Become the Architect & CEO of Your Life, Part I
As we step into 2011, I invite you to:
• Leave behind what no longer works
• Commit to design an inspiring future that honors your passions, gifts and purpose
• Move forward with commitment and courage
How do you do that? You become the Architect and CEO of your Life. Let’s start by defining what an Architect and CEO are:
1). An architect
is a person trained in planning, design and oversight.
2). A CEO
has chief decision making authority, directing strategy and growth to ensure that all parts are moving successfully toward the stated vision and goals.
Let’s explore how to take on these roles in our own lives. I am going to talk about architecting a solid foundation in this article and will focus on becoming the CEO of your life in a future edition.
An architect creates a design based upon a plan, and the first part of this design is the foundation. If the design is not built on a solid foundation, it will crumble. It doesn’t matter how amazing the design is and how much work goes into it, if the foundation is not strong, the end result will not be a success. Building a solid foundation is critical in our own lives too and I see people skip this step all of the time. A solid foundation is where you want to begin. Think about it, if you don’t have a solid foundation, how can you create a vision and plan that will inspire you? Your plan and design will most likely be focused on “fixing” things that are not working in your life – not on creating an amazing future that honors who you are and your passions and purpose. If your foundation is cracked, you probably won’t even know what it is that you “really” want. How could you?
What does a solid foundation look like? Several key components follow:
- Your mindset – we have over 60,000 thoughts each day and most of them are not empowering us. Unless we consciously pay attention to them, we probably are not even aware of what they are saying to us because we are so used to them. They may be saying things like: “you can’t do that, you aren’t smart enough, you are fat, who will want you, drawing attention to yourself is selfish, who do you think that you are, …….?” Do any of these sound familiar? How can you know what an inspiring future would look like, if you are busy beating yourself up all day? The key is to start here – grab a notebook and pay attention to your thoughts for 24 hours. Write down everything that pops into your head throughout your day – when you wakeup in the morning, when you look in the mirror, while driving, going into a big meeting, heading home, and before bed. Once you have your thoughts written down, I bet you will be surprised at how many negative ones there are and how much space they take up in your mind. Look at your list to see if you can find a theme. Mine was “what is wrong with you?” which translates into “something is wrong with me.” When thinking and feeling this way, how could I possibly have known what I wanted? If I did manage to identify a big goal, I didn’t think I could actually achieve it because at a deep level I believed that something was wrong with me. My homework assignment from a wise coach was to understand where these thoughts were coming from. Were they actually true? If not, why was I still holding onto them? I encourage you to do the same thing. It is helpful to reach out for support with this – enlist the help of a trusted friend, mentor, coach, or therapist. If you can turn “something is wrong with me” into “I am perfect just the way that I am, and I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” your life will change!
- Self-care – when we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we don’t have the physical, mental and emotional energy needed to visualize an inspiring future and then actually take the steps needed to get there. I want you to take a look at your nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration and stress levels – how are they? If you are not putting yourself at the top of your priority list (when most of my clients come to me, they are not even on their own priority lists), STOP and spend some time rethinking this. If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot be there for others long-term and you won’t be able to live a healthy, purposeful life. At the beginning of this New Year, give yourself the gift of some time to focus on YOU. Once you begin to practice self-care, you will be surprised at how much more energy and clarity you will have about life.
These are only two of the areas in your life to look at, but I think they illustrate my point – you must start with a solid foundation. Once you discover your inner strength, restore your health and energy, and redefine what is possible, you can design a compelling future that will inspire you to move forward. Take the time to do this work – your future is counting on it and you are worth it!!
My next article will focus on how to manage your life like a CEO.
In WITI’s Exploring Your Life Mission teleclass, we work on creating a solid foundation so that you can define your career and life purpose and then commit to moving forward with it. You can find out more and register at www.witi.com/teleclass
. If you are interested in taking the class but the dates don’t work for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I will keep you posted on future offerings. You can also do this work in individual or group coaching sessions, which are held over the phone. If you would like to find out more about coaching, please email me.