The Art of Strengths Coaching

I is for Identifying The Important Things In Life

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What do you believe is important in life? Many people describe similar themes when answering this question.

They want to be healthy and happy. They also want to encourage others to have hope. As they old saying goes, they want to live, love, learn, labour and leave a positive legacy.

Whilst people may want similar things, the ways they go about trying to get these can differ widely. Sometimes it takes uncommon events – such as illnesses, crises or vulnerability – to show the things that people have in common.

There are many different ways for people to identify what is important to them. One approach is to clarify their life goals.

There are many exercises on this theme. Below is one of the most common.

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People often mention similar themes when doing this exercise. Here are some of them.

Positive Relationships.

They focus on how they want to be remembered as a parent, partner, friend or whatever.

Positive Contribution.

They focus on how they want to follow their vocation, do good work or make a positive contribution to the world.

Positive Memories.

They focus on how they want to enjoy life, pursue experiences and have no regrets.

There is another area that sometimes appears. This has a lot to do with dealing with difficulties.

Positive Pain Management.

They recognise that pain is a fact of life. People are bound to experience physical pain, emotional pain or a combination of both.

So they try to find positive ways to prevent or, if necessary, manage pain – both for themselves and others. The absence of pain means they can appreciate the good things that life offers.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the things that you believe are important in life.

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Focusing On The Important
Things In The Future

People like to have a sense of purpose. They like to see a link between their daily actions and their life goals. How to make this happen?

“Do something early each day that contributes to what you feel is important in life,” said one of my mentors.

“You will then feel more in control. You will have already chalked up a win and feel more in charge of your day.”

Different people do this in different ways. Looking at my own life, for example, I enjoy encouraging people. So I try to do something towards this early each day. The satisfaction this gives provides energy to tackle other challenges.

People sometimes use the important things in life as a guiding compass when making decisions. They refer to these when exploring the possible routes they can take in their personal or professional lives.

They may use the following framework, for example, when considering their possible options. Looking at the pluses and minuses of each route, they then choose to follow – or create – the route they believe will be most fulfilling.

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Looking ahead, how can you continue to focus on what you believe is important? Different people give different answers to this question. Here are some that they give.

I want to:

Take care of my health … Encourage our children by helping them to build on their strengths … Share adventures with my partner … Continue to do satisfying work – both in my daily work and at home.

Return to playing music … Help our children to find or create paid work they enjoy … Care for our parents as they get older … Pass on knowledge to people in ways that help them to succeed.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to focus on how you can continue to do what you believe is important. It also invites you to consider the benefits – both for yourself and for other people.

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