Principles on Why and How to Create a Meaningful life through Self-Renewal

“The richest, happiest, and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal”–Dr. James Loehr and Schwarz, The Power of Full Engagement

” One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.” (Self-Renewal). John W. Gardner “

Let’s start with a speech by John Gardner, who wrote the short but powerful books on Excellence and Self-Renewal  “Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.” 

Personal Renewal is the ongoing and continuous focus on reflection, choice and purposeful action to change your life’s direction.  Renewal is based on learning how to reframe your vision and purpose for an improved “quality of life”. Discovering and learning about new ways to grow and uncover a new sense of being alive. It involves reviewing and if needed re-focusing and adjusting your life priorities. It is opportunity for you to stop living on autopilot and begin to experience how to live a life of fulfillment and meaning in the “here and now”.

Renewal is a lifelong learning and growing process.  We need to be continually engaged in it so as to stay energized, fully present and alive in the ”here and now”.  I had originally thought of renewal as something people do once (or at most a couple of times) in reaction to a crisis like l like hearing you have cancer or been fired from your job of 15 years. Significant emotional experiences like these stop you in your tracks and can be seen as opportunity to change or re-adjust life priorities or as scary moment filled with disillusionment (why me?) or fearful anxious moments where you have loss control of life.  Now I understand it is much more clearly as a proactive process based on choices and how I spent my time.  I’ve found that with each step along the way it remains necessary to re-examine what decisions or choices brought us to this point, to continue asking ourselves reflective questions like– what is my purpose in life? Or how is what I am doing been working so far? And are the choices that I have made leading me to joy and happiness? Or Am I just stuck and overburden by my present life.  Here are 4 ways for getting started on a Self-Renewal process:

  1. Unlock the power of Renewal by identifying and capturing how you spend your time over the next thirty days. See
  2. Renewal provides you with the opportunity to re-assess your life’s direction and meaning. It provides you with a map for being and a reason for getting up in the morning. Fill in this sentence–The reason I get up in the morning is____________________________________________________.
  3. The power of renewal is to help you unlock your strengths, challenge you to grow and learn and to take action by turning your dreams and potential into a higher “quality of life”. List your top 5 strengths.
  4. Renewal Setting:– Reflect on and identify 3 times in your life when you have “Played to Win”. When you gave a 110% and embraced the possibility of greatness.

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