The Most Important Goal in Your Life

In my last post, I talked about moving out of my comfort zone to venture out on my own. What would best describe my inner values? For some people it is passion, challenge, love, determination, gung-ho spirit, etc. For me it is “courage”. Why? “Courage’ compels people to go down the unconventional path, take risks, and face difficulties that timid souls will avoid.

I took this word of ‘courage’ further in my recent article. In it I said that courage is the most important attribute that anyone can ever long to have. There are many goals that all wish to pursue, especially those tangible (or materialistic) ones. Go for them by all means, but make sure one of them (and the most important one) is to know ourselves so well that it will help us build our courage.

Many of our life’s goals are temporary in nature. We want a car, house, rewarding career, even a lovely creature to live with ‘forever’. However, they will be taken away from us one day. There is no guarantee of permanence in any of them. Rather sobering, isn’t it? But it is true!

So what is something that has permanence and is 100% worth working towards? It must be a goal that is not dictated by forces beyond our control such as our bosses, the economy, nature or another person. It is this goal: “self-knowledge”. Simply put, it answers the question: “Who am I?”

Self-knowledge is about gaining deeper and deeper knowledge of ourselves or what we are made of. It means gaining so much of our awareness that we discover more and more of who and what we are, and it unfolds more and more layers of our untapped potential so that we can discover and use them to touch more lives.

On the flip side, there are people around us who have been “asleep” throughout their lives, refusing to learn and grow from life’s experiences and stubbornly declaring their innocence, ignorance or even proclaiming that there is nothing else to learn or that they are already living a perfect life and are perfect human beings!

Some questions to ponder:

  • What’s your experience in gaining self knowledge?
  • How does that help to grow your courage?
  • What have you used your courage for?
  • What are those that you still are building your courage for?
  • What can you tell others of your experience?

The Consequences of Choice

If you have been following my Saturday articles in the New Straits Times (NST), you would have noticed that I talked a fair bit about my personal life, besides coaching and HR topics.

Why do I open up my life to “public scrutiny”? It is a risk I am taking like there could be misinterpretation of meanings and intentions, loss of privacy (to some extent) including losing ‘credibility’ as well. But I decided to throw caution to the wind because I believe that to a great extent that what I have, and am going through my life represents some parts of what others like you may have gone (and will be going) through. And if I have learned from them, then others can learn from them too. Thus, the bigger purpose for what I‘m doing for the community (and society) far surpasses the little concerns that I have just mentioned.

In one of my recent articles entitled ‘ Limits On Limitations’, I shared why some seven years ago, I chose not to be an employee anymore, although I was then a top executive in a very dynamic and successful organization. Since leaving I founded 2 companies – Corporate Coach & Corporate Coach Academy as well as being involved in other businesses in tourism-related industries.

Besides giving up a lot of perks and benefits, it is more hard work now, more than my “employee days”.  Being CEO (Chief “Everything” Officer), I have to do almost everything and, with the current economic situation, bear more “headaches” too. Yet, the bottom-line is that I am really happy with what I am doing now. I can express myself more; there is greater autonomy; and I am my own boss to top it all!

Not everyone would have the courage to take the path I have taken. The key word here is “choice”. Once we have made our choice, we accept the consequences of our choice. Using my example, I would be so frustrated if I had stayed on and be unable to do the things that express my inner passion and motivation.

I hope mine is a lesson to those who are still wasting their time whining about their life, employers, closed ones etc and not taking any action to change the circumstances of their life.

The most important thing that matters is to feel empowered in your choices and be able to live your life with honor, humility and passion. And, perhaps more importantly, it is to be able to embrace ALL of life and accept ALL life’s consequences that come from our choices and decisions.

If you have taken the same path as I have, what were your experiences like? What significant lessons did you learn along the way? How would you help someone who is about to embark on something similar but is having “big butterflies in the stomach”?