How to Leverage Downtime to Reevaluate EVERYTHING… PART ONE: Take Inventory
My Lord, we are in weird times. Beyond TWILIGHT ZONE weird. Although it doesn’t feel as much like a thriller or horror movie as it does a black comedy because while everything in the world looks the same (minus the people) absolutely nothing makes sense. My reaction is to laugh at how crazy things have gotten. I mean, there is a global pandemic where people are dying, the financial markets are in a free fall, no one knows what’s true and what’s not, and apparently we are #SaferAtHome, but people are still arguing about politics?! You gotta laugh at the absurdity of it all.
What’s this series of posts about? It’s about inspiring you to use this time to build awareness about yourself, so you can have clarity, purpose, and a plan to take focused action, while others binge watch Netflix, read the news, and otherwise distract themselves with meaninglessness. Clarity, purpose and focused action will help you have confidence and a positive outlook during this time and beyond.
Right now is the perfect time to do some inner work and get a firm understanding about who you are and what you bring to the table for the good of all. If you’ve done this work before, great! If you haven’t, it is a good practice to get into the habit of doing every few years. Think if this type of work like making a business plan for your life. By doing a couple simple exercises, you set yourself up for success now and in the future.
Through the many years I’ve worked as a personal and business mentor, I’ve come up with a system to help clients take a look at the whole of their lives on one sheet of paper. But first, we have to put a lot of information out there in order to simplify and make sense of it all.
Over the course of this series, I encourage you to pull out a notebook and brainstorm anything that comes to mind. Write down memories. Run with ideas. Make lists. Create a vision board if you feel it. Have fun! Design the life you were meant to live. By the end of the series, you will have your own life in one sheet. You will be able to see where you are in life, and where you want to be, and you will know what you need to do to get there.
PART ONE: TAKE INVENTORY
- Make a list of your top 10 core values, the morals and ethics you hold dear, things like: honesty, integrity, connection, curiosity, humility, service to others, calm, grace, determination, dedication, caring, competitiveness, respect, acceptance, excellence, etc… Go one step further and write down why each of these values matters most to you
- Make a list of your top 5 short and long term goals and WHY you want to achieve them. What will your life look and feel like if you achieve them? Write that down too
- Make a list of your strengths: the things you have always been good at, loved doing, or feel passionate about. Write down milestones you have achieved, degrees, certifications, experience that sets you apart from others
- Make a list of the things you always wished you were good at, or skills you know you need to develop to reach your goals
- Make a list of your support system, the resources, things and people around you that see your strengths, value your essence, and help you to be better each day (if this is a hard one given everything that is going on in the world and how it can feel overwhelming, write down the support systems you WISH you had to help you achieve your goals)
- Close your eyes and see yourself going about your day, feel what it feels like to be on the other side of you. From the barista serving you a coffee, to your partner, to your mother, to a friend – what does it feel like to experience you as a person? What kind of energy are you known for? Also keep in mind this is the person you were BEFORE this whole quarantine happened. We will all be a little (or a lot) different when this is all over. So, what kind of person were you? Don’t censor yourself. Go as deep as you can. Be brutally honest with yourself.
- Now, after the deep dive on what it felt like to experience you before, close your eyes, see and feel yourself as you want to be moving forward. Write down the things you want to say those you love, the way you want people to feel after they encounter you randomly or after spending quality time with you. Strip yourself of the superficial and get into the essence of humanity. Write down what you would say to yourself after you made it through this time and did this inner work. How are you making the world a better place by being who you were truly meant to be? Drawing a blank? Don’t worry, we will go deeper into this in the next part of the series!
This work should be fun, but sometimes these directives will bring up a variety of emotions. Ride with them, but don’t beat yourself up. If stuff comes up that you regret, instead of using it as a reason to beat yourself up, use it as a stepping stone for growth. Acknowledge mistakes. Forgive yourself because life is about learning from mistakes, so if you’ve made a few, that means you are living. And if others have made a few, forgive them and let it go. If you need to sprinkle around a few apologies, by all means, have at it. What could be better during times like these?
Hang in there, friends. I know this is an uncertain time, but let’s stay focused on growth and love. If you think about nature after a fire has burned down all the trees, nature doesn’t stop. Through her love, she sprouts new leaves and keeps growing the good stuff.
Stay tuned for PART TWO: BREAKING DOWN THE BLINDSPOTS