Imagine you’ve died (sorry to be the one to break the news, but it will happen to each of us eventually).
You’re at your own funeral.
You’re listening to your own eulogy.
What is being said?
What is remembered of you? Who did you help? What are your greatest accomplishments? What were you proudest of?
This month, we’re talking all about how to develop a clear sense of self.
- What that means and why its important (to you and your marriage)
- How creating the right value system can get you there.
- How meditation and affirmations can get you there.
Today we are going to be talking about figuring out what it is we want, who we want to be and how to get there.
I cannot overstate how important these steps are to becoming the person you want to be as well as the spouse you want to be.
These things don’t just happen. Becoming who we want to be requires defining what that is, being able to visualize it and then planning for it.
Becoming Your Ideal Self
Let’s start with defining who we want to be.
Imagine you run into an old friend at a coffee shop five years from now. You are catching up on each other’s lives. Your friend asks you what you’ve been up to- your job, family, etc.
But then you go deeper. The conversation turns to what you are proudest of.
You breathe a sigh of contentment. You tell your friend you are really happy and content with your life right now.
What would that take? What would make you content not just with what you’re doing but with WHO you are? With the person you’ve become? With the character traits and virtues you’ve forged? With the values you have?
I would really recommend taking some time to journal out where you want to be and WHO you want to be next year, in 5 years, in 10 years and in 20 years.
What is the difference between who you want to be and who you are NOW? What needs to change? What will it take for you to get there?
Write those things down.
(PS This isn’t the work of a two minute thought exercise. Figuring this stuff out takes time. I recommend blocking out an hour or so and writing down the answers to the questions above sometime soon.)
Now that you know where you want to be and WHO you want to be in the future. Let’s pause and take some time to visualize this person.
Le’ts visualize who you want to be in five years.
Who is this person? What does he/she look like? What does his/her daily life look like? What does he/she do when met with stress? When things aren’t going his/her way? How does he/she treat those around him/her? What are his/her priorities?
The more specific you can make your image of your future self, the better.
Can you picture this person?
Here is an excellent self-help trick: picture this person clearly- everything about him/her. Now, imagine that you have ALREADY become this person.
Those characteristics you wanted to acquire? You’ve acquired them.
Those feelings you want to be feeling? You are feeling them.
Pretend like you are this person. Right now.
Those things you want to be doing every day? Do them.
That way you want to be treating those around you? Treat them that way.
If you start acting NOW how you want to become, then you WILL become that person. For sure.
This is such a powerful exercise. I’ve undertaken it myself recently. A few months ago, I spent some time thinking about my ideal self and my ideal life and I noticed quite a few incongruencies.
For instance, my ideal life would involve getting together with friends regularly. I love getting together with other couples and families, but it just wasn’t happening.
We just moved to a new state this summer and friend-making has been going slower than I would like.
Eventually I realized that this friend-making business is no one’s responsibility but my own. If my ideal life involves getting together with friends regularly, well then I had better set up dinners, double dates, and play dates regularly.
I’ve been doing this. And I’ve been so much happier.
Another example is physical health. If I picture my ideal self health-wise in five years – this person eats a salad every day, isn’t eating too many sweets, and she exercises regularly.
I’m sure you can connect the dots here, but if I want to become that person, then I need to act as if I already were that person NOW.
Becoming Your Ideal Spouse
Whenever you improve any area of your personal life, it will have ripple effects in your marriage.
If you feel healthier and happier, you treat those around you better. If you love yourself, you have more love to give.
So those personal improvement visualization exercises will improve your marriage, but can also be applied directly to the type of husband and wife we are as well.
What kind of spouse do you want to be?
What does that person do? What does that person say? How does that person react when their spouse disappoints them or frustrates them? What routines or rituals are in place in that person’s marriage?
Can you picture yourself as the ideal spouse you want to be?
Now, maybe you saw this coming, but pretend like you ALREADY are that person and act accordingly.
You don’t need to make elaborate plans or postpone becoming your ideal spouse another day. Just picture the husband/wife you want to be and act like that person would.
This may sound simple, but try it out. I promise it is a really powerful exercise.