“If you really want to help this world,
what you will have to do is teach how to live in it.”
Schools and colleges will increasingly teach students of best-self leadership and to write plans for school and life to apply what they learn plus identify callings and make choices. When we help someone identify what it means to flourish and how to plan and pursue that mission, we empower them at a higher level. To know how to do that is part of education for the next generation of citizens, as important as any subject. David
These synthesized life lessons provide a core strategy for preparing and taking action as your best-self:
- LEAD your LIFE. Choose to identify and fulfill your callings, gifts, and talents; live as your best-self, prepared for action, increasingly strong and resilient.
- PLAN for LIFE. Discern your callings and write your choices for the life you are called to lead and the legacy you want to leave in your constitution and legacy. Answer life’s most important questions: mission, vision, values, beliefs, and strategies for your best-self.
- Have an IMPACT. Identify and focus on IMPortant ACTions to fulfill your important roles and goals in the seven areas of life. Choose resolutions to contribute or change to serve with significance and become your best-self, with accountability to self and others.
- Balance your life. Choose time priorities for your 168 hours per week to fulfill your callings and choices. Plan to invest enough quantityI.M.E. (time, inspiration, money, and energy) to create quality results.
- Live your priorities. Make your calendar and checkbook reflect what matters most. Use blocks of time for whom and what matters most, reconciled with your prime times, to create habits and instincts to guide you, even under stress.
- Assess and adjust. Compare desired and actual Plans, Actions, and Results (PAR) to adjust thinking and behavior, persisting positively making the best of circumstances.
- Renew and improve. Spend a foundation of 5-20% of time planning and developing mind, body, and spirit, plus service capacity and planned stewardship of callings, gifts, and talents, so the other 80-95% can succeed. Invest in prayer, plans, practice, resolution, and transformation.
A few years after I wrote the first draft of these best practices, a CEO in one of my seminars told me of the new book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr. Stephen Covey. I read and love that book–lots of underlining. Dr. Covey’s 7 Habits and my 7 Best Practices complement each other so you can review both and pick the parts you like best to create your best-self strategy.
Dr. Covey’s 7 Habits: 1) Be Proactive; 2) Begin with the end in mind; 3) Put first things first; 4)Think win-win; 5)Seek first to understand, then to be understood; 6)Synergize; 7) Sharpen the Saw.
You can review your strategy often to stay on track and you can use it when someone asks something like, “How do I do my best?” You can share your answer!
The 7 Areas of Life
Everything we do falls into one or more of these 7 Areas of Life. Activities listed within the 7 Areas below cover most things we do:
- Physical: breathe, eat, sleep, bathe, groom, and exercise to survive and care for physiological needs, providing a platform of health and energy.
- Financial: budget, purchase, and invest to satisfy needs for survival, security, hope, and freedom to pursue callings.
- Professional: plan, prepare, learn, and work for distinctive, ethical service to meet financial needs, enjoy personal success, and provide value to society.
- Personal: plan for life, develop yourself for mental and emotional health, intellectual development, and independence; nurture your home, read, play, listen to music, enjoy hobbies, other activities primarily for you.
- Social: share and do, with and for others—through recreation and responsibility, for fun and fulfillment—to belong, care for, love and serve interdependently.
- Philanthropical: contribute time for service and resources for communities, charities and causes that match your mission synergistically and improve society.
- Spiritual: pray, study, worship, serve, and give to fulfill your callings, gifts and talents—to fulfill the purpose of life—to live a spiritual journey faithfully, love and serve others meaningfully, and do my best joyously.
You can review the areas and descriptions and write plans to fulfill priorities in areas important to you to enhance success and balance.