I watched Jane Fonda on Oprah and enjoyed what she had to say about her childhood, growing up, and becoming whole. It sounds cliche, but so much of how you look at your life now depends on your childhood. Those that are most successful decide not to be put in shackles if they had a less than wonderful childhood or, as Jane Fonda put it, had parents who didn't "show up".
Jane Fonda mentioned doing a life review so that you can put the "puzzle of your life together". It's a symbolic activity that will help you to put everything in its place and figure out why you are who you are. In other words, it's a way to get a complete picture of your Personality.
Fonda went a step further and interviewed those who were key players in her younger years. Keep in mind that this isn't about pointing fingers to place blame. And it's not about trying to find all the things that you want to change about yourself. It's an activity to help you feel whole and content with who you are so that you can move forward to more success.
I chose to use my book as my life review (at least of the first ~30 years). It was a cathartic way of putting the puzzle of my life together. I talk about my successes and struggles as a person, in school, on the job, in my business, with family, and with friends. It hasn't been a perfect life and, honestly, it shouldn't be. Also, it hasn't been easy, and it shouldn't be. Every part of it has shaped my Personality and helped me to become the success that I am today.
And a final thought on success. You'll hear me use that word a lot on my blog and, of course, in my book. When I speak of success, I want you to know that it doesn't come from a place of arrogance and it isn't all about money and advancement. It is more so about a feeling of contentment. The definition of success will be different for everyone.
Have you completed a life review? How did it feel? How has it helped you to define who you are now?
I know. I'm always finding spiritual messages in the most unlikely places. NOTE: I have never watched Jersey Shore, so my only reference is what I've seen on tabloid shows.
Last night, I was watching Dancing with the Stars. The Situation was voted off. During the closing interview, Tom Bergeron admitted that he has become addicted to Jersey Shore. He also noted that he was surprised by how different The Situation acted on Dancing with the Stars. Then, The Situation mentioned that what people see on Jersey Shore is a character and that the audience is just looking through a keyhole to see what he's really like. He also said that he wanted to do this show to let people know that there are other sides to him. (I'm a paraphrasing here).
I tend to have the same philosophy. We all have different "characters" that we play in specific situations (pardon the pun). Think about it. Are you the same exact person around your parents, spouse, kids, co-workers, and friends? Probably not. Depending on who I'm around, they might describe me as a writer, an analyst, sarcastic, a jokester, silly, a dancer, an aspiring chef, spiritual, or a techie. When you look at these traits together, it might seem like they couldn't be speaking on the same person.
There are parts of your Personality that always shine through no matter who you're with. But then there are other parts that you only show at the appropriate times. If you've ever had someone say, "That's so unlike you", this proves that there are some parts of your Personality that you're holding back around certain people.
Does this mean that you're being a phony? Not necessarily. There are times when people will put on an act and pretend to be someone that they are not. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about people who communicate with their Spirit and are confident in themselves. They aren't denying parts of their Personality. Instead, they know when there are around others whose energy will resonate with theirs. They know that the other person will appreciate this part of their Personality. In my book, I refer to this phenomenon as "The Complete You". The Personality is like a diamond in the rough that has many facets. Depending on a person's relationship with you, they can turn the diamond to expose other facets.
So, the next time you're thinking about how to present yourself in a certain situation, think of The Situation's take on his Personality. (I couldn't resist!)
Last week, I had several sales and project meetings, was finalizing the publication process for my book, and was trying to schedule time to go to Balloon Fiesta. Although I consider myself to be pretty organized, every morning I found myself saying things like this:
- I need to make the agenda for this meeting.
- I have to assign tasks for this project.
- I should take time to research this problem.
- I have to review this before I can pass it on to the next person.
- I need to find time to schedule a follow-up meeting.
You'll notice that these all use obligatory words: 'need', 'have to', 'should'. I realized that I was placing pressure on myself to get things done on a deadline that actually could have been more flexible.Words are powerful and carry a certain energy with them. I found that the words themselves made me feel worn down and overburdened.
I was automatically giving the tasks negative connotations and assuming that I wouldn't have time to complete them. My time is very important to me. If you've read my book, you'll remember that Time is one of the four Success Drivers or ways that you can define success for yourself. So, I'm not surprised that Time was an important factor in the way I was viewing my workload.
Just for fun, I decided to become more aware of when I used these obligatory words. I was shocked by how often I did it whether I was talking to myself or someone else. After taking this mental inventory, I decided I would replace the words with others that had more positive energy. I call this 'flipping the script'.
Here are the same phrases with those replacements:
- I plan to make the agenda for this meeting today.
- I'll make time to assign tasks for this project.
- I think it would be good to research this problem.
- I'll provide my feedback on this so that I can pass it on to the next person.
- I'll be able to schedule a follow-up meeting.
Replacing words might seem like a completely pointless thing to do, especially if you're only saying the words to yourself. I encourage you to monitor your obligatory words anyway. They might not be the same as mine and that's OK. I'll bet that you will find your attitude about the task changes just by making that change in wording.
P.S. I did manage to fit in time for all of the work I wanted to do and an early morning Mass Ascension at Balloon Fiesta!