Staying On Track Through Purpose: 10 Questions to Fuel and Drive Your Intentions

I have been a fan of The Golden State Warriors NBA team for over 3 decades. As talented as they are, what impresses me about them now is how they hold their team purpose above all else to win a championship, over any personal glory or stats.

All for one and one for all meant that veteran all-star starters took seats on the bench, keeping the purpose of winning first. It also meant adopting a new team strategy of constantly moving on the floor and passing the ball to the person who has the best look at the basket, rather then forcing any shots. Staying on purpose no matter what, took them all the way to reaping the ultimate reward, the NBA champion title last year.

This year, even with their head coach out the first 43 games, they stayed focused and broke several NBA records. Nothing distracted or pulled them in any other direction. They stayed on purpose to play as a team, follow their game plan and have fun, no matter how many minutes they each got on the floor.

Like the Warriors, we too can stay on track driven by purpose in our personal and professional lives. Clarifying and committing to your purpose also reminds you where to put your focus and energy to reach your goals.

Walking on a Straight Line – How Purpose Keeps You On Track

I once heard a story about elephants in the open-air markets of India whose huge trunks wag back and forth, knocking fruit and vegetables off the stands. One morning a young animal trainer arrived at the market with his elephant. The two walked right down the central corridor without knocking so much as a single apple off a cart. When asked how he’d trained the massive elephant to walk a straight line, the animal trainer smiled and held up his staff. The elephant trainer’s secret was this: by carefully placing a staff inside the elephant’s trunk, the animal naturally walked straight instead of wagging from side to side.
Like the staff in the elephant’s trunk, purpose can keep you from wavering around and getting buffeted about. Your purpose can infuse your life with meaning and guide you through each turn making the best decisions straight towards your “championship rings”.

10 Questions To Help You Discover Or Reclaim Purpose As Your Staff In Life.

You can choose to read the questions or go to to be guided by audio with soothing accompanying music. After you read or hear each question, wait a few seconds and listen inwardly for an answer. Then, say aloud or write down the first thought, symbol or picture that comes to mind. Stay open and curious. Repeat this process for each question, one at a time.

  1. What is my purpose for being alive right now?
  2. What is uniquely valuable about me?
  3. What do I do that serves and helps others?
  4. What am I most passionate about in my life?
  5. How, when and where do I express my purpose through my health?
  6. How, when and where do I express my purpose in my relationships?
  7. How, when and where do I best express my purpose in my career?
  8. Where in my life am I aligned with my purpose?
  9. Where in my life am I not aligned with my purpose?
  10. What actions can I take to be more aligned with my purpose?

What did you discover? Perhaps you felt a place in yourself that wants to make a deeper commitment to your career or relationships? Or maybe you received a clear message to make a big change in your life? As you move through your day today, maintain an awareness of your answers to these very important questions and let purpose take you all the way to where you deserve to go.

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Assessing Your Relationship Mojo

In relationships we can connect on many levels. Some couples form relationships in which the chemistry works on all fronts, while other pairs connect well in some areas, but not others. That’s just the way it goes. Couples that connect on all levels share common values, interests and goals. They are intellectually compatible, emotionally suited to one another in terms of basic temperament, and physically connected with zingy chemistry. On the other hand, some couples have a fantastic intellectual connection that flows easily, but physically show little affection toward each other. Some have a strong spiritual connection but no sexual chemistry. Still others have great physical chemistry but few shared values or visions. That’s just the way it is.

However relationships work best when both people know why they are together, are content with what they “do” have as a couple, and if mutually desired, work towards adding spark to areas that need some juju. My suggestions to improve your relationships are:

1.) Do not force connection where there isn’t one.

Rather then complain or suffer over areas where a gap exists, try to fill the gap with awareness rather than resentment. One of the many pitfalls I’ve watched couples fall into is a tendency to propagate negative thoughts such as: “he doesn’t meet me on an intellectual level,” or, “she isn’t as affectionate as I am.” Of course, some of your concerns may have truth to them, but resenting your partner never helps you get closer to what you desire.

