Aim and Personal Truth
Many people assess their life’s aim at the start of each calendar year. The ritual can be incredibly impactful for people who contemplate, plan and then set into action the behaviors necessary to fulfill their resolution. This can take place seasonally, with the lunar new year, on a birthday, anniversary or any other random day of the week. However, the path of progress is not one, but many, and a person must account for setbacks, obstacles and frustrations, as well as success and accomplishment, throughout the 52 weeks that follow the setting of a “new year’s” aspiration.
Self-awareness, Values and Truth
Consider this quote from Eliza Farnham, pioneer, women’s rights champion and advocate.
“ The ultimate aim of the human mind, in all its efforts, is to become acquainted with truth.”
As one builds self-awareness and sets about staying with a personal truth, it does help to establish an aim for life; a grounding purpose that can be used to rebalance and recalibrate when turmoil hits. And, it will always hit. We just don’t know when or how hard the impact will be. Connecting our aim to core values or virtues can be a pathway. This does not mean a complex, overly convoluted expression of who we want to be or how we show up in the world. It doesn’t need to be a SMART goal or have a rubric for evaluation or a scorecard to track our stats. As long as it brings you back to the fundamental truth for setting your aim, establishing a meaningful touchstone can be simple.
“AIM to I AM” Activity
AIM, when its letters are swapped and shuffled, becomes I AM. Try this simple activity to turn your AIM into behavior-based action I AM statements.
- Begin with one minute of focused transitioning to clear some of the mental clutter.
- Sit comfortably, notice your body’s contact with the seat. Do box breathing.
- When it wanders, gently tell your mind to come back to your activity. Permission granted to think without multitasking!
- Put some of your attention to this question. What is your highest aim?
- Write it down. Record it. Give it a home outside of your head.
- Write 5 positive “I am…” statements about how you can fulfill your aim.
- Write 2 fear-based “I am…” statements about the obstacles in the way.
“AIM to I AM” Activity Example
Using Eliza’s aim for the human mind to be acquainted with truth, her I AM statements may have looked something like this:
I am curious and strive to hear multiple perspectives.
I am honest about my short-comings and biases in personal and professional relationships.
I am committed to re-thinking long-held beliefs, even if it means I am wrong.
I am learning to lead with love even though it is difficult at times.
I am a person who perseveres in times of uncertainty.
I am uncomfortable in some situations due to fear of judgment from others.
I am worried that my work as a woman is overshadowed by that of men.
Living Your Aim
Now that your aim and “I am” statements are written, decide when you will review them each week, month or season. Decide how to use your touchstone to keep your efforts pure. Whether we are truth seeking or fulfilling a different aim, aligning our beliefs, thoughts and behaviors leads to accomplishment. Identifying and coming up with ways to get over obstacles increases the likelihood of success. How we respond to the fear-driven, critical inner voice in our head impacts the ultimate sense of fulfillment we experience. Go on your route, at your pace and keep moving forward.