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 https://wordpress.com/post/5659051/8559/
  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.

Secret to Personal Change–Art of Intentional Living or Sleep Walking through Life

Daily Quote: As Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian said, “A good coach will make a player see what he can be rather than what he is.”

Reflection: To create a strong and clear purpose in life means doing things purposefully or intentionally and not just letting things happen.  It means doing what you want to do. Learning to say “no” to things that do not fit your values or goals. To me experimenting with a new strategy or activity means actively pursuing something of interest to see if you enjoy them and are good at doing them. It means that you must stop sleep walking through life, so that you can create a life of purpose and fulfillment. Stop wondering what you have done with your life and start creating it with intention and purpose.

I say this because many people I coach lack the understanding and motivation to make personal changes and commitment to change things that are not working for them. Many people settle just for things in life because they mistakenly believe that successful people are either lucky or “have” an inborn sense of greatness or “god” given talent. It is my believe that our mindset and lack of a strong belief in self (self-efficacy) are the critical factors that many of us overlook when it comes to changing our life circumstances.

More often than not, a change of mindset from fixed to growth needs to take place in order to create new habits and behaviors that support your goals for change. In order to make personal changes that “stick” you need to LEARN and GROW in a number of ways to support yourself both mentally and emotionally to take on personal challenges and self-directed change plans.

What does research tell us?  We need to coach ourselves so as to create strong self-efficacy (belief) and a Growth Mindset to get what we want in life. A strong belief in self is not sometime you have or don’t have (fixed mindset)  it real is something you create through effort, failure, feedback and deliberative practice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: This weekend or next week identify a personal habit or activity you want to change in order to create a better quality of life. Use the Smart Step and Plus One techniques to accomplish your goal. 

On Gratitude–New Poem by MW hardwick

Gratitude Poem by MW Hardwick

Mysterious and powerful this thing called gratitude…

Being grateful turns sadness, irritations and isolated lives

Into a new mindset–life becomes more enriched and elevated

What I have is good enough because it is a gift.

Turns day-to-day issues I face into challenges…

Victim mentally disappears…happiness seeps-in…

Getting your gratitude muscle going leads to

More self-compassion, less disappointment and stress

Positive mental and physical well-being take center stage

Whatever it is that you might be struggling with starts to fade…

And hope is renewed and fostered.

An “attitude of gratitude” clears the way for happiness

Promotes and increases a satisfying life by—focusing on the good enough…

And replacing negativity with a positive outlook…

Thus increasing health, optimism and your “quality of life…

It starts with observation and awareness and many times

Ends with a “THANK YOU”

Feeling appreciated and important drives happiness…

So start today to be more grateful…choose it and live it

Gratitude ripples out to others

Think about it. Capture it. Share it .

And make the world a better place…by being more grateful

Thank you…Thank you…Thank you…

Note: Inspiration from Dr.Robert Emmonsbook on the New Science of Gratitude

entitled–“Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.”  

Daily Quote and Self-Reflection: Embracing Change and Openness

Daily Quote: “Things do not Change: We change.”  Henry Thoreau

Self Reflection: When “IT” comes to change and upsetting the “status quo” I am a searcher. Searchers look for problems that can become opportunities. They are open-minded about how to solve problems and do not think they have all the answers. The main tools searchers use are a “growth mindset” seeing problems as challenges, experimentation and piloting potential solutions.  Their change mantra is:: “Whoever Tries The Most Stuff Wins.” Always be open to try new ways to find the right answers. I believe one must never lose time in vainly regretting failures nor in complaining about the changes which cause us discomfort, or making excuses because the essence of change is shaking things-up.

Self-Coaching: What are you facing in your daily life that needs changing and you have been procrastinating from doing it. Listen to Graham Hill, feature speaker at TED, talk about how to create more happiness in your life. Then reflect on the TED talk and pick one thing in your daily life that will make your happiness soar. Good Luck and have fun.

Want more Success and Impact on Others? Research says: Fake It until you make it

Daily Quote: “Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen.” Marge Piercy, Poet

Reflection: What Piercy is telling us to do is when you’re not sure of what to be just “Fake it until you make it.” In words create your own personal self-fulfilling philosophy. Dr. James Loher a colleague makes this powerful insight about “faking it” “pretending that you’re happy–requires you to smile, be engaged by mimicking positive energy and enthusiasm–not only can this approach earn you some of the benefits of happiness (returned smiles, connecting with others successes as a public speaker or at work and school but can actually make you happier.”  Why does this “fake it till you make it work? How can acting like you are happy make you happy?

