Have a Purpose
In the Arthurian legends, Percival, in his search for the Holy Grail, found he had to look for the innocent and adolescent part of himself for a cure. He had to remember to ask 'Whom does the Grail serve?" It's a question all mankind has been asking. The victory of finding the Grail is a triumph for the spontaneity of your heart over the timidity that leads to an unimaginative life. When found it gives the owner eternal fulfillment. There are many reasons why 'success' may elude you. Timing and luck are certainly factors that need to be acknowledged. Yet each of us should continue to search for our own Grail, that magic which would make life perfect.
Where is that place that would honor your mind, body, and spirit, and what are the steps to get there? Your current position in life is a reflection of your previous desires and efforts. We all have time, attention, effort, natural talents, and persistence to invest. If you want to get to a better future, you'll need to make choices and take action. It's only what you earn with your own efforts that you'll truly value.
Viktor Frankl, in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, spoke of his experiences as a doctor in concentration camps during World War II. He noted that some prisoners survived inhuman conditions, while others perished. He was confined to four such camps and lost almost his entire family. Frankl found that prisoners who could hold onto a life purpose were more likely to survive camp conditions. Out of that experience came his own psychology. Its theme? Each person needs to search for meaning in his or her own life, and then actualize that meaning in the world.
There is a story of an Indian merchant who marveled at an Indian ascetic for all that he had renounced in his spartan life. The Yogi disagreed with the merchant, telling the merchant that his (the merchant's) renunciation was far greater, explaining, "I have only given up the finite for the Infinite, but you have surrendered the Infinite for the finite."
Is the life you are creating the one you want?
Is the life you are creating the one you want?
1. Values: What do you care about? What do you believe? What matters most? All these questions dance around the values by which you live. Values are human qualities reflected in daily behaviors. Values serve us in times of adversity. If you are not practicing values in tranquil times, you will be unprepared to fall back on them precisely when you need them most. If the values you care about most are only marginally practiced, you are doomed to a life you won't respect.
2. Adopt: When you adopt a value, it hovers constantly in your consciousness. You would feel empty with its omission. In The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda, the main character advises his acolyte to look closely at every path. He admonishes Don Juan, 'If the path doesn't hold your heart, it's of no use'. By asking whether a path has that heart, you are really asking whether the values you have selected represent the best company you can take with you on your life's journey.
3. Reflect: To reflect a value means to allow it to be seen in the world through your behavior. The intensity by which the reflection is practiced says much about you and your depth of commitment. To show what you value most your actions will speak louder than your words. So carve out time to reflect. Doing so will strengthen your emotional intelligence and allow you to act with integrity.
4. Hear Your Inner Voice: Carl Jung said that nothing has a stronger influence on children than the unlived lives of their parents. From our earliest memories, parents and teachers provided advice. The strongest voices soon became internalized as their beliefs, admonitions and demands were absorbed. For most of us, our parents were the dominate voices in the cacophony of messages. Most of us aren't even aware of the power of these voices to color our decisions, guide our behavior, and influence our actions. We need to find ways of quieting those voices so we can leave space for our own to be heard.
5. Exercise: Honor the body that serves you. Appropriate exercise must be prioritized. It is a necessity, not a luxury. Necessities must be honored while luxuries can be postponed. Exercise creates a time away from the constant churning of your mind and offers windows of contemplation and freedom. It improves your cardiovascular system and overall health. Taking time to exercise is life-extending. Make a personal commitment. It's a choice.
6. Eat Right: Healthy eating stops the huge swings in your body that are the consequences of too much sugar, too many refined carbohydrates, too much alcohol, and too many artificial ingredients. Healthy eating involves more than the foods you eat. It includes whether you eat on the run or take time for your meals. Whether you eat with regularity or skip meals. When you are aware of how and what you eat, you are mindful of the external world and how it impacts your own interiority.
7. A Higher Purpose: Attend to your mind and your spirit. Force yourself to pay attention in silence. Many of us are uncomfortable with silence and rush to fill any perceived vacuum. Become more conscious, more present each moment of your life. Live in the moment. There is a saying, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it's called the 'present'.
Napoleon Bonaparte once observed: 'There are only two forces in the world; the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit'. A balanced life is one that honors body, mind, and spirit. There is a spiritual dimension to who we are. The qualities of that spirit have the potential to be part of all we do, whether at work, play or in solitude.
Ask yourself if you are living the life you want. When the answer is 'No' for too many days in a row, you'll know it's time to change. Listen and connect with a higher purpose. Find expression of that higher purpose in your daily activities.
For many of us our dreams are not realized for many years. Too many times we are forced to compromise for family necessities and responsibilities. Before you leave, remember to leave something of value.
About Our Law Firm
We provide peace of mind by creating and managing structures that allow you to grow and protect your business, legacy, and personal wealth. "Where you'll be tomorrow, depends on what you do today."
Lechner Law Office, P.C.
Law and Professional Center
Orland Hills, Illinois 60487-4623
Paul Lechner Esq., CPA
The Lechner Group, Ltd.
Business Advisory Services
The Lechner Group, Ltd. is a public accounting and business consulting firm focused on business counsel, transactional diligence, and tax advisory services. We add value to your business strategies by providing a combination of financial, audit, and tax expertise. Combined with legal services (which are provided separately by the Lechner Law Office, P.C.) we offer privately held business owners an attractive package of comprehensive services.
Find out more by calling Paul Lechner at 708.460.6686.