There’s very little luck involved in finding your pot of gold. You don’t need a lottery ticket or a trip to the casino.
Your pot of gold exists and is there for the taking.
It might be hidden beneath some old junk, but rest assured, it is there. Better yet, finding your treasure doesn’t involve any physical exertion nor does it require hiring burly men with picks and shovels.
Your richness is hidden away in the values you hold most dear and your ability to embrace that which you care most about.
We embark on our journey into adulthood with a shovel on our shoulder, seeking out our fortune. We are prepared to labor in a purposeful pursuit of our life’s meaning.
If life were perfect, we’d work towards our goals for the rest of our lives and never veer off track. However, what makes us human is that we’re not perfect.
Unfortunately, for many, we become distracted along the way by “stuff” and by the agendas of others who would rather have us believe that our true purpose is to surround ourselves with possessions that are no more than outward displays.
It’s all too easy in our complex lives to lose our way – clouding our vision. The shiny new smart phone, the car, home, vacation, or jewelry instead become the purpose, the display of success and our life’s meaning. But you know they aren’t.
Values? Riches? Hold most dear? Yes, look past the rubble and confusion that fill our lives and the pressures and pains of managing the complexities of life to really see the why behind our actions. While it might seem that we chase these things, what we are really chasing is what those things represent.
I am talking about our need for security, meaningful relationships, and purpose. Those values which provide comfort, direction, and a sense of wholeness. If you are a parent, think back to the moment you first held your child. If you have someone special in your life, remember the first time your eyes met.
Consider the feeling you had when something unexpected happened and you had the financial security to weather the challenge. These are the values that really matter. These values are always ingrained in us, but sometimes we forget they’re there.
Finding your pot of gold is an exercise in remembering or envisioning. It is something rooted in your past or something you imagine for your future. It requires a doggedly determined desire to focus on and clarify what is most important to you in your life.
Remember that your life is comprised of many parts. For example, you have a financial life, a family life, a physical life (your health), your work life, your leisure life, and your spiritual and intellectual aspects as well. Each slice of your life contributes to your overall well-being and vision of your best life possible.
It is likely that not all aspects of your life will be operating at maximum satisfaction at all times. There will be times your health will decline or you might have challenges with your work or family. These ebbs and flows are normal. Your focus on your overall values contribute to your ability to move closer to your ideal despite the various bumps in the road. That’s not to say that your desire for perfect health can be achieved if you are stricken with an illness or other physical limitation, but if you stay focused on working towards the best outcome within the scope of possibility, you are moving in the right direction.
Losing sight of your values leaves you with iron pyrite rather than real gold. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Begin with quiet time where you can wash away all the “stuff” so you can reclaim your purpose.
2. Ask yourself why you are on this journey and what you hope to accomplish. Write it down.
3. Once you have clarity, welcome in the stakeholders in your life to talk about their visions and share yours. It’s critical to be on the same page as your stakeholders.
4. Select one area where you can move closer to those shared values. Develop strategies to move you closer to them.
5. Create a schedule to regroup, maybe every two weeks, to check in on progress and make adjustments, where appropriate.
6. Celebrate each step forward.
7. Acknowledge that mistakes are likely. Learn from your mistakes and appreciate the ability to correct errors and get back on track towards your vision. A mistake never means the end.
Our pots of gold reside within our values. The wealth and happiness derived from creating a shared vision and working together towards its completion holds deep meaning and purpose. That is what the journey is all about.