Are you prepared for the journey of a lifetime? It has been said that life is not so much about arriving at the destination, as it is about the experience of the journey, moment-by-moment, day-by-day. The metaphor of life as a journey has served me, as well as thousands of executives with whom I have worked over the years. Would you set off on a trek through the desert without a water supply? Would you climb a mountain without climbing gear? You get the point. Clearly, when going on a journey, you want to be prepared and take essential things with you, especially if the terrain is unknown. Like, for instance, while taking action during a global pandemic.
Some of the life and leadership essentials to consider are: an internal GPS system, high-grade fuel and some key tools.
Your internal GPS allows you to orient yourself, regardless of what shows up. We speak of this as a sense of core purpose and meaning, something that doesn’t change no matter what changes around you. This transcends immediate self-gratification. Think about it this way: if at your funeral, your life were to be summarized in one sentence, what would be expressed about you?
What about fuel? For me, inspiration and courage come to mind. I like to learn how others have met difficulty and have been successful against great odds. What specific Acts of Courage served them? (In my book “The 7 Acts of Courage: Bold Leadership for a Wholehearted Life“, I speak of seven distinct Acts of Courage that can be called upon. Later, I learned about an important eighth act: the Courage to Let Go. More on that in another post! You can find out more in several videos on this page.)
And finally, there are important tools, in particular those that support human connection and collaboration, something that our very biology is wired for. One of those tools is interactive listening, which includes asking powerful questions, staying curious, and checking to make sure that what has been communicated is what has actually been received by the listener. Another important tool, so often left by the wayside, is self-care. In that, I am grateful for having kept up my yoga practice over the last many decades, even in hotel rooms around the country!
As you consider the next leg of your life journey, both personal and professional, are you well equipped? Make sure you have reliable GPS, high quality fuel and your essential tools at hand!