Know Thyself – Explore who you are; Learn what you love to do.
As part of my retirement transition, I needed to figure out who I was without work as my primary element. I also needed to learn what I loved to do, when work did not take up 60+ hours of my weekly mind-space. Looking back, these are my Top 10 Self-Discovery Tools:
- Possibilities List. It’s not really a bucket list. I’ve heard it called a “never be bored” list or a “maybe” list. It probably has some bucket list stuff on it and some Honey-do projects. But it also has 150+ things you might want to do, be, or experience. Everything from learn to play chess to visiting Machu Picchu to have a piece of clothing designed and hand-made for you. Yup, all items from my list!
- Jolts of Joy. A list of things that bring you little moments of joy. I’ve done them as list of 31, one for each day of the month. I’ve also done them as A to Z, which stimulates word play creativity. I’ve then used the list to bring more joy into my daily life, either through planning (I always write with fine tip blue pens now) or though serendipity (recognizing the moments as they occur – like seeing an osprey in flight at the beach).
- Who Am I Profile. Whether it’s an Archetype profile, an Enneagram profile, your Spiritual Strengths, or even an old Myers-Brigs profile…I love these on-line tools to get a better sense of myself. Most provide both the positive traits and the watch-outs. The analytical Sage in me loves to acquire, organize, & share knowledge, but can get bogged down in the data and fail to act or come across as an arrogant know-it-all.
- Values Articulation. There are many, many values that everyone recognizes, but getting a solid understanding of what you authentically value, versus what society says you should value, is helpful in crafting a more satisfying life. Society tells us that Family should be the most important thing, as well as giving to the Community and Protecting the Environment. But perhaps for you, a higher value is Being an Individual or Personal Achievement. Knowing yourself in this way can help define what you truly want to do with your life.
- Emotional Awareness. This tool is more a daily tool to connect with how you are feeling. Emotions are often hard to articulate (I’m angry), but by clarifying how I am feeling with a more precise articulation, I can make sense of how to better deal with a negative emotion.
- Vision Board. I’ve blogged about creating vision boards and have found them helpful in “seeing” the year ahead.
- Life Short Stories. Everyone can tell a story. This tool is creating (very) short stories based five years in the future & looking back, telling how you got to that place… a typical story of first I did this and then I did that. I’ve done them on 5 different aspects of my life vision and will be posting about them in a future blog, now that it’s 3-4 years later!
- Love Language. How do you express appreciation and love for another person? And how do you recognize when someone is expressing love and appreciation for you? Is it words, touch, time spent, gift giving, or acts of service? I have a friend who’s #1 is gift giving, which is my least likely way so I regularly think about buying her something small to express my appreciation for her. Vice versa, she will give me a hug once in awhile (touch is high for me, low for her).
- 5 Things to Try Now. Create a list of 5 things you would like to try from your Possibilities list. Now pick one and do it for one month. I picked yoga and became a fan. Then I tried mediation and wasn’t thrilled. I’m not sure what my next pick will be!
- Morning Journal. Completely stolen from Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way morning pages, my morning journal has become my daily moment of personal discovery. How am I feeling today? (emotional assessment) What was the most important thing that happened yesterday? What are my frustrations, my wishes, my worries, and my desires today? How will I be making today the best day ever? How will I SOAR (my word of the year) today?
Perhaps one of these tools could help you do some self-discovery, too.
Picture Credit: Pixabay