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The 4 principles of critical life pathways

How do you have a successful career as well as live the life that you want? Abide by these four principles of critical life pathways, writes Scott Stein.

With everyone dialled into the digital world with communication and activity bombarding us 24/7, many of us are looking for ways to get back on path to what is important. So how do you have a successful career as well as live the life that you want? 

To help us survive in today's turbulent and constantly plugged in world, there are four principles of critical life pathways that can also be a guide for us to live the life we should be living. Each of these principles can help guide you like a compass and help your to find your true north.

Who You Are: Your Identity

Have you ever looked at a photo that someone took and thought that the image doesn't quite match the one you had in your mind? The reason why this jumps out to you is that most of us have an idea of the identity of who we are — and the identity that we are trying to portray to the world around us.

Our identity is our view of the person that we want to be and shaped from the experiences we have in our life. We sometimes get this mixed up with our job title and think we are just an accountant or IT person. It is important to remember that you are more than the job title or role that you have. When you are clear on the person you want to be, you can take action to fulfil your dreams. 

What You Stand For: Your Beliefs

Our beliefs are important because the way we think guides the way we behave. These are often made up of a set of values that we use to assess if we are living the life we want to. This can include your beliefs on the type of mother that you want to be or how you feel you should show interest in your kids' learning and education. 

What you stand for is important because this can be used to help you make decisions. Given we have competing activities for our time and our attention, we can use our values to help us. Have you ever had a realisation that work was consuming you and that you were not spending enough quality time with the family?  This is often your value set reminding you that you have mixed up your focus and forgotten what you stand for. 

Who You Stand With: Your Tribe

Who do you stand with? In simple terms, who has your back when needed and who cares about you? Most of us surround ourselves with a group of friends or family we share our lives with. We often are also involved in a number of community groups (volunteer group, sporting club, school community, etc). We feel a sense of connection and closeness, similar to that of a tribe.

When we get too busy, we forget to check in with these tribes or spend time with the people who help enhance and enrich our lives. Facebook can only provide a quick glimpse into what our friends our doing. What really lights most of us up is when we share a meal or experience with people who remind us of how good it was to connect.

How You Live: Your Legacy

If a film crew followed you around for a full month, what would the footage show? Would it show that you had lived in a way you would be proud of? Would the behaviours and interactions you took demonstrate the beliefs and values you hold true?

Sometimes we need to step off the work treadmill and reflect if we are living the life that we want to. When you are on your deathbed, you want to look back across your life knowing that you lived the life you were supposed to — without regrets. What will your legacy say about your life story?

Remember to live your life to it's fullest and actively move towards the things that are important to you. By following these principles, we can create more engaged workplaces, grow supportive communities and happier lives.

Scott Stein is a leadership pathfinder and is the author of Leadership Hacks: Clever shortcuts to boost your impact and results.

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