I had a mentor once who said to me, “Dream well. You may find yourself there one day.” According to Jim Loehr, the stories we tell ourselves become our realities and to ensure you build a story of fulfillment, engagement, passion and joy, your story needs to have three distinct elements: truth, purpose and action. The truth part is really important. For example, are you telling yourself you need to check your email at 11pm or you will fall behind in your work? Or that you had no time to exercise or call your grandmother. Or that you need to hide your work from other departments because they’ll just steal it and take the credit? The story you tell yourself over and over becomes your truth so be careful what you mumble to yourself on your commute.
Jim Loehr on Stress Management from G. Shawn Hunter on Vimeo.
Next your story needs purpose. This is the part where you DO something to get to what you are trying to accomplish. And finally your story needs passion, because without it you’ll never get to the action part. Is your story compelling to yourself? Enough to make you jump into action?
A final thought on this – Dan Gilbert reminds us in Stumbling on Happiness that we are frequently a poor judge of what will actually make us happy, and often don’t even remember accurately what did make us happy in the past. He also advises it’s important to keep the happy end in mind – the dramatic change – as you are more likely take action. Dan reminds that we respond very little to incremental change, but respond abruptly to drastic change. Toward the end of the book he offers solutions but cautions you aren’t likely to follow his advice. Ultimately you derive the greatest happiness in the present. Enjoy!