Ok, get your list of Intentional Identifiers that you created the other day. Now you need to figure out what principles or actions support those identifiers or better yet what principles and actions would support NEW and BETTER identifiers, you know the ones you really have secretly in your head or heart that you are so afraid of failing at or being made fun of that you never tell a soul about them. You know the “I want to get a book published” “I want to lose 100 pounds” “I want to master yoga” Whatever it is, whatever goal you have that will create an intentional identifier, identity, or new life. Write all of them down on a piece of paper. All of them, even the ones you don’t want anyone to see or the ones you think you can never attain- remember this is just for you. Do you want to quit your job? Travel the world? Make more money? Get out of debt? Do you want to cut off your hair? Grow a beard? Bike to work? Eat more whole foods? Whatever it is, write it down. If you are going to identify the principles you need to accomplish these goals, you have to first identify who you want to be. Sounds silly? Its not as silly as you think. Very few people actually consider who they want to be (though we are often asked what do you want to be, which is entirely different), most people just move through life being defined by their job, their economic status, or their ability to play by the rules. That’s nice- for them. You want to be happy and following that conventional path hasn’t gotten you there- at least not full time. Sure you can wish all day that it had, that going to school, writing a resume, getting a job in your field with benefits, had actually created the perfect life for you, but if you are sitting there feeling disconnected, drained, unfulfilled, or even angry, then it didn’t get you what you wanted and it didn’t create your ideal life. You’re going to have to work a little harder then.
principles plural of prin·ci·ple (Noun)
That is the definition of principles as found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Both definitions apply to living the Intentional Life and creating an Intentional Identity. By creating an Intentional Life, where your actions have reasons and goals to support them, you are building the foundation or the system of beliefs and behaviors that lead to the evolution and creation of your Intentional Identity. The principles are the rules for living, or beliefs about yourself and your capabilities, that govern your behavior and actions toward those goals.
TA DA! And I bet you were starting to wonder how this crazy lady was going to tie this altogether weren’t you!
So you make your list of all the things you would like to be part of your story, your intentional life. Try to keep it brief. Avoid sentences like “I would like to quit my job because it makes my unhappy” and instead write actions statements that focus on the positive like “Find work I love”. To the point, involves an action, creates a new identity. Saying you want to quit your job is all good and well but it doesn’t create something new or a new principle; frankly it might only create headache. Saying you want to find work you love, is a positive action that demands attention and work. Your list should be made in three columns; the first column is the identifiers or goals you would like to attain, the second column are the principles or behaviors necessary to attain the identifier or goals. This one is hard because it means you have to o a little soul searching, you have to be honest with yourself, and you may have to learn new behaviors, your goals may require new tools in your tool box- so to speak. The more complete and thorough your list, the better off you will be when we start taking action. Now the third column is where you write down any identifiers you ALREADY have in your tool box that can help you reach your goal. This step should help you see where you need to work so you don’t waste time reinventing your own wheel.
So mine might look like this :
Make money writing
Research and apply proven methods for making money by blogging
I’m a good writer, I know Word Press, I have a unique voice and product to offer
Ok, so if you take this one goal, I can see I already have a pretty good foundation. I have a clear goal- Make Money by Writing from Column 1 (notice, I did not say quit my job that I hate). My history includes jobs that have given me skills to attain this goal, see Column 3 (most people already have some skill toward their intentional life. You may have to look hard, but it is there somewhere). So what I need, the identity principles necessary to move forward, are those in column 2. So now, my Actions should be steps to acquire the principles outlined in Column 2. Once I have obtained the new principles, I can include those on my list of Intentional Identifiers, then there will be nothing holding me back from creating that portion of my Intentional Life except a little hard work (remember, I never said this was going to be easy).
So what are your current identity principles? What are those you would like to have? What Intentional Life goals can be achieved by putting them all together?
Coming soon: Friendly Saboteurs, Roadblocks, and Excuses. Or, What can prevent you from reaching your goals?
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