There's a New Dimension to My Life Now that I Have the Right Tools

G.C. - Washington

At the time I started LF program, I was working at Microsoft and by all counts I considered myself very successful with a financially rewarding job.  But then, I unexpectedly found myself in a new, high influence role, fast paced and in a high stress environment.  At that point I felt I wasn’t at all emotionally prepared for the job. In fact I felt out of control and soon that feeling extended to my life outside of work. I felt I wasn’t steering the car so to speak in terms of planning the direction of my life. This started affecting my personal relationship with my wife.

I started the Life Focus program hoping to help gain clarity, focus and purpose to my life. Through it I began to uncover and explore my core personal values.

Uncovering these personal values gave me intellectually and emotionally a foundational framework from which to approach life, create goals and move forward in life with excitement and purpose.

Now I have the tools and framework to guide the decisions that impact my life. This framework goes beyond an intellectual exercise and has instead transformed for me goal achievement into an ongoing life exercise.  I actively and constantly bring clarity to my actions by aligning my personal values with my goals. 

As part of the Life Focus program I also developed my personal mission statement: to maximize the personal expression of myself through achievement and ability. I think that this mission statement wraps around everything I do, it is always in the background and ties together my values and my goals. To this day, my mission statement is providing strength and clarity around everything I’m doing in life.

One of the best aspects about Life Focus program is that my wife and I did this together. As she listened to me talk about my values, I heard hers. It was amazing how much deeper our connection became as a result of this. Having our individual mission statements was important as well as it allowed us to grow and appreciate each other’s growth separately. Our combined mission statement allowed us to grow together.

Probably the section of the process that we continue to use today, years later, is the monthly meeting. We use them to track what each of us and then what together we have accomplished during the month and what we are committed to going forward for the rest-of-year.  The process is designed in such a way so that it ensures that daily actions track core values. I’ve noticed that if there is no connection between my values and an activity I am doing, the work I do will be “insufficient and incomplete.”  But I like to take projects to completion.

So I used to beat myself up for not accomplishing certain things.  Bhaj explained to me that the monthly meeting isn’t a forum meant to “grade yourself” but instead is designed to celebrate any progress one makes.  Now I appreciate learning how to remove negative self-critique.  I find it so refreshing to provide self-permission that it’s Ok to drop things that really don’t align with my personal core values.  I’ve gotten really good and setting up those goals that can be connected with a core value. 

I find the monthly meetings especially valuable for 3 main reasons:

  1. They provide an ongoing history/review of my activities and efforts. I no longer have amnesia when it comes to where my time is spent and I have obtained more self-awareness. 
  2. They help me understand how much more effective I can be working on the following year plan. I am more aware of the personal significance of goal setting, and I am more self-confident that goals are reachable and that I can be effective.
  3. I enjoy having my wife hear what I am doing in a dedicated time together, I enjoy listening to her and what she is accomplishing or struggling with, and I really enjoy carving our life and objectives together from socializing to home projects.

Consistently keeping on-track with this progress/process (what works/how challenges were overcome or let go) top of mind is GOLD to me!  The meetings become a history of my life and my personal growth over the year. Without Life Focus program I wonder how we would stay connected and how I would progress my own life’s purpose.