Manifesto to become the Best Me I Can Be and the Best We We Can Be:
I read a lot of books – good books (and some bad.)
I listen to great lectures, sermons, podcasts, TEDtalks, insights from creative people – and while I put some insights into practice – only some of them get really lived out in my life. I need to change this. We “know” how to live better – and I can do better with my life so I will focus more on what I know now and embodying that, instead of needing to learn something new. (Though I will keep learning.)
I love Facebook for connecting with friends and especially former students, whose lives I cherish! And yet, the routines of being on FB tax my life. And, it’s a socially engineered network where I only see/know certain things. I will be on FB less.
I have certain routines when I “power down” and “power up” in the morning and at night – including things like at least a daily (sometimes 2x or 3x daily) dose of aggregate news feeds. In truth, reading the news does very little to shape my every day or every week existence. I care deeply about social, political, international, peacemaking and other issues of the world, and yet – the persistence with which I read/feed on these things, does little to nourish my life’s deepest meaning and personal, close, intimate, local well being. This is to say nothing of the wasted time spent on silly websites that provide goofy memes or the latest viral videos that shape my life in no meaningful way –and even the brief laugh is fleeting.
I am going to focus more frequently, I expect daily – on more introspective aspects of my life.
I plan to ask myself many more daily questions.
Maybe I won’t do it daily – though I think I will.
I need something to give focused attention to my thoughts every evening.
Robyn has committed to help me – and I’ll engage her with questions as frequently as she will indulge me with the questions that follow.
Here is the list of questions I’ll start with below. They have been borrowed and reshaped from persons like John Wesley, St. Ignatius, Thich Nhat Hanh, Brene’ Brown, Wendell Berry, Richard Boyatzis, John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni & the Table Group, David Allen, and John Gottman. No doubt they’ll be reshaped in the next days or weeks to (I’ve been working on the questions for days already, so they’re in formation):
Best Me I Can Be:
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence? Can I be trusted?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits? Do I over-focus on any items of my physical appearance or “presence” of appearance with others?
5. How did the God of the Bible live in me today?
6. Did I give time for the Bible to speak to me today?
7. Am I enjoying prayer? Do I pray through events; before, during and in moments of my life? Do I set aside time for prayer?
8. How did I share my faith today with someone who needs to see/know God?
9. Do I pray about the money I spend?
10. Do I need the items I am buying or working for or purchasing?
11. Am I conscious of my need for sleep? Quiet rest? Calm moments?
12. Did I take 5 minutes to reflect on or meditate on something today? What was it? What aspects of my life (personality/presence) needs quiet reflection and meditation?
13. Did I disobey God in anything?
14. Did I honor my wife? Did I love her in all my actions?
15. Did I pray for my children?
16. Did I communicate in a specific way to my children that I love them today?
17. Am I defeated in any part of my life? What next action will I take to fix that tomorrow?
18. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful? What specific actions can I take now and tomorrow to correct these issues in my life?
19. How do I spend my spare time? When I am in between tasks, or waiting on others, am I in prayer or intentional reflection?
20. Is there a someone specific I need to contact tomorrow?
21. Am I proud?
22. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing to reconcile this relationship?
23. Did I grumble or complain today? Was it justifiable? Am I solving problems with others or only complaining to others? How can I be an agent of positive change about the situation that needed to be fixed?
24. Is Jesus real to me? Do I make Jesus real to others?
25. Who do I want to be in five years time? And in a year? What are the next-action steps I will take tomorrow toward this direction for my/our family life?
26. Where do I want to be in five years time? And in a year? What are the next-action steps for only tomorrow?
27. How can I find calm right now?
28. What bad habits do I need to stop?
29. What mistakes have I made today? And how will I correct/fix them tomorrow?
30. Who do I admire? What qualities do these people have? In what way can I learn from them? What is it about them that inspires me? How can I become like them?
31. Am I initiating positive relationships?
32. How did I steward my time today? Am I waiting patiently for God to act?
33. Do I feel compelled by God to contact any specific person or entity? Who is it and how should I contact them tomorrow?
34. Who do I love and who loves me?
35. Am I doing things for others, subject to their judgment or decision, or am I doing what is most important to me for my social/existential/family and connected spiritual life?
