How to discover your true north and personal path in life. Direction is more important than speed. Alignment is more important than a hustle that takes you in circles.
“Without vision, you have no direction. Without direction, you have no purpose.”— Steve Gilliland
Goals, vision documents, and vision boards are good for setting a meaningful direction, but systems are best for making progress.
Ultimately we rise and fall to the level of our systems. When referring to "systems" in the context of our unique lives. It refers to our internal guidance system. Our vision, passion, purpose, values, and meaningful experiences guide us towards our "ikigai" or "plan de Veda". Simply put, our reason for being. When you arrive here, there is ease, flow, and bliss that is felt in every cell of your body.
ONE KEY MESSAGE
In 2022 we have built a culture of hustle. Hustling to make money, so that we can eventually free our time and energy to do what we love. But, what if breaking free from this very idea is what is required to set us free right now? In the context of any environment and life.
STORY - OKINAWA IN JAPAN
THE PLACE WHERE WOMEN AGE GRACEFULLY
In the SelfCare book launched at the end of 2021, I shared the secrets to longevity, health, happiness, and connection. By exploring global communities that were living their purpose in real-time. Okinawa is one of nine communities mentioned.
If you are a woman looking for longevity secrets then the solution is in plain sight. Okinawa is home to the world’s oldest living women!
It is also home to beautiful blue waters and some of the most divine diving spots in the world. It has been coined the “Japanese Hawaii.” Despite years of hardship after WWII, Okinawans established a lifestyle and environment to live long and healthy lives. Perhaps the collective pain felt during that time, brought people closer together and reminded them of nature’s importance.
What is most noticeable is that compared to the rest of the world. Okinawans have less cancer, heart disease, and dementia than others on the planet.
Perhaps their greatest secret is their stoic dedication to maintain relationships.
- Connection: They maintain a powerful social network called a “moai.”
- Food: Okinawans rely on plant-based food.
- Nature: Okinawans have a green thumb and are intricately linked with the natural world by planting their own medicinal garden.
- Movement: Movement is a part of life. Not a chore or an “exercise.” Movement serves a functional life purpose.
- Work: Okinawans also have a strong sense of purpose in life, the Japanese call it “ikigai” which means “your reason for being.”
A “Moai” is a lifelong band of good friends that always support you. Maintaining strong social networks are natural to our human existence and it’s what allows us to thrive. In our modern world, the antidote to isolation is connection and learning to thrive together. This is the basis of the Okinawan cultural practice
If you want to live a long, happy and meaningful life, then I hope that this community inspires you to self-realize that it is simpler than what we are taught.
Make Peace with the past
Lao Tzu once shared “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Once I realized that I was a 1 in 4 trillion chance of taking my first breath. I self-realized that I was already a living miracle. Every Event after that was a bonus and opportunity to explore and fully live into this once-in-a-lifetime human experience.
To make peace with the past, we need to go inwards and do the work to feel more and suppress less. This can take days, weeks, months, and even years to uncover and learn the lessons. Some utilize trauma healing specialists, others go on their own personal journeys of transcendence with plant-based medicines like ayahuasca or Psilocybin "magic mushrooms". I'm not advocating any approach but explored elements of these in my own life.
The point is not to avoid, distract and run from past challenges. Every emotion is not positive or negative. Painful events in my life have been the biggest motivators and course correctors back towards my true north. It's as if the universe gave us emotions so that we had signals during our journey to pivot back towards who we are truly meant to be.
Make peace with the past, it's already happened. Learn the lesson consciously and emotionally release any energy that is stored there. Let your emotions be like water and flow through you. All are welcome. If you need outlets to guide or manage this process. Find the "who" that knows the "how". To know if you have found a solution, simply be aware of how you feel after any step you take. It should return you to a sense of inner peace, harmony, flow, and lightness. Be mindful, that it may require a small period of chaos and overwhelm too. Opening the door to our depths to uncover our shadow self and unconscious programmed drivers can be daunting. But, from my own experience. I can say that it's worth it.
Be present and still
Before casting a future vision, it's important to do the inner work. This may require you to create space and disconnect temporarily from environments, jobs, and social connections that validate your current experience. Create space for yourself, so that you can truly think and feel for yourself.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
Being alone and still is not about being lonely. It is about connecting with your deepest self. If you have been running around in circles or in the rat race of life for years. It will initially feel uncomfortable. Welcome that discomfort and let it all come to the surface. To support the process, ensure that you are in a nourishing environment. Somewhere that your heart or gut calls you to be. For me, it was surfing throughout Indonesia for months in the pandemic. A journey that forced me to be still. To disconnect from social media, media, emails, work, and all the other priorities that had been forced into my existence.
