Like any basement, attic, garage, or junk closet rooting, finding mislaid or forgotten gems, meaningful only to ourselves – valued more than most might imagine – like that chance meeting, greeting an old friend who moved away, back for a visit after a lengthy absence.
Distraction trips down memory lanes rarely spawn new learnings but brim with nostalgic recollections of belle époque times. Burrowing for something else (never found it) entirely – I found treasure in my computer’s sub-sub-basement backed-up back-up files.
Found my list.
Immediately, I experienced that momentary rush of joy, realizing I’d misplaced it at the same moment I found it again. It gives rise to that feeling of taking someone to a magical place for their first time – when eyes glaze over with excitement and adrenalin flows.
While I live it – and feel its elements are deeply anchored, I don’t need it for daily reference, so I’d not thought about ‘the list’ for a long time.
Yes, it needed re-reading, and re-reading.
It always will. It might change slightly from time to time, but I doubt there will be a significant shift. Nothing from recent events rocks me from it – validation, I suppose, that my foundation is firm.
I’m so glad I’ve found it.
I’ve printed it out, saved it on all three computers – this list must not get lost or mislaid again.
The item is undoubtedly one for sharing, which I will, but first, some context and background:
A list of my Desires and my Talents – made and refined many years ago, a list made after reading an inspirational Deepak Chopra book.
I read a book by Deepak Chopra. I’ve read several of his – some are good for doorstops. Others, much better. This was one of those ‘much better’ ones. Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success – is like a melding of Stephen Covey-think and formulaic Chopra-book-seller-style. The laws are not ones of man, religion, or science – they just employ a literary device as book writers often do – 10 of this, 7 of that, 12 of something else, etc. – but he relates his 7 to the days of the week. But, a great read all the same. I gave my copy away about 10 years ago, but that’s another story for telling another day.
The most significant thing I recall from that book – and it was powerful, was to make a list of Desires and Talents. If you want to fully understand this, buy the book, and I am sure you will appreciate the need to do this, its value, and you can develop your own ‘how-to’ process.
For me, it began as a ‘yellow sticky notes on the bathroom mirror’ project – at first, each note just randomly put there. Nearly every day, another note or two, or one taken down. A pen and pad of sticky notes is the only equipment required. Days passed, the sticky notes got rearranged, a column on the left, one on the right, and blank space for regular mirror use in the middle.
The list I produced didn’t change much – but I’d lost my print out.
Now retrieved, it is once again part of my ‘every morning reading file’ as a reminder and as an affirmation of those points.
I made a couple of wording tweaks, but otherwise, this list is as I wrote it 15 years ago:
To deal more effectively with disappointments
To be receptive to advice
To be receptive to critique
To have a refreshing sleep
To have fitness & health
To write and publish books, articles & short stories
To have challenging creative work to do
To have someone to love and to be loved
To have laughter every day
To be rich with great friendships
To spend time enjoying my family
To spend time golfing
To plan & build a great home
To enjoy financial security
To perform on stage
To live in Hawaii
To be a great parent
My unique talents
I am creative
I am an excellent writer
I am an effective public speaker
I am a caring and very capable lover
I am good at identifying and solving problems
I am effective at seeing the big picture, and relating that to small decisions
I am an effective negotiator
I am good at developing business ideas
I am perceptive, sensitive and insightful
I am compassionate
I am a good friend
I can affect people in a positive way
I am a good mentor
I never give up
I have no desire to change any of these. I feel no strong tugging to add any, or to delete any.
Sure, I have goals and projects – but when I boil it down to the essentials of talents and desires, these remain real and valid. And important to me.
I believe, any time we appraise the value of something, we have to consider the world – the world around us, the influences of every other person and force on the planet. Lately, we are painfully reminded of how interdependent we are and how helpless many of us feel, all at the same time. Those dynamics impact the value of everything in everyone’s life.
Back to basics, examining what stuff we are made of – appraise our talents, and assess our desires. That can lead to validation or re-evaluation. I suspect, for many, that means both. Or neither.
It isn’t simple to do this kind of analysis. I don’t think it should be.
Do you have a list?
Are you checking it regularly?
Mine speaks to clarity of mind, or purpose, and for setting my internal compass. It’s not ‘the way’ for everyone; nothing should be so prescriptive.
But it seems right for me.
And I’m comfortable sharing my list, but more importantly, I’m happy to share the concept.
You may or may not buy-in to Chopra’s methods or philosophy – these are highly personal choices, but for me, the clarity of knowing matters. Not because I made a list one day, refined it, and chose to publish it.
Instead, it’s the process of getting inside my own head and thinking through what matters most.
This quote will stay with me for a long time, Mark – “Strangers are not friends we haven’t met yet, strangers are people we haven’t listened to yet.” Family can become strangers, and enemies can become friends. We only have to listen more. Thank you!. PW, Calgary, AB