Prosperity: what is your definition?
Many people assume the word ‘prosperity’ relates solely to finances; I question this. One of the most important people in my life was my grandfather. He was a London taxi driver, had very little money, lived in council flats all his life, yet he considered himself to be the richest man in the world because he was adored by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
So when considering the whole area of prosperity, ask yourself questions such as,
- what is your definition of prosperity?
- how would you know you were prosperous?
- how can you be prosperous in all areas of your life?
Here are some distinctions that might be useful.
1 What’s your life purpose?
Yes, a big question. In my experience, many people strive to climb the ladder as fast as possible, or get as high up as possible, without questioning whether the ladder is against the right wall. So knowing what you truly want to achieve in your life can help you make more informed decisions. Here are three ways to uncover your life purpose:
- What are you doing when you feel most alive, most authentically you (without the aid of drugs of any sort)? What do you love doing so much that you would do it for free or even pay to do it? An indication would be something that you’d jump at the opportunity to do even if you were really tired and/or awoken from a deep sleep.
- Imagine being 60/70/80/90 years old, looking back on the last x years (since the date you read this), and you feel an overwhelming sense of pride and fulfilment (almost moving you to tears) about what you’ve achieved. What is it that you’ve achieved in these x years?
3. Imagine reading your own obituary (don’t be upset, be real – we’ll all pass away at some point!), or somehow being present at your own funeral, hearing people from all walks of your life (such as work, family and society) making speeches about what a contribution you made, again something that brings tears to your eyes. What are they saying/writing about you, and the contribution you made? What legacy did you leave behind?
Once you have done this, and I emphasise that to do this properly will almost certainly mean you feel a strong emotion, you’ll then be in a better place to start defining what you mean by prosperity, including financial prosperity.
2 Set prosperity goals
Set a goal for each of the main areas of your life. These areas would probably include:
- relationship (partner)
- personal and/or spiritual development
Whilst goal setting is an art in itself (I have written and will write more e-books on goal setting), here are some simple yet effective goal setting tips.
- Ensure that each goal is truly right for you and the people around you (that there are no negative consequences, or that any minor negatives are significantly outweighed by positives), and does not conflict with other goals you have set.
- State the goal in positive terms, with no negations or comparisons. To illustrate, if someone currently weighs 80 Kg, it is more effective to set a target weight of 70 Kg than to say they want to lose 10 Kg
- Make sure the goal is stated in such a way that if it happened exactly as you’ve written it, you’d be happy. Using the previous example, someone could reach their target of 70 Kg, only because they were unwell! So include in the goal something about being healthy, fit and energised.
- Have a specific date, and write it in the present tense, and probably express the goal as being permanent. For example, “It is 31 December 20XX and I have weighed 70 Kg for the past six months, and have felt and do feel fit, healthy and energised”.
- Check that by achieving the goal other opportunities or options become available to you.
- Ensure the goal aligns with your values i.e. what’s important to you in that area of life.
- Ensure that you can make it happen, and that it is achievable and realistic (have you or someone similar to you have had or done this before?). This will require you to take into account your current situation.
Goal setting, and taking into account your current situation, are the first two elements of the well-used GROW model of coaching (Goal, Reality, Options and What/when). Once you know what you want, you can start taking steps to achieve it, which is the subject of subsequent articles.
Have fun discovering what you truly want.