Your better self: Part 2

What really matters to you?

How do you create consistency in your motivation? consistency in your performance? consistency in your relationships? and consistency in your self development?

20 years ago, I decided to become an airline pilot. I found out that I could study a degree in Science and Aviation and be on my way to fly Jumbo Jets around the globe. Brilliant! As you could imagine, for a 23 year old that was pretty exciting stuff!

I had a problem though: I never completed year 12 (and that's another story, watch this space...).

But I found a way around that. I managed to get into Uni through an adult entry stream. I learnt all about balancing the aircraft, understanding weather patterns, and aircraft engines, and I started flying single engine Pipers out of Parafield Airport in Adelaide. I remember the thrill and freedom of being up in the air... It was exciting! 

But then the novelty wore off, and my motivation dipped. I remember hating the drive to the airport, as if I was being made to do it - the motivation was no longer intrinsic, it was extrinsic. Who was I doing this for? I needed to look inwards and find purpose, to find meaning. But I came out empty handed.  NB: having an engine failure on my first solo flight didn't help either ... but I didn't die!


So what was I to do? I needed to clarify what's truly important to me, my values. Values are like your inner compass, they guide you during happy times as well as tough times... they're your steering wheel or your handle bars. Values aren't about your goals, the outputs. But they will help you get there. Values give you the clarity of vision, they give your internal engine the fuel to drive you and to follow through, and they provide you the consistency through and through.

What did I value the most? I came to the realisation that what I valued the most was truth, and being connected to others, nature and the Universe. I valued helping others thrive through their adversity to unlock their endless human potential - to find their own way of unleashing this dormant potential. But I had to learn it myself before I could help others. You see I was born in a civil war and left all my friends behind when my family escaped to Australia in the 80s. And so after a lot of soul searching, and making meaning from my own adversities, I learnt how to see adversities as opportunities, seeing the silver lining, the glass half full. I studied the concepts of Post Traumatic Growth and resilience. I toned down my narcissistic egocentricity, and had my spiritual awakening/s. 

So what do you value the most? how do you want to act and live? what will you align with in service of humanity, your friends, your loved one?

Take a look at the list of values below and pick your top 7 through the lens of how you want to live, your ideal self.

Once you've done that (you might want to take your time, and you can always revisit your choices, that's the point), write down 3 signature behaviours that you would be proud to see yourself doing. Print these out, and put them somewhere obvious for you to see every day. Now that's powerful....

Please share your insights and learnings for the benefits of others...

List of universal values:

  1. Being ambitious and hard-working

  2. Being at one with God or the Universe

  3. Being competent and effective

  4. Being creative

  5. Being curious, discovering new things

  6. Being honest

  7. Being loyal to my friends, family or my group

  8. Being physically fit

  9. Being safe from danger

  10. Being self-disciplined and resisting temptation

  11. Being self-sufficient

  12. Being wealthy

  13. Building and repairing things

  14. Connecting with Nature

  15. Creating beauty (e.g. art, dancing, gardening…)

  16. Designing things

  17. Eating healthy food

  18. Engaging in clearly defined work

  19. Engaging in sporting activities

  20. Enjoying food and drink

  21. Enjoying music/art/drama

  22. Experiencing positive mood states

  23. Feeling good about myself

  24. Figuring things out, solving problems

  25. Gaining wisdom and a mature understanding of life

  26. Having a life filled with adventure

  27. Having a life filled with novelty and change

  28. Having a relationship involving love and affection

  29. Having a sense of accomplishment and making a lasting contribution

  30. Having an enjoyable and leisurely life

  31. Having an exciting life

  32. Having authority / being in charge

  33. Having genuine and close friends

  34. Having influence over people

  35. Helping others

  36. Leading a stress-free life

  37. Maintaining the safety and security of my loved ones

  38. Making sure to repay favours and not be indebted to people

  39. Managing things

  40. Meeting my obligations

  41. Organising things

  42. Promoting justice and caring for the weak

  43. Researching things

  44. Resolving disputes

  45. Showing respect for tradition

  46. Showing respect to people in authority

  47. Striving to be a better person

  48. Teaching others

  49. Working outdoors

Your better self: Part 1

A five part series for building a powerful mindset and your resilience!

Part 1: Self-Awareness - because you already have the hidden answers.

I have an idea! and it involves imagination...

Imagine the last 12 months of your life…

  • What helped you be more focused and energised in some situations but not others?

  • What lifted you resilience and what depleted it?

  • And why were you more resilient and had more motivation in some situations but not others?

I  believe the answer has to do with your awareness about your thoughts, how different people and events cause you to react, and the extent you're aware of your strengths and gaps. In other words, I think you can find the answers through your ability to take stock of what’s happening internally for you.

In a recent coaching session, my client told me that he loved to analyse problems with his project, but often fell into analysis paralysis. That showed him a key strength (analysis), and a reactive tendency (over analysing things and getting stuck). This is good info to draw on, and we were able to work together on winding back the analysis strength to an effective level, and he was then able to make quicker and more effective decisions. 

According to the latest research on the subject, it’s become apparent that self-awareness is the strongest predictor of self leadership, resilience and building meaningful relationships. It’s the olive oil for your Napoli Sauce, the milk for your cereal, the flames for your BBQ  – we can’t do without it.

In this 5 part journey, I will share with you the 5 principles that will enhance your self-awareness, consistency, self-authenticity, performance, and best of all, your health.

So where do we begin? At self-awareness of course. It’s about knowing what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, yet…, how your body is functioning, how connected you are to others.

Question: So how do you improve your self-awareness?

A. Introspection and asking for feedback.


Let’s start with introspection.

"Creativity is maximised when you're living in the moment"

The simplest way is to be where you are, in the here and now.

The 3 minute here and now practice:

Look around you, notice 3 things that you can see, notice 3 things you can hear, notice something you can taste, notice something you can smell.

Notice the contact points between the ground and your feet, between your chair and your body, between the air and your skin.

Now create 3 deep breaths, relaxing your belly with each breath.

Now notice the space above your eyes, notice what you’re thinking.

Now turn your attention to your body, and letting go off any judgements, notice:

How does your body feel? Are there any tense bits? What messages are they sending you? Let it go.

Try to stay present for the rest of the day – it will help you be you!

Now for feedback.

What kind of feedback do you need to shine the light on your blind spots with the intent of being even more authentic? Who can you ask for that feedback? How will you ask them?

I like to be upfront and authentic as much as I can. I would ask: “Alex, how did I appear when I gave my opinion at that meeting?”, or “Claire, what effect did I have on you when I disagreed with your opinion about issue X”.

Bruce Lee once said something along the lines of: "Willing is not enough we must act"

Don't wait for motivation to do something important to you - do it and motivation will follow.

So for homework, for the next 2 weeks, I invite you to:

Do your 3 minute practice for being present in the here and now, &

Ask for feedback at least once a week from someone. Have fun with it!

Let us know how you go… write your thoughts below!