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MEN'S PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
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Have you ever heard someone say, they are ‘trying to find themselves’? It’s a deep statement; I mean if you’re struggling to find yourself, it’s unlikely you’ll get asked to find ‘the needle in the haystack’ when they’re recruiting for that job.
And that’s the rub (on a more serious note) - inherent to realising that something is missing in your life, is recognising that your life is on hold until you can attain some basic self-discovery.
I mean, who wants to date someone who has no self-awareness? who wants to hang out with an ignorant individual? And when you become aware that it’s you that’s lost, it’s natural to put other issues on hold until as an individual you find some ground to put down your roots, a foundation on which to build something you can stand back from and be proud of. A life you can consider worth living.
The good news is the journey to self-discovery is easier than you think, it doesn’t require a trip up a Tibetan mountain to meet with the monks, or an excursion to the amazon jungle to get involved in an ayahuasca ceremony. Interviewing yourself and getting the answers to some straightforward questions can be the work of an afternoon. It’s worth booking an appointment for this one. Take a moment to reflectively think, of the many responsibilities that vie for your attention is it too much to put aside a couple of hours to establish the raw materials with which you’ll build the rest of your life?
Start simple; here are some suggestions you can ask yourself:
•What’s your favourite – food, music/film/book? And why?
•How do you like to spend your time?
•What kind of people do you like to spend your time with?
•What is your favourite place to spend time in?
•What things do you not like?
•And, what is it that you want?
Let the answers paint a picture. Write your answers down, allow these simple questions to distil something within you. Ask yourself;
•How true are you being with yourself?
•What prevents you from spending your time and energy on the things you value?
•How can you tip the scales so that your life becomes more of what you want?
I’ll be honest, it’s not common to think this way, in fact so many of us tolerate a level of dissatisfaction, but so many people are becoming aware that to live a life contrary to their choosing is not only undesirable but unnecessary. There are options. It’ll require a shift in perspective. It will require some personal investment of time and energy, but it’s worth it?
When we look at the statistics of male suicide and consider other destructive behaviours we as men are renown for engaging in - drug abuse, alcoholism etc. we must ask the question; how much of this is a symptom of lives lacking aim or purpose. How much stems from the inability to see any hope of our dreams ever becoming a reality? How much mental distress, anxiety and depression has at its core a dissatisfaction with life.
What if I was to tell you that you can change all that. In fact, by making a choice or indeed a series of choices - life can be lived on your terms and become a fulfilling, meaningful experience. You know what? ‘I am about to say just that!’ You hold the keys in your hands, you have the power to achieve your dreams, to realise your potential, to fulfil the unique reason you occupy the place in time and space that you currently do. Only you can give yourself permission to live your dreams, but you must decide to be your primary investor and your own greatest fan.
Let me suggest some tools that helped me on my journey; I took a simple personality test. I found real self-discovery and self-awareness is not a text book exercise, but doing the academic work gives you a framework to start the journey. Let us ask and answer some key questions. Establish; what you like, where you are going and whose going with you. But most of all ask yourself; ‘What do you want?’ When you answer these questions the road to a fulfilling and meaningful life will begin to stretch out before you.
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.