2. Stop Creating Stories.

We all tend to create stories in our heads that are full of assumptions about our partner’s feelings and behavior. These stories often have little to do with reality and usually make us very sad, angry and/or scared. We then react to these unhappy stories with a “fight or flight” response and either attack, blame, or pull away. This leads to an escalation of problems and bigger gaps, instead of resolution. Even the healthiest and most aligned relationships hit rough spots on occasion. What makes for a healthy relationship is not the absence of challenges, but two people who have motivation and communication skills to resolve conflict and work through differences that naturally arise.

3.) Have Honest Conversations About Where You Connect and Where You Don’t

To help you, here’s an exercise to do together. Tell each other what you feel about your present connection in the following areas, one at a time. Just share what you feel and desire, avoiding any blame or judgment towards one another. Discuss how you two connect or lack connection:

Intellectually

Emotionally

Spiritually

Physically

Socially

Financially

Partners in a healthy relationship come to appreciate differences rather then resist them, or refuse to accept the other person for who they are. Once you two have assessed how you engage in several areas, you then have the choice to enjoy what works and explore what doesn’t.

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Three Ways Movement Awareness Can Improve Your Life

Right now, whether you are aware of it or not, your body is adjusting to meet the demands of the moment, like shifting positions in your seat to get more comfortable, while reading this blog. Yet, most of the time we have no idea of what our body is doing or what micro messages it is communicating to us and to others. What’s miraculous about us as human beings however is that we have the ability tocatch and influence these movements and either adapt, ignore, resist, or even move against them.

By being aware of your body movements you can increase your intelligence, alter your mood on demand, and improve your communications to others.

1)  Movement awareness can help you think more clearly and turn up the dial on your smart meter.

Research shows that the brain can take cues from body movements to understand and solve complex problems. In 2009, University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras, along with Laura Thomas of Vanderbilt University, conducted a study on problem solving and body movement. They set out to test if a person’s ability to solve a complex problem could be influenced by how he or she moves. They tested fifty-two University of Illinois students. The results showed that body motion affects higher order thought and complex problem solving. Lleras and Thomas reported, “People tend to think that their mind lives in their brain, dealing in conceptual abstractions, very much disconnected from the body. This emerging research is fascinating because it is demonstrating how your body is a part of your mind in a powerful way. The way you think is affected by your body and, in fact, we can use our bodies to help us think.”

2.) Movement Awareness helps you create more happiness and less stress.

In Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, she noted, “Power posing such as raising the arms above the head as when a player scores a touchdown, increases testosterone and decreases cortisol, the stress hormone. Contracted movements, on the other hand, diminish your personal power and, in turn, your effectiveness.” Movement awareness isa great sensor that can alert you when chronic, subconscious thinking patterns kick in. For example, you might notice your whole body becomes tense when you try to take control of a situation that you’d be better off letting go of. Or you might look down and see your leg shaking furiously, which could indicate that you are getting anxious or bored.Start observing your body movements and breathe, move, lift your arms up and wave your hands, open up your chest real wide, shake that tail feather, and watch your mood shift almost instantly. Don’t worry. Make an expansive move and be happy.

 

3.) Movement Awareness helps you improve your presentation and response to others.

We all walk around with our own “billboard.” communicating messages about what we are thinking and feeling.  For most of us this is largely unconscious whole body communication. It includes vocal tones and inflections, physical gestures, postures, involuntary movements, breathing, pacing of speech, and numerous other subtle and not-so subtle signals. If you broadcast mixed messages, you’ll get mixed messages in return. That incongruence generally results in confusion, difficulty and self-sabotage. The messages we broadcast on our billboard can mean the difference between success and failure, intimacy and isolation, health and ill-health. Conversely, when we are conscious of our body movements, then we can be aware of what we’re feeling and communicating, and begin to function with natural confidence, power and efficiency, and connect more authentically with others.

 

Continue observing your movements with awareness, as a new tool to help you access your deepest truth in an efficient way, move you in the right direction and improve your thinking, your mood and your interactions with your self and others.

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7 Tips For Taking Time Away From Busyness and Soft Addictions

Boy have we gotten busy. Our reasons for being “on” most of the time might include economic pressure, a need to stay connected socially, or even having a creative or business idea that just has to be shared with as many people as possible. Fair enough. These are all good reasons to stay busy. However with Silicon Valley companies inventing wonderful new tools that have become soft addictions for many of us, it’s getting harder and harder to put down our cell phones, IPads and laptops to take much needed breaks from our busyness.  With the ability to access our smart tools 24/7, many of us at times, forget to balance work and social media time with our personal off line time for exercise, family, spiritual practices, or just plain fun.

