After graduate school, I worked as a therapist with people in recovery after acquiring traumatic brain injuries.
While I learned a lot during this season, one thing remains the most salient.
Everything in my life could change in the flash of a moment.
Things that I consider part of my identity–being able to think, talk, and write–as well as things I take for granted–being able to walk, navigate my own home, or use both sides of my body–could all be gone in an instant. Brain injuries, like death, do not discriminate on the basis of education, social status, wealth, or character. They are sudden, and at times, irreversible.
This unique season of walking alongside people after their injuries, helped me to grow to appreciate that today is all that I really have. Though I had heard it all of my life, I began to truly understand that I really need to seize the day. I started to ask the hard questions. If tomorrow never comes, would I look back from today with satisfaction on who I have been and what I have accomplished?
We all want to look back on our lives without regret. It is innate within us to want to look back and to say, “This is good.”
Yet somehow in the midst of our busy lives, we know that if today were the last of our days, many of us would not look back with that sort of whole-hearted satisfaction.
BUT…how do we get there?
In this blog, we will preview the Four P’s. These P’s will point us toward a life well lived no matter where we find ourselves today.
The first P is Proactivity. To be proactive in just two words is to “own it.” It is a mindset about your life that states that no matter what has, is, or will happen to you, your life is yours to live.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl shared his journey to discover this realization. A Jewish prisoner of war, he discovered that no one could take away his ability to choose–no matter what they did to him. The world will give you every excuse, And since the beginning of time it has been our nature to shift blame.
To live well, however, we must resist this temptation. We must constantly ask, “What choices are within my responsibility?” and choose to act.
The second P is Purpose. Your story is irreplaceable. What makes you unique? For what purpose do you believe you are on Earth?
What are your dreams? What are your goals? What are your values? What is your personality? What are your strengths? What are your resources and connections?
Gaining a clear picture on where you are heading is critical.
The third P is productivity. To be productive is to produce effective results with your actions. The opposite of being productive is working really hard but getting nowhere–“spinning your wheels.”
If you have decided to own your life and you have a clear vision on where you want to head but you have not clarified which actions produce the results that will get you there, you are unlikely to fulfill your desires.
The final P is people. When everything is boiled down, our design reflects a deep need for both results and relationships.
When people are interviewed near the end of their lives, they usually speak most about the relationships in their lives. What relationships in your life do you want to cultivate so that you look back with satisfaction and not regret? What type of person do you want to be for those in a relationship with you?
The Four Ps
How do we live well? Be proactive. Start with the choice to own your life. Then, move toward your purpose. What do you want to see when you look back on your life? Next, be productive. Choose actions that will support your vision and bear strong results toward it. Lastly, stay connected to the people in your life. Leave a trail of touched lives behind you as you live your irreplaceable story.
Think Time’s Life Leadership process seamlessly guides you through living these four P’s as you dream, decide, do, and review. Check out our thinking tools at think-time.com.
Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-founder, Think Time
Everything in my life could change in the flash of a moment. @thinktimetweets
We all want to look back on our lives without regret. @thinktimetweets
It is innate within us to want to look back and to say, “This is good.” @thinktimetweets
“Own it.” @thinktimetweets
Your life is yours to live. @thinktimetweets
What choices are within my responsibility? @thinktimetweets
Choose to act. @thinktimetweets
Your story is irreplaceable. @thinktimetweets
What makes you unique? @thinktimetweets
For what purpose do you believe you are on Earth? @thinktimetweets
Gain clear picture on where you want to go. @thinktimetweets
Produce effective results with your actions. @thinktimetweets
The opposite of being productive is working really hard but getting nowhere. @thinktimetweets
Clarify which actions produce the results that will get you to your destination. @thinktimetweets
Our design reflects a deep need for both results and relationships. @thinktimetweets
What relationships in your life do you want to cultivate? @thinktimetweets
What type of person do you want to be? @thinktimetweets
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