Researcher’s On this subject focus primarily on two reasons for this phenomena one internal and one external.

1. Internally, our brains interpret the positive thoughts and physical manifestations of happiness by releasing adrenalin, testosterone  and dopamine ( pleasure drug) levels into the blood stream while decrease cortisol (stress hormone) so that  we actually experience the emotion to a greater extent. and shows through our external appearance to others and says not in words I am confident and happy to be with you.
2. Externally, our manifestations of happiness are typically mirrored by others, creating a cycle of positive emotions of confident appearance and tone of voice, twinkling eyes, smile and relaxed posture other body language signals of the emotions itself.

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Don’t miss this TED video by Dr. Cuddy where she presents very insightful research and findings on how “faking it” can influence power and dominance in relationships.

 

 

Learning… By MW Hardwick

Learning … by MW Hardwick 

I now see the world with new eyes.

I see the benefits of trying new ways,

To learn—I observe, experience, reflect and listen

I see a model to follow and read about a new way

and I now know I can learn anything.

No matter how difficult or time consuming

learning comes through effort and practice

I keep an open mind and change comes naturally

if I stay focuses the payoff is great…

if I persevere I can win..

If I am praised I can stagnate and lose

What will you choose? What will you choose?

 

Part III: Self Coaching and Career Development: Awareness and Commitment to Personal Change

Daily Quote:  “The degree to which I can create relationships, which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons, is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.”  Dr. Carl R. Rogers
Reflection: Developing effective interpersonal communication is self-awareness at its finest. It is all about developing a sense self-efficacy (belief) and awareness which entails knowing who you are, what you can do, and where you are now and where you want to go.  In addition to the above, you must have the ability to access and master self-awareness and reflective thinking by choosing to accept relevant feedback and your feelings or emotions surrounding decisions and taking personal action to change. Your success in self-coaching relies on using a “process and structure” that allows you to discover and choose what fits your needs, time and personal change goals and objectives.Self Coaching equates to the “soft skills” used in counseling such as  observation, questioning, listening, reflection, problem solving and choices. Most of these skills are encompassed in the popular Emotional Intelligence category of Self Management. But most importantly self-coaching can impact all important values and priorities of your life, including health, education, career, relationships and spiritual arenas.To get started with  Self Coaching you must make a commitment to personal change and then assess your readiness for coaching. This process takes a time commitment and a decision to risk exploring who you are and what you want to do in life plus examining life priorities and  values.The first question for getting started with self-coaching is why do you want to begin this journey of self exploration and development. The second question is to consider is what behavior or thinking patterns your want to improve upon. In answering these questions you will need to explore where you are now and what is important to you to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. By doing this type of assessment you can start living a more self-directed life of choice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: To see if self-coaching is for you it is important to consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your social contacts or developing a relationship.

Start with translating your self-coaching challenge into concrete actions by answering the following questions:

  • Why is it important for you to achieve this personal change goal?
  • What is it you want to achieve?
  • What actions do you need to take to achieve this goal?
  • What barriers or distractions may keep you from achieving your goal?
  • Who could give you feedback on how you are doing in achieving your goal?
  • How will you know or measure your success in meeting your goal?

By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for reaching your goal and if need be making adjustments required in your thinking and behavior to achieve your desired outcome.

My 30 day goal for personal change is to  _________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Daily Quote and Reflection: Accepting and Knowing Your Natural Self

Daily Quote : ” Knowing how to stop, relax and step-up to difficult people and challenging situation is a critical skill needed to grow and develop as a leader.” Robert Greenleaf, author of Servant Leader     

Reflection:In the moment of truth, having the ability for controlling impulses and  powerful emotions is important for all of us. I have found this technique of saying to yourself—  STOP… BREATHE…REFLECT…THINK allows you to get back in control by triggering the executive function of your brain. Your emotional impulses of fight or flight slow down so you can take charge in a more deliberate way by observing and reflecting on the other person and the situation you find yourself in.