Can I Take a Pause?

People are finding they still are staying connected to their screens, thinking about work, and stressing over past and future events, even at home or on a tropical vacation. I lived on Maui for five years and I saw it everywhere, from mad texting going on at the pools at luxury resorts to serious cell phone conversations on a trail in the Bamboo Forest.  It’s hard to unplug!  So even on vacation many people are still over stimulating their brain and disconnecting from their body and the important people around them. So what can we do? Make mind-body balance a new essential daily habit.

7 Mindful Tips ToCreate AMore Mind Body Balanced Life

Just like when we unplug and reboot our smart tools when they freeze or act lethargic, we also need to reboot ourselves regularly. When you unplug and regenerate consistently your brain gets to relax and your decisions and life activities become more balanced.

1.) Take some dedicated time each week to unplug and examine your work/life/online scale. Make an appointment with you as the CEO of your life to make a plan to assess your activities to see if they are balanced to your satisfaction.

2.) List what is a priority to you in key areas of your life. From your health, career, and relationships to relaxation, fun, and personal growth, put your priorities in your calendar first. Having your priorities and desires clearly mapped out in this way greatly assists you to stay balanced and move in the direction of what you really want.

3.) Keep agreements with yourself. This is essential. This is key to give you a rock-solid foundation from which to create the balanced life you desire. If you keep 50% of your agreements you will get 50% results.

4.) Listen to your body when making decisions.If your body says “no,” to a busy project, listen. Your body when it lines up with your perfect life plan, becomes a reliable barometer that can remind you to make choices in every moment that will give you energy and the balanced life you desire and deserve.

5.) Stay connected to your body, while using smart tools.

Keep your head up and don’t lean in to your devices. Have them adjust to you instead of you adjusting to them. Poor posture like staring down at your phone for several hours straight can cause neck pain and cut off oxygen to your brain, for instance. You then spend more time healing ailments then doing what you truly desire to do.

6.)Take hourly stretch breaks. Stretch your neck up and down and sideways, especially when you are using smart tools.  Get up and shake out any tension or stiffness to create more body/mind balance..

7.) Take a personal body/mind balance assessment test.

Receive specific written and audio tips and solutions according to your responses, to achieve more body/mind balance in your life and work.

http://dilogr.com/app1/s/3ee555015191992

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Assessing Your Work and Life Balance

Nothing is as close to us as our body, but there is nothing else that is close to us and about which we know so little. ~

Gunther von Hagans, Creator of the Body Worlds Exhibits

In little more than a decade, we have become high-tech beings, but evolution doesn’t happen that fast. Therefore, most of us get thrown off balance, physiologically compromised by a virtual lifestyle that leaves the body behind. The more cell phones, electronic tablets, virtual games and computers that we use, the more we build stress in our bodies. We move less and stare at screens more. And our health and a lot more suffers.

Work/Life or Body/Mind?

Many consultants and companies are recommending we create more work/life balance as a solution, by adding in an extra vacation every year, or even working from home a day a week, which are all certainly great steps in the right direction. However people are finding they still are using their mind most of the time, staying connected to their screens and thinking about work and stressing over it even on vacation. It’s hard to unplug!

Make Mind-Body Balance a New Daily Habit

What I suggest is to add more times away from the desk so you can unplug, reboot, and regenerate your body/mind, which creates more creativity, less stress and a true balance of the brain and body. To that end, I developed a simple assessment to help you look at what changes you can make to achieve waking up and adding more body intelligence into your workday.

Once you have completed your assessment then you can discern the how and what of your current state of body-mind integration. You will also discover how each can contribute to or detract from your personal success and fulfillment. Awareness is what we’re after here; awareness that invites a soft focus within and offers you a self-reflective process that can lead to breakthroughs and positive change.

Enjoy taking a 13-statement personal assessment survey and receiving specific written and audio tips and solutions according to your responses, to achieve more body/mind balance in your life and work.

http://dilogr.com/app1/s/3ee555015191992 (link is external)

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