To allow a muddy pond to settle, we first need to stop stirring it. How long it takes for the mud to settle is different for everyone. Days, weeks, months, and even years. It all depends on how long we have been avoiding our depths and sweeping life's challenges under the rug.
If you have been walking a path, heading South, West or East for years. It may take a similar amount of time to walk back towards your true north. However, be mindful that you can walk, you can hitch a ride, or even find someone with a rocket ship that can help you get back on track. The initial journey is done "alone". But once you have a direction again, you can leverage what is already available in plain sight to head in that direction.
4 benefits of casting a positive future vision.
If you were asked to describe what your life would be like and more importantly FEEL like 10 years from now, what kind of a picture would you paint?
Imagine you have a blank canvas again, an empty journal and document. One day you decide to be the author, director, and character in your own life play.
In the tools below I share a simple FUTURE VISION DOCUMENT gathered from my journey immersing myself around some of the worlds leading entrepreneurs and change-makers. Every single one of them had a future vision for 12 months, 7 years, and even 10 years.
Simply start by scripting a future vision for 12 months.
If time and money were not an issue, what would you be doing with your life? What would your ideal lifestyle look like? What would your ideal day feel like? Where would you wake up? What would you be doing? Who would you be spending your time with? What would your morning rituals and daily habits be? What you spend most of your time doing?
- Vision Is Passion: Your vision can help you create a version of the future that you’d like to achieve. This helps create a strong emotional bond with the work you do to help achieve your goals in life.
- Vision Motivate: Every ordinary, mundane action of yours can help your vision take shape right before your eyes.
- Vision + values form our Priorities: Understand your unique genius and prioritize your time in alignment with your vision. Ask does it take me closer or further away from where I dream of going? Your priorities in life are the keys to a better life that excites you and ignites your passions.
- Vision Gives Meaning and Momentum: Motivation is great, but it's fleeting. Meaning, fulfillment, and inspiration is the best driving force for the longevity of the journey. Be inspired, not just motivated.
4 simples tools to uncover and ALIGN your internal compass with your true north
On the Selfcare.global learning ecosystem, there are empowering tools by some of the worlds leading experts to help self-determine your own internal compass. It's up to you to spend the time and do the work.
- Values with Dr. John Demartini
- Purpose aligned with 17 UN sustainable development goals
- Passion with Janet Atwood
- Genius with Roger James Hamilton and others.
10 seconds of courage overcomes any fear
There is no growth without movement. A comfort zone may feel safe, but if like a flower we are not slowly growing, blossoming, and blooming. Then we are slowly dying. Move from your comfort zone (CZ), into the uncomfortable zone (GZ) and even into the unknown. Walking the unworn path and marching to the beat of your own internal voice. Guided by your own north star.
Focus on the power of small steps, 1% per day
James clear and Paul Dunn share some wisdom on the power of small actions compounded by 1% each day. Many of us are convinced to take the leap of faith. Jump off a cliff and learn how to fly on the way down. This is great and a recipe for large shifts in our life. However, I personally resonate with this approach more.
"If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you're done. This is why small choices don't make much of a difference at the time but add up over the long term" James Clear
SUMMARISE KEY MESSAGE
At the end of the day, we are a 1 in 4 trillion chance of being here. Let's begin with a grateful heart. From the day we are born, we all just walk each other home to the source of it all. The life we live, the experiences we have, the meaning we give it. It is unique to each of us. To uncover your own personal path, follow the 6 steps above so that you have an internal compass that can guide you, even in the most chaotic storms of life. And a north star that you can always see a glimmer of, even in the darkest of days and times.
CALL TO ACTION
- Internal Compass Tools: Values, passion, purpose and
- Script a 12-month future vision: review and renew it every 12 months. Highlight in green what came true, in orange what got started, but not finished. Lastly in red highlight what didn't happen or get started. Knowing there is usually a good reason for that. Sometimes the things we think we want or need prove to be meaningless over time.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, HIGHLIGHTED IN THE TEXT.
We also understand that most thoughts are not our own and there is a collective unconsciousness, unconsciousness, and universal mind stream of energy that is always at work. How are references are sorted and filtered is here.