When safety, trust, congruence and self-disclosure are established, these qualities support the actions that lead to greater self-awareness to be who you are–a mixture of hopes, dreams, caring and ambitions and disappointments, anger frustrations etc. With this acceptance of your natural self comes a willingness to experiment, take risk and grow in the process. When we feel able to experiment, take risks and make ourselves vulnerable, our ability to learn, to increase our self-awareness (and our awareness of others) to change our immediate impulsive reaction and over ride our emotions in order to achieve our goals increases dramatically. Find ways to successful step-up or lean-in provides an opportunity to constructively take on life as an adventure. Don’t be afraid t try new things, take risks and use your natural strengths. 

Self-Coaching challenge: Read the poem–Be Strong. This poem will highlight the struggle between our good and bad self. After reading the poem thing of a situation where you lost it.  Capture in your Personal Journal what the situation was, who was involved  and how you reacted. Then based on what you now know about handling difficult and emotionally charged situations reflect and think through how you would handle the situation differently, if you had the chance to relive it. Good Luck and keep us posted on your progress to learn more optimal ways to handle these challenges.    

 

New Poem–“Stuckness” by MW Hardwick

“STUCKNESS” …by MW Hardwick 

Being “stuck” or broken means not growing.

Giving up on things that matter—love for yourself and others  

Staying “stuck” is settling and playing life the safe way.

Always avoiding risks and protecting self with heavy metal—

Bracing against life’s un-certain ways and waves of change

Not thinking. It’s giving up ownership and control

Of to whoever or whatever is in front and all around you.

Stuckness is the death of self-respect.

Signaled by being sad when alone…

You avoid decisions… daydream about what could have been.

You talk a lot about what you’re going to do. But do nothing.

You lay awake at nights and sleepwalk by day…

Tightness rises in chest…and dark rings around the eyes tell the story

Little things preoccupy your thinking, irritability and anger become the usual.

It takes more time and energy to get going in the morn 

Liquor store guy becomes your best friend, visits are daily…

You are isolated ignoring family and friends

Satisfaction and happiness allude your consciousness

You find every day the same old, same old…talking about the same things day after day

Your sense of purpose — remains loss in thoughts of disaster

There seem to be no answers for this inner turmoil and chaos 

Then I awake from this fog and step by step find ways to let the sun in–

 I find focus by looking at my strengths and talents I can give to the world…

 I start moving slowly again and focus on things to be thankful for

My physical energy starts to charge up

as I grind to start doing rather than thinking…

I take my dark pieces and stump on them and out

And slowly, slowly a vision for a positive future appears.

Foggy and ghost like  I find one thing a day to be satisfied with—

an interaction, a sun rise and colorful yellow chickadee or  a colorful rose…nature is restorative…

Personal relationships reappear more peaceful and settled

 I find meaning in small pleasures—

a cup of coffee or juicy orange…

I focus and think clearly.

 I have the courage to face my fears.

 I offer compassion to others in need…

 I offer forgiveness to others easily.

 I am growing and developing.

 I sense the presence of a greater meaning in life or higher power.

 I have a regular meditative practice.

 I feel a sense of joy and peace when I am in the natural world.

 I feel a sense of gratitude for my life.

 I maintain a balance of saving and savoring the world.

 I invest time in making a difference to others or to the world.

 I know what I want to be remembered for…

Remembered for… Remembered for…

And look for and initiate external experience and activity — by knowing I have choices in life.

To do my life in my own way

And be who I am…. who I am…who I am…

And accept how I want to be remembered…by executing my power of purpose…

Live My —MEANING. LIVE LONGER, BETTER…

Longer, Better…LONGER BETTER…

Self-Directed Coaching Framework: Grounding Principles and Truths

CORE PRINCIPLES AND TRUTHS:

Quote : “You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” – Galileo

1. It is not the circumstances, but our thoughts about the circumstances that create our experience.

2. We cannot control everything in the world. So decide if you control a situation and if you do and do not like what is happening chose to do something different to change the feeling or situation; if you can not control the situation or events choose to let go of the need for control and move on.

3. Nothing outside of us has the power to make us feel good or bad. It is our choices that determine how we feel and behave.

