Personality, meaning and life purpose are very closely linked. In an earlier post I discussed Dr Eric Maisel’s; ‘Life Purpose Boot Camp’ and his views on personality. Here, I want to explore further some more practical steps that will, hopefully, support people willing to move beyond insight and into the work of naming, framing and living life purposes (yes, ‘purposes’ plural). Personality for Maisel has three elements: ‘original’, ‘formed’, and ‘available’. We use our available to make meaning adventures.
Maisel asks for two things prior to calling out life purposes. Firstly, he suggests a personality upgrade. For some this may prove irksome, at least initially. Upgrading your personality simply means considering the relationship between your formed and available personalities, talking to yourself about what parts of your formed personality require attention, upgrade in Maisel’s terms.
The language of freedom
The language of freedom means noticing you have choice. Many of us all too often use the language of obligation or necessity. “I should be a better person”, “I must get my career sorted” which may be accurate are rarely helpful. Saying; “I am free to choose to be a value-based actor in the world’. Or, “I have many career options open, even in this economic climate”, are based in the language of freedom rather than the pressure of compulsion.
We all refuse to face up to the realities of our own personal circumstances from time to time. When it’s easier to deny unresourceful realities of our formed personalities, it’s also the case that we are refusing to access self-knowledge. Do you have things you find difficult to face and accept and need changing?
Noticing familiar ways of thinking that you know are unhelpful is an important step in actualising your life purposes and being on the front foot in terms of making meaning.
Your available personality is a powerful resource in defeating unhelpful thinking patterns. Regarding yourself as somehow ‘less than’ needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Running an internal dialogue which is self-critical can prevent resourceful meaning making. It can also provoke an inaccurate self-image.
Ideas are great, except when they’re not!
Just because you have ideas, this doesn’t mean they’re to be acted on. Feelings are not reliable guides to action. Judicious evaluation of ideas, especially emotionally loaded ones, through your available personality can be a powerful means of holding a solid stable direction. Your available personality is your greatest ally.
Notice, appreciate and enjoy your strengths
Your formed personality contains rigidities, rote ways of operating. These are problems and also strengths in some contexts. Rigid tenacity in the face of life’s difficulties can prove to be a great asset. Your own personal unconscious style of conduct could well prove endearing to others.
Be a value-based meaning maker
Some values are very useful and worthy of upkeep, some values need to be evaluated! Some people value working long hours to the detriment of home life and personal health. Some people hold the value of ingesting drugs to enhance artistic creativity. Re-evaluating values through your available personality can prove powerfully resourceful. Your own values can be explored for example here: www.viacharacter.org
Consider your identity
An important meaning opportunity is your own identity. How you identify yourself is important. If you identify yourself as a loser, a failure, or some such unhelpful type, you could well dissuade yourself from investing in yourself and therefore living your life purposes. If you identify yourself as ‘broken’ in some way, or mentally ill, you could limit your options to a stifling degree. Imagine yourself as self-assured, calm, confident, considerate, and also responsible for your own direction. From this perspective, at very least, more good is
possible. Resourceful meaning investments can be made and action on life purposes is much more possible.
I’ve upgraded my personality, now what?
Following a personality upgrade, perhaps even in parallel with your personality upgrade, there is the vital
requirement for realism. It is critical to operate in the real world, to face your circumstances, especially the ones we resist facing. For more about facing up to your circumstances please visit my next post coming soon.
Mental wellness, freedom from anxiety and depression are all helped by realistic and positive life goals. The setting of these goals and taking steps to achieve them means living life purposefully, investing in meaning, and taking personal leadership. Wellness, happiness, and freedom are important life purposes!