Life as we know it is changing at a rapid pace. There is so much happening around the globe that is unchartered, unpredictable and unknown. In recent years we have witnessed great disruption to the way we live our lives. Some disruptions have made life more interesting, some have been challenging, none the less, they have all led to immense change.
From venturing into a ‘sharing economy’ where we can home deliver a takeaway from pretty much any restaurant in town — to finding accommodation in someone’s home. Moving our workplace to our loungeroom overnight and we found our face to face connections lost to the digital matrix of Zoom. Physical separation from family and friends meant no hugs, no kisses for a while to come. Not knowing when we would be free to roam the globe and take in the experiences of other cultures and places took an emotional toll through the loss of freedom. These are all tangible outcomes of a shifting lifestyle.
So what is next? How do we plan for a future which is less predictable than life as we knew it, 6 months, 1 year or 5 years ago? How do we navigate the way forward knowing that we may need to adapt, adjust, pivot or even U-turn our personal journey? And how do we cope and manage our own feelings, thoughts and emotions if we live in a world of ‘not knowing’? How do we find a sense our sense of wellbeing? How can we become the CEO of our own life and navigate a path that brings a greater sense of internal ease, calm and joy.
Reflecting on my journey and unpacking my personal strategies, I can offer the following take on the journey of discovery that led to me becoming my own CEO. In the interests of full disclosure I need to tell you that my journey was — and sometimes still is- clumsy and awkward and has taken many detours that didn’t always work the way I thought they would. At times they raised my stress levels. Yet with hindsight (we learn more from what doesn’t go right than what does) I wouldn’t change these times at all. It has been in the fabric of learning that I have gained wisdom (even if only a little!) What I will say is this that as you become more engaged with yourself and understand your inner being you do get to the point where you can be the observer. It is a little like standing above yourself and watching what you are doing, saying or being in the moment and allowing yourself the grace not to judge but rather observe and at some point, unpack, the moment — particularly if it did not go as you wished or planned.
So my journey to becoming the CEO of my life and the stages I progressed through are as follows:
Stage 1: “the curious explorer” This is the stage where you wander along and find a book or a course or yoga or gym class or something that jumps in front of you and give it a go. It is the stage of trying a whole lot of different things. Some may not work for you and others may provide great value. In this phase you are willing and open to being the explorer of all the possibilities that led you towards a greater sense of wellbeing. It is a bit like being a kid in a candy store — so many amazing options. The time where you speak to trusted friends and sometimes people with a particular skill-set or profession. You seek input; not on how to change you but rather how others made shifts in their lives. What was it that enabled them to navigate a new path? It is a time for curiosity, listening, connecting and sense making.
Stage 2: ‘the internal guidance system’ As you gather insights and get a sense of what works for you and what doesn’t your guidance system starts to kick in and directs you towards the resources you need . Your internal signals start to flash at you when things feel right or not. You feel you are steered towards spending more time listening to certain people, podcasts, YouTubes and start to highlight favourite websites. You find yourself drawn to various types of activities that give you that sense you are starting to navigate your own path with confidence. Along the way you will find people whose words or work resonate — what they say or the work they do just feels right for now . This is everchanging as you journey along and if you stay in the present moment and trust you intuition, your inner guidance will show you your way forward. With all the unknowns and disruptions by engaging with the activities and people that can empower your self-navigated journey you can sense that you are starting to direct your life towards a great sense of wellbeing.
Stage 3: ‘putting together my “A Board”(Advisory Board) This evolves over time. It may also change over the years. For me there have been some key people who have been on my A Board for a very long time, others that I invite in for a specific purpose or timeframe. Again, you will know who needs to be on your A Board either for a specific reason — a season while you are traversing a certain path where they offer a grounding perspective or a lifetime where their ongoing insights are helpful in enabling you to navigate your path. Some of these people may be trusted friends, family or even colleagues, others may be professionals that you engage to provide an objective view, to enable you to learn certain new skills or just provide a non-judgmental sounding board that allows you to gain clarity.
The journey to being your own CEO always starts with a single step. If you want to get started then here are a couple of simple actions that will start the ball rolling. Remember, this is your life and there is no one better than you to lead the way and head it up.
Three simple actions
1. Ask yourself the following questions: What do I want to take forward in my life? What do I want to leave behind? and, How do I know this? 2. Find your “A Board” Who is currently in your life that you trust and respect who could help you take forward what you want? Where are the gaps? Who else do I need on my A Board (eg a good meditation teacher, a Health coach, a Mentor or Wise Elder, the right naturopath or doctor, etc?) 3. Get your “A Board” started
From the list of your A Board ask yourself, which of these people will best serve me right now. Engage with them.