In The R Factor, one of the competencies is to Make a Difference. In our workshops we challenge people to answer several very important questions:
- What do you want to accomplish with your life?
- What impact do you want your life to have?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- What legacy do you want to leave?
To help people answer these essential questions, we ask them to engage in the following exercise.
Look forward and envision your 92nd birthday.
Friends, family, and colleagues have gathered to wish you well and celebrate your life. Each gift that is brought is a “thank you” for the impact you have had at home, at work, and in the community during your lifetime. Think about what you would like people to say about you.
List four things you want to be remembered for.
We live in a busy, noisy world that often distorts our priorities and distracts us from paying attention to what is most important. One of the great challenges of life is to cut through the noise and focus our attention on what matters most at home, at work, and in the community. Unfortunately, some people have lost their focus. They have allowed the trivial and routine to distract them from what matters most. They have allowed their dreams to fade and their passion for excellence to erode. They do their work and go through daily routines, but they lack a sense of mission. They have lost sight of their most important priorities. They have lost their focus on what really matters.
Such an approach to life diminishes families, companies, and communities. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Navigating through the noise, distractions, and challenges of today’s world requires a deep commitment to your core values. Be clear about the values you want at the heart of your life, and then live your values. Know what you stand for. Know who you are and what you believe in. Many things in life will catch your eye, but only a few things will capture your heart. Find and pursue those things. Discover what is most important to you. Identify the guiding principles you want to direct your attitude and action, that is, the core values you want at the heart of your life and work.
Commit to and cultivate your values on a daily basis. Consciously use your core values to guide the way you respond to the events of life and work. Use your values to direct the way you manage E + R = O. Before responding to any situation, stop and ask, “What do my values and guiding principles tell me to do?”
Recognize and respond to the defining moments when your character and integrity matter most. These are the moments when there is the most pressure to compromise your values. Also, carve out quiet time every weekend to reflect on your past week and think forward to the coming week.
Ask yourself, “What did I learn last week about aligning my attitude and actions with my core values? In what specific areas this coming week do I need to be more focused and disciplined in following my core values?”
Be purposeful with your decisions and action. Live and work with intention and integrity. This is your source of inner strength and external credibility. Don’t live an accidental life. Live and work on purpose!