How to Become a Hero c.j. hayden
   How to Become a Hero
   You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For

   C.J. Hayden, MCC

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Lost and found 

How often do you lose your way? It's easy enough to get lost on the highway or in the forest, but what about your path through life? You would think that regarding a matter so important -- our life's mission or purpose -- we would stay constantly focused. But it seems that much of the time, we don't.

I know I find myself frequently off track with what I consider my life's work. Sometimes the detours are small, and I can easily find my way back. Other times, I discover that I have somehow wandered far from the path, and getting myself headed in the right direction again can be a struggle.

Yesterday, I was looking at a lengthy list of to-do's that all needed to be accomplished before the end of the month. The list was far too long to tackle, so I cut it down to what needed to happen in the next couple of days. When I discovered it was still too long to possibly complete in the time available, an alarm bell rang. I've been in this place before, and luckily, I recognized it. Too long a to-do list is a signpost informing me that I'm off track in life. Even though I was sure I knew my way this time, somehow I'd gotten lost again.

Your personal signpost for this place may be different, but if you look carefully, you'll identify it. Perhaps it is sleeplessness or bad dreams that let you know you've taken a wrong turn. Or you find yourself avoiding things you "should" be doing by watching TV or surfing the web. Or a loved one tells you that you seem unusually irritable or sad.

Once you know that you are lost, how do you find your way back? I recently asked some readers of this blog for their ideas about how to return to a purposeful path once you have wandered away. Here are some of their suggestions:

o Make a plan for what you're trying to do. Then you can refer to it and see where you need to go next.
o Get back in touch with your initial vision or passion -- read what you wrote about it, or go back to the spot where you last experienced it.
o Do just one thing that will point you in the direction of your mission.
o Connect with others who you believe have a similar vision.
o Seek out a role model or mentor to inspire you -- someone you know or someone you've heard of.
o Start a group where you are the leader and your followers will keep you on track.

For me, struggling with my mile-long to-do list, I started by asking how many of the items listed there were "on purpose." It turns out that very few of them were. I don't mean that they got on my list by accident or someone else's request -- I had chosen them all. But only a small percentage of what I had chosen was relevant to my true mission in life. The rest were a collection of shoulds, nice-to-have's, and the result of old habits I keep trying to outgrow.

After deleting a big chunk of the off-purpose tasks and moving some of the on-purpose items to the top, I felt much more on track. At least for the moment -- I'll probably have to do the same thing again a month from now.


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