Ten Questions for Self-Transformation
1. What important things do I believe I could accomplish that no one else could?
2. What’s my second or third act in life?
3. What would change everything for me from how it’s been up to this point?
4. What things am I better at than nearly anyone else?
5. What are my shortcomings that are holding me back?
6. What do I love to spend my time doing?
7. How can I transform what I naturally love into a career which sustains me?
8. How can I best engage reciprocation: providing service to others while gaining improved social standing?
9. How can I best utilize my most valuable external asset, time?
10. How can I best utilize my most valuable internal asset, my mind?
I’ve been spending some time lately reflecting on my own process, especially the ways in which I’ve come up short. For much of the time I’ve written for BSJ, I’ve focused on exposing the shadows I’ve seen in the hypocrisies of the worlds religions, and the shenanigans of the world’s so-called leaders. I’ve talked about personal shadow work, and the importance of coming to grips with buried grief, fears, angers, and resentments.
I realize I haven’t said enough about the other type of self-reflection, which starts with an honest evaluation of where I’ve come from, where I’ve been during the past few years, and how I can make the rest of my life count.
I’ve started to slowly work through the above list, and I realize that like anything worth doing, coming up with satisfactory answers is going to take a while. But I share the questions with you today as I encourage you to also go on that same quest to find your bright shadow: that part of yourself which you may feel you have not adequately expressed, which lies hidden and buried underneath the mundane realities of everyday life.
Whether we’ve wanted to or not, the past two years have forced most of us to focus to the point of distraction on the global economic crisis. The worsening business climate has affected our careers and those of our associates. It’s been damn frustrating to experience, and a lot of that anger has spilled over into the political arena–where it’s largely been misdirected. Readers of BSJ already know I want nothing to do with the trite non-solutions of the GOP or the Tea Party.
“What the world needs now,” to steal a line from TED, is a long-term move toward a sustainable economy based on Natural Capitalism, closed-loop manufacturing, and multiple levels of expert analysis of the costs and benefits of decisions on systems and infrastructure. We need this desperately, yet old money stands in the way, old thinking stokes fear, old bastions of corruption in the media prevent us from even having the right conversation.
We need to get away from these tired divisions and move toward win-win solutions that will transform the world and get us out of this slump we’ve fallen into. As we suck down the dregs of the unsustainable, we need to use the energy we have to build a new interconnected global economy that will last. So each of us has to realize that we are partly responsible for how things have been. Also that if we refuse to become discouraged, we are fully capable of transforming ourselves and the world.
If we really focus on the original meaning, and apply them to our lives, the following quotes are far more than the cliches they’ve become:
And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 – 1963)
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 – 1948)
What is the best way to keep focused on the big picture? How can we be that change we want to see in the world? How can we find that calling which President John F. Kennedy passionately asked every citizen of the world to answer nearly 50 years ago? How can we express service in such a way that in doing what we love we will be nurtured and prosper beyond what we ever considered possible?
I look forward to your thoughts in the comments.