Do you write or offer a review of your personal experience with organizations or establishments you do business with? What are the kinds of things you look for, anticipate or expect? What motivates you to take the time to remark? Is it exceptional service, good or bad? Uneventful? Mediocrity? When someone goes above and beyond? What most often motivates me is when I receive the unexpected. I am also more inclined to act when I am asked. It comes from the desire to praise someone for a job well done or to encourage change that will help the establishment understand the customer better, and improve on standards or performance.
With that said, I think it is very valuable to do a “personal review” from time to time. How would you review the performance of your life? Is it lining up with your idea of where you want to be personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally? Looking objectively at these areas of your life can give you fresh perspective to keep things as they are, or to make changes that will be more in line with how you want to be living.
Aspects that you look for in an establishment are similar to what you can apply to your lifestyle. Personal performance (customer service comparison): How you feel when being greeted, treated, comfort level, quality, quantity, consistency, integrity, continuity, value/service ratio. How would others rate you in these life areas?
To take a personal assessment to determine if you could make any changes or shifts in how you are living, consider the following:
Personal: This will include friends, family, activities, interests. What company do you keep? Are you a loner? Do you have friends that support your interests, values and core beliefs? Do you put up with behavior you don’t like in order to be liked or included? If you don’t have the kind of friends you want, this would be an area to review. List out the kind of people you’d like to spend time with and the qualities you are looking for in a friend. You may have to change where you go or what you do to find people that share these common interests. It can be uncomfortable to change. The life you want to lead, though, won’t just happen on its own if you don’t take action. Keep the objective in mind and break through the awkwardness. Think about the next “life review” you want to write. Will it be different or the same? It is up to you to make the improvements that will change your experience.
It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked. – Shannon L. Alder
Professional: This will include your work, education, colleagues. “Do what you love, and love what you do.” Or, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” You’ve heard these before. How does what you are doing align with these statements? Have you been highly educated only to find out your passion lies elsewhere? It doesn’t take a degree to tell you whether or not you are happy. Education and experience are fantastic tools to lead to what you can do professionally. Listen to your heart. Sometimes being happiest won’t line up with the expectations we (or others) have set for ourselves. The struggle comes when we are in conflict with what we think we should be and who we actually are. List your attributes, skills and abilities. List what you love. Now mix these together. You will come up with what makes you happy and what you can earn a living doing. Remember to include all of your personal assessment ideals. You might list something you didn’t realize was important to you—more than money, or more than time. Again, what is highest priority for you is where you should be spending your energy.
Great leaders get people to admit the truth because they know that dreams are buried under the lies they tell themselves, in order to feel okay with giving up. – Shannon L. Alder
Spiritual: Beliefs, values. Whether you believe in God, a higher power, some other source or nothing at all—this is your spiritual belief system. Your mission here is, again, to look at your ideals and determine if something needs to be tweaked or changed in your life to line up with how you believe and, ultimately, how you live. If you are in conflict with yourself, you can be assured you need to look closer at this area of your life. I’m not suggesting you be one way or another, but to simply analyze what you take in versus how it manifests in your daily walk. If it resembles chaos more than calm, or irritation more than acceptance, it is worth reviewing.
Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others. – Confucius
These are just a few ways to get you thinking about reviewing your life to get the most of living a fuller, happier existence. Remember to “breathe deeply” along the way. I’d love to hear about some of the insights you gain in this exercise.