A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about defining what our daily vision is. The next task was to think about the type of impact we want to have on those around us. When a person has spent time with you, what do they come away with? How do they feel?
The answers to these questions will vary from person-to-person but by consciously thinking about the mark we want to leave on another person’s life, it gets us thinking about the other person, thus moving the focus off of ourselves.
As I pondered this task, I came up with these 3 approaches:
Appreciation: does the person feel genuinely appreciated and cared about when I am with them? This could be through my words, gestures or behavior.
Inspiration: is the person motivated and encouraged in some way by what I say? Positive and exuberant speech can get others excited about life!
Attention: do I give my undivided attention, use eye contact and appropriate body language to ensure the person feels truly listened to?
In addition to daily vision (for example, persevering through difficult tasks, having a positive attitude, doing our work with diligence), the mental act of considering how others feel around us can get us more focused on how we affect other people.
I read an inspiring blog post last week on the importance of the vision we have for our lives. What really motivated me about this post was the challenge to focus on and apply your vision on a daily basis.
Most of us have goals in mind. Some of them may require months if not years of effort to achieve. But what do we do in the mean time? How do we tackle life on a day-to-day basis? Our vision is not just limited to that goal we want to achieve at some point in the future. It is a daily experience that can help us to keep our focus and to live more fulfilled, purposeful lives.
This post asks us to consider three words that describe your vision. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just three words so I decided to come up with 3 concepts that encompass my vision for how I want to live my daily life. Try this exercise for yourself and see what words you come up with, particularly if you are grappling with a lack of direction or purpose at this present moment:
Positive Attitude and Gratitude: On a daily basis, I am aiming to focus on the positive side of my circumstances and to reflect on a few things that I am grateful for. Today, it was simply the beautiful, crisp, fresh snow that I woke up to in the morning. It was breathtaking. As I folded my children’s laundry, I looked at my son’s bright red Cars T-shirt and my daughter’s favorite rabbit shirt and contemplated the gift of having two beautiful children in my life.
Excellence, Discipline and Perseverance: In my current stage of life, my main focus is child-rearing and family life. Having had a professional career prior to this, there are days when dishes and laundry can seem mundane. Does it really matter if I try to keep the kitchen tidy? Who’s going to notice anyway? I’m realizing though that it’s not so much about the tidiness level as to the heart behind it and the effort put in. If I keep in the habit of giving every task I undertake my very best (no matter how menial it may seem), I am training myself to give my best in all areas of my life, including my future goals. This requires discipline and perseverance. There are days it is difficult and I fall short. But I have to get back up and try my best, no matter what the task is.
God and Faith: I grew up in a Christian environment and culture in Africa so faith is an important part of who I am. I find that daily devotions and quiet time to sing, pray, read and reflect are nourishing to my soul and remind me that I am not facing life on my own strength but with One who is greater than I am.
I found this exercise in defining ‘daily vision’ quite enlightening because it helped me to identify a general approach to life which can be applied to any future goal, be it living a more healthy lifestyle, starting a new project or simply dealing with the daily stresses and hassles of life.
Once you have identified your vision, the next exercise is to think about how people feel when they spend time with you. What impact do you want to have on their lives? I will share what I personally came up with in a subsequent post. Thank you for reading and I hope you are that much closer to thinking about how you want to experience your daily life!
(Thank you to Dax Murphy for his motivational post that inspired me to write this!)
In the past few weeks, I’ve posted about not being intimidated by your circumstances and also about confronting your fears so you can achieve your goals and dreams. Today, I’d like to talk about going for something even when it doesn’t seem to make sense from looking at the statistics.
Applying to medical school is a very competitive process. Many very intelligent, all-rounded applicants are vying for a select number of spots.This really hit home for me because the number of spots available to me personally are even more limited by the fact that I am applying to schools as an out-of-province or non-traditional applicant. We are talking of numbers like ‘350 applicants for 5 spots’ or ‘100 applicants for 3 spots’. I may be tempted to say to myself, “Why bother? With numbers like that and the highly competitive applicant pool, the odds of getting in are slim.” While on the surface this may seem true, how can I really know unless I try? The worst thing that can happen is I don’t get in. But the best that can happen is an acceptance and me living out my dream. This applies to any venture you may be considering that does not seem attainable but you know deep down you just have to pursue it!
One of my brothers shared a verse in the book of Jeremiah with me the other day that encouraged me to really visualize my dream being accomplished. In God’s call to Jeremiah, God says “What do you see Jeremiah?” Jeremiah responds, “I see the branch of an almond tree” (Jeremiah 1:11). God then responds, “You have seen correctly for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled…” (Jeremiah 1:12)….”Get yourself ready! Stand up…” (Jeremiah 1:17). It was only when Jeremiah saw and embraced his potential future, that he went on to become one of the greatest prophets of that time.
Even though the odds of me getting into medical school may not seem great from looking at the numbers, I really envision myself as a doctor, I see it happening and I am reaching for it with all my strength. I cannot let seemingly insurmountable odds deter me. I have submitted by medical school applications anyway, and no matter the outcome, I will have no regrets because I know that I have given this my best shot.
So even when it does not seem feasible to do something, even when it seems to defy logic, if you really want to achieve something, give it your best shot and see what happens!