By Dishna Karunarathna –
In the eve of 2021, I request you to challenge, compete, out-run, out-smart and master your own self. In the words of Barbara Bradford, ‘we are each the author of our own lives, we live in what we created’. So if we do not improve and master ourselves, our future will be no different to what it is today. On his death bed, George Bernard Shaw was asked what you would do if you could live your life again. He sadly reflected that ‘I would like to be the person I could have been but never was‘.
The only person who can change your life, who can make you be the person you want to be, is the one you see in the mirror. So, let today, now, be the day we begin to create our best selves. This should be the purpose of our lives. Mastering and achieving your greatest self is not a destination, but an enriching, unique, and authentic journey to be enjoyed.
We walk the planet earth for a limited time span. So, in order to live deliberately and not by chance, and find our best self, let’s first identify the purpose of life. For this, create a general vision statement which will serve as your guiding light. Leonardo Da Vinci has said ‘fix your course to a star and you will navigate any storm’. For some, the purpose of life is evident and clear. For example, a gifted musician, an elite athlete may identify their inherent talents in early life and spend their life time on honing these talents to excel in life.
For some of us it might not be very clear. Therefore, in order to understand the purpose of life, identify what you are good at- what your core skills are. Recognize the values you will never compromise (i.e. integrity, generosity, excellence in all you do, mindfulness). Identify what you love to do, what would you do happily even if you are not paid for it?
Reflect on these points and create your vision statement accordingly. It can be a generic one such as;
‘My purpose in life is to attain peak mental and physical health, be an attentive parent, to encourage compassion and independence in others through being a supportive role model’.
Patanjali has said “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, and all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be”.
The next step of the process of self-mastery is to create specific goals from the general vision statement. Identify key areas of your life, say financial, professional, relationships, health etc and create specific goals for the next ten years, five years, and one year respectively.
One year goals can be further broken down to monthly goals. Develop monthly goals for your mind, body, or your relationships etc. The micro level of goal-setting can be your daily to-do lists. Treat this process as a fun and relaxing activity. But be true to the process as you go on in the year as it means expanding yourself to the highest living level possible. Rejoice over the small victories of achieving your short term goals. Review them regularly and revise them whenever required. But remember to stay on course for the purpose, and not the outcome. If you forgot to exercise yesterday and gave in to that sweet craving, no problem, wipe the slate clean and start today. Love yourself throughout the journey.
Also please take a moment to celebrate yourself for getting through 2020, one of the toughest years for the mankind and give thanks to all who deserves to be thanked for, including your own self.
Let me leave you with one last thought from Walt Disney ‘’all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them’’. May you glow in love, light and good health, and achieve all you desire to achieve in the new year.