There is a little life-mastery, business boosting, book my brother loves: Living Forward. He has talked about it, done the process and talked about that and encouraged me to do the same as well as download the podcasts of its authors. I have done none of that.
After finishing the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (I seem to always need to be reading some sort of non-fiction, motivational type book) I cast about my home of many bookcases for the next inspiring tome. I have been reading The Body Keeps the Score in small disconnected doses, but that one has a heaviness to it that is more informative than inspiring so something a little lighter, a little shorter that will make me do something would be perfect.
Enter Living Forward. I read it aloud to my husband. He had been going through a bout of “wooziness” characterized by vertigo and mild nausea, so reading was out for him for now. This also made him my captive.
Let’s take the high road and say the book bears an eerie likeness to What Matters Most, the leadership program by Franklin Covey. An homage let’s say. But, the information was very useful and it was time for me to revisit it, so I took to it earnestly.
I will not spoil it for you here, but I will share that the process begins with writing your own eulogy – a possibly creepy, but very telling activity. How do you want to be remembered? It makes me think of the quote that’s often attributed to Buddha,
“Who you are now is a result of what you have done, who you will become will be the result of what you do now.”
Or something like that. This exercise, if thoughtfully done, can help guide your future, transform your present, or at the very least shine a light on all the awesomeness you already are.
From there, life accounts are created and within each one of those are purpose statements, reality and commitments. It’s all very motivating. They key to the whole enchilada is returning to it daily.
Reading. It. Every. Day.
This too is helpful, if sometimes a bit of a slog. It puts all your thoughts and promises to yourself in front of your face on the regular. You can catch bad behavior, change harmful habits and feel a moment of guilt that can help turn the ship around and move in the healthy direction you had intended.
Mostly it works. There are still some bugs in my programming, but with the daily read I am getting over myself quite efficiently. I’ll be making good on those gym and meditation promises any day now.