skills class of high school students. I told them that in my mind I see myself running, but I never take action. I have the vision and can see me running but I lack the self-discipline to commit to running. I explained that self-discipline is holding yourself accountable to do what is right to meet your goals and objectives in life. It motivates the action that is necessary to fulfill your personal vision and stay the course.
On a personal note, I still hold steadfast to the vision of running, and have begun small steps to motivate myself towards that end. Your approach towards achieving self-discipline may be to just jump in and just do it, as the Nike slogan suggests. But always do what works best for you. No one else is the best indicator of your heart’s desire, capabilities or personal circumstances. It’s better to feel good about your vision, goals and progress than set up false expectations and later abandon the vision forever. When you stay the course, no matter how long it takes, that’s personal mastery. And in time, you will also have a great story to share about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal mastery that will be a motivator for someone else. That’s real purposeful living when your experiences positively impact change in someone else.
The desire for personal mastery begins with awareness of purposeful living. Next, a personal vision is the roadmap to guide your living. And lastly, self-discipline promotes the action that is necessary to achieve success. Wishing you all the best towards your own discovery of personal mastery.
Enjoy (And Visualize)!
“But I’m not a creative person!” Does this sound like you? Do you believe that you are not creative because you are not artistic, musical, or prolific with words? Creativity is far reaching and extends beyond imagination. There is much joy in finding passion for anything that is pleasing to do.
Everyone has the ability to be creative because it is a God-given gift. However, you may not recognize your particular form of creativity because it’s being measured against someone else’s creativity or accomplishments. Just stop that NOW! Instead consider how you might express your own brand of creativity in everyday ways.
You might be a person who expresses your creativity through your kindness. I read in someone’s Facebook posts that they made up little small bags of essential items (travel toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, lotion, tissues, etc.) that they carry in their car to give away to homeless people. That’s a neat idea if you have a heart for helping others. What about the gift of humor? Another person I know uses their improv comedy skills to create short sketch scenes to share with their friends to enjoy.
Perhaps volunteering is a form of creativity that brings you excitement when you are being of service to others. Or maybe you have learned to express your creativity by saying something kind to each person you interact with. Another person I know created a small artsy book of positive phrases that they give to people they meet.
Maybe picking out fabrics and making clothing or blankets is fun for you, or knitting or crocheting for yourself, family and friends. What about planning activities or trips for friends? Last year, I met a guy you planned a cruise for a group of friends, and it was so successful that he now has a million-dollar business planning cruises and group vacations. I also met a graphic designer during a workshop who enjoyed reading enough that she began to write and design books under her own publishing company. Today, she enjoys teaches people how they can do the same thing.
We all have many ways in which we can express our creativity, and expressing it is vital to our well-being and gives us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with life. Creative expression will occur naturally when you open your heart to yourself and others, allowing the gift of creativity to flow through you from the spiritual source that is always available to you. New ideas are always waiting to be expressed through you – you just need to open to them and allow the time for them. When you do, you will experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from everyday creativity!
Enjoy (and Create)!
While performing social media consulting work for a child psychologist, my eyes were drawn to a Psychology Today magazine sitting in the office lobby. The headline for the cover story read “Odd Emotions: Master The Feelings You Can’t Name.” The title alone was intriguing enough to stoke my interest because, well, I’m a “highly sensitive person” and I often experience emotions that I can’t quite name or explain.
There Are Just No Adequate Words, Or Are There?
So-o-o…not too long ago, I struggled with understanding some emotions that I can best describe as a ball of intertwined feelings occurring simultaneously. It felt like an explosive double roundhouse kick to the gut from mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey that left me dazed, confused, hurt, angry, scared, humiliated, and traumatized. And those are just a few of the emotions that converged upon my spirit in one fell swoop. But the worst part was not being able to explain or comprehend the emotions, nor that no one else seemed to understand it, either.
Fast forward to the other side of my multifarious emotions, I discover that these “odd” feelings really don’t have one name. When artist and writer John Koenig was not able to label his emotions of pending death, he just invented one, “moriturism,” and says “it [his emotions] felt somehow okay.” He then created a website that serves as a dictionary describing emotions that have no name using a combination of creativity, linguistic research, and etymology to assign a name and meaning. For instance, “exulansis,” he has determined is a noun which means
“the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.”
