How will I know when I'm living My Big Life (MBL)? I'm using 5 words to guide me.
They aren't words that describe my character, and they aren't meant to. Kindness, compassion, good humor, integrity, patience, and the like are simply part of my value system. What these words do is identify the qualities I want to describe my experience of life.
Think of it this way--when faced with morally neutral choices, I ask myself:
What's the active choice?
think the opposite of coach potato (no offense Idaho)
What will help me be accomplished?
think expertise & completion
What affirms my sense of embodiment?
think mind, heart, body connections
What will help me live more expansively?
think new foods, ideas, experiences (especially across cultures)
What's downright gutsy?
think courage, determination & resilience
How about you? What five words would you like to describe the quality of your big life? Activity: Here's how I cam up with my words. You can use this as an activity to identify the qualities you would like to mark your life.
Brainstorm all the words you can think of that you would like to describe you. Feel free to use a thesaurus to find synonyms.
Identify those words that seem to have common ground with each other. Group them together.
Reduce your list to 5 words (including their groupings).
Consider different situations in your life, and look at your words. Do they help you describe how you'd like to be or what you'd like to do in that situation? If they don't, they may be too narrow. Test and retest words to try them on and see if they fit you, your life, and your aspirations. [Note: character qualities often seemed too narrow as I tested my words against the quality of life I wanted to live.]
Select your 5 words and put them into action. Review them and remind yourself of those words regularly.
Assess your words. Pay attention to how they fit or don't fit your life. Are they empowering you to make the choices you'd like? Do you find yourself celebrating when you see them in action? If so, then you're on the right track. If some words never seem to connect with your life, then consider what changes need to be made...to the word or to your life.
I selected my words about five years ago. I only recently updated them with minor changes when I started the My Big Life initiative. I'd love to hear what you come up with and where you see evidence of your words in your life. Check in here in the comments or interact with me on social media!