I was recently asked this question, and it was one that made me stop and think. I was able to state several elements of what I stand for, but not in a coherent way. It was something that I would have to ponder, not so much for the satisfaction of others, but primarily for myself. I grasp things better when I write them down. The benefit from this is that it would help me to focus my time and energy on what I truly believe is most important. The method I used below was influenced by a key person in my life. He always references his 3-F’s to represent what was most important for him. It is easy to remember and why reinvent something different when this works well for me.
Overall, I stand for:
My family means the world to me. We have our issues and challenges like so many families, but this is my family. I stand for responsibility and that is what I accepted when I chose to marry and raise a family. I will do my best to be there and support the family in a way that promotes and supports self-esteem and each becoming the person they want to be, opposite of the family I grew up with. I am all about being the best Dad I can be. Because of this the role of provider is important:Provider – in today’s world it is important to provide the foundation as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states; Safety and Security. This means a home, a job, health care, finances, food, etc. to allow as Maslow states, the ability for my family to focus on the higher needs of self-esteem, belonging and ultimately self-actualization. Unfortunately, in the volatile world we live in, this consumes the majority of my time. Jobs are more demanding these days, and security is not there anymore. Navigating a career anymore is demanding and stressful. It is a matter of doing whatever it takes.My friend is a great example of this. He lost a well paid job with a big company and was unable to find work in his field. He ended up using his retirement funds to keep the family afloat. He had to settle on what many would consider a menial job paying a fraction of what he made to keep the family intact.
My beliefs about life, its meaning, and why we are here was shaped by the incredible spiritual journey that was a part, and continues to be a part of my personal and spiritual growth. I have come to know that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. We are here for a reason and there is an existence following what we know as our physical existence here on Earth. I can attempt to ascertain specifics of these fundamental beliefs, but that would only represent my conjecture. What I know is enough to keep me going, and I realize that I must work on this every day, so not to give way to the growing negativity in the world today.The most direct influence to my beliefs was my choice to separate myself from any formal set of beliefs and open my mind and experience to what I knew inside was a more meaningful understanding of life. That experience led me to books, people, and personal experiences that combined to form my own truth, which is a continually evolving concept.
Focus is actually synonymous for me with Purpose (keeping it to the 3-F’s). A part of my quest was to understand my purpose. Overall, I have come to the conclusion that this means to be the best person I can be, even with all the strengths and idiosyncrasies that make me Michael. It is to come to learn to love, by beginning with myself first and then others. It is ultimately why I believe we are all here.However, I desire more specifics to this so I can make it more tangible. I spent a lot of time writing down thoughts until the following seemed to capture my purpose:“I am a visionary, believer, and risk-taker with a playful, creative and deeply philosophical nature committed to a greater purpose. I am here to create and to participate in communities of practice promoting goodwill towards others and being our true selves. My purpose (in this life) is to gain a greater understanding of the self-discovery process, applying these tools to my own life and then using my stories of personal and spiritual growth as a source of inspiration and direction for others, thereby ultimately discovering and owning my true self.”
This is what has prompted me to write and publish my book, Discovering Michael: An inspirational guide to personal growth and self-discovery. It is a tool to a greater means to create such communities of practice through workshops, talks, conferences, etc to work with others and to hopefully make a positive and meaningful difference making the world a better place for our children.
Wow! That was very helpful and meaningful to me. So in the spirit of what I stand for, I ask you to consider…. WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?