4. We are driven and motivated by what we choose to think about.

5. Emotions are triggers that lead to action.

6. We can’t permanently change our habits or results without changing our thinking

7. We don’t have to get anything in a material sense to feel better; we have the power to feel better right now.

8. Being conscious and choosing our thoughts is the most important component to feeling better.

Exploring and expanding on the Self-Directed Coaching (SDC) principles–Flushing-out  Principle #1

Change the way you think and you can change how you feel and act. So every time you think of something, you choose the feelings that are associated with it. If you have a negative thought you are guaranteed to have a negative feeling associated with that thought. So the question is, “How do you feel when you think that thought?” This approach will help you sort out that things happening in your world (a difficult situation  or a pressing problem or decision to be made) that they are supposedly causing your feelings. The truth is that the negative or positive thoughts you choose not circumstances or problems cause your attitude and feelings.

Make Better Choices and then Never…Never…Give-up

Daily Quote: ”

“No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back. – Sheryl Swoopes

 Never Never…Give-up”  Steve Jobs

Reflection: In order to live a less stressful and more productive life we need to take control of our negative self-talk by monitoring our thinking and emotions. We can put ourselves more in control of these “inner demons” by eliminating words that trigger negativity. You ask what are these words well the ones I struggle with are  the “shoulds…have to’s… that I tell myself. By being more attuned to these inner triggers you can replace them and focused on things we Want to do…in doing this you are ” playing to win”  in life rather than just “sleep walking” or being “stuck” in your daily routines and activities.  

What is it that motivates or drives us to do what we do? We tend to give more thought to our grocery list or shopping trips to the mall than we do to these important questions—of why we do what we do. Seldom do we reflect on what is the generating force behind our daily living itself—what fuels our movement toward personal development and growth?

Some might think this question is too obvious to be worth asking. Others might think it a silly topic or too deep to worry about. Perhaps it is all three of these things. In any case, it is not an easy topic, but I know of no other one that is more important because we all have to make choices and decisions that shape who we are and our quality of life.  I believe that making choices  is the core driver for creating a meaningful and fulfilling life. It is often said that “where there is a choice, there are consequences.” And yet most of us spend most of our time reacting to what comes at us and very little time trying to understand the consequences of our choices and the why we do what we do.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Choices, Commitment and Courage

Quote: “The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them, but a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and their commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day to day. These decisions require courage.”  Rollo May

Reflection: How many of us just go through the motions of being engaged and committed to a purpose for our life? We confront situations and just react, rather than thinking through a response based on our values or priorities in life. I call this sleep walking through life. How many of us have  identified our own strengths? How many are willing to experiment and try new ways of living or interacting with others,even if in this process we make mistakes. Taking the risk and having the courage to try out new behaviors or make mistakes is what life long-learning is all about. Being the consummate learner keeps us energized and motivated because playing it save leads to a life of boredom. So the question for you is–Are you living a life on “automatic pilot” or are you investing in your development and growth by creating moments everyday in the right situations with the right people to maximize your learning and achieve your purpose in life?

Freeing Yourself to Perform at Optimal levels of Performance : ZEN Story

“Experience is determined by yourself–not the circumstances of your life. Face your fears and think clearly are  the sources for personal growth”. MWH.

Many of us face anxious moments such as public speaking or making split second decisions with limited information. So what does it take to access our ideal performance state in such difficult situations? Reducing distractions and the inability to perform at high levels of thinking and action is as simple as STOPPING and hitting the pause button. Even though the shift is  simple as remembering that you have a choice where you place your attention. It’s always an option to take a deep breath and look at the trees instead of the worries inside your head.

So what burdens are you are carrying mentally that keep you from being present in the moment to your family, to your friends, to yourself? The shift is as simple as stopping to reflect on your choices and over coming that rush of adrenalin and impulsivity. You have a choice of how to respond to any situation.  It’s always an option to take a deep breath and think about the beautiful white beaches you love to visit. instead of the worries and fears rushing through your brain..

Zen Story and Lesson of Choice  

There’s a well-known Zen story that offers an important insight about how to free our brains and emotions,  from internal habits that drain our ability to respond in appropriate and constructive ways and regain positive energy. Two monks are on a day-long walk to a temple. This is a very strict tradition, and they are not to speak or interact with others, especially women, during this pilgrimage. In the morning, they notice a woman along the side of the road struggling to cross a river. One of the monks goes over, picks her up and carries her across, safely placing her down on the other bank before returning to continue the journey with his colleague. This action is very disturbing to the second monk, who is aware that his colleague just violated the vows of their order. After thinking about this for more than three hours, the second monk could contain himself no longer, and he blurts out, “How could you pick up that woman back there?!” The first monk calmly replies, “I held that woman for five minutes — you’ve been carrying her for three hours!”