The word is a present verb from its Latin root exulō, which means “to exile, banish.”
Fluff or For Real?
You may be wondering, if people really remember or use these words. Highly likely not, but psychologists suggest in the article that naming or labeling an emotion “might make it more manageable,” “allow us the opportunity to choose our response,” and “help to put a frame around more complex emotions.” I would agree with them, because I believe being able to name what I was previously feeling would have helped to redirect my energy because I spent a lot of time just processing my emotions and the experience.
Others may see it as a pointless exercise that probably won’t be useful, but Koenig believes it helps individuals to understand that the same indescribable emotions they are feeling have been felt by others. The experience may also encourage the practice of honoring one’s sensitivity and personal emotions in a constructive manner. That’s a lot less exhausting than the alternative, which is running from or suppressing emotions in hopes of an exulansis.
What do you think about “odd” emotions? Are there inventive words you’ve heard or used to describe an emotion or even an experience, whether good or bad? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.
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With one full week of 2016 in the bag, I’ve noticed the trend in my social media circles to claim one “power word” rather than resolutions. It actually makes a lot of sense to me, and hopefully to you, too.
With good intention, people make resolutions they plan to commit to in a new year. But once the holiday season is done and people get back into their daily grinds, resolutions can often fall by the wayside. Some people have become so disappointed with making resolutions, that they don’t even make them anymore; they just roll into the new year hoping for the best.
As my 23-year-old son pointed out to me, “People can resolve to improve at any time of the year, so it’s not a big thing.” Responding with Mother Wisdom, I told him, “Yes, young wise one but the new year is like an automatic reset for many people to try again to accomplish something meaningful.” Then I shared with him the trend of the Power Words, and he actually agreed with me that doing this seems more intentional, purposeful, and easier to commit.
The thing with identifying a Power Word is it can transcend any moment or area of your life. For instance, if you choose “Thrive” as your power word, it can apply to goals for eating healthier and exercise. Even if you messed up on a diet, your power word can be a constant reminder that any small accomplishment, like walking the stairs, is a move in the right direction. Thrive may even mean seeking a better paying job because you learned a new skill, or spending more time with a loved one just because. It’s all thriving and you set the bar for what that means in your life.
So I picked two words that resonated with my spirit, BELIEVE (for the good that flows all around me) and FREEDOM (from anything that doesn’t serve me). It is my intention and purpose to believe in the possibility of whatever my heart desires, because I know it’s possible, and to be free from ANY thing, person, idea or thought that doesn’t serve my highest and best. Ironically, after I christened my words as part of my 2016 mantra, the word “BELIEVE” surfaced immediately in an image that adequately expressed my sentiments.
So what is your Power Word for 2016? It’s never too late to pick one, or even change or add words. It’s for your personal edification to serve as a “compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps,” according to the One Word 365 community. I recently learned about this social media community as I began to research the purpose behind the movement, and am sharing for anyone who may be interested (preview at http://oneword365.com/).
So here’s to your highest and best throughout 2016, to live with intention and purpose ALWAYS.
If you’ve ever had an idea to elude you, join the club. The most common problem for serial idea generators is either not writing down the idea or not acting on a written idea. Which person are you?
I used to vacillate between the two, but consistently write down ideas now. I also recognize that it’s never to late to get into the habit of jotting down your ideas for future recall, so to help inspire you, following are 25 quotes extolling the”Power of Ideas.” Feel free to share which one is your favorites or pass along a favorite “Idea” quote in the comments below.
“If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.” – Thomas Mann
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams
“A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.” – Mary Kay Ash
“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” – Rollo May
“An idea is salvation by imagination.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” – Buddha
“All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.” – Napoleon Hill
“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.” – Dee Hock
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca
“Every really new idea looks crazy at first.” – Alfred North Whitehead
“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.” – Ken Hakuta
“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.” – Medgar Evers
“The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.” – Henry Ford
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.” – Swami Vivekananda
“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling
“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” – Pablo Picasso
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“A half-baked idea is okay as long as it’s in the oven.” – Author Unknown
“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Noble
“My mind contains many good ideas, but it’s not always easy to squeeze one out.” – Ashleigh Brilliant
“A good idea will keep you awake during the morning, but a great idea will keep you awake during the night.” – Marilyn vos Savant
“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.” – Charles Peguy
“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” – Barbara Januskiewicz