Head or Heart Part 2
My last coaching blog focused on Debbie Ford’s book “The Right Questions-Ten Essential Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life”. Many writers have focused on behaviors that result in people becoming extraordinary, charged, and/or engaged-with the end result being a more fulfilling life. What I like about Ford’s book is the challenge of the ten basic questions that require deep thought.
We completed the first five questions in the April blog so let’s begin with the sixth question: “Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?” Asking yourself what can be learned from a specific situation is the first step in turning this question into a life affirming process rather than a life of regrets. Chip Conley in “Emotional Equations” says that Despair equals Suffering minus Meaning. When we come to understand the meaning of life’s events we can find a place of serenity for the events. I remember an interview with a celebrity many years ago in which she stated that her goal was to live a life without regrets. By looking for the golden nuggets in every difficult situation that challenges us to grow and evolve we find a way to live a life without regrets.
The next question is “Does this choice empower me or does it disempower me? Decisions of empowerment range from sticking with a diet or exercise program to ignoring the TV to read a book for growth to getting enough sleep to allow our bodies recover and to setting aside time to work on our goals. We don’t often think about how these decisions can empower us but think about how you feel when you eat too much sugar, when you skip meals, when you put off doing what needs to be done in order to do something that is unproductive. You feel crummy. Empowering choices bring a lift to our steps and a smile to our face.
The eight question is “Is this an act of self-love or self-sabotage?” We rarely think about whether we are making choices that are an act of self-love as we may not have a framework for what self-love looks like. Ford says “Loving ourselves means loving what we believe, loving where we came from, and loving our quirks and handicaps.” Basically it’s OK to be ourselves and also to take care of ourselves. When we sabotage ourselves, we do not make our needs known or support ourselves in accomplishing our dreams and goals. Self-sabotage also shows up when we do not feed our bodies nutritious foods, exercise our bodies, or give ourselves permission to recover from the daily grind, instead taxing our bodies to the max.
The next question is “Is this an act of faith or is it an act of fear?” At the Human Performance Institute in Orlando Florida, they teach that we live in two emotional states-fear and opportunity. When one lives in fear, the emotions being felt include anger, frustration, defensiveness, defeat, hopelessness, and sadness. Opportunity emotions include; passion, hope, connectedness, peace, and mellowness. Ford says that “fear shuts us down, while faith opens us up”. When we live in faith or opportunity we are willing to let go and walk into the new opportunity. This can be hard when the voice in our head tells us to be afraid of the future and to stick to what is known. One way to change this voice is to think about a time when we did let go of the past and surrender to the future. What was the outcome? Ask yourself how you can produce a positive outcome with the new opportunity. Also, you might think about the baby steps you can take with the new opportunity which could include gaining more information about the opportunity, talking with others who have challenged themselves with a similar opportunity or talking with a professional about the opportunity.
The last question is “Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?” Once again, I am going to reference material from the Human Performance Institute due to the connection between identifying one’s mission/purpose and making choices that align with your mission purpose. When your choices align with who you want to be; align with who/what matters most to you; align with your deepest values; and align with how you define success in your life-your life will become magical!
Ten questions are a lot to digest at one time. What I would recommend is that you would pick a couple of questions that you want to focus on and strengthen you ability to choose wisely with those questions. As you become stronger with your decision making process, you will be able to move easily through each one when making a difficult decision!
To Your Success!