FINDING MEANING AND PURPOSE IN CHAOS
THREE CHOICES THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
I recently coached an executive that was going through a divorce and struggling to grow their company. This individual was also suffering the loss of a loved one, due to COVID 19. This person was despondent and had little hope that life would ever get any better.
I believe that the strongest drive in people is the drive for fulfillment and that all human beings share this need to experience a life of meaning and purpose.
When we associate negative meanings to events, it can steal our energy and lead to great life dissatisfaction.
Ultimately, fulfillment can only be achieved through a pattern of living in which we focus our lives on the spiritual needs of:
Unhappiness, emotional distress, and all dysfunctional behavior arise from an individual’s inability to find a way to meet his or her needs in ways that lead to growth and contribution.
I don’t believe that anyone is “broken.” They are simply trying to attain an underlying positive intention, but their behaviors sabotage attaining what they really want. We don’t have to remain stuck in a state of misery forever.
If a person can reframe perceptions about experiences, they can then focus not only on solving immediate situations, but also on growing and expanding the ability to solve problems proactively. We can truly change the trajectory of our lives and transform the way we live.
THREE CHOICES THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
CHOOSE YOUR MEANING
All human behavior is driven by the pursuit to fulfill one or more of the Six Human Needs. When an event occurs in our lives, we take an internal process that creates meaning of the event.
Everything we see, think, feel, evaluate, and experience is filtered through the emotions we experience at a given moment.
Through the human needs-lens, we generalize, distort, and delete information when we experience an event. We then form meanings. From those meaning(s) we create emotion(s); from this emotion(s) we produce behavior(s); and from this behavior(s) we produce result(s).
Become self-aware of the meanings you assign to events. Take into consideration the human needs that are trying to be met in the situation. From there, tap into your critical thinking skills and frame perceptions accordingly.
CHOOSE YOUR STATE
People are unique and have special abilities to interpret the world beyond their five senses. Because we can only measure these five senses, we must learn to control them.
People are responsible for their own experiences; no one can make them feel a certain way. The fact is we experience what we are doing. If a person says, “I feel sad,” they are actually doing sadness.
In other words, they are using their body (their breathing, their facial muscles, their voice, their language, and their belief structures) in a way that causes them to feel sad at that moment. Consequently, this feeling can be changed in a moment if a person has a compelling reason to do so (i.e., leverage) and enough alternatives (i.e., new models of the world).
If you’re experiencing an unwanted behavior or emotion, use the P.A.L.M. method.
P = Physical. Change your physical state. Change your body posture. Change your facial expressions, change your breathing.
A = Attention. Change the attention, of focus that you’re giving to “it.”
L = Language. The words that we speak are incredibly impactful. Eliminate negative words from your vocabulary.
M = Meaning. We as human beings want to constantly assign meaning to events that we experience. Be aware that just because we think it, doesn’t make it true. Consider the underlying human need that is trying to be met.
CHOOSE YOUR THOUGHTS
Ultimately, we always have the power to choose what we think, believe, and feel, regardless of past conditioning. All change happens in a moment. The moment we change what things mean to us, we create a lifelong transformation in our experience.
Meaning leads to emotion and emotion leads to action. All action is a cause set in motion that will produce a verbal or nonverbal effect. Continuous actions lead to continuous effects. Continuous effects create a direction in our lives that ultimately leads us to a destination, our personal destiny.
By changing the way we process information (i.e., evaluate and create meaning), we change the source of our experiences rather than try to change the behavior, which is simply the surface of the problem.
Trying to change behavior without addressing the process in which we create the meanings in our lives is merely cursing the effect while nourishing the cause.
Creating an empowering meaning is the way to transform your experience from pain to pleasure. We can find an empowering meaning in any situation. Pain is the result of a disempowering meaning that we have constructed within ourselves; it is the result of valuing the illusion of loss more than the commitment to find a higher level and more empowering meaning.
Hope for A Better Way of Living
Everyone has the resources within themselves to change, but these resources may need to be redirected or attached to a new context in order to become empowered and fulfilled.
In the pursuit of fulfillment, most people seek to utilize and master a variety of vehicles, such as money, relationships, position, and spirituality. But these vehicles do not provide fulfillment.
The meanings we attach to our use of these vehicles give us greater certainty, significance, variety, connection, growth, and contribution and thus determine our level of fulfillment.
Quality of life comes down to the quality of the emotions we experience, as well as the vehicles we choose. Building “emotional superpowers” and conditioning to live in with power virtue states, can transform the quality of your life.
Often, people engage in behaviors that violate what they truly value in order to do what is necessary to meet their needs. There are a limited number of problems, and there are numerous solutions to each of these problems. The strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with one’s identity. If we shift identity, then we create long-term, lasting change.
There is a better way to live and you can have it. But to do so requires taking action. Do you know your human needs that drive your behaviors? The priorities of the human needs change frequently.
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