“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
An aligned life is created when what you think and believe in, how you feel, and what you do are all in harmony with who YOU are.
If we live and work in alignment with our values, then we are more likely to live a life that we look forward to looking back, rather than one we regret.
It is not necessarily living your “perfect” life or ignoring others but it means that you are intentionally doing your best to live in alignment with who you are and what you want.
A first step to raising your self-awareness on who you are and what you want, is to reflect on your values and strengths, and do a self-audit of how intentional you are about expressing these in the world and with others.
The energy you bring to the world is correlated to the energy you attract from the world.
Intentionally choose the energy you bring into each interaction by defining your “brain tattoos” and creating your “life principles”.
STEP 1: Values and personality strengths identification and self-audit: how aligned are you with your top 3 values and personality strengths, both in your personal and professional life?
- Select your top 3 values and define what they mean to you. What qualities and principles must you honor – or part of you dies and can’t be fulfilled? (note: be careful not to select “aspirational words” of what you would like to embody more, this is about the root of you).
- Select your top 3 personality strengths. What words would describe the best version of yourself?
- How did you honour each of these, in the past 6-12 months, in your personal and business life? Low, medium, high?
- How can you express these more fully in your personal and business life?
Indicative list of values and the associated personality strengths:
- WISDOM AND AUTHENTICITY: Authenticity, Self-awareness, Freedom, Humility, Spirituality
- KNOWLEDGE AND GROWTH: Intellectual curiosity; Self-development
- PLAY AND VITALITY: Enthusiasm, Positivity, Energy and joy for life, Adventure, Humour, Fun
- HUMANITY: Kindness , Love, Generosity, Friendliness, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Respect and inclusiveness, Empathy and acceptance, Encouragement and support, Connection and cooperation, Patience and composure
- HEALTH AND WELLNESS: Physical and mental health and well-being, Self-Care, Mindfulness
- LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE: Creativity, Responsibility, Contribution, Service, Leadership
- COURAGE: Courage, Persistence, Resilience, Interdependence
- JUSTICE: Trust and reliability, Integrity, Honesty, Equality. Assertiveness, Open-mindedness
STEP 2: Remember what you want to stand for, by defining your “brain tattoos”.
Create principles of how you want to live your life and impact others. Aim for 10 and pick your top 3 as “brain tattoos”. It is a creative way of distilling your core values.
To get you started here are some of mines:
- Bring the joy and keep the smile.
- Be thoughtful and kind. Lead with love.
- Listen to my heart and trust my intuition.
- Be true to me: “a lion who copycats a lion becomes a monkey” (Victor Hugo).
- Be grateful.
- Live in the moment and make each day count: Carpe Diem.
- Physical fitness leads to life fitness.
- Memorando Mori: live with souvenirs, not regrets.
- Do not overthink.
- Believe: when I want, I can (one of my Father’s instilled mantras).
Reflect and meditate on these principles and how you can express these more fully in and out of work.
- Create phone alarms at regular times, phone or screensavers.
- Write them on post-it notes in places you see the most in your house, or on your to do list.
- Remember them whenever you are about to enter a place, or to meet someone.
- Revisit them periodically so your life remains aligned with them, and update them as needed as these would probably change over time.
STEP 3: Set daily intentions about how you want to “show-up” in the world and with others.
Below are morning questions to ask yourself and start the day intentionally – what you want to be, do, feel, live and give.
- Who do I have to be and show up as to live more intentionally?
- What would make today great and exciting?
- How can I show more courage and self-belief?
- Who needs me today, in and out of work? How can I bring more joy?
- Who can I send appreciation, or surprise with love?
The Bottom Line
To lead a more intentional and regrets-free life, let your values drive your decisions.
“He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own”.Aesop