You probably have a loyalty card, or six. Maybe you collect points from buying petrol, from visiting your supermarket, from buying coffee, from a number of high street stores? These days we aren’t loyal to one retailer, but the retailers still strive to buy our loyalty. Actually they are spending to protect themselves from our disloyalty. It’s a game. They offer points for us to save for gifts or for money off future purchases, and we dutifully collect the points. Theirs, and often their competitors too.
It seems we like to think we are getting something for nothing. It seems we like to save and to reward our saving endeavours.
So… what if you were rewarded for being loyal to who you are?
What if you had your own loyalty points system? Gaining rewards, gifts and bonuses from living your life in a manner congruent with your sense of self?
Every time you act in a way aligned with your values and beliefs, you gain satisfaction points. Every time you behave or act in line with the things that give you meaning, your account is topped up with a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Every time you do something that makes you happy, you get a bonus injection of joy. Every moment of enhanced self awareness gets you a small gift of learning.
Be loyal to yourself.
No card required.
No account needed.
No password to remember.
Meaningful, priceless, lasting gifts.
Singing someone else’s song is fun… but it’s not your song.
In life, when you stand up to the microphone…
Sing your own song.
Find your own words.
Hum your own tune.
Strum your own beat.
Make your own rhythm.
Voice your own story.
Connect with the hearts, minds and emotions of others through your own lyrics.
Don’t sing a karaoke version of someone else’s life.
As 2016 approaches, you may be contemplating what the new year will bring.
Setting goals for ourselves is commonplace at this time. Custom has it that we set out to kick a habit, to lose weight, to set a sizeable, but theoretically achievable, objective. To resolve to make a change.
But what if instead we set an intent? A daily intent?
For example, today my intent is to laugh.
Today my intent is to take time to reflect.
Today my intent is to do something kind for a stranger.
Today my intent is to learn.
Today my intent is to get to know someone new.
Try it. It may surprise you. Just by setting your intent, your unconscious seems to direct you to fulfil it.
Live life daily.
At this time of year it is traditional to shop. The sales are on. It’s customary to scour the high street for bargains. To surf the online super highway for money off deals. We like getting something for nothing it seems; or maybe it’s the sense that we have outdone our fellow shoppers, beaten them to the bargain?
The irony is we can spend a lot of time looking for the deals. Some even queue. For hours. I wonder if we put a price on our time and, if we do, is the deal as worthwhile?
What’s an hour worth to you?
How would you judge?
Your hourly pay rate?
If you live to 75 years, you have a total of around 650,000 hours in your life.
What’s an hour worth to you now?
Is that deal still a bargain now?
Returning to work after a holiday is…
Well, what is it?
How do you complete that sentence?
Returning to work after a holiday is…
… to be relished?
… a relief?
… a right pain?
I wonder what is to be learned from our transitions in and out of holidays?
The rush to leave. Clearing the inbox. Completing the ‘to do’ list. Handing over. Readying the house or the family for the break. Buying what you need; food, gifts, tickets.
If you are going away, checking you have everything at point of departure (tickets, passports, money etc). Securing the house. Telling neighbours, friends, relatives.
Then the return. Knowing that work will have been piling up. Checking your emails the night before. Anything urgent? Can you clear the junk? Getting your work bag, clothes, technology ready. Dealing with the nervous tension in your stomach. Packed lunch?
First day back. Easy routine to fall back in to. So much to catch up on. Nothing has changed. Tell everyone about your break. Listen to their story. Let it all fade into memory. Focus on the work. Rhythm found.
Until the next time.
Why do we play this game?
Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else.
As you move towards the end of 2015, consider what exits you will step through. What opportunities will you open as a result? What might you step in to next year?
What if Brussels sprouts were square?
What if turkey meat was blue?
What if parsnips tasted of coconut?
Believable things? Maybe, maybe not. But you can imagine them.
What if next Christmas you were more aware of what you do and why?
What if next Christmas you knew your purpose in life, why you are here?
What if next Christmas you understood more about your unconscious beliefs and motivations; what made some things possible and some things hard for you?
What if knowing these things gave you more choice, more freedom, more joy?
image by t1na (deviantart.com)
I’m not a list person typically. I do like a food shopping list, but seldom make lists for other reasons.
Many of us make lists. I’m sure some of you had a Christmas present list. A list of gifts to buy friends. You may even now be preparing your New Years resolution list? Many of you may make ‘to do’ lists for work, or get given lists of jobs to do, at work or at home. Maybe you make a list of things to pack when you’re a few days away from a holiday? Maybe you list goals or achievements?
So… when did you last write a list of what makes you happy?
Perhaps a list we would all benefit from writing? A list we should perhaps refer to regularly?
In my childhood I vaguely recall a film called ‘The land that time forgot’. Something about dinosaurs still thriving on a long lost island that a submarine, full of people, stumbles upon. The tale largely about their struggle to survive. I doubt it was a classic.
In our own lifetime though, we too forget such strange lands from our distant past. The land where play is everything. Where time has no meaning. Where larger inhabitants set the rules and look after us. Care free. A land where train rides are a wild adventure, long before we come to terms with commuting. A land where owning wellies with heels that light up, having chocolate cake, or getting stickers, is both thrilling and fulfilling. A land where magic prospers and wonder thrives.
For many, a happy time. Exploration and discovery, learning, fun, play, all at the heart of our daily existence. Our aspirations are simple.
Then we become adults. We struggle in this strange new land, working hard to earn money to buy possessions, or to save for a holiday to get us through. We sleep little. We struggle with worry and anxiety. Relationships are hard. Friendships move on line, with electronic photos and status updates a proxy for being together, as we were when we were six. Real living a film story, with plot and dramatic twist and turn. We drink too much to cope. Work too hard to play.
Childhood fun and freedom. A world of play, experimentation, learning.
The land that adults forgot?