As you look back upon your life, you are sure to see that you have gone through some changes and developments that you never would have predicted. Too often I hear people saying that they have no idea how they got to the place that they are now. This saddens me, in that I believe that we should all be the designer of our own lives. Now keep in mind that this is not to say that we do not run into unplanned circumstances that change us forever, but for the most part, I believe that it is better to decide on who and where you want to be, and then take the steps needed to achieve your own personal dreams.
Over the past week I have had correspondence with some people from back in high school, and this got me thinking about how I progressed through my life. I recall back then, being the socially clueless, out of shape, awkward guy that often felt like I was on the outside looking in. Now, I not only coach people on social skills, physical fitness, and relationship development, but I have those areas rather well managed in my own life. Was this change an accident? No! It was the decision to build myself into the person that I wanted to be. If I did not have a clear image of who I wanted to be, then I would have been leaving my life to chance, and simply hoping that it would somehow turn out well.
So, how can you start, or continue, your personal journey towards becoming a more ideal you? The first step is to think about a jigsaw puzzle. Yes, you read right... a jigsaw puzzle. Think about it for a moment, is it easier to put together a puzzle with the box top in front of you, or without ever seeing it? Obviously, it is easier to put the pieces together when you know what the picture is going to look like in the end.
In my case, the box top shows a man who has the ability to take charge in his personal, work and social life. This man is physically fit, and is dressed in a way that speaks of his security with his body. He chooses, and controls his own career path. He is comfortable interacting, and attracting the opposite sex. He has the courage to enforce his own standards, even if it means having to leave behind those that wish him to compromise those standards. He is a leader when he has the skills to lead, and a student when he does not.
By knowing who I wanted to be, I had taken the first step in changing myself. From there it was, and still is, a question of finding the resources to help me put together the puzzle pieces that I already had, and create new pieces when my existing resources lack. This process did not take place overnight, but it did not take half as long as I would have thought. I learned to love myself with all of my imperfections, while constantly striving to move closer and closer to becoming the man on that box cover.
I challenge you to take some time, and design your box cover. Examine that picture to determine what pieces you already have, and how they fit; also decide what resources you need to build and create. Then take the steps needed, while enjoying the journey.
If you decide that you would benefit from some assistance, feel free to give my office a call at 505-884-0164, and I will be more than happy to arrange for a free consultation to help start you on your way.
Stan Alexander, M.Ed., C.Ht.