The famous poet Langston Hughes said, “Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
You started this year with dreams and goals. Then the unimaginable happened. And maybe you are in a personal crisis, and you are just trying to get by, and your dreams might be the farthest thing from your mind, or maybe you are grieving for the dreams because it seems impossible right now.
Please, keep dreaming. Our dreams are what hold us up and keep us going. Each dream you have is important. Challenge the assumption that you have to let your dreams go. Instead of looking at what seems impossible, ask What’s possible? You may find a path that looks different than what you imagined, but your creative soul is wildly imaginative and supportive to you.
As a person who works with both personal and business development with clients, I often hear some version of “I want to live the best life possible.” Then the process begins to figure out what that means for each person. What is living your best life? Is it different for everyone (yes and no). Each person is unique and has different goals, but there are some core behaviors and approaches to life that make success more or less likely.
When you focus on life mastery as opposed to a specific skill mastery, you create the daily habits that help you learn and master individual skills and live a fulfilling life. What does that look like?
Life mastery is about mastering the self, yet making a contribution to the world and making a difference. You might think of this as meaning or purpose. It’s about being spiritually connected and giving and receiving love.
7 Keys to the Art of Life Mastery
Develop Your Self-Awareness.
Self-awareness is key to emotional intelligence and life mastery. When you are self-aware, you are able to reflect on your own thinking and habits. You recognize your internal dialogue (your self-talk) and can make self-corrections. When you have a random thought, challenge it. If you think, how could I be so stupid? Pause, and ask if it is really true. If you think, I am worried about being homeless, pause, and ask if it is really possible. Then you can ask, what might be a better thought. Such as, I made a mistake, I can learn from it. Or, I am struggling financially, what are possible solutions. Or, I have made it through all of my past challenges, I can make it through now.
Reframe your thoughts. See a higher purpose in your experiences.
You can increase your self-awareness through journaling. Journaling is so much more than just writing down thoughts or recording your day, I view journaling as a creative process. It provides an opportunity to create your life. You can script your day ahead of time. You can be thankful for things that haven’t happened yet. You can write your dreams into reality. You can also recognize patterns and behaviors.
Accept the past and make peace with it. Time spent wishing things could have been different, spoils this moment right now. Ask, how did your past create your awesomeness right now? Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Begin a new story.
Acknowledge your strengths and opportunities (weaknesses). No one is the best at everything. When you understand your strengths you can use them more fully and when you understand weaknesses, you will balance them out with support people in your life and see them as areas for improvement.
You Always Have a Choice
Between the stimulus from your environment and your response, there is a choice. This is the power center of your life. The secret is that you are always empowered with choice. Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
When you react immediately, you short circuit the choice. When you have an experience, pause, reflect, even if it is a split second, and give yourself that choice. For example, you receive an irritating email, wait to respond. Don’t send back the first thing that comes to your mind.
In your relationships, stop having the same argument where you both trigger each other.
In your business, if one income stream is suddenly shut off, where are the possibilities for new streams?
When you wait too long to eat and you feel like you are starving, choose something healthy instead of reaching for an immediate unhealthy fix.
The results you are looking for require action. When you make a choice (starting a business, getting healthier, going back to school, apologizing to someone…) you then need to act.
The more you take actions steps, the stronger your self-mastery and life mastery becomes. When you are a person of action. Your words mean something to not just other people, but to yourself as well.
Create the habit of taking action outside your feelings. The chances are high that you sometimes won’t feel like writing, exercising, eating right, or what ever else. Every time you elevate yourself to the place of self-mastery in your action steps, you grow stronger.
At the same time, anticipate that you will not always take the action you decided on. Give yourself space. Forgive, get back on track. See it as a minor blip. Make failure okay. Failure means you are going bigger, daring something bigger.
Self- mastery Practical Applications
Self mastery skills are like muscles. The more you use them, the stronger they become. Here are some ways to increase your self- mastery:
- Do something challenging.
- Run a race.
- Hike a 14’er
- Write a book.
- Give an important speech.
- Learn a skill that requires practice.
- Complete a training program or a degree.
- Read 20 books in your field.
Your spiritual connection helps creates the ease and peace in your life. When you can let go and let God, or see yourself as having the support of the Universe, you know you are not alone and that you are part of something divine and wonderful.
Deepen your spiritual connections through meditation, prayer, and walks in nature.
Ask questions and let guidance come forward. Sometimes, this might look like an idea that pops in your head or something you are guided to write down.
Your Purpose, Passion and Meaning
Have you ever pursued something, achieved it, and then asked, “What was this all for anyway?” Life without meaning , passion, and purpose feels pretty empty.
If you aren’t sure about your purpose, author Neale Donald Walsch says that your purpose is what you say it is. This idea can give you both a sense of wild freedom and intense fear. You might think, “you mean I have to decide? I wasn’t born to do just one thing?”. I like to think of this idea of choosing our purpose as the freedom to try things on like you would try on clothes. You can think, this seems interesting, maybe this is my purpose.
When you look back over your life, you will find clues to what really lights you up. For me, I always played school. When I was 5, I was the teacher and I would make my friends be the students. I also, directed and produced a neighborhood circus when I was 8. I made all the neighbors come and charged them a penny to watch me and my friends perform circus acts (cartwheels and jumping over tires). Even though I am not a school teacher or a circus director today, I do mentor and have produced many events. There was some part of my young mind that knew what I loved to do.
Purpose can help you too. When you feel like you have lost your passion or lost your way, you can come back to your big why. Why did you start in the first place. Renewed focus on purpose is energizing and motivating.
Stephen Covey says that love is a verb, not a feeling. Love is making a commitment, taking action, and deciding to be loving. We don’t always feel love, but we can be love. What is being love? Being supportive, communicating, showing gratitude and appreciation, practicing acceptance, practicing self-love, and devoting time to our loved ones are just a few ways to be love.
How can I be love in my life?
Life mastery, you guessed it, usually takes a lifetime. That is the fun part of it. It is a beautiful journey with some obstacles and some triumphs. If you make a commitment to being present in the moment and appreciating the process, you are on a path of living joyfully.
If you liked this article, you will love my class The Art of Abundance
Sheri Kaye Hoff
Coach, Trainer, Mentor, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is known for inspiring massive action and being a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to do the work they love and make more money. Sheri offers business and mindset coaching for business owners and professionals ( including life coaches, health coaches, creatives, personal coaches, spiritual entrepreneurs, consultants, and more) to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and mindset expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to share the keys to happiness and success with her clients and community. Learn More About Sheri
Specializing in life mastery for individuals, business coaching for life coaches, business coaching for health coaches, business coaching for creatives, business coaching for spiritual entrepreneurs, business coaching for creatives, business coaching for consultants, business coaching for professionals, business coaching for boutique online retailers.