“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Ask Yourself These Five Transformational Questions…
I want you to do right now is to set aside one hour to answer the five transformational questions that are coming up in this chapter. You may not need all of that time, but I do urge you to keep the calendar clear for at least sixty minutes to give yourself the opportunity to address in writing all of the questions that show up here—as a means of building on everything you’ve learned thus far in our discussions together.
During this sixty-minute period, I’d like you to be sure that:
the telephones in your life are turned off, that the video screens are dark, and
that you won’t be disturbed by friends or colleagues for any reason other than a dire emergency.
Are you ready to make those commitments? If so, I invite you to pull out a pad of paper and something to write with, breathe deeply, relax, and give your best in-depth answers to the five questions that follow. Answering all five really can change your life and the lives of others in a powerful, positive way!
What ten positive transformational relationships have affected your life for the better? You can use the work you did in earlier exercises in this book to come up with answers to this question. It’s extremely important that you identify, not just one, but a large number of transformational role models who have affected you positively throughout the years. My prediction is that if you make a list of ten, you will want to keep that list as you move forward through your life, and you will find—as I have—that the list just keeps growing. It takes a little conscious effort to start this list, but once you begin and start to notice how many people really have played this kind of role in your life, you will find that you identify many more than ten people. Not only that, you will become more and more motivated to serve as a transformational role model for others.
What are your three most important transformational goals? Why are you here? What’s your purpose in life? These are big questions that deserve not one, but three good answers. You should know which of your transformational goals are for yourself (perhaps losing ten pounds), which are for your family/neighborhood (for example, starting a weekly exercise group), and which are for the larger community (say, helping kids under the age of ten to get out and do more physical activity during the average day). Whatever the goals are, you should commit them to writing, be familiar enough with them to talk about them with anybody and everybody, and be able to notice whether you are getting closer to them or moving further away from achieving them.
Would you reselect all of your current close relationships, knowing what you now know about transformation—and if not, which ones would you deemphasize? Most of us who examine our circle of acquaintances with care will notice that some of these relationships are not positive—they do not support transformational values. My challenge to you here is to identify exactly which relationships those are and decide on the best ways to minimize the impact those people have on your life. This is not easy, but it is an essential step. Please don’t skip it.
What are the three values of transformational people that are most important to you? I shared five such qualities with you in chapter two. That’s a good place to start. Take a few moments now to identify three values from that list that you want to focus on at this juncture of your life. If you wish, you can identify additional qualities of your own that I did not mention in that chapter.
Do you have at least one transformational relationship—a relationship that inspires you to be more, to do more, to grow more, and to become more—with someone from each of the five generational groups? If not, my challenge to you is to fill the gaps right now! Identify, by name, the people to whom you will reach out to create new transformational relationships. If necessary, hit the Internet and come up with a candidate list by consulting Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
Once again, those five groups are:
• Traditionalists: Born before 1946
• Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964
• Generation X: Born between 1965 and 1976
• Millennials: Born between 1977 and 1997
• Generation 2020: Born around the year 2000
Did you answer all five questions in writing?
If not, please continue to do the “heavy lifting” necessary to complete written answers to all five of these questions.
Here is my promise to you: If you do this, your life will be more open, more optimistic, more focused on the possible, more rewarding, and far more joyous than it has been up to this point. Please, please, please invest the time to answer, in full, all five of the questions I have shared with you here.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
― Mahatma Gandhi