It’s so easy to lose touch with what’s important to us, whether that’s personally or professionally, most of us run so fast to stay on the treadmill of life that it takes what we call a life jolt to help us put everything into perspective.
If you’re lucky, the life jolt will create a deeper level of awareness around how close you are to the big rocks, those things that are immovable to you no matter what!
You probably know the story of the lecturer who as part of his presentation had a fish tank on stage with him, as he filled the tank with a few big rocks, he asked the audience whether the tank was full? A large number of people thought that it was but then the lecturer added some smaller rocks around the gaps, once finished, he asked the audience whether it was now full? Of course, they were now wise to this and said a cautious no! He then proceeded to fill the gaps with sand and again, once finished asked whether the tank was now indeed full? Most of the people this time suggested that it was full, and then he finally added a jug of water!
His demonstration gave him the opportunity to show the audience that it would have been almost impossible to get the big rocks into the tank if they were placed in there last, he was able to reinforce the message that in life you have to take care of the big rocks first and then all the other stuff fits around those big rocks. Usually it’s not until you have a life jolt that this sort of wisdom comes to the surface in our lives, again this could be personally or professionally. The loss of a friend or family member, it could be a loved one going through a tough time with an illness, at work it could be a merger and your whole professional life is turned upside down or a demotion. It’s not all doom and gloom, a life jolt can be very positive as well, a new born baby can certainly change your perspective and transform your presence to what’s important.
What’s your purpose?
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for a life jolt to show up in your life to ensure you stay on track and in line with your core values, you can simply take some time for yourself and walk yourself through the following process using Robert Dilt’s model below.
Understanding Dilt’s model
Purpose moulds our identity which shapes our values & beliefs which influence our capabilities that direct our behaviours which in turn determines the results in our environment.
Beliefs & Values
From the top down, you can look at this model and apply it to your personal life and spend some time considering what your purpose is? (This may take a little time, sit with that question for as long as it takes! It took me 6 weeks)
Once you have defined your purpose, that will naturally flow into the cascade that flows in the model. As a business we use this model to help organisations get a better sense of what their True North is.
Check in with yourself
There are other things you can do to quickly check in with yourself, you can calibrate where you are on a scale of 1 – 10 in terms of whether you are close to your big rocks or not, once you’ve scored yourself, you can pay attention to what’s preventing you from staying focused on the important things, where’s the slippage coming from?
Keeping a journal
A very powerful way to staying present to the things that are important is to continue to take notes of all of the things that you are grateful for in your life. This would include all of the potential annoying people who are just there as your teachers! Showing you that you might still be judging or critical to others!
And finally, here’s something to think about in terms of perspective. What do you see in the below picture?
Psychologists used to use images like this to determine if someone was crazy or not. If they saw the bats, they might say that the individual was possessed by the devil! And if they saw the angels, they could also accuse the person of being insane, because they’d say that by not seeing the bats first, you are ignoring the obvious signs of the devil. Eventually the subject would get confused (much like you may be right now) and they’d have the perfect excuse to lock them up in an insane asylum!