A very happy 2022, to you. I hope that your holidays were well spent in the company of family and friends. After all, nothing in life is more meaningful than the relationships we cultivate. I am grateful for life and I am grateful for another year. How about you? What I am most grateful for in this moment, is that I get to share my heart, my learning experiences, and most importantly, words of encouragement and inspiration with you, for yet another year. I have faith that my words will reach you at the right time, just when you need it. I’m here to inspire you towards growth and personal development, as well as to cheer you on, while you make this journey – called life. I look forward to sharing 2022 with you.
Author: Leona Isaac Page 1 of 3
There is nothing so powerful and important to our personal growth, as self-reflection, coupled with the ability to be truthful with ourselves. The ability to think deeply and to examine our self is not just powerful, but a gift. “The unexamined life is not worth living”, says Socrates. How many of us were punished as children for telling lies? We were taught to always tell the truth. I am certain, however that most of us were not taught that it is just as important to be truthful with ourselves.
As my birthday was approaching, I spent some time in self-reflection. I particularly examined my life over the past year. On my last birthday I shared about The 5 Most Important Lessons I Learned by Age 45. I want to make that kind of post, somewhat of a tradition here on Inspire. Thus, in celebration of this year’s birthday, I am sharing what I believe to be, the two most powerful life lessons I learned this past year.
The piece of 7*12 post-it lay stuck to the legal sized note book, which stood neatly in the wire step file organizer on my desk. Its position meant that it was within clear view. On it was written a brief note. From time to time throughout the day, or whenever I reached for the notebook my eyes skimmed over the note. The days went by but I could not bring myself to throw it out. Two weeks passed, yet the note remained in its place. Finally, one afternoon in week three, I took it from its place and tucked it neatly into my handbag. When I got home, I stuck it between the pages of my journal.
What would you say is the most important skill a person should possess? I posit to you that communicating well, is the most important skill that you can learn. Yet, it often seems to be the least respected and sought after, by many people.
When cellular phones were just becoming popular in my country, there was a particular phone that most people owned. This eventually gave rise to the slang “me too”. People would often say, “you have one of those? Me too!” You have probably shared a similar experience with someone, maybe regarding a different item. A couple years ago, both internationally and locally, there was the #metoo movement. This movement was geared towards addressing the issue of sexual violence and sexual harassment against women. It is also a way to encourage empathy and solidarity among those who have suffered as a result of sexual violence.
In my last post I shared that it took me a long time before I owned my gift of voice and its link to my purpose. This was in spite of the fact that my fondest experiences involved me using my voice, and that I feel alive when I am writing, speaking before an audience or engaged in stimulating conversation. Now, my mission is to use my voice, through speaking and writing to inspire and encourage others to become the best version of themselves. To speak life and always add value to every person I interact with. The voice holds power, and with it we have the opportunity to change lives.
In my last post – Beware of these 3 Things that can Kill your Dreams, one of the dream killers I talked about was the lack of a clearly articulated dream. In so doing I mentioned Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. I also said that I will talk more about it in this post. I was introduced to the book by a colleague, and was able to find value in the core concepts shared.
There are several different approaches that we can take to help us clarify or purpose, mission or dream. But I enjoyed the approach developed based on the work of Sinek’s book. Based on that book, David Mead and Peter Docker in collaboration with Sinek, developed a guide titled Find your Why a Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.
In this post I will share two salient points from Sinek’s book and the approach developed by Mead and Docker for finding your why as well as my testimony.
What is your dream? What is your purpose or your cause? What do you dream of doing or becoming? Whether you realize it or not, you do have a dream. Buried deep within each of us is a dream. A seed is first buried in the soil, where it receives nourishment. As it is nourished, it begins to grow, and as it grows it eventually produces fruit. Your dream is the seed and you are the soil, the actions you take to ensure that you fulfil your dream is the nourishment. Of course, without nourishment the seed remains just a seed and it produces nothing. Likewise, without taking the necessary action to support and nourish your dream, it remains, just a dream. There are times however when our dreams are threatened. That is what we want to discuss today. Beware of dream killers!
We go through many periods of transition throughout our lives; some may be unique to us and our particular circumstances, others are common to all humanity. This is not an unusual occurrence but a natural part of life. What transition do you find yourself navigating at the moment? You may be transitioning from one job to another, or from a junior position in your company to a management position, or one level of education to another, maybe it is from one career to another, or even from being employed to being unemployed. Maybe you are transitioning from being single to being in a relationship, or from a courting relationship to marriage. Whatever it is, periods of transition can lead to many struggles and even feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty. However, your struggles are preparing you for your purpose. Silence feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety and uncertainty with preparation, and focus on the promise, purpose and plan for your life.
What are you expecting? There are some who believe that they should live life without any expectations at all. In that way there is little room for disappointment. But that is a bit unrealistic, don’t you think? We all live life with expectations, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. For example, we expect our children to behave in alignment with the upbringing and values we have instilled in them. We expect our spouse to be faithful or to fulfil certain needs. When we leave our homes in the morning, we expect to get to our destination safely. We expect to receive our pay cheque at the end of the month. Maybe, we are expecting a promotion, or a job offer. We may even be expecting a negative outcome from a recent encounter or project or life in general. Having expectations is unavoidable.
However, some of our expectations may be realistic and some may be unrealistic. Some may be healthy, and some may be unhealthy. Some expectations may serve us, while others may not. Since they all shape and impact our lives in one way or another, it behooves us to work at successfully managing our expectations. So, I ask you the question again, what are you expecting?