Life can be a roller coaster at times. Sometimes we are just about managing to juggle our competing priorities before they become conflicting priorities. Sometimes we are squeezed right up tight against a critical deadline. Other times we feel lost, cast adrift and long for the cut and thrust of meaningful activity.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the minutia of the moment and we can very easily loose our perspective whether we are too busy or not busy enough!
Here’s an exercise that I call PACTS which, in less than 5 minutes, can help us reconnect with our higher purpose whenever we need to (and that’s best done on a very regular basis!). The great thing about this is that all the components seem to flow so naturally when we do it a few times. Let me know what you think. What do you do to connect with your purpose when priorities are bearing down on you?
The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done any time any where – with the exception of when we are driving – obviously!
P = Prepare for the simple exercise
This is the very important few moments we give ourselves prior to getting into the zone. Time to turn off or tune out of all noise and distractions wherever you are. For me this includes the simple preparation activity of turning the BlackBerry off. Sometimes I find it useful to gaze into the distance (especially skywards) in a frighteningly unfocused way.
A = Allow ourselves to access a state of Awe.
Awe is defined variously as an overwhelming emotion of reverential fear, admiration or wonder; wonder inspired or caused by something majestic, sublime, powerful, beautiful, mighty, sacred. The point here is to allow our quietened mind to take in the enormity of what is around us. We can wonder at the vastness of the universe as revealed through the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Or the tiny intricacy of the Rhinovirus There is no preferred formula, just so long as we are able to put ourselves, our priorities, our current concerns into some perspective in a short period of time.
C = Connect to our Core
Now, we allow our thoughts to flow back to ourselves, but back to the core of what we are, our core values, the things that really matter, the things we sometimes take for granted. This is not a thorough examination of all our core values, we just allow ourselves to focus for a few moments on the one or two values that bubble up in this moment. You might want to envision yourself living a particular core value at a high 10. What would you living a perfect expression of that value feel like?
T= Take time to be thankful
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”Marcus Tullius Cicero
Now it the time to be grateful for exactly where we are right now. It doesn’t matter who we are thankful to, it could be your God or your guide if you have one, Mother Nature, the ‘Universe’, your parents, partner, siblings or friends – or even the driver who waved you out of your turning and made your commute to work that little bit more human, more hopeful, more positive.
S = Set our success strategy
Right, we are almost ready to reengage with the reality around us. Before we do so, though, a few moments to set / reset our strategy for the rest of the day in the light of the past few minutes in the PACTS process.
It may be that the past 4 minutes has reenergised our commitment to the priority management plan we had already established for the day and we can crack on refreshed.
It may be that new priorities have been thrown up as a result and now need to be actioned or scheduled.
It may be that the past 4 minutes has provided us with further insights, inspiration or resource to enable us to create and control the goals that will help us manage our overall purpose.
It may be that we remember to call our parents or that old friend we have rather taken for granted recently, or just to look someone in the eye and say a meaningful ‘Thank you’ when a good service has been rendered to us.
There it is, a simple, seamless process that can help us reconnect to our purpose and our priorities. I’m curious to know what you think? What simple approaches to you find particularly useful? Feel free to share or link them here.
You can always contact me if you want to know more about how we help people manage their competing priorities, their mandated and optional goals and the critical results that want to achieve.
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