When you were sitting in your desk in 2nd grade and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, did your answer match the position description of your current job? When you answered those magazine or online quizzes about what your ideal relationship would be like, does it match today’s reality? How many of you reading my blog are currently in the job or relationship you envisioned yourself in when you were fifteen years old? How about when you graduated from high school, or when you first fell in love?
I’m guessing that most of you are either chuckling or murmuring a painful “oh” at this point. We have all dreamed about what life will be like when we grow up. Whether out loud to those we trust, or jokingly to our social circle or colleagues, the, “Oh yeah, as soon as …, I will be….”, statements escape from us in the moment. Rarely do any of us find ourselves confidently bragging that we plan to hold several different jobs and be in multiple relationships throughout our life. Yet in fact, that is the case for the majority of people in today’s world. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as you have made your decisions based upon being authentically true to yourself and your goals. Remember, you can never step in the same river once! You can never step in the same river once.
During the past few weeks, I have been talking with you about the S.O.D.A. formula that has enabled me to live authentically and tap my potential to achieve my life goals for happiness and peace of mind. Woman Giving Birth to Herself
Have your reflections on the “who, who not, and wishing you were” S. questions changed since first answering those questions. Was the greatest challenge determining what has stayed consistently true about you?
Were you surprised to realize the common characteristics of the Others in your life? And if so, did you spend some time thinking about why that might be? If not, I encourage you to do so. In today’s world, we encounter other people in very dynamic, real-time situations that often don’t provide for reflective filtering until it is sometimes too late. We are bombarded with social pressure to accept a friend invitation on social media because one of our actual personal friends is that person’s friend in another life setting. Only later do we discover how many significant differences we have with that individual who we have not labeled “friend”. And how many of you have experienced Others in your life asking you why or how you are friends with that individual?
And of course there will always be those individuals that believe if you work together, you must want to socialize together. And if you encourage that behavior for less than authentic reasons, that person is then encouraged to think of themselves as one of your Others. Right? WRONG!
Just as with self, it is equally important for us to understand the depth and breadth of who, who not, and more importantly why, we keep the Others in our life that we do. If you are not able to ask Others in your life for what you (within reason) need to be your best, it is time to reconsider your relationship with them.
Today we move on to the D. of the S.O.D.A. Formula. To be totally transparent, the actual symbol for this section of the formula should be D./d. But the explanation for that will come later. But I didn’t want to be less than honest with you. If you are sincere in using this tool as a method to enhance your journey to tap your authentic potential, it is especially important for me to be totally transparent.
Just as in previous sections, I will pose a series of questions for you to answer and reflect upon. Answer the questions in order given, remembering to think whole life rather than today and recent years.
- Think of a time in your life when you set a goal for yourself that was particularly difficult to achieve (in your opinion). It can be any goal whether seemingly insignificant, or one that will impact others as well as you. Examples could be winning the Monopoly game against your toughest competitor, achieving an A on the math test, getting nominated to be a club officer, keeping or quitting a job, breaking up with the long term girl/boyfriend of an unsatisfying relationship, saving enough money to take that Bucket List trip. Well, the good news is that you ACHIEVED YOUR GOAL! Whew, you really didn’t think you would.
Here’s the question:
Reflecting on achieving that goal, what did you PERSONALLY contribute to that outcome? Do not consider anyone else that was involved. I don’t want to hear about the teacher, preacher, coach, best friend or faithful dog. What did YOU PERSONALLY contribute to your ability to achieve the goal? Like the S. and O. questions before, I am asking you to think about your choices, behaviors, attitudes, qualities demonstrated. Do not answer that you worked hard. I mean really, who says they slacked off when answering why they achieved their goal? Think instead about what working hard means/looks like for you? Compare it to your average efforts.
- Again, think about a time in your life when you set a goal for yourself that was particularly difficult to achieve (in your opinion). It can be any goal whether seemingly insignificant to others, or one that will impact others as well as you. Examples could be winning the Monopoly game against your toughest competitor, achieving an A on the math test, keeping/quitting a job, being chosen to lead the new office project, breaking up with the long term girl/boyfriend of an unsatisfying relationship, saving enough money to take that Bucket List trip. Well, unfortunately, the bad news is that you FAILED to ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL! That really bummed you out. It was a long shot, but you thought maybe…
Here’s the question:
Reflecting on the feelings of failing to achieve that goal, what did you PERSONALLY contribute to that outcome? Do not consider anyone else that was involved. I don’t want to hear about the teacher, preacher, coach, best friend or faithful dog. What did YOU PERSONALLY contribute when you think about your choices, behaviors, attitudes, and qualities you demonstrated? Do not answer that you didn’t work hard. Dig down deep into that voice in your head that has had this conversation with you at times like this. Think about what not working hard means for you when faced with a goal? Compare it to your answer above.
- The final D./d. question asks you to sit back, quiet your mind and reflect upon your past journey of successes and failures of goals achieved and lost. Starting back as early as grade school until today, are there patterns of your personal behavior, choices, attitudes, characteristics that were present consistently in either the win or loss column? You know, like those times when you slap your forehead and say, “I can’t believe I did it again!” Create a mental list of your answers for each outcome. What does that list tell you?
Until next time, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting who, why, how you answered the S., O., D./d. questions. What does this reflection of your journey say to you?
Enjoy your journey,