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Three Fs and a Challenge
It's no secret that life is a tricky animal to understand and it's even harder to tame it so that it delivers what you want. But from my work in the world of personal development I've figured out three simple things that can transform any situation, any problem, any issue...and any life. Three things that once in place can bring the best out of you, bring the best to you and allows you to enjoy all of it. What are these three things? I call them the Three F's - Fun, Fulfillment and Freedom.
Here are a few definitions from the dictionary.
Fun, n. - A source of enjoyment or pleasure; playful activity.
Ful-fil'ment, n. - To bring into actuality; to complete; a feeling of satisfaction at having achieved your desires.
Free-dom, n. - The capacity to exercise choice, free will; frankness or boldness; the absence of constraint in choice or action.
Read those again and really let them sink in.
Fun is about being playful, recognising the moment you're in and enjoying what's happening right now. Fulfillment is about following your desires, making things happen and the feeling of completeness we get from that. Freedom is about embracing choice, being yourself and removing the barriers and constraints in what we do.
Those things are huge, deep and broad and we have a tendency overcomplicate them. In fact those things are simple, and only become complex when we make them complex. Here's what I want you to do,
1. Take a moment to consider where you are in your life right now, and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being your ultimate capability) for each of the Three F's. Be honest. Wherever you put yourself is okay - there are no wrong answers.
2. On the same scale from 1 to 10, ask yourself where you would love to be on each of the Three F's. Are you happy with where you are? Would you like more of the Three F's? If so, how high would you like to go?
3. The gap between where you are and where you want to be is your opportunity, and that's your individual challenge. People do amazing things every single day and all kinds of things are possible in life, so recognise that the gap can be closed, and that you can close it. The question is - do you want to?
4. If you answered 'Yes' and you do want to rise to your challenge and close that gap, then go ahead and skip straight to the next step. If you're hesitating that's okay too - changing things and challenging yourself can be scary stuff. Get clear on the pay-offs and what's in it for you by asking yourself - What would things be like if you were to close the gap? What would you be able to do when you get to where you want to be? How would you feel?
Find something that gives you butterflies, find something compelling, shiny or attractive and then acknowledge that it's possible for you to get there, that you're capable of getting there and you deserve to get there.
5. For each of the Three F's, what one thing can you do this month that would take you forwards? What single action can you take to rise to your challenge? Write down one specific action for each of the Three F's and put a deadline on each.
6. Look a little further ahead and come up with three things you can do before the year is out that would take you forwards on each of the Three F's. By the end of the year how close to meeting your challenge do you want to be? How much of that gap do you want to close this year? What can you do to rise to your challenge? Write down three specific actions for each one.
Maybe spending more time with friends or family or improving your work/life balance would bring you more fun - if so, how are you going to start?
Maybe setting and reaching a goal or completing a project you're already involved in would bring you more fulfilment - great, what do you want to commit to so that you hit those targets?
Maybe letting go of something that hurts, confronting a limiting belief or simply choosing to move forwards in your life with the Three F's in mind would bring you more freedom - what will allow you to feel more free?
Whatever your challenge and whatever your actions - don't cheat yourself by not following through. Set yourself specific targets and actions, be sure to commit to what you want and follow through with those decisions and actions.
Singly, each of the Three F's is a powerful thing and can really help you to move forwards, enjoy where you are in life and feel alive. But when the Three F's come together....well, just hold on to your hats and keys, because you're about to have, do and be more....
About the Author
Illustration by Kevin Van Aelst for The Chronicle Review - Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
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