36. Have I worked for Jesus today and left a trace of his life somewhere?
37. What about my life will be left behind and how am I working for that today? What am I doing to leave a legacy (Leading Each Generation Affirming Children And Youth).
38. Who did I help today?
39. How am I right now aware of God’s presence and how can I be aware of God’s presence in every moment?
40. What are at least thee specifics items am I thankful for right now?
41. What can I do tomorrow that I love to do? How will it make me feel? Why should I do it?
42. Who got my attention (time / listening) today? Was it worth it? Who/what will I give my attention tomorrow? How might it shape me and focus my life to be the best me I can be?
43. What part of my life do I need to simplify/remove?
44. Did I exercise today?
45. Did I eat right today?
46. What actions for health, eating, exercise will I take tomorrow?
47. Do I need to contact someone tomorrow out of kindness/love? Who? When & how will I contact them?
48. Did I laugh today? Was I happy and did I smile? How can I enact joy tomorrow?
49. Did I play today? How? How did it make me feel and in what way will I play tomorrow?
50. Was I a person today that was faithful and honest? Kind and true? Gracious and generous?
51. Did I today reflect and embody the Kingdom of God?
52. Do I have any wrong perceptions of myself? Others? How will I fix these wrong perceptions tomorrow?
53. Did I demonstrate poor communication today? How will I fix this poor communication tomorrow?
54. Do I have any misplaced anger? What is the fear or loss that creates it? How will I respond to that loss or fear and resolve the anger both right now and tomorrow?
55. Did I experience the Peace of Wild Things? Was I still in the face of life’s anxiety?
56. Was I today, the best me I can be? If not, what actions from the items above will help me fix that for tomorrow?
Best We We Can Be:
1. Do you feel I properly understand the goals that God has placed in your heart? What are they? How can I help you achieve them?
2. What are two things I can do to regularly show you just how satisfied and happy I am with you as my partner?
3. Is there anything I am doing or failing to do that seems to send a signal that I do not honor our shared life?
4. Is there anything I can change to make our home a place where you feel more satisfied and comfortable?
5. Are there any big dreams in your heart that you have been hesitant to share with me? How can I help you fulfill them?
6. How do you feel we can begin communicating better than we already are?
7. Do you feel that there is anything keeping either one or both of us from God's best in our lives? What should be my part in freeing us from those restraints?
8. Are we where you wanted us to be at this stage in life? How can I help you make that possible within God's guidelines?
9. How do you envision our future together? What can we do together to achieve that goal?
10. What can I do to show you how much I need and trust you?
11. Have I overlooked any question you would like to ask me?
12. Can you give me a list of two things I can do to be a better partner for you?
13. What actions or words can I take on to make you feel more loved?
14. What actions or words can I take on to make you feel more respected?
15. What actions or words can I take on to make you feel more understood?
16. What actions or words can I take on to make you more secure?
17. What actions or words can I take on to make you feel more confident in our future direction?
18. What specific attribute would you like me to develop?
19. What specific attribute would you like me to help you develop?
20. What achievement in my life would bring you the greatest joy?
21. What would indicate to you that I really desire to be more loving and self-serving for you?
22. What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?
23. What is a story from your childhood that I don’t know? What significant factor/actions took place at work that would better help me understand your work world?
24. I am going to now name for your, two qualities of your being, who you are, that make me most happy?
25. Is there anyway you bid for me that I missed? Help me understand how I missed it and what you needed from me? (Apologize now and communicate specifically my intent to be better.)
26. What issue do we disagree on now and how can we come to understand each other better on this issue? Is there a timeline when we need to agree? When is it? If we can’t come to an agreement, how can we move forward still loving each other?
27. What unfulfilled dreams do you have? What are the next action steps we can take now to fulfill them or work toward their fulfillment?
28. What habits did we engage today for our microculture? What specific events can or should we plan for now for our microculture?
29. What is our shared future and how are we pursuing that for tomorrow and for the next decade, right now?
Image Link to the Manifesto used above is a GREAT blog entry in itself, I found it after creating my manifesto, and it is inspiring for me now! Link Here.