I shared a video a while ago about one of the perhaps “odd” things I do whenever I’m feeling ‘up’ or just generally feeling good. In it I revealed how I utilised the guiding nature of goals. I always have a tendency to remember that – when I’m in these positive moods, that I’m not always going to feel this good. I know logically there are going to be times in the future when I’ll be feeling low, and will feel like being positive is impossible.
So, I write letters. I write letters to myself for when I’ll feel challenged or listless and down.
Weathering the Storm
Life is about the rain and the sun – and learning how to walk through all kinds of weather. Sometimes it’s summer, and sometimes it’s winter. And I like to remember what the sunshine felt like when it’s raining.
If I take out my phone and look at my Notes, some of the entries I’ve written to myself are: For when You’re Shy, For When Work Is Challenging, If Ever You Miss Someone, Before You Go On Stage, For When You’re Down.
I wrote these letters to myself when I was on a plane and feeling just really great. I wanted to remember this can-do feeling for when I’m feeling low in the future.
It’s absolutely integral to have an active relationship with yourself. We are constantly told to look outside ourselves for wisdom. It’s ubiquitous. In our media, advertising, rhetoric. But no-one knows you better than yourself.
The “I” and the “Self”
The famous Eckhart Tolle said in his book The Power of Now: “I cannot live with myself any longer.” Which led him to the thought: “Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself – there must be two of me: the “i” and the “self.” that “I” cannot live with.”
“Maybe, I thought, only one of them is real.”
It’s a bit of a hard one to get your head around. But, essentially it means, you are not your mind.
Don’t believe everything you think.
Internal Well of Wisdom
I think that humans have a tendency to look inwards for wisdom in particular during times of huge stress and life challenges. It can sometimes take a huge event to cause us to look inwards. And of course when we’re really challenged, we’re really preoccupied and distracted by that challenge, so knowing what to do can be difficult to navigate.
When we’re feeling on a high and buzzin’, we don’t problem-solve, we’re too busy just enjoying that buzz.
But if we take our problem-solving nature from when we’re are at our best – and apply it to when we’re not feeling so great – I think it can be really, really helpful. It gives you something to reach for at times when you don’t know which way to turn. And to help you get through those peaks and troughs.
What would you say to yourself in the situation you’re in, if you were a friend? It’s often a much kinder voice than the one you’re using to speak to yourself. And these small things like how we speak to ourselves can have a big effect.
The big thing I’m learning at the moment is self-parenting, almost. Being your own guide. Being your own life coach. Being your own person to turn to for advice.
Trusting yourself. And believing that you have the answers if you just know how to listen to them.
An extension of that is the guiding nature of goals.
Having a Vision
For me, I always associated goals with what I want.
I want this to be achieved by the end of the month. I want to have achieved that within a year’s time.
And I worked towards those goals. But what I didn’t realise was the guiding nature of those goals, in terms of the potential advice they hold, when turned to for guidance.
Whenever I’m hit with a challenge along the way, and it’s hard to problem solve, what I’ve found myself doing more and more, is reflecting on that. I say: ok I have this challenge right now. But what was my main goal for this year when I set out?
When I look at that, I’m actually amazed at how the answers fall into place a lot easier. My overarching goals help me find solutions to current situations I’m facing, and help me make wiser decisions as a result.
If you want to achieve something at the end of the year, you’re going to have to take certain steps in between to arrive at the ‘goal.’
An Intended Path
There is great intuition in looking towards the future and knowing what to do in order to help us get there.
That for me is something I am becoming much more conscious of. So I’m reflecting on my goals all the more, which is perhaps bolstering me on my entrepreneurial journey, too. You’re not making frantic, uninformed decisions without keeping in mind what you want in the long run.
Will this benefit my long term goals? Help me inch my way that little bit closer to my dreams?
Eyes on the Prize
The most important thing is: if you have goals, look at them frequently. The nature of goals is for them to be looked toward and held when making decisions. Especially when thinking long-term.
When you’re faced with a challenge – go back to those goals.
Give yourself a little manual to turn to when things get hard. There are lots of ways to inspire change. There are many different versions of ourselves, and it makes life so much easier when we learn to work in symbiosis with them. Allowing them to make friends with each other and help each other out when we’re in different places or funks.
If you try it: write down your long terms goals, and when you’re feeling challenged – turn to them. And see if the answers to your current problems, become that little bit clearer.