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The AWE Question

The next question that Stanier talks about in The Coaching Habit is even simpler than the first.

It is the AWE question: And what else?

"With seemingly no effort", he explains, these three little words "create more – more wisdom, more insights, more self awareness, more possibilities out of thin air."

Asking this question a few times, allows the real issues to rise to the surface so that you are working at a level that will make a difference. He suggests that you ask it one more time than you think you need to! The question allows more options to surface which lead to better decisions and solutions.

And What Else? The quickest and easiest way to create new possibilities. Try it.

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The seven questions

So here are the seven questions that we have been exploring over the last few days. Regularly engaging in these reflections can be extremely beneficial in our spiritual and emotional growth.

Remember that asking the question and letting it simmer is more important than quick answers.

Repeat each question several times and use a journal to reflect on the answers.

1. What's your iki gai?
2. What are your core values?
3. Who matters most?
4. Where does my time go?
5. Which of my relationships are incomplete?
6. How do I keep my relationships complete?
7. What do I really really want?

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What do I really really want?

What do I really really want?

This is a great question to ask ourselves regularly.

So very often we chase something that we think we want, and then when we get it, realise that nope, that was not really our hearts desire. It is as if, as Steven Covey puts it, our ladder of success has been leaning against the wrong wall. Only once we have climbed the ladder we realise, oops, wrong wall!!

Many of us are connecting to our wants and desires these days and getting ready to ask from the King of Kings in these blessed and holy nights of Shabaan.

And this is a really good question to get us aligned with our big picture wants and get us in touch with what we truly want with our heart and soul.

The most effective way to use this question is to ask it several times and keep writing down what comes up. It takes a few moments for the conscious mind to settle and for our deepest longings to come bubbling up to the surface.

The first few (or several) things you will write will likely be immediate...

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Which of my relationships are incomplete?

We all have relationships in our lives which are incomplete. An "Incomplete relationship" is where there is unfinished business, unspoken hurts, resentments or things left unsaid. People whom we have hurt become part of the burden of our psyche, causing us spiritual pain that we often unaware of.

An incomplete relationship does not have to be about negative things. Appreciation or love unexpressed where it is felt also leads to the feeling of incompleteness.

Incomplete relationships weigh heavy upon the psyche. They stop us from spiritual growth and connection.

Completing relationships does NOT mean ending them and it can be done at any time during a relationship.

It is especially important to complete relationships that are ending so that we do not carry emotional baggage into future relationships.

When a relationship is complete, there is a feeling that things are okay between us and that our connection is complete as is and that nothing needs to be done or said in order for each...

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Where does my time go?

The next question that we are exploring in our quest for self awareness and growth is this: Where does my time go?

It is such a cliché to say that we live in a world that is on 24/7 and that we 'don't have time'. We have more labour saving devices than ever before and less (perceived) time than any previous generation.

The truth is that time is the great equalizer. All of us have exactly the same amount every day. How we spend those moments, however, will greatly determine our quality of life now and later.

Also, how we spend our time says a lot about who we are and what we value. We may verbalize some values that we 'should' have but our clock and our calendar tell us the truth about what we value by the actions we take during the moments in our day.

A great way to become more mindful of how we spend our time is to keep a time log. I learnt this concept from time management expert Laura Vanderkam in her book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

Vanderkam suggests...

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I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

Much too often, we do not speak our truth, express how we really feel or ask for what we need for many (not very good) reasons. These reasons can include self-protection, fear of upsetting the other, keeping the peace etc.

Much too often we forget that relationships can better survive our truth than the resentment borne from not speaking up. It is in fact, emotional disengagement that destroys relationships rather than the feared conflict from a spoken truth.

Ware found that not expressing feelings had an additional cost. She found that not expressing their true feelings was something many people regretted at the end of their life. "Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others", she writes. "As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

Once we start practicing expressing our true feelings, we begin...

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Buy yourself time

Sonja Lyubomirsky's third principle to enjoy your wealth so that it brings you happiness is this:

Spend money to give you time.

Time, as they say, is the great equalizer. We all have the same 24 hours regardless of the dollars in our bank accounts.

Research shows, that 'time affluence' – (time to do things that matter to you and bring you joy) is a better predictor of happiness than pure affluence (how much money you have).

Makes sense, right? If we are too busy making money, we don't have time to enjoy it.
So here is an easy way to "buy happiness".

Use money to buy time for yourself. Hire someone to do something that you would normally do yourself.

For those of us who like to do everything ourselves, here is another way to look at it: you will be distributing your blessings and being a source of income for someone else.
(Not to mention having one less thing on your "to-do" list).

(When I shared this with a group of mothers recently, that you could get someone to help you do...

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Share it to savour it

Sonja Lyubomirsky's second principle to enjoy your wealth so that it brings you happiness is this:

Spend money on others not yourself.

There is some fascinating research here. It turns out that if you give people $20 and have them spend it on themselves they'll be less happy than if they spend it on others. Cool, huh?

(I wonder if this is the one reason why people like Bill Gates give away such a significant portion of their wealth?)

So, shall we experiment with generosity this week?

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Think its too difficult?

Have you noticed, , that the hard and difficult stuff only ever seemed hard and difficult before you began it?

One of the easiest ways to get over overwhelm is to start taking action.

It really IS that simple.

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Write down what the critic is saying

When the familiar story of self doubt or negativity starts playing in your head, take a moment and write it down. Word for word.

It is often helpful to write this down in two ways:
First, write down everything in the first person: "I cannot do this", "I will never be able to do this" etc etc.

Now rewrite these stories in the second person: "You cannot do this". "You are just not organized enough, clever enough, good enough . . . ." "What makes you think that you will succeed this time when you have failed in the past . . ."

Blah, blah, blah. . .

Now ask yourself: Are these stories adding value to your life? Are they helping you live your best self?

If not, simply thank the critic for sharing their view, and then get on with your day.

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