My last few posts have been part of my process of deciding what I’m going to do next, as I prepare to move, to retire, and to become more active in living the ways I have been writing about for six years, my “trying on” different models of the me that I’m becoming.
My post on What You Can Do (graphic above) is my attempt at a roadmap of possibilities. My post yesterday (graphic below) drills down Step 7 of this roadmap (the step I’m most unfamiliar and anxious about) in greater detail.
And my personal “scorecard” on the 9 steps was in my post at the end of last week:
I gave myself a “some progress but a way to go” (yellow) score for Step 5 (Know Yourself and Discover the Courage to Act). I was listening yesterday to a talk (recommended by Chris Corrigan) by Gil Fronsdal on Intentions. In it, Gil makes the point that, before acting, we should know what our intention is for what’s left of our life, and then also for today. The word “intention” comes from the Latin meaning “stretch toward”. An intention is not a hope, dream, plan or aspiration. It is something we are actively working towards, now. So by thinking about our true intention for what’s left of our lives (which may be 37 days, or 37 years), and then about our true intention for today, and aligning those intentions, we can begin to actively “stretch toward” realizing both intentions.
My life has been through so many remarkable changes in the past five years I keep having to cycle back with what I’ve just learned about myself, and about the world, and revisiting these intentions. Looking at the 9 steps in the What You Can Do chart, and my progress in each of them, I have to acknowledge some continuing unease and trepidation. Is this really what I want to do with what’s left of my life? Is this really what I’m meant to do? Like my friend Pete McGregor, I keep doubting myself as soon as I think I’ve decided anything.
So I thought I’d go back to my Step 5 standby, my “what you’re meant to do” three-circle chart from my book Finding the Sweet Spot:
My latest effort at “filling in” the three circles looks like this:
My Passions are the things I love doing, copied from my personal scorecard, with the ones that I also do well (I think) shown in the overlap with my Gifts (area 2). I tried to think if I have other Gifts, things I’m uniquely good at, and decided that I’m actually pretty good at “playing” (although non-human creatures seem to appreciate this more than humans), so I moved it to area 2 as well. The three things I put in my Purpose circle (what’s needed that I care about) are the things described in Steps 6-8 of the What You Can Do chart.
So then I asked myself: Do any of the things in any of these circle areas (1, 2 and 6) actually belong in area 4, 5 or (ideally) 3?
I think there are a few, but not many:
So here I am, still perched on the edge, still not entirely sure what I want to do, what I’m meant to do. But I’m getting close, I think. A little more thought on the intention part, on envisioning what I want to “stretch toward”, what I want to give, and I’ll be there.
Category: Activism: What You Can Do