Inspired by an article about growing your company I can’t help but think about how that relates to growing as a person. For example, the first change recommended is to shift focus from ‘what’ you make or do to ‘why’ you do it. That change in perspective reminds me of the difference between my life at 20 and my life at 30. At some point, after I turned 30 I looked up from my career path and asked why was I doing what I was doing, where I was going, and wondered if I could get there from here. I don’t consider this a crisis but a life (career) redirection.
Why do what you do?
Considering the why of what you’re doing could also give you a fresh perspective when times are difficult or you’re in the middle of a long transition like shifts in career, life, or relationship. I am currently applying my years of experience to a career more suited for the person that I’m becoming and it is my ‘why’ – to empower people to make informed decisions so that they can live a sustainable life of passion and purpose – that serves as a reminder that what I offer, what I do, it matters.
Knowing your ‘why’ can help you to identify when your values have changed or help you to evaluate the effectiveness of what you are doing. In my case, remembering my ‘why’ excites me because I realize that what I am doing now – coaching people who want to make changes in their life and relationships – is just another way of traveling along the same path I was already on.
Include those that matter
The second change you could make to grow as a person is to shift your focus from doing more to doing less (by doing what is ideal for you and the goals you’ve set for yourself). This is not only about efficiency, it’s about effectiveness. If your goal is to spend more time with your family or your significant other but you’re running around doing all kinds of other things without them or away from them, it might be time to look at that. Are there ways that you can include them in what you’re doing? Can you do something else instead? If you are your relationships, making time for the ones that matter will help you to grow as a person. Now that I think about it, this second change is to remember and focus on your ‘who’ more than your ‘do’ as Joyce Meyer would say.
To grow as a person, commit. Commitment is about making the effort to honor your decision even if it means making sacrifices or engaging in the extra effort. Your commitment could be a metaphor for something else in your life. When I committed to being a vegetarian I realized it took extra effort but that it could be done even when I went out to restaurants to eat. While that transformed my diet, my body, and my passion for fresh vegetables I also saw this as a lesson in committing to another person. Less than a year later I met the man that I was to marry.
Change of perspective
To consider ourselves as part of the living world how could we grow? We could change our focus from what we’re doing to the environment and address why we’re doing it. I hear of the need to move from a more masculine way of dominating nature to a more feminine way of living in harmony with it. I am reminded of several stories – the sources I can’t quite recall at the moment – that told tales of people moving out West (in the United States) and what they had to do to survive. What do you have to do to survive now? Why do you regard the rest of the natural world as you do? Thinking about why we do what we do can go a long way to moving our actions more in line with our values. To limit the amount of trash we generate, the carbon footprint we create, or the overall damage we do to our natural neighbors could take on a whole new perspective when we remember why we may be doing it: to preserve our own habitat.
Rather than doing more, we can do the right things…the ideal things. This could mean rather than just adding more to our calendar we can set aside time to nurture our nature and go outside. I am not surprised to find out when people need a break they gravitate toward going for a walk or looking out a window. It’s like napping, you just have to listen to what your body is telling you it needs and honoring that can carry you through whatever happens next.
What fuels you? What refreshes you? If you make time and commit to doing that – plant that seed – you just might grow into a person that lives sustainably with passion and purpose.
This post was originally published on NarrativeEcopsych.Wordpress.com