Message from the Board
“What Guides Your Life?" by Javier Llerena, ACC , SFBAC Treasurer
As a coach I often ask my clients, “What fuels your desires, dreams, and passions? What guides your life?"
These days, life regularly feels like we're living amidst a whirlpool. We're battered by constant change and emergencies. We turn on the news and hear unnerving reports from around the globe. We go online and see opposing data about everything.
Amidst such a whirlwind, how can we direct our lives and remain focused?
In the midst of such instability, we can live our lives according to either our interests or our issues.
When we view life through our issues, we don't need to think. We focus on "putting out the fires" caused by affliction, work emergencies, monetary precariousness, broken connections, and fears. We keep our heads above water, which creates a feeling of structure and course for our lives.
Survival itself may feel like an achievement, however, our fantasies and dreams get lost in this scenario. It doesn't make for a satisfying life.
To experience our lives fully, we have to prioritize our interests—our qualities and standards, the things that bring us bliss, opportunity, and imaginative articulation. It doesn’t matter whether you find this sweet spot through artistic expression, your business, a deep investigation of a subject or some other interest that invigorates and energizes you.
Stephen Covey, author of First Things First, used an illustration to prove a point to a business class. He pulled out a one-gallon mason jar and filled it with fist-sized rocks and then asked the group if it was full. The class answered “yes.”
Covey then added gravel to the jar and again asked if the jar was full. The class had wised up and answered “no.” The instructor then added sand to the jar, followed by water. When Covey asked the point of his demonstration, one student answered, “You can always fit in more if you try really hard.”
“No,” replied Covey, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”
If we don’t prioritize our interest first (the big rocks), issues and emergencies (the gravel, pebbles, and sand) will rule us.
What are your big rocks?
Invest some energy considering what's essential to you. How might you live more in alignment with those choices?
Think about the things that you adore—your work, your community, making something lovely or flavorful, submerging yourself in a pastime. How might you bring more of these into your life? When we set aside time for satisfaction, we feel more energized and have a greater sense of possibility.
When you're in contact with these imperative viewpoints and concentrating on them, issues and emergencies assume their legitimate position, as opposed to commanding your consideration. Your life is wealthier and you take a path that communicates your qualities, interests, and delights.
What's more, phenomenally, when you're carrying on with a happy life, the issues simply appear to get settled. What an inspiring way to live!
Javier Llerena, ACC
Treasurer & Membership Director
ICF SF Bay Area Chapter