~ Ray Edwards
Success and personal fulfillment are largely dependent on the degree to which a person has approached their life strategically and intentionally. The vast majority of people eke out an existence that is haphazard at best, and in some cases, completely out of control and void of purpose. My strong supposition is, it should not and does not have to be this way.
There is an ancient proverb that says, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Understand, God is not trying to hide anything from you, but He does invite us into the process of seeking to understand, and subsequently acting like the person He created us to be. The value is in the process.
As I began the process in my own life, I discovered what I call The 4 Cornerstones for Strategic Living; a framework for building a fulfilling and meaningful life with the inherent gifts and unique qualities you already possess.
The 4 Cornerstones are, in order:
- Personal Healing
- Personal Discovery
- Personal Development
- Personal Deployment
Let’s look at these individually.
Cornerstone #1 – Personal Healing
This cornerstone is #1 for a very important reason. Nothing can move forward until personal healing takes place. In fact, unresolved, unreconciled places in your life create a virtual ceiling on your ability to grow, prosper, and succeed.
Our tendency is to ignore, or even mask the pain we’ve experienced, and stuff things away, only to find the unaddressed issues are sabotaging our forward and upward trajectory. The news is full of examples of individuals who are talented, gifted, and performing at high levels whose lives have imploded as a result of unresolved pain or brokenness.
Are there areas in your life that, for whatever reason, have gone unaddressed? Things like abandonment, being in a fatherless home, divorce, broken relationships, abuse, betrayal, rejection, or any number of others?
Reconciling the past begins by taking an honest and close look at the reflection in the mirror of the person you see every day. You have to acknowledge the hurts, own the failures, and grapple with the pain.
You cannot embrace something in your future as long as you’re holding to something in your past. Engaging the Personal Healing process is the genesis of your new beginning.
Cornerstone #2 – Personal Discovery
After working through personal healing, we have to address the question, “Who am I, and why am I here?” We do this by looking at a number of critical components and asking some very deep and intimate questions:
- What are my unique qualities?
- What am I passionate about?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What is my dominant personality style?
- What is it, that when I am doing it, gives me great pleasure and a real sense of value?
- What have I neglected in following through on because of fear or limiting beliefs?
- What dreams or plans have I dismissed or walked away from because life got in the way?
- What do I want?
The Personal Discovery process is paramount to your becoming the person God created you to be. Take the time. Do the work. Seek to understand who you are, and why you are here.
Cornerstone #3 – Personal Development
We live in a society where there is a much higher value placed on image and entertainment than on personal development. If you are going to become the very best you can be, there must be a full-out commitment to personal growth and development.
Once you know who you are and why you are here, set out to become the expert in that area. The best athletes in the world succeed in proportion to their commitment to developing their craft.
Hire a coach. Bring a mentor into your life that can guide, lead, teach, train and steer you in a direction helpful to your destiny. Read more. Study more. Enroll in online courses. Address any areas of incompetency or areas where skillsets need to be further developed.
Personal development is all about starting where you are and growing from there. The best investment you will ever make is the one you make in yourself and in your future.
Cornerstone #4 – Personal Deployment
The fourth and final part of this framework involves action. Once you’ve identified your focus and direction, it is critically important to develop a strategic plan for your life. That, however, is not enough. There are a lot of people who have elaborate plans. Many even possess the skill and talent to execute on those plans. The reality is most people never leave the safety and comfort of the sidelines and get in the game. You must do something. Take baby steps if you have to, but walk it out.
Be accountable. Join a mastermind or coaching group. Do life with people who can sharpen and challenge you and hold you accountable to your commitments. Do something. Take action. Deploy!