The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
I was never the “cool” kid in school. I was an angst-ridden band geek, and my only friends were the “smart kids”. Over the years my personality has definitely gone through some major changes. As I started to understand how to overcome the fear of who I am and find my most magnetic qualities, I’ve also learned quite a bit about people in general.
As part of my Personal Power II project that I’m working on, one of the things I’ve started incorporating into my daily routine is power questions. One of my questions that I’ve been using in order to make changes in my life is “what makes me attractive”?. Everyday I come up with different answers and the idea is at the end of 30 days my brain will make a connection between being awake and all these states. Today, when I was asked myself that question, the answer I came up with was making people feel good about themselves.
There I was, sitting in the conference room at one of my former jobs. It was what I call a “B+ job”—a good but not great job; a perfectly nice, challenging, job that fell far short of being meaningful, exciting, of feeling like my right work.
The company was holding a professional development day, during which all employees took a personality test. The idea, of course, was that through the test results, we’d better understand our strengths and weaknesses and those of our colleagues, and that we’d be able to work together more effectively. The usual.
A lot of us try – and try hard – to make changes in our lives. We’re keen, we’re motivated, we may even have a step-by-step plan.
For a while, it works. Maybe we successfully start eating more healthily, or take up an exercise routine. Maybe we manage to leave work at 5pm every day. Maybe we take a big step – like starting a family or quitting a job – and hope that this solves problems, like our struggles with time-management or our tendency to procrastinate.
Being inspired to change is great. But it’s hard to ignore the reality that lots of us want to change – and lots of us do start making changes – only to end up backsliding.
The decision to make a major career change can trigger all kinds of nasty anxiety and ruthless paranoia. What if I fail? What if it’s nothing like what I’m expecting? What if I regret leaving my current gig? But, as we all know, you can’t live a fulfilling life if you waste your time and energy focusing on the “what ifs”.
The more effective course of action is to focus on taking productive steps to minimize the fear that inevitably comes with any major career shift.
There’s a lot of information out there about how to achieve your goals. About how to stay motivated, how to focus on your dreams and not be distracted by failure and set backs. But that all assumes that you know what you want out of life, that you already have goals you’re eager to achieve. Recently, in response to a comment I made about pursuing one’s goals on The Change Blog, I got a poignant reply that asked “But what if you haven’t found anything worth doing, any goal worth pursuing?”
Great question – focus is wonderful, but if we aren’t looking at the right things how useful is it? Sure we can learn from failure, but what do we do with those lessons if we’re not really doing anything? How can we find out where we should be looking for our satisfaction in life?
“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” ~Aristotle
Moral excellence, as Aristotle says, is a result of habit. Like anything else we want to master, to become morally excellent or more virtuous takes practice. Typically, we don’t go through our day thinking about whether we need to practice more kindness or more commitment or even more love. Morals or virtues are usually ingrained in us and come naturally, right? Yes, but if we became more mindful of the difference that the practice of virtues can make in daily life, we will undoubtedly lead a more fulfilling and happy life. Mainly because we are striving for excellence; our personal best based in virtues such as love, kindness, gratefulness, courage, and integrity.
By practicing the following six virtues, your life can radically improve in the form of better relationships, peaked performance, and fulfillment of your dreams.