I’m reading a book on living with passion and purpose—something my clients are pretty interested in—and the author keeps using the phrase “best-version-of-yourself.” The book is called “Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose” by Matthew Kelly. [Fear not! This is not a post about how or whether people choose to worship. I will leave that discussion to people who are experts in that field. It is, however, a post about personal and professional development, and that requires you, the leader, to focus on the best-version-of-yourself.]
So, what is the best version of yourself? I’m not talking about what you have or what you do. I’m talking about who you are. In his book, Kelly describes the best-version-of-yourself as “our essential purpose” and “who we were created to be.” What are the words that describe the “who” that you want people to remember?
One of the most valuable exercises I did early on with my first coach was to define my Life Vision. Believe me, it was something I resisted. You see, I’m very goal oriented, so at that time of my life and development, a vision looked more like a list of tasks to complete and milestones to reach than a true vision. Being the-best-version-of-myself at that time meant doing everything on my list. Yes, for many years, being meant doing.
But in the name of professional development, I relented, and I agreed to define my vision. It made me explore my core values – it made me look at who I am at the very core. It caused me to put on paper what was most important in my life. Funny thing, though, the vision had nothing to do with tasks and accomplishments, and everything to do with the “who” I strive to be.
Defining my vision shed light on what the best-version-of-myself was so I could then examine my life and learn whether I was living authentically and in harmony with those values. An interesting thing occurred as a result. I became aware of when my life’s circumstances were in sync with the vision, because things flowed easily. Conversely, when I encountered people, places or things that were not in harmony with my vision, it became obvious that I needed to make an adjustment to get back in the flow.
Wonder where to start on the journey to discovering the-best-version-of-yourself? You can start with a guided exploration of your core values with a coach or you can find an exercise in my book, “Yes! You Can Land a Job Even in a Crummy Economy” that will get you started on your journey.