Part 3: 4 key life areas
Sitting in Princeton’s cavernous sprawl for our freshmen inaugural address, my eye couldn’t help but be drawn upward to the vivid windows of luminaries from the ages: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes… Long silk-screened prints of swirling fire waved from the ceiling arches. My stomach twisted like those saturated silks, churning between excited expectance for the future and anxiousness for the next four years.
What would I do with the upcoming years? Who would I become? How would I invest my time.
The address admonished each of us to earn the privilege of sitting in Princeton’s well-worn wooden benches. “You are here to lead the nation. Look around you. You are all here to change the world,” challenged our University President. This was not a place for thinking small.
What in the world does that mean for me? I couldn’t help but wonder. I was no Descartes- nor did I aspire to be anything like him. My only hope, as it still is today, is to be myself, fully and completely. To live out my life in congruence with my personal beliefs and calling.
Princeton’s inaugural address was the first time I felt the sickening weight of broad, unattainable goals. Sitting in the chapel pews, I just couldn’t wrap my head around my calling to change the world… to lead the nation. I had no idea what that would look like – and no idea where to start.
If approaching goal setting from a big-picture perspective has felt flat and frustrating for you in the past – as they have for me – I’m inviting you to flip the script and find 2020 vision from a new perspective: what you believe in.
When you look at different areas of your life and ask yourself, what do I really believe about this, your goals build on your core belief system. Then reaching a goal means living congruently with your core beliefs.
I don’t know about you, but I aspire to live with integrity. That necessitates identifying my core beliefs and then integrating them into how I live – so that purpose and passion are closely aligned with my belief system.
As goals, passions and projects change, you can revisit your core beliefs to refocus and uncover the next step.
Examine your core beliefs
Ok, grab a pen and paper of bust out your notebook! Divide the page into four quadrants, one for each of the following categories: emotional & mental – faith & character – partner & family – intellect & learning
Jot down answers to three questions in each area:
- What do I believe?
- Why do I believe this?
- What would living out this belief look like?
Capture the first thoughts in your head – just two minutes per category.
Cheering you onto tomorrow!