The holidays give one space to take a step back and reflect. This year I couldn't help thinking about how terribly filled ones life can be without it necessarily being fulfilled. As with everything, vacuums get filled, but not deliberately, not with direction and purpose. So if you have empty space in your closet, it will get filled. If you have time in your schedule or capacity in your mind, they too will get filled. But with what? With what you value and treasure, or with whatever just can't find another place to occupy? Just as you don't need to adopt people as friends simply because they have no one better to hang out with, you don't need to accept things in your closet, activities in your schedule or thoughts on your mind, just because they have nowhere else to go!
Is your life filled or fulfilled? Try this exercise:
- Audit of any day or week of your life (preferably the most recent). Review your activities, accomplishments, thoughts, connections and conversations.
- Articulate what you believe the purpose of your life is, and what some of your most important values are. (Lead By Greatness provides quick and robust methodology for this.)
- List the people in your life in whom you most want to invest.
- List the activities that energize you. (These will often be the opposites of activities that drain you!)
- Write down the things you most wish to accomplish in 2012.
- Reflect on the most imaginative dreams for your future.
- Now, check your audited list and rate each activity (say on a scale of 1-10) against each of the 5 items above. How aligned is each activity with items 1-5?
You should quickly get a sense of whether your life is filled or fulfilled, and where you might consider changes.
Enjoy the New Year and choose to live a fulfilled 2012.