Personal transformation is what an athlete goes through to win a gold at the Olympics; it’s what a martial arts practitioner faces on the journey of becoming a master, or an executive going up the ranks of a well-managed organisation to the top, or a junior officer seeking to become a general in a modern army; or an artist, dancer, singer or painter aiming to reach the pinnacle of their profession; or a couple choosing to be in a long-term relationship that gets better and better; or an anxious soul learning to be at peace with themselves, and the world.
This article is Part 2 of Listen to the music on the journey of a lifetime: part 1.
Life as music
You may have noticed that in the three marriages (the marriage with your work, the marriage of love and the marriage with yourself) each of these journeys eventually leads to an almost mystical experience – an interest in the great mystery of consciousness and the wonder of life itself.
I have a vision in my mind’s eye: a hazy but inspiring picture of me in my old age and, somehow, I seem to be shining with love and wisdom – whatever that looks like- and I am happy and fulfilled. This vision is something I am working towards, and every time something in life goes well, I say, ‘Ah, another step towards fulfilling myself.’ And every time something goes badly, or I fall flat on my face, I say, ‘Ah… another lesson learnt that will teach me how to get to my wise old age.’
Having a Life-Calling helps you to be happier, healthier, more successful and to live longer.
The research shows that if you put your Life-Calling in your work you will enjoy it more and find it more meaningful1. You are likely to work harder and be more committed, and not surprisingly, you are likely to be more successful2.
One of the simplest, life-changing things you can do is sponsor your friends – it is one of the most powerful approaches to psychological change.
Why? – As young kids we are brilliant learners. We suck up everything we see and hear our parents doing… both the good and bad, unfortunately. Parents are a bit better today, but old-fashioned parenting had a lot of emphasis on what you were doing wrong. Telling someone what they are doing wrong (negative reinforcement) isn’t as effective as praising them when they get it right (positive reinforcement).
Are you mean to yourself? Do you criticise yourself? Is that helpful? Does it make your life better?
If not, stop.
How do you stop? Create new habits. Start sweet-talking yourself. Bring your compassionate wise adult mind (yes, there is one in there somewhere) and your warm tender heart and start being kind to the wounded place in you.
Speaking at the 2017 Life Talent graduation, Julian Russell relates his own story and explains why helping other people blossom is so important to him personally. Contains some swearing.
I don’t make New Year resolutions, because it is so easy to be overtaken by unrealistic enthusiasm! However I do dream about who I want to be in the year ahead, how I want the year to be, and what success looks like to me.
My personal philosophy is to:
- Make the most of myself
- Transform obstacles to happiness and success
- Learn to be nourished and supported by the mysterious beauty of life
“Deep down in every human heart
is a hidden longing, impulse, and ambition
to do something fine and enduring.”
– Grenville Kleiser
For those of you who know me or have read my Facebook posts recently (Life Talent) you will know that my early life was difficult: my father was alcoholic and went bankrupt; my mother had post-traumatic stress from the Second World War, and didn’t have much mothering instinct when her twins were born; and my twin brother become a heroin addict and eventually died of it.
What would it take for you to be at peace with yourself and happy with your life?
In addition, what if you could also be transparent about who you are, what you are good at and what you stand for at work and in your community?
There is a very natural and authentic power that comes from being at peace with oneself and, rather than having to hide who you are from any one, instead enjoying communicating with people what you are about.