Challenge and Action: What boggy men are you carrying around that prevent you from thinking clearly when fears or anxious situations you confront? Do you have ways to self-regulate your barbarian brain and the flight response chemicals.

When Trust is Broken…Lesson from the Anthony Weiner Debacle

‘ I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” Frederich Nietzsche

“The glue that holds all relationships together – including the relationship between; the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on TELLING THE TRUTH AND INTEGRITY. MWH

The only person who now can correct this situation is Representative Weiner. He needs to make a difficult choice about whether to stay or resign his position in Congress. Based on the information revealed so far and the standards of Congress he now needs to do the right thing—resign. Let’s get beyond this distraction and start solving the rel problems ofAmerica—the need for quality jobs and a thriving economy. What do you think?As the American public contemplates another man acting badly (Congressman Weiner’s lewd behavior and cover-up) I reflected that at the core of this issue is broken trust. When we look at Weiner’s and many other men’s inappropriate and embarrassing personal behavior we see a lack of impulse control and in general an inability to monitor their testosterone urges. They have difficulty anticipating or measuring consequences for their action or think they are to powerful to be held accountable for their actions. Remember that trust is the glue that holds and keeps relationships together. Without trust you lose credibility and without credibility it is difficult to do your job for the people you are representing. Connecting with others becomes difficult, and collaboration to solve problems next to impossible. To be trustworthy means to be dependable or that you can be counted on to do what you said you will do (DWYSYWD).

Choices–Beauty and Freedom

Choices–beauty and Freedom by M. W.Hardwick

I have seen the red stone and mountains of beauty

And how they enjoy their majestic ways

Silent, at peace, and beautiful

Each peak and valley buffered by a never-ending wind.

And I have touched their face in the wild,

Moments when no birds or other animals speak,

Silent except for the quaking of the Aspen leaves,

Free on their little leash of air; making noise by embracing the other

I have considered the silence as mindfulness

I have dreamed of the mountain peace,

And change of seasons as the sun takes control

Who is the ultimate power of all things?

Who is to answer this existential quest?

Who is the master of all birds, all flowers and pure water

I now understand questions lead to more and

The mountains and nature flourish as we continue, to explore

And ignore the harm we do in the name of independence and  freedom to choose.

So please STOP and choose to sustain

The beauty and peace that the mountains already know…

Find your place in the world–Whoever you are the wild geese of meaning are calling…

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” — Mary Oliver

We have all experienced unexpected bad news in our lives. Loss job, foreclosure on house, missing deadlines, divorce, disappointing presentation, cheating spouse, car accident, death of loved ones love etc. It is amazing to me how these problems come at us one bullet at a time , yet somehow most of us endure and move on. Life doesn’t stop because we feel overwhelmed and stuck it continues to present us ever day hazels, opportunities, wonder and pain.

At times things are really difficult and we try not to be hurt or stopped in a journey. We need to muster courage and step-up or we face the risk of fear and pain being in the driver seat of our bus. We must find ways to adapt and snap back to handle these outside problems. Remembering that life is difficult and at times can be unfair. I have hung this reminder by Scott Peck, M.D. from his book The Road Less Traveled, on my study wall: ” Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greats truths… Once we truly understand and accept it –then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

Meaningful Life Principles

1. Life is difficult accept it

2. Be more proactive and courageous. Constantly try to be more aware and attentive by anticipating challenges, confronting problems and identifying solutions.  The key is to be more flexible, open and resilient through actively in engaging your imagination and using your skills for continuous learning. Refuse to allow yourself to give-up by believing in your self and your abilities to handle anything that comes your way.

3. Learn to manage yourself from an inside-out focus. Understand that our greatest struggles in life are not from others or outside events but from our thoughts and self-talk.

4.Don’t go anyplace without a map. If you don’t have a map or plan you may just wander around loss or hoping to get lucky. You have choices so change your mental maps to reflect reality.

5. Life is a mystery. YOU have the power to write your own play from opening to close. Take control and do what you have to do to make a difference and create your own meaning. Life does not have to be “one damned horrid grind” as Charles Dickens once said.

6. Life beyond yourself. Support and contribute to something that is greater than yourself. Try executing against the Jesuit principle–“Be a Man for Others”. As Emerson once said, “our task in life is to leave the world a bit better than we found it”.