You know who you are, now is the time to be the real you. Who can hear your voice if you do not speak your truth? Who can see what you write if you do not show them? If you love someone but are never able communicate it in a way they can receive it, does it exist? I believe we only get one chance at this, and do we really want to stumble around worrying about what others think of us, never feeling comfortable being ourselves?
When I assembled a list of my top ten blogs on time and life management, I began thinking. What do I have to offer that is different from what is already being done? DIYPlanner does a great job of ideas for paper planning. David Seah has tremendously creative ideas for paper productivity too. For Getting Things Done followers, there’s Matt’s Idea Blog and What’s the Next Action. Black Belt Productivity does great interviews already. Lifehack has a community of folks that share information.
Sometimes I feel like I’m just talking to myself, and what good is that? Actually, I guess at times that’s ok! :) But on the other hand, if I’m not reaching others with my message, I’ve failed in my goal of sharing information about goal setting and time management.
What is my purpose, my unique contribution? I think for me the focus on helping people set goals is important, and along with that is helping people learn who they are and become who they want to be, to do what they want to do. I will include more information about skills that help us in work and in life. So that is my unique contribution.
Many of the greatest truths have some paradox in them. It is only in accepting ourselves as we are that it is possible to change. Since no one is perfect, there are often things we would like to change. The only thing we can change is ourselves, and even that does not come easy. The next step is to grow into the person you want to become.
Love is a gift freely given, the only way to keep it is to give it away. Life is also a gift, that’s why they call it the present. What we give is what we get back. The greatest gift you can give is the gift of being yourself. The more fully you express yourself, the greater your experience of life becomes.
Keep learning as you Discover U! In part nine you will tell your story.
Travel back in time to write the history of your life. For some, this can be a fun exercise. For others painful memories may be resurrected. But whatever our past has been, it is a part of us that must be faced. We must look back before we can move forward.
Make a timeline of past events.
Interview Yourself with these questions.
Writing Portfolio-besides a neat graphic reminder of our uniqueness, there are more ideas for telling your story.
Continue on a journey of self-discovery with the Discover U series. In part eight you will think about your talents and dreams.
What do you dream about doing someday? What activities fill your heart with joy? What are you passionate about? What is your unique contribution? Be still and listen to your heart. Think big and imagine what you would most want to do if money and time were unlimited.
The book “How to Find You Mission in Life” by Richard Bolles is a little book with big ideas.
What talent causes you to lose all track of time while exercising it?
Look for the place where your greatest talent and the world’s greatest needs intersect.
Or as Aristotle said: “Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.”
The book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O Clifton presents results of a study by the Gallup Organization. Now Strengthsfinder 2.0 is available. You can identify talents within 34 themes.
Find more tools for exploring your talents at the Daily PlanIt Sticky Wiki.
Your talents and dreams are a part of your vision for the future you want to create. First you will look back as you tell the story of your life in part nine.
In part seven of Discover U, you will think about your personality and interests.
- PERSONALITY-tendencies toward personality type or trait
- INTERESTS-activities that you enjoy
- This site has links to online assessments to help you identify interests and personality traits: Quintessential Careers
- These two sites provide clues to interests: Holland Career Clusters | David Borchard’s Passion Revealer
- Try the quiz at Personalitytype.com
- Are you an Introvert? Or a Highly Sensitive Person?
- Tagging with categories reveals your interests-DIYPlanner.
Get in touch with your authentic self as we continue with the Discover U series. Today you will develop a mission statement.
A mission statement describes your intention of how you will invest your energy. It is brief, focused, flexible, and feasible.
DIYPlanner has an excellent article about mission statements. Quintcareers also has a terrific series called the Five-Step Plan for Creating Personal Mission Statements. Check out What’s the Difference Between Mission and Vision? at Lifehack.org. Stephen R Covey is an authority on mission statements and I recommend going to the free Mission Statement Builder at his website to develop one.
Today you will look at your values.
The difference between what you value and what your values are
It’s good to know what you value or think important, but to value art for example, is an opinion that can vary and may change. Values are qualities that are universally accepted and unchanging. Many are based on respect and responsibility for ourselves and for others.
Browse the values mentioned on these sites and select those that are most important to you.
- Character Counts Six Pillars of Character
- SCANS Personal Qualities
- Josephson Institute Making Ethical Decision
- Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues
- Emotional Competency-Values
How have others demonstrated the quality in their lives? How has the quality been illustrated in biographies, books, movies and quotations?
Think about what would fill your life with value (pdf) in each life area (pdf).This is an important step in the goal setting process. Find ways to apply what you have discovered. Make a plan to develop the personal qualities that you have chosen.
Today you will examine your beliefs.
Hyrum Smith, CEO of Franklin Covey, talks about his “Franklin Reality Model” in the book “The 10 natural laws of successful time and life management.” Look at your beliefs to determine: 1)are they are based on truth? and 2)do the results of choices based on those beliefs work for you? Beliefs are learned and may have been formed in situations that were something less than perfect. If they are not working for you, they can be changed. Sometimes we internalize negative messages. For example, Instead of learning great communication, we may have gotten the message that it’s not ok to talk about certain things. We can choose new positive beliefs like “I can talk about things that are important to me.”
Positive affirmations are first person present tense descriptions. Pay attention to what you say when you talk to yourself and choose positive self-talk rather than saying critical and negative things.
“The Four Agreements” is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz that describes how we form beliefs based on fear. When we change our agreements, we can change our lives. The four agreements are:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
Make a list of your beliefs about yourself, others, and life. For each one, ask if it works for you. If it doesn’t, re-write it.
Today you will explore your skills. What do you do well? There are different kinds of skills.
- Job skills are specific to an occupation, like filing or writing a report.
- Transferable skills are general work skills like the ability to use a computer program or attention to detail.
- Self management skills are personal qualities like being analytical or reliable.
The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) identified skills needed for success in the world of work. There is a nice overview of the SCANS skills and competencies at Academic Innovations.
Look at your work experience and list the different skills you have used. You can look at it two ways:
1. Specific to general: what job duties were performed? what projects were accomplished? What transferable skils and self-management skills were demonstrated? or
2. General to specific: How have you demonstrated self-management and transferable skills in your work?
The Skills Center at CareerOneStop is a great place to start identifying your skills. This Career Lab article shows how to describe your accomplishments with specific examples. Learn more about assessing your skills at the Daily PlanIt Sticky Wiki.
This step is about will exploring your strengths. SWOT analysis is a planning tool to clarify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Think about what you are good at and list your top five strengths. Then think about what you would like to work on and list five areas to develop. Consider what opportunities there are that could most help you and possible threats that could stop you.
Quintessential Careers has an example SWOT analysis with some ideas to think about. You can use the power of your subconcious by posing the question “What are my strengths?” It can be effective to do this before you sleep and allow your mind to come up with the answers. Be prepared with paper and pencil beside your bed to capture these thoughts when they arrive!
The book “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz has ideas for developing four sources of energy: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In the same way we can develop physical strength with exercise, we can develop strength in all areas. “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” by Andrea Rains Waggener outlines plans to develop 52 personal qualities.
- Discover your heroes
- Identify your strengths
- Explore your skills
- Examine your beliefs
- Look at your values
- Develop a mission statement
- Learn about your personality and interests
- Think about your talents and dreams
- Tell your story
- Express yourself
How to Start a Fire (pdf) is a free eBook on discovering what you are passionate about.