Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
December: Three Big Questions
Only when we pause to wonder do we go beyond the limits of our little lives. ~ Rod McKuen
At the end of every swiftly passing year, like many people, I spend time thinking about what happened in the previous twelve months and what I wish for in the coming year. Though I no longer make resolutions, I do set intentions about the things I want to do and the ways I want to show up in the world. Here are the three big questions I ask myself:
1. Why am I here? It’s important to continually ask this question as you go through life, because the answer will change quite a bit. Your purpose and focus depend on the stage of life you’re in – the agenda for early adult life is very different from mid-life and end-of-life concerns. What is most important to you right now? Is that where most of your time and energy are going? How can you make it even more of a priority in the coming year?
2. What do I want? Equally important, but different, this question focuses on what makes you feel happiest. We are spirits, yes, but we’re also flesh and blood humans enjoying a physical experience. What people and activities light you up inside? How much time do you spend with them? How can you spend more time doing what you really want to do this year? Prioritize your joy.
3. How can I serve? In the words of Frederick Buechner, where is the place that “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet?” What can you give to others that feels really good to give? It’s important not to make this a sacrifice, because it won’t be sustainable, and it won’t truly feed anyone that way. Look for ways to give of yourself that also give back to you.
Set some time aside to really ponder these questions. I like to do it in the dark early mornings in front of the lighted Christmas tree. None of us knows what the new year will bring, but we can celebrate all that we have and are now, and set intentions that support who we want to become. I wish you all a truly blessed year in 2017.
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